For the fifth release of our Bloody Shiraz Gin in 2019 we wanted to do something a little special. Dress it up a bit. And Jess Cruickshank was exactly the person to help us do so.

This stunning clean-skin style bottle showcases Jess Cruickshank’s exceptional typographic talents. The bottle has Jess’s design printed directly onto the glass in white, to pop deliciously against the dark purple gin.

A Brisbane native, the talented now Sydney-based artist and Negroni-lover says she was always “that art kid” at school. Naturally, she entered into Graphics Design study which lead her into careers in digital design, advertising, and finally illustration.

Jess had been on the radar of our design team for quite some time, and this celebratory Bloody Shiraz Gin project felt like the perfect piece to get her involved in.

This is my first full wraparound label design! The trickiest part was having to think about how the bottle would look both empty and full, because once the bottle is empty the artwork on the back would show through to the front.

It was really fun to work though. The Four Pillars team let me have lots of creative freedom. And they sent me a bottle for research purposes too, which was very helpful, of course!

With a hugely broad array of beautiful illustration, lettering and book covers in her folio to date, it poses the question, where in the world does she draw her inspiration from?

I’m inspired by all sorts of things! In particular I’m always drawn to imagery that’s really beautiful and ornate, and I end up drawing things in that style as a result. But I can also be sitting there bingeing a tv show, and some little thing on the screen might suddenly compel me to draw something.

When it comes to her talents in lettering in particular, captured beautifully on our bottle, Jess says she greatly admires the work of Herb Lubalin – a late American graphic designer well known for his Art Deco inspired typographic work.

I love drawing digitally on my iPad Pro using Procreate — it’s so easy to sketch out ideas and then refine them into final artwork. I also really enjoy working with a real brush and ink.

And true to her “art kid” status, Jess is keen to experiment with other mediums net.

I would absolutely love to learn oil painting! I guess that’s the complete opposite of drawing on the iPad. I would also love to learn lino or wood block printing, and have a little tabletop press where I can produce my own prints.

We know more than a few people who will be lining up to claim one or two of those as their own Jess. We’re beyond proud of this release, and stoked to be able to call Jess part of the Four Pillars Gin team.

To check out the rest of Jess’s work, please click through to her website here.