Clare Dowen
Work Clublication.
Published in
3 min readMay 28, 2015


An overview of ‘W’ — Ballantine’s new instazine

An innovative Instagram magazine for modern whisky drinkers.

Ballantine’s Instazine

Introducing Ballantine’s ‘W’ Instazine— a magazine all about modern whisky, designed and edited specifically for Instagram.

Why have we done it?

Ballantine’s has an individual, experimental approach to digital. Finding new ways to tell stories and engage whisky drinkers — doing interesting is simply the best way of being interesting.

So we approach Instagram in the same way. Our own, unique way.

Why an Instazine?

The resurgence of Independent magazines has breathed new life into publishing.

One of ‘W’ front covers

We’ve seen new forms of snackable content appear like ‘Snapchat Discovery’ and ‘Facebook Articles’ that are delivering content in visual and fun ways.

Believing there was a way for Instagram too, we created a new editorial experience — a combination of smart design, playful user experience and exciting stories.

“By twisting Instagram’s features, we’ve built scrolling articles, horizontal stories, hidden little surprises within individual posts. Finding ways to manipulate the instagram was a fun challenge”
Simon Cheadle — Creative/Designer.

What are the principles of Ballantine’s ‘W’?

> Visual first. Using imagery to tell the story.

> Designed for Instagrammers. Articles have two ways to be read — skim through or dive deeper into articles.

> Reward exploration. Hidden gems throughout.

What’s in it?

Issue One launches with three articles documenting the rise of the modern whisky drinker, reflecting the renaissance whisky is experiencing with younger audiences.

Our aim: to inspire them to think differently about whisky and consider its relevance to their lives.

Headshots of our three articles

Article 1 > ‘The women shaping whisky’
Predictions from 4 influential dram drinkers on the future of whisky

Article 2 > ‘Did the Sims introduce mixology to the masses?’ Explore the blurred lines between our on and offline worlds

Article 3 > ‘The rise of bitter drinks’
Documenting a change in our tastes and providing cocktails to match!

How does it work?

There are 3 profile levels:
Front cover / Contents page / Article

Each article exists as a grid of images. Scroll down quickly to read the main points. Then delve deeper by tapping into an image, leading you to further content.

Comments provide the space for more detail and stories.

Using all of Instagram’s functionality such as comments and tags, allows us to effortlessly navigate people through the articles.

Step by Step guide (sort of)

The result?

Maybe a small innovation in Instagram, but a big, fun new way to tell stories.

Ballantine’s ‘W’ — the first Instazine for the modern whisky drinker.

Take a look below
visit Ballantine’s ‘W’ on your mobile for the full experience!)

Scroll on down! but you won’t be able to click here☺

For more information please contact