The Art of Martell

Martell is a Cognac house founded in 1715 by Jean Martell (1694-1753). It is widely considered the oldest of the large Cognac houses and since its inception, it has been served in the finest palaces (Versailles), on the most luxurious liners (Queen Mary) and the most prestigious aircraft (Concorde) the world has known.

I was asked to art direct and design a book to mark their tricentennial, an opportunity to reflect on a very rich history and to delve into the enormous archive at Chateau Chanteloup, one that would stretch 5 kilometers in length if laid out page by page.

Working closely with Histoire d’Entreprises we decided to structure the book around Jean Martell’s passion for knowledge and the thirteen books from his original library that sit in the archive. The section headers display modern, graphic interpretations of these books and the chapter titles also remind the reader of books on shelves.  The flexible wooden cover includes a disc of wood from a 300 year old tree, primarily used for cooperage, with the tricentennial logo laser etched into it. The 300 page book is extremely visual with whole sections devoted to showing how and where Martell was advertised throughout the ages. Particular focus was given to the many exceptional artists and illustrators who have worked with the brand.