November 8, 2011

Cigar City Label ExtravaCANza

No, I could not leave that pun alone. Thanks to a great interview over at CraftCans, we have some great design news from Curatorial fave Cigar City Brewing. The Tampa, FL brewery will be canning soon, and they released some can-ified desings:

Let's remember that the Pour Curator's rule of good can design is that one should use all of the space one has. The difference between cans and labels is that a can gives you 360 degrees, and treating it like a tiny rectangle cheats one out of canvas.

So let's look first a the Florida Cracker wit and the Hotter than Helles lager

Both of them start with designs that are fairly basic, and just embrace the concept totally. By expanding the background into a massive color field of a complement to the color of the band and text, the elements pop and look clean. It looks like the wit background might have a touch of visual sandy texture, while the Helles mostly wants to scream loud, hot colors. The "back" panels are also clear and readable.

Right, but what more can we do? Well, let's look at their fan favorites Jai Alai IPA and Maduro Brown.

If you're a reader, you know I'm excited about this. The bright green hops of the Jai Alai form a rich forest background that extends through the entire can. It screams verdant energy, and combines with the striking yellow bands to make us expect some really flavorful hops. The Maduro, on the other hand, uses a blanket of dark brown tobacco leaves (maduro being a dark type of cigar wrapping) and a muted beige on the bands to convey a sense of rich smoothness.

Russ from CraftCans interviewed CCB designer Geiger Powell, and of particular deliciousness was this question:

(CC) As the designer of Cigar City's cans. What was the biggest challenge? What about the benefits of the can as far as graphics go?

(GP)The challenge was to come up with designs that popped as well as spoke true to what the beer inside is. We went over tons of prototypes before settling on where we are now, which is more closer to our bottle designs. The benefits of the can is being able to completely cover the vessel with our design. This creates a much more eye-popping product.
Cigar City also has a couple new designs out for their collaboration with Swamp Head:

Since the main design elements are pictures of famous dead WWII leaders, it's hard to say much about them. But the nice sepia shading is consistent, giving it a historical feel and a deep, rich character. The off-center composition and the shadowing of the leaders gives it a nice dimensionality.

Lastly, the Ligero, another cigar named beer.

Ligero is a type of cigar filling leaf that is usually a bit stronger and slower-burning. It also means "light" in Spanish, so there's perhaps a bit of wordplay happening here, since a black lager is generally a beer lighter in body but dark in appearance. I like the weathering on this label and the sharp-eyed, cigar-chomping dude staring out at us. That font is kind of a Courier spinoff, adding to the old-timey feel of the label.

1 comment:

  1. Some really great design featured in this post. Cigar City is doing nice work.