November 26, 2010

Beer Blogger Ventures Into Label Design

I've been slowly collecting some examples of design created or sponsored by beer bloggers, and I've got enough for a post now.

Mutineer Magazine isn't technically a blog, but many of its contributors (Like Ashley Routson) have roots in the blogosphere. Mutineer recently sponsored a collaboration beer with New Holland called the Mutinous Battle Chai. As you might imagine, I was waiting anxiously to see the design:





I think it's solid. There's no overreaching, just a straightforward three-color design, centered around a medieval-like shield crest. The bolt-like shadows add a little bit of complexity and the slant of the wording gives it a little dynamic image.


I also wanted to acknowledge Mutineer's other design effort, which is the award-winning work of their advertising studio, Plumbline. Here are a few of the award-winning subscription ads:

Mutineer Subscription Ad #4 (Alternate)

Mutineer Subscription Ad #7

Mutineer Subscription Ad #8

I love the work (especially love the Mad Men tinge of the last one and the tattoo love on the middle one), and I'd post them all if I had space. The Flickrstream for all eight is here at the Mutineer ad Flickrstream,

Alan McLeod of the aptly named A Good Beer Blog is another of those beer writers I love, and while I disagreed with him about Andy Crouch's whole blogging debacle two weeks ago, he remains a great voice and scholar on beer. He's lately been a bit obsessed with the idea of Albany Ale, a historical beer that was made in the early US and continues to inspire Alan and others to dig and research further. This research led to a project, which has led to a logo:

I'll let Alan describe:
It is always good to have a graphic designer on your side. Craig of Albany is an Exhibit Graphic Designer with the NYS Museum and, frankly, seems to taken on the hobby of making this project idea look far better and be better researched than I could ever have achieved. It may be a bit less than crisp due to my MS Paint scaling down. The original is t-shirt sized. Imagine that. You may watch my more clumsy attempts over here and here. Note that there is potentiall a quibble on the start date of 1614 as Henry Hudson claimed the river for the Dutch and was, it turns out, packing two sorts of beer on his ship the Half Moon as he travelled up the river in 1609.
I actually love this logo. As you've seen from other stuff I've critiqued, I like it when forms are created from words and symbols. The skyline of Albany is an amusing little touch as the stein's crown, with the arcing text creating a nice visual cap for the image.


There are few beer bloggers whose writing I read with as much respect and joy as I do "Velky Al," of the blog Fuggled. A homebrewer and writer, he's now in Prague, providing an awesome (and rare) English-language voice into Central Europe's beer scene, as well as commentary on things that happen back stateside.

Some time ago, he talked about his homebrewing outfit, which he has named "Green Dragon Brewing" and this label he produced for it:

For a guy who claims to have no artistic talent, this is a hell of a label. It's simple, but evocative and doesn't shy away from detail and simplicity. The green font stands out on the black and brings the "brewery" name to mind. Yes, it's just a rose, but I'd really buy this beer.

His friend Rob from Optadesign produced this:
This is a little slicker and more corporate, and not bad at all, but I actually  like it less. This could be the label for a mellow version of Bud Light Lime, not a craft-brewed Wit. The green dragon is the main nice addition.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you like our artwork! The people at Plumbline Studios are amazing! So is Julie, our design girl who lays out and designs our entire magazine, she is also the person who created the label for Mutinous Battle Chai.

    Thanks again for the shout out, keep up the great blog!

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