We’re taking a quick break from “Good Label vs. Bad Label” this week because we came across a fascinating article that we simply couldn’t ignore. Package and Design Magazine’s Linda Casey penned an article about a budding design trend in the world of craft beers. Needless to say, the minute we’re done, we’re heading to the nearest pub with our growlers in tow (for now).
It goes without saying that we Americans love our beer. In recent years, the popularity of craft beers has been undeniably on the rise. According to the Brewer’s Association, Craft Brewer Dollar sales were up 15 percent in the first half of the year, and the retail dollar value grew to $7.6 billion in 2010, compared to $7 billion in 2009. The public’s taste for beer is getting more refined, and as more and more breweries enter their product in the market, competition is quickly heating up; enter: the battle of the craft beer package designs. “[When] there are so many choices and they’re all good, that’s when brand expression becomes crucial,” said Patrick Rowell, brand strategist at Hornall Anderson, “It becomes the only way you can win categories like this.”
So how did Rowell’s agency distinguish their client’s – Redhook Brewery – design? They started with redesigning the box the beer is packaged in (known as “secondary packaging”) so that they “formed a continuous graphic no matter which way the packages are facing.” For the bottle label, Hornell Anderson decided to get away from the wordy informative labels to focus on a few keywords – “The craft category had become so entrenched in pushing back against domestic beer that it became sort of an arms race of who could tell the longest, most flowery, overwrought story on where the hops came from and who brewed it,” Rowell explained. “In the vast majority of the occasions, that’s not how consumers are thinking about it.”
But it’s not only the secondary package and the label that got a facelift – Redhook’s bottle also received a makeover. “The bottle shape makes it easy to identify Redhook and conveys the message that both the beer brand and the person who drink it are unique,” said Casey. From classic glass to aluminum-bottle hybrids, innovations in bottling materials have given breweries a variety of choices to make a statement about their brand.
Craft beer connoisseurs rejoice! Over are the days of hauling a 64-ounce growler (a refillable jug used to purchase beer) to your local pub, though some gas stations and Duane Reade stores in New York City have been experimenting with them. We remain eager spectators awaiting the continued innovation sure to come from these nimble craft brewers.
Whether it’s a food label, cosmetic label, pharmaceutical label or craft beer box, quality label design is critical to a brand’s success. A professionally designed label could mean the difference between global success and never making it out of the red. If you’re looking for label design services, contact Blue Ribbon Tag & Label today. With over 30 years of industry experience, Blue Ribbon knows a good label. Call 1-800-433-4974 today and we’ll get the job done.