Produced for Big Machine Distillery Nashville, TN
With the return of IndyCar racing to Nashville at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in 2021, Big Machine Distillery paid homage to one of Music City’s earliest known IndyCar races – all the way back to 1911 – with a limited release, cask strength, single barrel bourbon. Aptly named Borchetta Bourbon, after the family name of life-long racers, Scott Borchetta, owner and founder of Big Machine Label Group and Big Machine Distillery, and his brother, Mark Borchetta, EVP of Big Machine Distillery.
THE DESIGN CONCEPT
Such a unique, one-of-a-kind, bourbon deserved packaging and presentation worthy of its special content. To kick off the project, Big Machine Distillery’s EVP, Mark Borchetta, turned to internal Graphic Designer, David Miller, to begin conceptualizing the story to be told.
“I told him – David, this is our first bourbon release, and it’s the first ever spirit with our family name on it,” says Mark. “We’re honoring our passion for racing, but other than that, I don’t have a direction for you. Just don’t hold back! And that’s how the bottle design came about.”
“The bottle was designed to be representative of a trophy, topped with a metal car ornament. Timeless, yet captures the origins of open-wheel racing in Indianapolis & Nashville,” says David. “We designed it with the collector in mind, so we needed display packaging that would elevate the product and give us room to tell our story.”
It was in 1911 that the first-ever 500-mile race was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a miniature metallic replica of the wining car sits atop the Borchetta Bourbon. That car, the Marmon Wasp was driven by Ray Harroun and was the only car of its design, which is still on display in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, making it a unique display and “trophy” for racing enthusiasts and bourbon drinkers alike. Custom labels, embellished with intricate gold foil embossing, were made to go over the bottle’s unique shape and style.
“During the development and design process David modeled everything to scale in a digital 3-D environment,” says Big Machine’s GM of Operations, Kiley Judge. “This gave us an understanding of how the product would be produced before we could see it in person. We could use this finalized model to then develop packaging. We had very little time to produce before the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.”
With the project under a very tight deadline, Big Machine Distillery started searching for a box manufacturer who could take on the challenge of designing a box, printing, embellishing, and manufacturing the packaging. To pull it off, they needed a company that could do it all in-house.
Innovative Business Products, Inc. (IBP) is in Nashville, and for over 30 years, Joe Walkup has been helping companies find solutions to enhance and promote their brand in packaging and promotional items. IBP and Big Machine had previously worked on several projects including hand sanitizer during Covid. When it came time to do a box for their new Borchetta Bourbon, they asked IBP to help. Joe, Kiley, and David connected and immediately went to work in finding a packaging manufacturer. “I reached out to a good friend who happened to know Rob Proffit and he said that Rob could help. That is the beginning of this project and the roller coaster ride we went on to produce these amazing boxes”, said Joe. They needed a company that could design, print, embellish and manufacture the package and Joe looked no further than NAPCO.
In business since 1977, NAPCO now has two manufacturing facilities. One in Sparta, North Carolina, and the other in Vincent, Alabama. NAPCO has over 340,000 square feet of space, state-of-the-art high-speed converting with 13 rigid box lines, and equal flat board converting, along with complementary die-cutting capabilities. Plus, high-speed digital printing along with real foil and spot varnish digital embellishment.
Innovative Business Products and Big Machine knew, because of the complexity of what they envisioned and the short time frame they were working with, clear and precise communication with the NAPCO team was the key to success.
Nothing can move forward without first designing the actual package to hold the product perfectly and functionally, so the initial design immediately started with Dan Duncan, Director of Product Development at NAPCO. After an initial conversation of ideas and requirements, Dan received a sample of the actual bottle and created a prototype to start the construction approval process. This sample is called a “white sample”, a non-printed sample made with the exact material and construction as the finished product.
After approval of the white sample, Dan provided templates to the Big Machine team for creating artwork for production. To avoid delays or issues in production regarding printing and embellishing, both teams started communicating and exchanging design ideas with Dominic Zaidan (pre-press) early on, before finalizing the final design, David was able to provide initial design ideas directly to Dominic Zaidan. After a review of initial concepts, Dominic met with the digital production leads Frank Deiuliis and Mike Allen and made recommendations for the gold foil embellishments. “At NAPCO, our goal is to always find ways to accomplish the vision of graphic designers’. Some designs may seem impossible for our machinery at first look, but with good communication and flexibility with the artist, we often come up with an even better-looking product in the end. From the start, David was receptive and open to suggestions in adjusting his design, said Dominic, this made our job of producing an excellent product much easier”.
Considering the extremely tight deadline NAPCO faced, the project went relatively smoothly. From prototypes, art changes, press checks, and short-run production for photography and product launch.
Much credit is due to the teamwork from everyone on our teams below.
Big Machine Distillery
David Miller – Graphic Designer
Mark Borchetta – EVP, Big Machine Distillery
Kiley Judge – General Manager, Big Machine Distillery
Joe Walkup – Innovative Business Products
Joe DeBoy – NAPCO
Jerry Pearce – NAPCO
NAPCO Production Team
Dan Duncan – Product Development, Package Designer
Dominic Zaidan – Pre-press Production Artist
Josh Millender – Press operator
Frank Deiuliis and Mike Allen – Digital embellishment operators
For more info, call Vulcan at 1.800.633.4526 or fill out form below and one of our sales experts will be in touch.