I’m not a graphic designer, nor am I all that artistically inclined. In fact, I can barely write my name legibly, to the extent that people have asked me why a retarded four year old german shepherd scribbled all over my notebook. Despite all that, I appreciate good visual design, at least to the extent someone like me can. And yes, I’m aware that this site is not all that lovely, but we’re working on it.
I drink the beer I drink because of the way it tastes, but am also attracted to cool beer labels, especially when trying something new. It always shocks me when I see horrible labels. Most customers only interact with a given brewery via product in the store, so why not put the best foot forward? It is all about the beer, to an extant. Appearance matters and I guarantee that prettier labels work out to more sales.
Today at work someone shared a really awesome site with me, Oh Beautiful Beer, which highlights really cool beer label design. This got me thinking about the labels around town that I really like or don’t like. Two of the breweries whose beer I like the most also have the most attractive packaging. I really like both Driftwood’s website and bottle label design. Their brand is simple, attractive, and distinct. Central City is another company I like style and beer wise. Their Red Racer brand is super recognizable and the red racer girl does her job (objectification of women complainants, justify Magic Mike). Turns out that dudes, who drink the most beer, also tend to like boobs. Weird, eh? Hoyne and Parallel 49 are also nailing it.
Now for the bad examples… I don’t buy bottled R&B beer because their bottles make me think and thinking is hard. If I can’t figure out what’s on the label and what the beer is in five seconds, there’s a problem. Auld Nick Winter Ale is the worst offender, why is Santa looking at me with those rapey eyes? Dead Frog’s Beermaster series is another offender. Their regular bottles are beautiful, if not partial to skunky beer (bottles are clear) and terrible for the environment (their custom bottles are crushed, not reused). For a company whose entire brand has nothing to do with beer and is all about standing out, what’s with the poopy Beermaster series labels?
Seriously, having a terrible label is like wearing crocs to a wedding, not cool for anyone involved. I know that it costs money to design and print new labels, but think of all the confidence to be gained from brand augmentation surgery? All of a sudden all the boys are looking and sales are perky. Seriously though, I’m not advocating sexist labels, but I do think certain breweries should give my friend, who just whipped up a sweet landing page for Powell Street, a call. This is not a shameless plug; I only know one designer.