Designing Louder Than Words

Design Museum of Chicago and Aberlour Present Designing Louder Than Words, a Bottle Box Design Competition.

Prizes: $4,000
Deadline: February 4, 2019

A Bottle Box Design Competition

Scotch bottle boxes serve more than one function: they protect the bottle while in transit, they provide a place for information about the liquid inside, and they formalize the whisky drinking experience – making a bottle of scotch just a bit more special. Bottle boxes not only embody the spirit they guard but are also an opportunity to tell a story – about a brand, about a place, or about flavor – how that flavor is created or experienced. Special release whiskies are encased in boxes that are designed by acclaimed architects, made by skilled carpenters, and adorned by celebrated designers – and coveted by whisky collectors worldwide.

Aberlour Single Malt Whisky is asking designers, architects, and creators for their take on a bottle box for a 2019 limited-edition bourbon cask aged release, available only in Chicago. The call to action is quite simple: design a box that safely holds a bottle of Aberlour whisky that embodies the brand and our motto: Louder Than Words and relates to the city of Chicago.

Use any material that you feel embodies the Aberlour brand and the city of Chicago: paper, wood, glass, metal, but keep in mind that the winning design will need to be economically reproduced 275 times and will be available for sale in Chicago’s liquor stores.

You could be a part of Aberlour’s history, and Aberlour, a part of yours.




Aberlour Single Malt Whisky

The Aberlour® Distillery in Speyside, Scotland, has produced elegant single malts since 1879, following an intricate process of double casking that makes a whisky of rewarding character and complexity.

Aberlour Scotch Whisky is a truly-complex premium single-malt scotch distilled in the heart of Speyside, the most popular malt whisky-producing region of Scotland.
A very lightly peated malted barley provides a subtle smokiness, allowing other rich flavors to come through. Maturation in rare sherry butts and bourbon barrels are used to ensure a perfect balance of flavors.

Soft, crystal-clear water from pristine Highland springs is ideal for developing and balancing the complexity of natural flavors in Aberlour single malts. The Aberlour single malt portfolio has won eight Gold Medals and three Pot Still Trophies at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, a record for the category.


1st Prize: $3,000 + Realization

Runner Up: $1,000

Finalists: Work featured in a gallery showcase

Submission Requirements

  • Designer(s) Name
  • Project Title
  • Narrative, 500 words maximum
  • Dimensioned Axonometric Sketch
  • At least three photographs/renders of final box submission
  • Finalists are required to make a physical box and submit via mail for final consideration and presentation in a gallery event to be held in May, 2019
    • Technical Details

      • Bottle Box Submission must hold one 750ml Aberlour Bottle, must not exceed X x Y x Z inches (TBD)
      • Bottle Box must be able to be reproduced 275 times
      • Bottle Box must be produced for less than $20 each
      • Material choice is up to the discretion of the designer, all materials must be addressed in the narrative and must relate to the Aberlour brand
      • Entrants must be at least 21 years old to enter


Charles Adler, Founder, Lost Arts
Lauren Boegen, Exec Director of Operations, Design Museum of Chicago
Ana Calle, Cork + Knife Communications
Jamie Koval, Co-Founder, Cooler Screens
Jennifer Park, AIA, Jurassic Studio, AIA Chicago Board Member
Andrew Weir, Aberlour Single Malt Whisky
Emily Arden Wells, Five O’Clock Creative
Tanner Woodford, Executive Director, Design Museum of Chicago


Competition Announcement Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Competition Open for Submissions: Monday, January 7, 2019
Competition Closes for Submissions: Monday, February 4, 2019
Finalist Announcement: Monday, February 25, 2019
Public Gallery: May 30 – June 2, 2019
Winner Announcement: Monday, June 3, 2019
Product Available for Sale: Summer, 2019


There is no fee to enter the Designing Louder Than Words Competition