Award-winning branding agency Squad Ink has executed the brand and packaging design for the newly released Papa Salt gin, developed for actor Margot Robbie and friends.

With the proliferation of gins coming to market, to ensure stand-out for the Papa Salt brand, the Squad Ink team had to draw on years of expertise designing award-winning premium food and beverage packaging.

According to Squad Ink, the Papa Salt gin brand has been designed to capture the essence of a friendship formed between Margot Robbie, her husband Tom Ackerley, Josey McNamara, and Regan and Charlie Maas. As the brand story narrates, it’s a tribute to one of their favourite pastimes: “long-flowing afternoons wherever the sun is shining and the water is crystal blue with their favourite gin in hand”.

In terms of flavour profile, the gin is described as “smooth-drinking” with “zesty Australian botanicals”. It’s positioned as “an anytime staple that feels right at home from beachside to bar side, from east coast Australia to west coast USA”.

Squad Ink: Masters at the art of packaging design

Commenting on the role played by Squad Ink in the design process, Papa Salt CEO Charlie Maas said, “We came into this process with a very hazy idea of the product we wanted to create, and every interaction with Squad Ink helped clarify and elevate that vision. They are masters at listening to their clients, reducing ideas down to their essence, and then transforming them into unique and beautiful concepts. Squad Ink deserves a ton of credit for helping us create the Papa Salt brand; we look forward to many more collaborations in the future.”

As co-founder Tom Ackerley put it, “We were looking for a bottle that feels right at home nestled into the sand or slipped into a backpack, but can show up confidently on a back bar.”

Squad Ink directors Terry and Matthew Squadrito said the team’s response was “intentional simplicity in design that cuts through the category and casts a fresh light on Australian gin”.

“We reduced the design down to its bare essentials: a distinctive form with edges smoothed over as if shaped by the sea over time, an aqua-like blue to radiate freshness and a proud brand moment that alludes to a coastal story yet to be told,” Terry said.

Indented siide contours create a comfortable grip.

“Portability and an easiness in hand adds to the sessionability of the gin,” Matthew said, noting that the rounded cubic profile of the bottle borrows attributes from a hip flask  “the perfect form for slinging into your bag”.

Indented side contours offer a comfortable grip in hand “that feels effortless yet luxurious”, according to Squad Ink.

The custom matte blue coating “radiates with coastal freshness” on the shelf, while purposely blocking back label show through.

“Sustainability is always at the heart of our design approach at Squad Ink – Papa Salt’s compact form and naked bottle aesthetic continue to underpin that ethos,” Terry said.

Minimal direct print and single small back label. 

Using a flint (clear) glass with a sustainable coating, minimal direct print and single small back label ensures this bottle is recyclable and encourages reusability as a water bottle.

“Glass weight has been reduced and sits about 200gms lower than the average spirit bottle (and is aligned with the latest trend to downweight) for sustainability. This, combined with the shape, results in a bottle that reduces its eco footprint and is best for portability,” Matthew said.


Creative Directors: Matthew Squadrito, Terry Squadrito

Designers: Matthew Squadrito, Belinda O’Brien

Project Manager: Lauren Temple

Production Manager: Chris Davey


Printer: Impresstik

Proprietary Glass Bottle: Saverglass

Custom Stopper: Supercap

Packaging Substrate and print process:

Back label - PP CLEAR TC50/RP74/PET30 digital print + white screen on the surface of the matt laminate

Custom Glass Bottle:

Super Flint with a custom matt semi opaque blue coating + white pad print


Custom Stopper:

Natural wood custom tapered with a pad print brand seal


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