Dualist Rum

When Barry and Paul Armstrong stepped into the Paperjam studio in search of our help with the Brand Development of their new Spiced Rum, we could not wait to get started.

With the success of Rademon Estate Distillery’s ‘Shortcross Gin’, the prospect of bringing to life another family business’ story was very exciting.

The two brothers had developed a recipe that took inspiration from the earliest Irish recipes for Rum, using traditional flavour palates resulting in what they consider to be the most authentic Rum on the market today.

Rum. It’s all about Pirates.

As seemingly every other Rum on the market focused on the Pirate angle we agreed quickly that this direction could be ruled out and we wanted to tell a different story. 


The naming 

The first step in the branding process was the naming. Paperjam filtered 3 directions as the possible unique angles to the product.

the ingredients / process
family / origin
place / location

After brainstorming names we ruled out "unique ingredients” directions as they could narrow the product down to one or two tastes that aren’t representing the depth of palette in this rum.

“Place & Location” was disregarded even though the history of rum is indeed very much connected with the Irish Island, but this part in history is rather horrible - all about slave trading and nothing we wanted to capatalise on.

Ultimately we found that the strongest direction for this particular spirit was the Armstrong family and the 2 brothers themselves. To this end, we posed several questions to Barry & Paul each regarding the corresponding brother which not only resulted in some funny results, but also highlighted to us that the brothers where inherently opposite in terms of their personalities. Playing on this along with the fact that they are a partnership, we came up with the name “Dualist Rum”.

The Look & Feel

We started with the design on mood boarding the idea of duality, looking at the strange but wonderful drawings of well known philosophers (Descartes, Galileo) as well as delving deeper in to intricacies of taste and knowledge of Rum itself.

Parallel to this, we researched the bottle shape and the print finish that we knew would strongly influence how people see the product and how they relate to it. 

Dualism states that the world is made up of two elementary categories - like mind and body, us and them, good and evil - it is like the play between light and darkness - black and white.

Op art

Trying to digest this theory visually, we found parallels with 1960s Optical art.

"Op art was a major development of painting in the 1960s that used geometric forms to create optical effects. Op Art paintings use a framework of purely geometric forms as the basis for its effects and also drew on colour theory and the physiology and psychology of perception."

These characteristics make Op Art fit perfectly to illustrate the theory of Dualism. In Op Art, foreground and background are in a tense and contradictory position, just like in Dualist Theories where human beings embody two parts - as body and soul.

The distortion of the Bottle filled with liquid creates the Op Art Effect without changing the geometric pattern.


This phenomena is called Refraction.
"Refraction is the bending of a wave when it enters a medium where its speed is different. The refraction of light when it passes from a fast medium to a slow medium bends the light ray toward the normal to the boundary between the two media."


After many trials and test prints, a final call was made on the bottle choice. From here we developed the final look of the bottle. 


The simple and clean typography doesn't rival with the refraction through the glass. With a characterful and unpolished slab serif for the name, we break with the quite modern feeling of the minimal label design.

The abstract pattern of the two merging circles suggests the pairing of the 2 individuals, creating something complex and new in itself. Just like the two brothers did with their authentic Rum. 

"Dualism is all about difference, balance and separation: a dichotomy, yet perfectly blended to create something harmonious and perfect."



We were so happy working with Paperjam, the speed in which they made our hopes and dreams become reality was impressive. Now we are ready for the launch.
Armstrong Brothers