Before we ever worked for beer, we’d worked with over 30 industries.
Today, that number keeps rising.
Electric companies, luxury shaving, healthcare, waste management, record-keeping, bicycle gyms, coffee, content marketing agencies and even ice cubes — if you can think of it, we’ve probably had meetings in an office that’s claimed it as their specialty.
It’s impossible to design for dozens of unique audiences without coming out the other side a changed agency. The variety keeps us sharp.
Because all those challenges inform our approach, styles and techniques across the board, we dive into every craft beer project with new eyes.
The Good Kind of Labels
You’ve probably guessed: we love labeling brews.
Lord Hobo was our first love. Since then, our craft beer portfolio has grown.
Between a creative director (a classically-trained designer), an in-house illustrator and a brand specialist, our small but mighty design team has worked hard to get a lot of beer into its well-deserved spotlight and then some.
No two of our craft beer label designs are the same. They shouldn’t be — there’s a freakin’ lot of beer to choose from.
And, if you couldn’t already assume, studies show that packaging design is the #1 factor leaving an impression on consumers. Not to mention that once a consumer notices the package, they have to decide they like it.
That’s where variety comes in handy. Custom illustration, graphic work, web design, packaging and campaigns all live in our repertoire, informed by experience with beer and with dozens of other industries.
Some of our favorite beer-centric projects include:
- Designing HopFly Brewing’s crowlers and summer series labels
- Rejuvenating Iron City and Pittsburgh Brewing Company’s logos and packaging
- Designing and building Hop Culture Magazine’s website
- …and a few secret projects, en route.
But the work doesn’t end when we pluck that first can off the canning line.
You Put Them on the Shelves, We Make Sure They Don’t Collect Dust
A lot of what we do goes way beyond the label.
Our client Pittsburgh Brewing Company, the makers of Iron City Beer, is a good example.
A brand refresh — however gorgeous it may be — does you no good without a masterful strategy to drive the announcement.
That’s Where Our Fully-Integrated Marketing Skillset Comes In
As we were developing their new packaging, we were also working with PBCo. to develop an all-encompassing marketing and release plan.
On paper (and screen), that took the form of strategic Instagram curation, billboards and other traditional promotion tactics.
“Take Over Gyms” and “Build Thrones of Beer” Weren’t in the Job Description
But if you aren’t having the most fun possible, you aren’t doing it right.
So we also worked with the client to team up with a local gym — R.A.W. Training — and took over their space for a weekend.
We build a literal throne out of 1861 Iron City Beers (chosen for the year the company was founded), made local celebrity Pittsburgh Dad hang out on it for a while, orchestrated a photo sweepstakes and then delivered it (in a throne-sized truck) to one lucky winner.
All this to say: we’re more than just craft beer label designers. In both the design sense and the marketing sense, we take on the whole system.
Necessary Evils Included
Necessary evils, as in: regulations, and all that.
Did you know that you’re not allowed to say your beer oozes stone fruit? We tried it.
Dealing in beer labels and other packaging means emailing back and forth with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (the TTB). It’s a process we’re familiar with.
Sometimes it’s straightforward — all the Iron City pieces you see up there passed through the system without trouble — and sometimes it’s less so, as was the case for those illustrated HopFly labels. You can read about that adventure here.
If variety keeps us creative, the necessary evils keep us flexible. And, when needed, firm.
See The Work
If making history is in your agenda, smash that “Let’s chat” button and we’ll be in touch.
Photos by the illustrious Joe Brown.