Reefton Distilling Co & their Limited Edition – Little Biddy Gin

We recently worked with Reefton Distilling Co on their Limited Edition Little Biddy Gin collaboration with Swanndri. Read on to learn how we helped to develop and then print the iconic label.

Image of Reefton Distilling Co & their Limited Edition – Little Biddy Gin




Founded by born and bred Reefton local Patsy Bass, Reefton Distilling Co has been crafting award-winning spirits and liqueurs since 2018. Each bottle features an array of hand-picked native botanicals locally sourced from New Zealand’s West Coast. The MacKay Twins, renowned brand ambassadors, water prospectors and local legends, impart their collective 154 years of knowledge of the area by expertly sourcing the botanicals as well as locating natural water springs to aid as water sources for the distillery.

Since 1913 Swanndri has been part of the landscape of New Zealand, crafting clothing from New Zealand grown wool and other natural fibres, designed to protect outdoor adventurers from the elements.  The red and black check has become the brands signature, instantly recognisable and with universal appeal.

A shared connection to the elements led the Swanndri team to photograph their Winter 21 Campaign in Reefton and at Reefton Distilling Co in particular (starring the MacKay Twins), and soon after we received the call from Reefton to discuss the label for their brand-new collaboration with Swanndri.


Our Christchurch-based Account Manager Rachel O’Connor has been working with the Reefton team since their inception, developing labels for their range including the Little Biddy collection. Little Biddy pays homage to Bridget Goodwin, a local gold miner from the nineteenth century. It is fitting that the Little Biddy brand was chosen for this collaboration.

The label design brought together the key identifiers of each brand – the red and black Swanndri pattern and the gold detail of the Little Biddy artwork.

We had previously printed Reefton’s Little Biddy labels on our silver filmic material and the team was keen to incorporate this into the label design once again. The synthetic material is highly conformable to curved surfaces, like bottles, as well as being moisture resistant. The shiny nature of the material also creates a foil-like effect for the label design.

The label design incorporated Raffine Gold ink to provide a true premium gold look, consistent with previous print runs. We also added white ink to enhance the opacity of certain design elements. The white ink was also applied under the mandatory New Zealand license number and the barcode to ensure ease of readability.

We gave the label extra tactile appeal with the application of our soft touch matt lamination and highlighted key areas of the artwork using a spot gloss varnish for stunning contrast. This finishing gives the label a velvet-like feel whilst adding scuff-resistant protection to the inks. This is particularly important when printing labels with darker backgrounds. 

We printed the labels in Christchurch using our flexographic (flexo) printing technology. Flexo requires the use of plates for each color that carry a raised image to accept the ink. When the plate is pressed against the material the ink transfers from the plate to the material.  In most cases, once the colors have been printed, the same machine will have stations to apply coatings, add any embellishments and die-cut the labels. Our flexo presses achieve world-class quality print and are well set up for medium to long label runs, such as this Limited Edition variety.


The result is a beautifully designed label that represents the strong connection and shared “Kiwi ambition” of both Reefton Distilling Co and Swanndri. Since the launch of the Swanndri x Little Biddy Gin, Reefton has received knocks at the distillery door to partner in new Limited Edition opportunities so watch this space…

We worked seamlessly together with Rachel and the team, who are experts in print technology and delivering highly complex design that looks simply outstanding. We were really impressed with the result, which people fell in love with.

 York Spencer, General Manager Brand at Reefton Distilling Co.