May 3, 2010

Whip Ale Brings Rock Music to Label Art

When I think of craft beer artwork, I usually think of hair metal.

Okay, that's a lie, but I do love that the lead guitarist of Queensryche is releasing his own beer, and the label art matches a tattoo he has. You may remember their hit "Silent Lucidity," which for my money remains one of the better rock ballads of that era.

Behold, the label for Whip Ale, produced by Michael Wilton of the legendary band:

Artist Joe O'Brien on the process:
The label was created soon after Michael came up with Whip Ale as the name. I remember he told me one night that he was thinking about using Whip Ale for the name. When we hung up, I thought about it for a while, and then came up with an idea for him on Photoshop. After he reviewed it, he wanted to incorporate the W in the background as it is significant to his clothing line "Whipwear", his nickname "Whip" and other upcoming projects under the W moniker. Coincidentally his new tattoo is also the same "W" that appears on the bottle.
Read that last sentence again. Yeah. That is awesome.

I'm outside of their distribution so I'll have to wait to try the beer, but I like the design. And the process O'Brien lays out is exactly why I love this subject; it's a combination of art direction and brand design, which in concert make each other stronger. The lettering and style convey the 80s/90s era of monster rock in which Wilton figured, as the gold-on-black and delicate lines highlight the anthemic nature of the music genre. The W logo is used twice without dominating, and the asymmetry of the "whip" lines (which are more numerous and intricate on the left) keep the image from being a mere logo.

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