The Lady of the Hills
for Lochaber Gin
the Lady of the Hills
Today you see a version of the final piece in a long path from the first conversation with Andi and Iain (the brains behind the gin) to the completed Lochaber Gin that are now flying off the shelves. And well worthy of this demand I must say (I have a bottle of this liquid treasure myself and it really as good as they make out).
A version of the label
Let me take you on a trip with me to see how this beautiful lady came to find herself on a label. I have been selling my gin-themed ‘Oneliners’ in Deli Craft for some time, it’s a favourite haunt of ours with its welcoming atmosphere and lovely treats. My girls insist on calling it the rainbow cookie shop, I will let you work out why for yourself. I love chatting to the owners, Andi and Iain, they are really inspirational people, growing their business from a dream to the well-established deli, they are determined to show this amazing place (Fort William) that we find ourselves in for all the goodness and variety it possesses.
Hiding in the view of Ben Nevis
On one of my child-free mornings I was in and got chatting about this new idea that Iain was brewing and would I be interested in developing an image for the label. I was already hoping up and down with excitement and getting images whizzing through my head. When Andi says … so we would really like to have the Ben (Nevis) showing the lady lying down. My heart sank; if I was honest I hadn’t looked at the hills with a great deal of love since moving here. They always seemed massive menacing things that swallow up the unsuspecting walker or two, I’d heard stories of litter dropped along the way and I had resolved that I would not be walking up it anytime soon.
But a hidden lady in the hills, now you have my attention.
Where is she and why had I never even heard about her before. How do I get to meet her? After some chat we decide on the best place to view the Ben from and I then start making my plans for detecting this lady. This search became a little obsessive, driving back and forth along a road and hopping out from time to time to snap a photo.
Then one day the light was perfect and there she was, lying down completely relaxed and at one with the landscape.
I snapped a photo and was off home to play with what I had discovered. Since then I can’t not see her, a peaceful figure keeping watch over all who come her way. She has for me created a very different feel to the hillside and I must say much more friendly feeling towards it.
So now to create an image that is distinctive and will stand out for the crowd on a gin bottle…
…it needs to clearly show the skyline of the Ben, and the lady is to be there. I started with a line that was a must, the skyline, from there I played with drawing; just as a line drawing, as a lady that just happened to fit into the hills, as a ‘Oneliner” and finally as a version of the image you see today. I love the blue, it just reminds me of Scotland, its rich history and great pride is almost tied to this blue, the hills around here are magical as the light changes they can go any number of colours but blue was the colour for this girl.
Would my lady, be their lady?
With a few designs in hand I took them to the Deli to decide on which one would be the one to take further, to tell you the truth I was a little nervous (I think as you would be with a portrait of a persons beloved) to show them. Would my lady be their lady? Would my image capture the magic that I had found in making it? To my delight, they loved her and over the next few weeks we played with various font and bottle ideas, Ali Berardelli became involved and developed the beautiful font. And now we are in this amazing place where the gin is on the shelves and flying out of the shop, various local restaurants and bars are now stocking it. I am so privileged to have played a part in creating something that people can really enjoy.
The final Lochaber Gin in its bottle, and I am so proud and privileged to have been part of this adventure.
Here’s to many more