August 12, 2011

The Best and Worst Beer Art of the Week

So I'm going to try out a new feature here. Every Friday, I will post a good and bad example of design from the preceding week.

First up this week, the good, and it's by New Albanian artist Tony Beard, whose work is an early contender for best art of the year. This is a propaganda-style poster for the brewery's efforts in Wisconsin:
Yes, it does say "Albaniana," which might be changed (though I like it). Nice execution of the traditional style, down to Art Deco fonts and the slanted banners for the text. The red woman saluting is neither scantily clad nor dressed in pink, but just a person who clearly like beer. Three colors, a play on an established style, and industrial distressed look all make this a nice piece.

Now for the worst of the week:
Oh, another sexy devil chick. Yay. What is it with breweries thinking it's always Halloween at the Delta Sigma Phi house? Look, breasts! But she's red, and has horns/a tail! And... breasts! Drink our beer!

Eddy and Iggy's actually has some non-terrible design, but I saw this and had to put it up as the worst of the week. Even if it wasn't just a not-particularly-well-executed retread of a tired trope, the name alone is terrible. First of all, that's not how you spell "scarlet," and there's nothing clever about spelling it incorrectly. Second, let's try to keep words like "harlot" from being regular parlance for sexy women, because the word means something specific. Third, she's not a prostitute, she's some type of devil or demoness. Did you really need that rhyme, or was there just no cute way to misspell "succubus?"


  1. At the risk of exposing my ignorance about all things beer... what's up with the spatula (?) in the New Albanian piece? Totally agree with your assessment of the Eddy and Iggy artwork. I find the art particularly jarring when the logo in the upper left would look more appropriate on a baby's toy than on a beer label. (Very cute, an eagle and a tiger clasped in friendship. Could be a Rudyard Kipling story. If, uh, there were eagles in India.)

  2. It's a mash paddle (used to swish hot water through the mash to extract sugars, etc...) but that particular one does indeed look like a spatula... and now that you mention it, I do wonder why they wouldn't use the more recognizable trapezoidal shaped paddles... (

  3. Thanks for the clarification, Mark. If they'd used the trapezoidal-shaped paddle, I don't think I would have been so confused.

  4. The paddle choice could be to make it look more industrial, maybe?

    The more I look at it, I think the Eddy and Iggy's label is actually a picture of their tap handle. That makes it worse, not better.

  5. that she-devil on the label is actually a tap handle you can get on amazon...