June 16, 2010

Four Warm Color Labels

So I've successfully moved, and along with unpacking I'm still trying to clear a backlog of interesting beer art that's been accruing for a month. Let's start with the Hopworks Urban Brewery Rise Up Red:
Like a lot of Hopworks stuff, it's got a healthy dose of Communist propaganda art influences. That's even more appropriate in a Red Ale called "Rise Up." I tried to contact the artist with no success, but it's pretty fair to say that what the design lacks in subtlety it makes up for in bold, attention-grabbing pointedness. I like the limited color palette, too.

Next, Odell's Woodcut #4:
Nothing too out of the ordinary, but I like the old-timey feel of the Woodcut series artwork. Brown-on-orange is a bit tough to pull off (and on my monitor it doesn't look great), but the denseness of the tree and old West lettering sets off the swirling designs in the background. My guess is it looks great on a 750 ml bottle.

Now for something completely different:
Oakshire's Line Dry Rye label is here because of the way it separates out color fields on a simple line image. One of the siren calls of label art is to fill every space with swirls and designs so that the image is as complex as possible. This can be effective, just as throwing lots of ingredients into a beer can be effective, but there is also excellence to be found in simplicity. This label is not afraid of empty space, using only a slight waviness in the lines and a little insect to decorate the sides. The simplicity goes with the hand-style lettering and kindergarten colors to make the label look bright and appealing. The only thing I catch myself not liking is the dark blue on the sides. I think they were trying to set off the colors, but it seems to go against the overall brightness of the image. I love the red at the bottom, though.

Okay, last one for the day, in honor of the recently finished Philly Beer Week (congrats to Don Russell and everyone else at PBW for an unbelievable 900-event-stuffed week of wonder), we have the Victory Summer Love:
This is a beer created by Victory to go with the Philly Tourism campaign. Neat idea, and I love that a brewery can help market a community. The art is nice, if comprised of predictable elements: Ben Franklin statue holding a beer, hops floating, a nice summery palette of yellow, green and blue. Still, it perfectly conveys the purpose of the beer, which is to promote Philly and provide a nice warm weather brew.

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