Design Feature #12


Craft beer labels design

Walk into a hip new restaurant, café or pub and open up the Drinks Menu. Take a look at the Beer section. You’ll probably see everyone’s favourites – Heineken, Sapporo, Asahi, Carlsberg, Tiger and maybe Stella Artois.

Yoho Brewing

Then you notice a couple of interesting entries: a Suiyoubi no Neko, Flying Dog’s Pale Ale and even an exotic Rey Negro from the Cervecería Sagrada brewery. They’re craft beers! The descriptions are interesting, but how do you choose? Tell the waiter to bring them up to you!

Cervecería Sagrada

People say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but no one ever said that you couldn’t choose a beer by its label. Craft beer often doesn’t come on tap, so it’s hard to get a taste until you crack open a bottle or can. That’s where their label designs come in handy.

21st Amendment USA

Beer labels are the most basic way of how a consumer can understand their drink a little better. It serves as a way to identify its ingredients, alcohol percentage, and whether it’s a pilsner or IPA. But there is more to a beer label than just providing information, especially when craft beer enthusiasts are often knowledgeable about beer basics.

Coedo Brewery

Well-designed labels help a beer stand out amongst the growing craft beer crowd, and more importantly, help convey what it stands for beyond taste alone.

Craft beer labels are all about exploration and experimentation.

From paper or poly-plastic, laminated or varnish, rugged or high-gloss, the possibilities when designing a label are endless. With so many combinations and design choices, beer labels are the best way of sharing a brewery’s personality, as well as the quality (and personality!) of the beer.

Flying Dog

Mention ‘craft beer’ and someone is bound to bring up Flying Dog. This famous indie beer from Maryland, USA is a favourite amongst craft beer drinkers worldwide and their iconic – some call it chaotic – label designs only seem to strengthen their rabid fan base. The ink splattered, crazy and sometimes disturbing illustrations (courtesy of illustrator Ralph Steadman) are great examples of how a beer brand can use its label to share its irreverent, devil-may-care brand personality.

Even Hong Kong has its own catchy and beautifully designed beer bottles. The Hong Kong Beer Co. has a 20-year history brewing delicious ales for the island city. The eye-catching labels are designed by Colorado-based Cultivator Advertising & Design, who are well known for designing craft beer labels around the world.

Hong Kong Beer Co

Each label features a single bold colour, along with sharp illustrations that reflect a distinct aspect of Hong Kong culture and history. It’s a great melding of old and new, with graphic illustrations set against more traditional symbols and font types – perfect for a beer born in a city where East meets West every day.

So when you’re drinking your next craft beer, take a good look at the label and consider the brewery’s unique perspective on your drink.

Hong Kong Beer Co Website:

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