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Coalition Brewing’s Vectorlicious Labels

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There’s no denying my love of vector style artwork. Clean edges and bold strokes really excite me when it comes to label designs. It’s never been a style I’ve excelled at so I’m quite envious of those who do. These labels for Coalition Brewing Company feature large, colorful illustrations that really catch my eye.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Coalition Brewing takes their namesake very seriously, offering a program in which local home brewers can brew at Coalition’s facility. With a strong “keeping it local” mentality, it’s no surprise that the brewery relied on a local Portland based designr – Bethany Ng – to create these stunning labels.

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The large, beautiful illustrations provide a great personality to each of the brews. The usage of bold, solid colors gives the imagery a playful feel, allowing the beauty of the vector art to stand out amongst the type. One almost unnoticeable piece that I love is the subtle half tone pattern in the backgrounds of Two Dogs, King Kitty and Rooster’s, as well as the star from the breweries logo used on the collars of the dogs and cat.

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Tip of the hat to my friend Hannah for bringing these labels to my attention. Hopefully next time I’m up in Portland I’ll get the chance to see these in person, as well as taste them.

Source: Coalition Brewing | Bethany Ng


The Cat

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You can ask anyone who knows me; I’ve got a slight obsession with felines. I have a small herd of cats myself and every time I go to the pet store, I have to stop and play with the kittens up for adoption. It’s a little ridiculous, but they’re just so damn cute.

Needless to say when I came across this packaging while perusing my feeds, I was excited. Designed by Isabela Rodrigues of Sweety Branding Studio in Brazil, these bottles feature bright bold patterns as well as one of the most awesome geometric cat illustrations I’ve ever seen. The way the the patterns from the bottles were used to create the cat’s face ties the whole thing together.

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Designed for Le Chat, which is supposedly a french brewery (I can’t seem to find any information about them), it has very elegant, large text that really stands out. The usage of a clean serif typeface provides a level of classiness on top of what could be considered a very playful pattern. The simplicity of the 4-pack carrier really helps the beauty of the bottles stand out. The designer could have continued with patterns and bright colors on the carrier, but instead chose to keep it simple using only one color and allowing the natural cardboard color to consume the majority of it. I really love how the cat face easily translate to a one color mark without losing any legibility.

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Overall, this is a great example of mixing colors, patterns and a classic seriffed typeface. I really wish there were higher resolution photos of these because I’d love to know what kind of beers these are and what’s written below “Le Chat”, but for now, I’ll just take in the beauty of the bright patterns. Heck, I’d love to know anything about this brewery, so if you happen to have anymore insight, please let me know!

Source: Le Chat | The Dieline


Arrogant Bastard Repackaging Concept

When talking about craft beer and hops, there are a handful of breweries and beers that stand out. One that we in Southern California know quite well is Stone Brewing and their Arrogant Bastard line. Their effort to continually push the boundaries of bitterness and sheer hop overload has become synonymous with the brewery. With an attitude like this, it’s not surprising that their packaging has an almost badass feel to it, featuring a variety of gargoyle illustrations and slogans like “you’re not worthy”.

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Their current portfolio of beers have such a disjointed feel that there are only a few elements that remind you who the brewery is. The signature gargoyle illustration would be the first indicator, though even that seems to come in a variety of poses and illustrative styles. The colors across all the different packages are widely varied as well, giving no sense of continuity whatsoever. While I realize much of this packaging has an iconic status amongst consumers, as a whole, the brand is lacking.

This is where designer Thanh Nguyen comes into the picture with his conceptual repackaging of the iconic Arrogant Bastard line.

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The first thing you’ll notice is the sweet sweet consistency across all three bottles. There’s no way to mistake that these beers aren’t all related in some way. The iconic gargoyle still exists, but instead of changing poses, it just hangs out in the same place with his pint of what is sure to be the bitterest beer hell has to offer. The color coordination of the beer styles is an interesting concept, allowing you to quickly know which specific beer you’re about to crack open.

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Something that seems a bit odd is that the Stone name is down played to an extreme degree across all the bottles and even the variety box. The focus is on the Arrogant Bastard line, which in the end would likely confuse those looking at it into thinking this is the brewery name. The type treatment gives this brand a retro feel and while I like this, knowing the brand personality Stone embodies, this is lacking that badass feel they’re so well known for.

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The hanging tags are a nice touch, though seem a bit repetitive being as the beer style and black theme is already in the label just below. A nice sneaky touch here, as pointed out by LA I’m Yours, is that the wire almost resembles barbed wire being wrapped around the neck of the bottle. This could be argued as being the aggressive, badass feel I’ve been wanting, but it’s too little too late.

Overall, the design of these bottles is great and while I love the style, consistency, and subtle touches, it just doesn’t say “Stone Brewing is here to kick you in the face with hops.”

Source: Thanh Nguyen’s Arrogant Bastard Conceptual Repackaging | Los Angeles I’m Yours


Uinta Brewing Makes Canning Look Good

Canning appears to be all the rage right now, with a large number of micro breweries putting in canning lines and even a slew of mobile canning services making their rounds to breweries too small for their own line. I’ve heard mixed opinion on which is better, with both sides citing good reasons their way is better. One thing I know for sure that puts cans above bottles is that the canvas space for labels is larger (based on a normal 12 oz bottle that is). With the ability to print directly on the can, you don’t have the added hassle of label sizes or shapes.

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One brewery that hopes to launch it’s beer line in cans in March is Uinta Brewing from Salt Lake City. Having some of my favorite illustrative labels, I’m excited to see how everything translates to cans. The ability to have a full bleed illustration stretch from end to end is very appealing to me as a designer. Their current bottles come in a non standard size, a little closer to Anchor Brewing’s bottles, and they always seem to catch my eye. Using either vibrant colors or extremely contrasting colors in all of their illustrations, Uinta really knows how to stand out on the shelf.

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Another part of Uinta’s artwork that I thoroughly enjoy is the differences between their very illustrative standard line and their very subtle, almost icon driven, organic series. While the organic series has much more simplified artwork, the colors are still just as vibrant and will catch your eye as easily as the standard line. The large clear typography on the bottles stands out nicely and, as can be seen above, translates perfectly to the artwork on the canned version. It also doesn’t hurt that Uinta’s beers are all very solid.

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I will definitely be looking for these cans in March, what about you?

Source: Uinta Brewing hopes to launch cans of four brands beginning in March | BeerPulse


Simplicity Stands Out

I’ve always been a fan of simplistic and clean vector style art, especially in package design. In a world where everything is competing to grab your eye as you walk down the asile, it tends to be the simpler items that stand out amongst the slurry of old fashion banners, large product shots and over illustrated mascots.

The style used for No-Li Brewhouse‘s labels is exactly what I would be looking for while picking up some beers. The clean white labels with reversed illustrations feel very unique while the color coded styles not only pop, but can help to create quick recognition when a consumer comes back for more.

Another piece of the branding puzzle that this brewery got right is with consistency and attention to detail. The branding is carried into the bottle caps, with a slogan hidden on the inside. I’ve seen this done with other breweries and it’s a really nice touch.

Not only is the design of these labels great, but the naming and copy writing brings the brand together as one solid entity. A lot of excellent creative thinking went into this project.

While I can’t speak for how the beer tastes, I must admit that I absolutely love the design as a whole.

Tip of the hat to The Fox is Black for sharing this with me.

Source: No-Li Brewhouse | The Dieline


Creative Use of Leftover Beer (and Wine)

Culinary usage of beer has been increasing in popularity in recent years. As beers become more interesting so do the creative uses for them as ingredients. Chef Jonathon Sawyer, from The Greenhouse Tavern has created an interesting line of small batch vinegars using recycled excess beer and wine.

 Each label contains a fermentation start date and batch number; giving a peek into the Chef’s passion for crafting vinegar.

I absolutely love the packaging used for these vinegars. The flask style bottles and vintage labels give it such an awesome old time feeling on the outside, with a modern creative twist on the inside.

What are some creative uses for beer that you’ve seen recently? Let me know below!

Source: Tavern Vinegar | TheDieLine