& SMITH shakes up the cocktail industry with a new identity for Black Lines

London agency & SMITH has unveiled a new identity for Black Lines, a premium "cocktails on tap" supplier.

Previously known as Hingston + Co., the brand is on a mission to change people's preconceptions of how cocktails are served and experienced, challenging conventional thinking that all cocktails must be handcrafted in front of the drinker.

"We want to shake up the category and introduce great cocktails to spaces where drinkers otherwise didn’t expect them to exist or where they couldn’t be executed well enough," explains Kuleen Khimasia from Black Lines.

To reframe the brand for a more mainstream audience, & SMITH introduced the name, Black Lines, taking inspiration from Kandinsky’s revolutionary abstract painting of the same name, representing the beginning of a new era of art.

It's certainly a confident strategy brought to life through collaborations with nine illustrators, each commissioned to craft a bespoke piece for a specific cocktail. "Each artwork celebrates the art of cocktail making, each cocktail and the illustrator's style," says Rachel Smith from & SMITH.

Finished in a modest black and white colour palette, the result is an eye-catching, elegant brand. Rachel adds: "The cocktail industry – once steeped in tradition and ritual – has begun to open up to more innovative serving methods, from canned drinks to unusual food pairings. Black Lines pushes this even further, with premium draught cocktails letting people order an Espresso Martini or Negroni at the bar as fast as a pint.

"But cocktail connoisseurs will always need convincing that on tap is as good as the more traditional techniques, so we introduced a new brand that is simple, balanced and confident. Original illustrations are rarely used in the spirits industry and give a fun yet elegant look and feel, appealing to a wide range of potential drinkers."

& SMITH delivered a full rebrand for Black Lines, including strategy and repositioning, a new logo, tap badges, labelling, website design and printed materials such as business cards and sales packs.


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