Colonsay Whisky Project 2015



The City of Glasgow College is one of Scotland’s largest colleges and delivers a huge range of courses.

We are increasingly encouraged to work closer with relevant industries and live projects and across different departments within the college.

The aim of this project is to deliver a project focusing on the design and packaging of contemporary whisky.

This project endeavoured to expand the student’s knowledge in areas that they may not have previously considered. By working closely with industry, the students from the different disciplines received professional input into how they are both approaching the brief and how the finished product compares to industry standard.


Island – Colonsay. 30 year malt , Contemporary DesignMALT3

A client intended to initially produce small amounts of whisky on Colonsay. Our students were tasked with designing packaging for the whisky.

The client stipulated that he would like to see a contemporary design that highlights the natural beauty of the island.

The final design solution was to be modern and minimalist and also reflect the island’s rich culture and history.

Jewellery students MALT2

The fourteen jewellery / silversmith students were each given a cork from bottle of malt whisky whereupon they had to utilize a wide range of skills including stone setting, etching, casting, and 3D printing to produce a unique and highly crafted silver cork / stopper.  The silver for the project was supplied by The Incorporation of Goldsmiths and each student had received in the region of £100 towards the cost of manufacture.

Digital Media for Design and Print

The students worked in collaboration with the jewellery students and incorporated the design of the stopper into the graphics of the labels.

Product / Furniture students – future collaboration

The product design students collaborated with the above students to produce laser cut display boxes incorporating the graphics. Small silver elements designed by the jewellers were also be incorporated .

Photography students


NC and HND students photographed finished bottles.

In the future I am envisaging that graphic companies connected to the drinks industry could visit the college and give students some valuable feedback on their designs possibly choosing the best 3 designs at the end of the project.


Mountain Creative Design Consultants and Edrington Group both agreed to co-operate in the project, visiting the project and giving students valuable feedback. ( See feedback: end of page )


The idea has been raised to purchase a barrel of whisky that would mature in a number of years. This would allow a timescale that staff and students could work towards, producing items of a high standard that would culminate in the bottling process.MALT8

During this process it is hoped that other companies would also chose to participate in such a project and would gain access to some bright new talent in 3 different design areas. This talent would be focusing in on their area of industry and possibly providing a unique insight into that area. One possible outcome, would be that The Graphic companies connected with the drinks industries would have the opportunity to offer the most talented designers work placements over the summer months and to put a little bit of their expertise back into a Further Education setting.  


“The jewellery finish is exceptional ……..the label designs are in keeping and

 I could see most of these on the shelf ….the students must have enjoyed

working on this project.

Andrea Kirkwood, Mountain Creative

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