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Wednesday, August 21, 2019
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A new South African gin just won a top design prize in the US

Writer: Lance Branquinho, Business Insider SA

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  • A one-year-old gin brand just won a top design prize in the US – thanks to its striking logo and packaging.
  • Muti Gin was launched by a husband-and-wife team from Stellenbosch.
  • Muti Gin’s label design references South African surf spots and mountains.

A one-year-old South African gin brand beat 1,500 other entries from 20 countries to win a top prize at the Dieline design awards in the US. The awards recognise outstanding consumer packaging and product design.Muti Gin was awarded first prize in the category for clear spirits at an event in Chicago last week.

The gin was launched last year by a husband-and-wife team from Stellenbosch, Jan and Kobá Solms.

Kobá Solms was responsible for the formulation of the “citrus-styled” gin, which includes a blend of Western and Eastern Cape fynbos, anchored by the ghô-kum and kusmalva plants. Better known as the highway ice plant, ghô-kum is one of Muti Gin’s primary ingredients, whilst the kusmalva (coastal pelargonium) adds a taste of Eastern Cape.

The formulation strives to be authentically indigenous. “We wanted to create medicine for the soul, hence the name,” says Jan Solms, who used his experience as a local wine label designer to come up with an innovative design for their brand.

Muti Gin’s label and packaging impressed the judges in Chicago.

The ‘M’ symbolises Stellenbosch’s towering mountain peaks, near the company’s headquarters.

“You’ll notice the dots too, in symmetrical groupings, and the strong sunray linework, that signifies beach sand and a sunset, which we think is the most appropriate time and environment to have a gin,” says to Jan Solms.

Surfers will immediately notice left- and right-breaking waves in the label. To Solms, this represents the legendary left- and right-breaking surf sports of Elands Bay and Jeffreys Bay, signifying the Western and Eastern Cape botanical sourcing.

Muti Gin’s label design is also sandblasted onto the bottle, which adds tactility and permanence. “We didn’t want a label that would be undone by some moisture and start to rub off,” says Solms.

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