OUR BRAND DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY (UPDATED FEBRUARY 2019)
Please see: Pentagram's blog post on this story [here]
Please see: It's Nice That's article [here]
Please see: Creative Agency's article [here]
OUR BRAND DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY, NOVEMBER 2018
Collaboration is a fundamental part of what we do… As well as the usual format of working with other breweries, restaurants and craft food producers, we like to look outside our little world of craft beer. This is where we find people who really challenge our perception, and get us thinking outside of our craft beer bubble. Working with Pentagram was one of those eye opening moments for us; here is one of the most established design agencies having worked with top companies across many different sectors with offices in several different countries, and now our little brewery in Bermondsey!
A lot of our collaborations come about through networking and meeting people. This project was no different, through my sister Roz, who previously worked there. This started by us brewing a couple of special “one-off” beers for two of their new partners, with custom designed bottle labels [link to Pentagram's blog]. As well as the branding work, we are also looking to make a special release can to coincide with a future exhibition - more on this to follow…
For moving production to cans, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to update our original branding, designed by some friends and now over 6 years old! We wanted to take the same approach as we do to our beer, refining and developing the original, making something look and feel every bit as good as it tastes. Initially, we looked at getting Pentagram to just update our branding assets - I took this to means refining our logo, and defining how it can be used across other platforms, such as website or merchandise. However, when I visited Pentagram for a meeting about the update, they presented us with far more than I originally thought…
The first phase of this was to look at our original Logo and refine it to work for both horizontal and vertical axis. These little tweaks make a huge difference to how the Logo is perceived by the eye, making it more balanced, tidier and bolder than the original.
The next stage was to explore different creative routes, developing different aspects of our original branding. It was quite nerve-racking! Having become use to seeing our labels almost everyday for the last six years, it was a bit like going away for two weeks whilst someone has free reign to re-decorate your house, with very minimal input or guidance!! However, it was important to put faith in their design team, and not to restrict their creative process, allowing new and original ideas to flourish.
There was lots of exploration from periodic tables to London bus routes. Each route had a unique way of displaying information across different platforms, showing how the branding would be consistent on the website as well as the can labels, merchandise and tap clips.
From this point, myself and the team spoke about the merits of each of the different exploration routes. We all agreed that a route focusing on the recipe number as the hero was the right direction.
This then led our conversations around terminology and how we are perceived to customers. Keeping our numbering system (2 digits for style and 2 digits for recipe) can come across as confusing, especially for new customers. For example, someone who wanted to order our 01|01 Saison Citra at the bar could ask for it in a number of different ways:
• Saison citra
• Citra Saison
• 01 Saison
• 01 Citra
• Saison 01
Some of these names/ways of ordering are the same as other beers from our menu so removing the recipe number limits the number of potential conflicts with other beers. Letting go of the recipe numbers was tough, as it was an integral part of our branding until this point, but we thought it needed to be done to avoid confusing customers.
As well as a few design tweaks, we looked at how branding would carry across different packaging formats, our new website (currently under construction) and merchandise. There were a few elements from different routes of the exploration phase we all really liked, such as a beer searching functionality for our website, so we looked at incorporating this into the new branding.
Our new branding guidelines offers a comprehensive guide to graphic designers working on everything from event flyers to website design.
Exploration is an integral part of BBNo, not only though differing beer recipes, but also playing with different bottle and can designs. Our 42| DDH Pale series was a step away from our usual branding, adopting illustration designs by the talented Jonah Schulz. They were really well received with many can pics appearing across our social media channels.