Creating a new set of glassware that sparks conversation
How do you put a brand at the heart of the conversation? Jameson is an Irish whiskey company that has a reputation for being about having fun with friends, laughter, a sense of belonging and connecting with people. They are keen to shift their brand’s appeal away from the stereotypical older whiskey drinker towards a younger, more relaxed and socially minded consumer. Jameson reached out to us to collaborate in designing a new set of glassware for their brand.
In creating a new family of glassware, we adopted a story-driven design approach. We mapped out a journey of social interaction on a night out – from ordering a drink when you arrive at the bar, with one other person, with a third person, to a larger group. This work explored the nuances of each social scenario and how Jameson could be at the centre, helping to spark human connections and to create memorable experiences.
We have been designing handheld devices since the mid-1990s and are experts in the importance of our sense of touch in creating unique product experiences. Physical activity – even something as small as fidgeting with your hands – increases levels of the neuro-transmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in our brains. Both chemicals play a key role in sharpening focus and increasing attention. These repetitive, fidgety actions that we all do, are known as ‘stimming’. What if we could use stimming to help stimulate conversation?
This was central to our approach in designing the new Jameson Glassware – the temptation to unconsciously rotate the glass as you talk is irresistible. A slightly playful, tactile experience deliberately helps you focus on the conversation, not just enjoy the whiskey. The result is a memorable and distinctively Jameson interaction. The glass and brand now go hand in hand.
The new glassware family encompasses a tumbler, highball, Irish coffee glass and a smaller tasting glass. We created three flat, scalloped windows in each glass that allows the beautiful pale gold colour of the whiskey to be fully appreciated. This, together with the glasses being ingeniously manufactured with no mould-lines, helps to create a significantly higher quality feel than previous Jameson glassware. The global off-trade launch has been hugely successful, eclipsing the sales of any previous Jameson glassware. We believe this success is achieved through being perfectly in tune with the modern Jameson drinker who sees the brand as a means of sharing, socialising, laughing and belonging.
This work has been recognised with the GOOD DESIGN award, the world’s oldest and most recognised program for design excellence organised annually by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum for Architecture and Design.