Buchanan’s is one of the most revered Scotch whisky brands sold throughout Latin America. For over 130 years, this game changing Scotch Whisky has been crafting unique blends enjoyed by whisky aficionados for Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

By 2013, the iconic whisky brand had been sporting the same package design for more than 20 years. Not surprisingly, it had begun to feel a little dated when compared to other premium competitors. Diageo chose forceMAJEURE as their partner to work on the global portfolio redesign of Buchanan’s Blended Scotch Whisky.

The redesign began with an in-depth analysis of the brand’s essence followed by the creation of brand pillars and design principles, both of which would guide the design process. The overall brand refresh was crystallized in a full redesign of the primary packaging, including developing new bottles for the entire family, new closures and secondary packaging for the suite. The result is a redesign, which reintroduces an icon to the next generation of consumers, ensuring its relevance for the next 20 years.

The first step of the refresh was to tell the story of the key brand equities: the contract to supply whisky to the House of Lords was signed in 1893. The seal, which communicates quality and authenticity; the canteen shaped bottle, which drew inspiration from WWI water canteens and the color green, which represents the lush green of Scotland.

With a strong understanding of the brand’s character, codes and narrative, we had the foundation to develop the packaging. The resulting exploration reinterprets these valuable characteristics with a contemporary design that builds upon the Buchanan’s history and heritage, but with a thoroughly modern expression for the 3-tiered range. We maintained the color-coding for the DeLuxe, Master Blend and Special Reserve variants, but infused a tinge of green throughout the range to add warmth and evoke the brand’s Scottish provenance. The contract, which has been a central part of the Buchanan’s brand identity for over a century, has been revisited, with James Buchanan’s signature signing off each and every bottle.


Brand Renovation, Full Portfolio Redesign, Brand world, Bottle & Packaging Design, Limited Editions Design, Key visuals (Digital & Social), Retail Design, Campaign. 


The seals on the sides of the bottles, which act as a feature for communicating quality, authenticity and a stamp of approval by James Buchanan for the liquid inside, were cleaned up and enhanced. The caps incorporated a new technology that also brought in a ritual to the opening of a new bottle – consumers are literally breaking the seal to gain access, which has the dual benefit of communicating quality while also preventing counterfeiting. The ribbon feature, again part of the identity for over a century, is now an embossed feature in the glass, with embossing continued on the reverse where the family crest, also featured as a graphic element on the label, can be seen through the liquid.

Disrupting the whisky market, Two Souls is the first innovation of its kind, finished in oak barrels used to age Diageo’s Don Julio tequila. For this occasion, we were asked to bring Two Souls to life through the creation of a festive and innovative design.

We wanted to create an identity for Two Souls that would grab the attention of the whisky consumer while incorporating tequila’s Mexican soul with a vibrant agave plant illustration that just so happens to glow in the dark, making it the perfect drink for a night out. Taking visual cues from both Traditional Scottish Whisky and Mexican Tequila the new design brings the perfect balance of authenticity and vibrancy, creating a modern, soulful and celebratory addition to the Buchanan’s family.   

“The work on the Buchanan’s packaging has been extraordinary, achieving something which on paper seemed nearly impossible. The work on packaging, using the shape of canteens as design, has not only brought the brand back to its origins, it has also reinvigorated the brand through a design that is quite a departure from the existing one. It wasn’t without risk, but the results have been very positive.” Alberto Gavazzi, President of Diageo Latin America & Caribbean.