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The Power of the Beer Label

by Andrew Kidd / January 08, 2016

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” That’s what most of us have been taught. However, when I’m in the grocery or liquor store, I judge how the packaging looks—especially in the beer aisle. I judge how unique and genuine the design is and it greatly influences what I buy and that’s ok, design needs to be judged. Ask yourself, “Does the packaging or label communicate effectively why I should buy their beer or not?”

Humans are visual beings and a well-designed, unique package design demands attention. As more and more craft breweries emerge, they have to invest in great packaging to catch the interest of perusing buyers or risk being overlooked. The breweries with great label designs understand perception (beer label) can affect behavior (buying) which leads to better performance (more sales). Given the intense competition breweries face it amazes me when I see beer packaging that was clearly not professionally designed. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate design but it does have to be authentic to the brand. Obviously small local breweries don’t have the same budget as national or international breweries but the design should still be thought out and true to the brand. Some of my favorite label designs are local or regional breweries because they usually allow the designer more creative freedom.

So, next time you’re at the grocery or liquor store, staring at the seemingly endless choices, go ahead and judge. As Thomas J. Watson Jr. said in 1973, “Good design is good business.”

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Hitting a Homerun with Typography

by Reece Thompson / October 27, 2015

October is nearly over, and eight postseason teams have been whittled down to just two. And even though Back to the Future predicted that the Cubs would be in the World Series in 2015, they have missed out once again.

But as the Mets and the Royals play in the biggest series of the year we can look back at October and see the all-too-familiar franchises that made it to the postseason. You're probably wearing some of your favorite team gear right now, or have some memorabilia sitting on your desk. But do you know why you have such a deep connection to your favorite team? I'm sure it's partially due to your geography or maybe even the first Major League ball game you went to with your dad. Could it be because you like the team colors? Or even because you like the attitude of your team?

Surely it couldn't be because of the team's typography or branding, right? Well, maybe more so than you think. From the type treatment in their logos, uniforms, hats and merchandise—several teams in the MLB have a very distinct and thorough brand. Think about the iconic "Royals" or "New York" embellished across the chest of this years' top clubs. Something you don't immediately notice but it sure is propagated across every single touch point for that team. And every single touch point is an opportunity to make a connection with a fan.

So as you sit through extra innings watch the Mets sitting in the dugout—take a minute to look at the type on their uniforms...and the apparel of the KC fans in the stands...or the next time you see a "W" flag fly...and realize it's not just type, but that it's a brand. A brand, like any other brand, that you've grown up with, become fond of, grown attached to and will occasionally go to bat for.

Sports Typography Heads to the Postseason

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