March 29, 2011

Four Labels by Odell, and More Intellectual Property News

One of the breweries with design that I would most characterize as "low-key" is Fort Collins, CO's Odell Brewing Co. Let's take a look at a few designs, all via Beersage.

Take, for example, the Myrcenary, a double IPA released seasonally.
This is about as worked up as Odell labels get, and on its face it should be a work full of excitement. But the more one looks at it, the more serene it gets. The light, spring-like color palette, the adorable yellow cart, the bouncing leaves and spectacles, but mostly the fact that it all occurs on a backdrop of puffy off-white clouds all give the image more the feel of a pleasant ride than a war buggy rampage than a different brewery might have depicted with the same name.

Again, that's one of the livelier labels. Most of Odell's work is characterized more by feel and look than by concrete images. Take, for example, this label for the Mountain Standard Double Black IPA:
The dark purple-gray backdrop with the ripple of mountains up the center forms a nice backdrop to a fading black text and diamonds. Normally I'd say that makes the lettering hard to read, but it's obviously intentional and the dark lettering is intended as design, rather than to be read. The light green lettering (which is a strange and cool explorer-y serif font), on the other hand, jumps out from the background. Again, the look is serene, if dark.

The Friek, on the other hand, is a bright look:
The intentionally rough cover of  uneven (looks like watercolor) red pigment works with the darker red of the berries, which are positioned to draw the eye around the label. I like how they have the berries sit in the space around the lettering, which also looks hand-drawn and even a little childlike.

Lastly, let's look at the Double Pilsner, which has just had new packaging unveiled:
courtesy USABeerTrends
The design and writing call to mind the Bohemia folk art style found in Pennsylvania Dutch and other German folk styles. Note that the owl's "eyes of tradition" are different, and while that helps give the owl a pretty intense gaze, the image overall remains friendly and soft. Part of that is the pastel-heavy color palette, and part of it is the use of a folk art style.

All in all, nice, subdued work without being intense or aggressive.

Some news on the not-nice and rarely-subdued world of craft beer intellectual property battles:

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