Good content is even more beautiful when it is well packaged. This applies to many things: The record with good music that also has a beautiful cover. The captivating novel, cloth-bound with a colored book cover, lies on the reading table. And the same applies to groceries: if they are neatly packaged, customers are more likely to buy them. The craft beer brewers, i.e. the producers of special beer, have made it particularly colorful for several years. They aim less for mass taste, but experiment with many different types of hops and fill their noble drink in cans. They are airtight, keep the contents fresh longer than bottles and are easy to print on. As a result, beer cans have become a playground for designers.
Unmistakable due to smart design
So no one thinks that the reviewer is doing his job in a drunken state: Of course there are non-alcoholic craft beers – in very aesthetic packaging! The Danish brewery Mikkeller, for example, already a pioneer among creative brewers when it comes to taste experiments, has also developed a remarkable design: The two bulbous noses Henry and Sally make the product unmistakable on the drinks shelf – including the alcohol-free Hazy IPA or Non Alc Wheat Ale.
With this wheat beer, the otherwise always dark-haired Sally is suddenly wheat blonde; She is standing on a blue and white bath towel in a wheat yellow dotted bikini. The color blue, which is often used in alcohol-free beer, is cleverly used by the designers. And on the Non Alc Hazy IPA, Sally can even afford to doze off on her blue and white bath towel, while Henry – who always wears his hat – (no wonder) blue water swims a lap. Doesn’t have any intus either. Smart!
Loud alternative, graphically expressive
Many craft breweries follow the principle of cartoon characters and cartoon drawings. So many that minimalists like the Japanese “Vertere” brewer are all the more striking with their uncluttered, clear design. Flipping through the illustrated book, the impression prevails: the creative beer scene loves the flashy, alternative, graphically expressive.
Basqueland Brewing’s Hop Tiger crawls through twisted hop vines and grins like a cross between a Chinese dragon and a Cheshire Cat. At “Celestial Beerworks” from Dallas/Texas, the tail of a lolling alligator melts directly into the scaly body of an armadillo, creating a hybrid creature resembling the ancient griffin. And “Merakai Brewing” from Sussex has developed a graphic design where the beer can in a 60s/70s world full of hearts, flowers and rainbows is decorated with people who are not like the typical bearded, tattooed hipster craft beer drinker look. “Our brewer’s visual style represents who we are,” explains co-founder Emma O’Neill-Parsons in the book. “It’s very important to us to use our packaging in this way. We wanted to create labels that start a conversation and encourage people to pick up a can and see what we’re all about.”
Beer can becomes a work of art
This describes the purpose here: the customers must of course buy, but they must also notice that this product is something different from what they are used to. The fact that this requires sophisticated drawing makes it even more fun when you enjoy beer – trying the beer, looking at the can, talking about whether it will be a nice triad.
It’s amazing: A superficially mundane object like an aluminum can becomes a collector’s item and – art! Andy Warhol’s image “Campbell’s Soup Cans” was initially considered offensive in the art world, but later became the epitome of pop art. With the help of 49 breweries and designers, this illustrated book shows how artfully the consumer product can be decorated until you don’t. don’t see it throwing any more at all and would rather declare it a decoration on the shelf. It’s no wonder that Swedish designer Karl Grandin, who is admired by many brewers and is responsible for Omnipollo, calls his style “unconsciously suggestive”, explaining: “Instead of creating illustrations that describe beer style or beer taste, I try to capture something else. . I prefer to focus on the mood and ideas surrounding the product. I am inspired by the unconscious, dreams and daydreams.”
You can see it – Gardin’s style is psychedelic, trendy, fun and provocative. If the beer also tastes good, this combo is brilliant. If not, the artistically designed cans are still graphically brilliant.
Craft beer design. Design, illustration and branding of modern breweries
by Peter Monrad
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- 208 pages
- picture book
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