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Hell House


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Packaging System
Brand Merchandise & Apparel
Collateral Design
Brand Messaging


Creative Direction: Christian Helms, Alex Roka
Design Team: Alex Roka, Greg Thomas, Nicole Oesterreicher, Becca Lang
Copywriting: Andy Ogburn
Production Team: Crystal Glover, Kayla Dockery
Brand Management: Ryan Kitchens, Caroline Kirby
Photography: Nick Cabrera

The Story

It’s known by millions, though not by name.

It’s poured into “Simple Man” and every record since. Because before the first studio session: there was the Hell House.

Deep in the swamplands south of Jacksonville, Florida, a group called Lynyrd Skynyrd got their start at a shack they called “the Hell House.” It’s where Ronnie Van Zandt, Gary Rossington, and their band fought water moccasins and mosquitoes to write and rehearse their seminal album.

The air was thick and the sound was big at this small cabin on the creek. And it became the foundation of America’s Southern rock band.

50 years later, Lynyrd Skynyrd resides somewhere beyond the label of “household name.” The humble history that began at the Hell House is now a cornerstone of American music. Without “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird”, the story just doesn’t sound the same.

To commemorate a milestone reached against all odds, we teamed up with Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Bespoken Spirits group to create a whiskey that ensures the spirit of Lynyrd Skynyrd never dies. Bespoken specializes in custom, small-batch spirits that work to protect the planet through a unique, never-before-seen distillation process.

Bespoken and Lynyrd Skynyrd worked to design an American Whiskey with a precise aroma, color, and taste loved by the late Gary Rossington, the band, and their families.

The windows and walls of the Hell House may have moved on. But this hallowed ground is immortalized in our packaging work for the band and Bespoken, with custom iconography of the Hell House, a custom charred wood topper, and a familiar Skynyrd palette and type system that adorn everything from the bottle to the tour trucks and guitar picks.

From the first lines scribbled down, to the last note played, the Hell House was the bedrock of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Rich with story, and smooth as a memory, Hell House Whiskey is simple, and for all.

Helms Workshop®