Archive for January, 2011

Coley Porter Bell Creates Two Thousand Dollar Scotch

by Alex Benady

Now that's crftsmanship

Coley Porter Bell Bell has designed one of the world’s most exclusive whiskies. The Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute was conceived as the Ultra Prestige flagship of the Royal Salute range and will retail at over US$2,200 a bottle.

The whisky is the result of decades of experience and craft by the four Royal Salute Master Blenders, dating back to 1953, with each drop of whisky aged for a minimum of 40 years.

The decanter celebrates and reflects the skill and knowledge that goes into the creation of the whisky itself. Made by master craftsmen at Dartington Crystal, the decanter is hand blown and hand cut. The opaque double walls permit decorative cuts to be made to the outer wall, which reveal glimpses of the whisky inside. The bottle is crowned with a cut crystal stopper and decorated with 24 carat gold. The crest is created from liquid gold, applied by hand. Each decanter takes over 40 hours to make.

The decanter is housed in a uniquely-shaped display case. It features a gold plated plaque which references the lineage of Master Blenders involved in the creation of the 62 Gun Salute.

The intention is to underline Royal Salute’s position as one of the world’s most luxurious whisky brands. “The Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute is the pinnacle of blended Scotch Whisky. Our history, experience and the sheer quality of our whiskies over time means we are able to distribute such a rare and prestigious blend without the need to market it as a limited or special edition. This is a core part of our product range.” said Neil MacDonald, Global Brand Director of Royal Salute.

Royal Salute was launched on 2 June 1953 in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her coronation and the brand’s Royal associations have continued ever since. A 62 Gun Salute is the highest ceremonial mark of respect, fired from the Tower of London to honour the Queen’s birthday and the anniversary of her accession to the throne.

Stuart Humm, Royal Salute Design Director at Coley Porter Bell said, ‘We designed this beautiful decanter to reflect the quality and craftsmanship of the whisky that has been 40 years in the making. That level of expertise and care must be communicated through the packaging. We think we have achieved a balance of masculinity and elegance which reflects both the brand’s Scotch credentials and its luxury positioning. Not only is Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute a celebration of craft, it is also a work of art.

So difficult fonts make for better learning. Tell us something we dont know.

by Alex Benady

Wired writer Jonah Lehrer recently reported on research by a team of Princeton psychologists which found that students learn better when the teaching material is more difficult. What made this so interesting was that the psychologists didn’t examine content or argument, but presentation. Specifically they looked at the effects of fonts on what they called ‘disfluency’ -making material harder to learn.

What they found goes against the grain of everything we think we know about fonts. Received wisdom is that people absorb information better, the lower the ‘extraneous cognitive load’ -or the easier it is.

The Princeton boffins discovered that just the opposite is true:  that making material harder to learn -can actually improve long-term learning and retention. (more…)

Is the Royal Warrant still arresting?

by Chris Button

With the Royal Wedding now on everyone’s calendars, it seems appropriate to consider another way in which the Royal Family engages the public.

The Royal Warrant, which has graced packaged goods since their advent in the 19th century, stems back to a Royal Charter granted by Henry II to the Weaver’s Company in 1155. Currently, in addition to the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh are also able to grant Royal Warrants although, particularly in the case of the latter, the distribution is much more limited.

There seems to have been little investigation into the relative merits of displaying a Royal Warrant. In a recent survey, 22% of respondents considered it important to see the Queen’s warrant on a product, yet the haphazard usage of the warrant, even among individual brands, is thoroughly confusing: it figures prominently in gold on the neck of a traditional bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, but is not to be found anywhere on a can of Heinz Baked Beans; Sharwood’s display it in bright gold on a black neck collar around their mango chutney, but not on any of their other sauces; Walker’s display it in full colour on the front of their packaging for oatcakes, but not the shortbread for which they are famous.

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