A dream project for much of the studio (combining beer with design!), this was a great brief from a local Microbrewery who, after some time perfecting their recipes, where ready to go to market. The crucial missing elements were branding and naming conventions. The company had no logo to speak of and this was the first task for our team. The client was all about being ‘hand crafted’ particularly with the product so we decided to do the same with his logo. It was literally created by hand and digitised. The result was an earthy and indigenous solution, which had an attitude befitting the contents of the bottle. Next, we set about creating a colour pallet inspired by the surrounding landscape (the brewery sits in 12 acres of woodland!) so that future brewings could be created and any number of names used. Taking our inspiration from the immediate locale of the client and, being that this was his inspiration, we used his brilliant names from local areas and landmarks. “Pig Island Pale” for the pale ale and “Ballyblack Stout” for the darker ale. These would be his first two lines. The labels, once agreed and approved by the relevant groups, were inexpensively produced on crack-back using an uncoated stock so that the earthy feel was retained. The added benefit of this being the more economical solution of course.
Developing the correct personality and creating a story with the brand were crucial to the project. Sometimes the designer needs to help the client realise the full potential of their product, our client had a great beer (the guys in the studio made sure they tested it!) but lacked the confidence to market it to good effect. The design produced by us eventually changed this and, we feel, reinvigorated the client’s passion for his product. It was no longer just the taste, but how the product and the brand spoke.
The end result of our design is simple and understated but has a pre-established and handcrafted feel with each label being applied by hand for authenticity. The combined influence of the ‘story’ of the product and, of course, the actual product itself have had an incredible effect. Demand has outsold supply by, we are told, “at least ten times”. This is partly because the brewery is a microbrewery and can only produce small batches every few weeks but it has had the added benefit of creating a heightened interest in the beer. So much so, that we have taken calls in the studio from bars looking for our client! We know that wining badges has nothing to do with our design, but what its does have to do with is having the confidence in your product which can be gained from an appropriate and well executed branding exercise. This was our result.
(Consultants involved: Darragh Neely, Graeme Smyth & Keith Freel)