I AM THE DANGER
The Heisenberg – Limited Edition
In our continuing work with venerable hatmaker Goorin Bros, we were asked to create a concept and product packaging for the launch of The Official Heisenberg porkpie hat as worn by beloved cancer patient turned drug kingpin Walter White on the hit AMC series Breaking Bad. As huge fans of the show, our team was honored and a bit daunted by this proposition.
The initial concept for the project was inspired by conversations with friends. In sharing our excitement with others, we found ourselves exclaiming, “you know the hat that Walter White wears? That’s a Goorin!” This became the basis for our “That’s A Goorin” campaign – a message we knew would resonate well beyond this collaboration. It could be extended to everyone from well-known characters to celebrities and everyday customers who embodied the Goorin Bros. spirit and aesthetic.
Ultimately, we saw this campaign as being about transformation. Both the transformation that Walter White undergoes throughout the series, and the transformation that takes place when a customer puts on just the right hat.
Working on a collaboration in the entertainment industry presents its own unique challenges. Designs must be approved, tweaked, and approved again. For a show with this kind of rabid fan base, these challenges are magnified. Working closely with the teams at Sony Pictures, Goorin Bros. and AMC, we were able to come up with a campaign and designs that embodied both the spirit of the show and the Goorin Bros. brand.
We conceived of a limited “Collector’s Edition” set that would include the signature porkpie hat, a hand-screened poster, custom hat box with custom wrapping paper and a “Certificate of Authenticity”. All of the elements needed to reflect the aesthetic of the show and the Goorin Bros. brand. No easy task.
The obvious place to start was with the Walter White character, a mild-mannered schoolteacher who undergoes an incredible transformation into Heisenberg – a menacing and calculating drug lord. To capture this transformation, we worked with the amazing illustrator Justin Lucas from Baltimore, MD to create an illustration of Walter White in Heisenberg mode. We kicked around several ideas until we came up with something that worked. Based on that illustration, we moved on to designing the other elements.
Creating the wrapping paper was another really neat element of this campaign and an interesting design challenge. The concept was to use ads from the fictitious businesses on the show and display them as if they were part of an old-fashioned newspaper. Being fans of the show made the whole process a lot easier and more fun. From the obvious to the obscure, we tried to create something that super-fans and casual watchers alike would enjoy. Working with the graphic design team at Goorin Bros., we finalized the designs and were able to watch with pride the successful launch of this limited-edition set that met the expectations of our client’s existing customer base, and grew their brand to include collectors and fans of this award-winning show.