Johnie Walker is the top-selling brand of Scottish blended whisky. There are many variations – mainly depending on age, but sometimes on the method of preparation. The classic Johnnie Walker is a 43% grain whisky sold in tall bottles. The brand is currently owned by Diageo.
The story of the Johnnie Walker brand starts in 1820. That year, the Walker family bought a grocery store that mainly sold liquor. As a youth, John Walker was tasked with working in the shop. Gradually, he became selling exclusively whisky there, and soon enough even brewing some of his own.
The first worthwhile logotype features a posh English gentleman walking to the side with an umbrella under the arm, a monocle in one eye, tall hat and the usual coat of the age. The entire image was carefully drawn with what look like a pencil – thus, it was a monochrome illustration.
In 1932, they shifted to a more photographic imagery. It was still a monochrome picture, but now it looked more realistic and less like an illustration. The concept changed little: the gentleman now walked to the right, had a lighter coat and a cane in hand.
The 1939 design reused some of the elements from the previous logo and slightly redrew them. It included the black tall hat, a black bow-tie, a red coat (to emphasize the Britishness of the brand), black high boots and a black cane. The rest was blank space.
After some time without a logo, they decided to return the 1939 design, but paint it completely black.
The 2015 logo was largely the same concept, except they added many smaller details to the man’s garb, as well as put some effort into shading this time. The only real addition was that his other hand now bowed the hat in a greeting manner.
Moreover, the full logotype now had the brand’s name written in an elegant serif style down below. And even beyond that was the new slogan that said ‘keep walking’ in a slightly plainer type.
The brand’s bottle labeling use man as an image imprinted directly onto the glass in the lower part of the vessel. The labeling itself was usually a skewed diagonal wrapping with the brand name written on it, accompanied by the variation, description and some other nuance. The color often changed depending on what sort of whisky’s inside.