The Brink

The notion of an alcohol–free bar in Liverpool might sound like folly, given the stereotypes that abound about that part of the world.

But that’s exactly what The Brink is, and the ambition of the brand goes far beyond creating a quirky venue.

In fact, it’s an initiative by the charity Action on Addiction. The aim: to provide an inviting, credible, properly branded venue where those dealing with alcoholism and other dependencies can hang out without fear of temptation.

Action on Addiction was clear: The Brink should never feel like any sort of ‘drop–in centre’. Instead, they treated the venture like a commercial bar, and asked SB Studio to give it a cool, contemporary, fun look and feel. As part of that, SB commissioned us to give The Brink a suitably distinctive tone of voice.

We wanted to make The Brink as universally inviting as possible. So one of the first things we did was to create ‘lyrical lists’ describing all the different people who might come to The Brink.

The client loved them, and used ‘chunks’ of the lists on bags, food labels, and all manner of other bits and pieces.

We also wrote a whole variety of lines for specific labels and signs, with a brief from The Brink get cheeky and risqué. (Hence No fake breasts on the organic chicken sarnies.)

One of our favourite lines, which appeared all over the brand’s materials, neatly reflects the way The Brink overturns one’s expectations: Drink the dry bar.

The Brink got some welcome early PR when Action on Addiction’s new patron, The Duchess of Cambridge, came visiting and tried the special ‘Duchess’ smoothie. (Image in the carousel above from the Liverpool Echo.) Since then, it’s gone from strength to strength.

Design
SB Studio
Awards
Roses: Silver (Writing for Design) 2012
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