February 17, 2011

Avery Redesigns

Avery Brewing, in Boulder, CO, is one of the great American craft breweries, and they've recently redone many of their labels. We took a look at the first batch last year, and these are in the same vein. In most cases, the central image is the same or similar, and the surrounding design is updated.

First, the Maharaja Imperial IPA:
Old:

New:

The shade of green has been deepened to a much more pleasing color, and the Raj has been enlarged to the point where he is much more engaging. The banner is replaced with the Avery logo, and the beer's name is incorporated into the image, rather than put in huge letters over it. Very successful updating, and the template they use for most of the labels we'll see. 

The Hog Heaven Barleywine:
Old:

New:
Same template as the Maharaja. We see the use of stylized lettering in both frame and banner that makes the image more natural and cohesive. The hoppy trellis makes for a lively and bright border. This border-frame-Old English lettering will be one of their most used. Note the tiny A logos in the stained glass above the pigs. Both the pink background and blue sky are softened to be more realistic.

The Kaiser:
Old:

New:
This is one of the more startling transformations. From a staid, boring flat look to a deep, ornate history-tinged appearance in just a few adjustments. The frame, lettering, banner and enlarging of the picture are there, as is a simultaneous de-cluttering of the background..

The Reverend:
Old:

New:
One of the things we're seeing in these is how Avery enlarges its canvas to use more of the label, even in the background. Now, the whole label is a church, and the elimination of the unnecessarily colorful stained glass lets the rev stand out more. It gives the work much more ethos. Again we see the little A logos in the familiar frame.

The Salvation:
Old:

New:
Sorry I couldn't find much in the way of a good image for the old Salvation. But we can see enough to know the strategy stayed the same: Enlarge the canvas, declutter the image, mute the color and bring out the central picture into the stained glass frame. They ditch the overt colors and distortion of the illuminated manuscript look from the original, but the new one still suggests medieval art.

Lastly, the Dugana IPA:
Old:

New:

Most of the work here is in the frame and background, which they keep dark, but add some embellishment to suggest richness, exoticism and decadence. Rather than confining the flowing vestments of the central figure (who's definitely close to breaking that nudity barrier), the frame now allows that billowing image to overflow and show depth of an image. It may not be much bigger, but that subtle change sure makes it look bigger. The A logo is in its new usual place, cementing the brand while still allowing the beer's name to be central and focal.

All in all, this is a great study in redesign and refreshing an image. Avery continues to do great work with design, and this is a great example of how to update a look without having to reinvent the wheel and get totally new images for every beer. 

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