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Scottish designer Contagious crosses Atlantic to share branding expertise

Designers from Scottish branding agency Contagious are making regular transatlantic crossings to deliver a series of lectures on the design of brand experience in distilleries and brand homes at the renowned Moonshine University in Kentucky.

The burgeoning international reputation of Contagious as experts in the design and delivery of brand experiences for global drinks brands has seen the team fly to bourbon country in the heart of the Bluegrass State to advise on state-of-the-art design methodologies for optimising visitor advocacy and revenue in brand homes.

Jason Dobson, business and creative director at Contagious, said: “Having worked on a number of distilleries and breweries throughout the UK, USA, and Europe, we’re delighted to be given this opportunity by Moonshine University to share our insights on the approach a business should take in the delivery of their brand home and visitor experience.” 

Jason Milne, creative director at Contagious, added: “The attendees are all enthusiastic and motivated people with a real passion for the craft of distilling, so we pack as much as we can into our lectures, taking attendees through the entire process from how to approach their project, to a checklist for the retail spaces.”

Recent years have seen Contagious undertake the design of a number of brand experiences, and brand homes, including those for Angels Envy in Louisville, the Irish Whiskey Academy in Dublin, Glengoyne Distillery in Scotland and the Absolut Elyx Experience in Sweden.

Colin Blake, director of spirits education at Moonshine University, explained: “When I was travelling in Ireland and took a day to visit the Irish Whiskey Academy, I was blown away. It was such a beautiful, engaging, educating, well-thought-out experience. So, when I crossed paths with one of its designers from Contagious, the first thing I thought about was, ‘how can I get this Brit to travel to Kentucky to teach a class?’

“The scope and quality of work that Contagious does is spectacular. From small distilleries to the largest companies in the world, they craft unique, engaging experiences that every distillery should have. From the moment I saw their work, and spoke with the team, I knew that they needed to be a part of our classes.

“We are thrilled that Contagious take the time to travel so far to share their vision and methodology with all our attendees. Even if one of our attendees never opens a distillery, they are armed with the information on how to be thoughtful about making everything they do an amazing, engaging experience.”

Moonshine University brings together specialists from every facet of the distilling and spirits industries under one roof to provide education, training, R&D, and support for industry professionals, established companies, and those entering the business. It offers technical training and business management education for start-ups, industry professionals, and those looking for careers in the industry.

Created in Edinburgh in 2001, Contagious work with clients across the world to design and deliver experiences that make connections for global drinks brands.

Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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