Lead Belly
Texas Whiskey

Branding & Packaging


When Deep Ellum Spirits decided to expand their offerings to include whiskey, they drew inspiration from the vibrant blues history of the neighborhood. One iconic figure that emerged from this rich musical tapestry was Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. 

A luminary in the world of American folk and blues, Lead Belly left an indelible mark on music, and Deep Ellum, in the early to mid-20th century. Lead Belly's connection to Deep Ellum runs deep, stemming from his days as a traveling musician. 


Back in the 1930s, Deep Ellum thrived as a bustling center for live music, boasting a myriad of clubs and venues that showcased talented performers across various genres, including blues, jazz, and gospel. Lead Belly's electrifying performances in Deep Ellum helped solidify the neighborhood's reputation as a premier destination for live music and entertainment. This synergy between Lead Belly's legacy and Deep Ellum's musical heritage was a natural fit for the brand.


The labels are designed for small batch production with each bottle numbered on the front and dated on the back by hand. Shortly after the initial launch, the distillery expanded their production to Bourbon, with plans for Rye on the horizon. We kept the same label structure but inverted the colors to differentiate them from the flagship Texas Whiskey.


To keep the brand's momnetum going, we concepted RTD canned versions of popular cocktails leveraging the Lead Belly brand. We adapted the bottle label's guitar head shape and sharp angles to a traditional 12 oz. can. Each flavor was paired with one of Lead Belly's hit songs, such as Easy Rider or Midnight Special. Unfortunately these only made it to concept phase and never to market.

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