Andrew Simpson / Vert Design
Andrew Simpson is an accomplished industrial designer and product engineer, and he is the principal of Vert Design, a design house and studio practice based in Redfern, Sydney. As an industrial designer, his practice is human focused — the end user’s needs guide the way he develops products. Rather than starting with a selected material, Simpson works with the material most appropriate for the function, and following this decision, he decides on the method of production.
Since graduating with an Honours degree in Industrial Design from the University of Technology, Sydney, Simpson has become the ‘go to’ designer for other leading Australian designers wishing to work in glass, and in 2005 he founded Vert Design, to provide innovation to glass blowing in Australian.
Alaskan Rock is a small-batch, artisanal vodka made in Australia with packaging and branding by Vert Design. The bottle design is made from black hand-finished Mexican glass, with white, raised lettering and a distinctive sculptural punt. Punts, the indentation in the base of a bottle, are a legacy of the glass-blowing process, which were made redundant by industrial glass-making techniques — they now exist purely as an aesthetic detail. Vert’s team decided to exaggerate the punt’s formal qualities, creating a bottle with a sculptural form denoting an Alaskan mountain range. The prototype was blown by a team of glass blowers at Canberra Glassworks, and the finished design produced in Mexico.