Modern craft beer often takes pride in unique but bold artistic design – simplistic, bright and brave labelling is the new face.
Here we look over the wonderful work of designers, illustrators and agencies at the forefront of British craft beer label design.
Craft beer has brought better-tasting brews to discerning drinkers – and created exciting opportunities for designers and illustrators.
As the craft beer market began to boom in the UK and US, more reserved, traditional labelling no longer matched the fresh and exciting recipes inside the bottles and cans. So the likes of BrewDog and Camden Town Brewery commissioned designs and artworks that more accurately reflected the beers, the breweries and the brewers themselves.
This design is by Nate Kitch for Broken Bridge Brewery.
Broken Bridge Brewery
We had to include these soon-to-be beer label and currently awesome pump clip designs by UK freelance illustrator
Nate’s friend Jim Fullegar happens to be the owner of micro brewery
Broken Bridge Brewing based in Swanmore, and of which sells delicious beer to pubs throughout Hampshire whilst breaking into neighbouring counties.
Nate was given "full control of the creative reigns" for the brewery – from logos to labels.
The pair put their heads together for planning stages, but ultimately Nate had an open brief.
We love the
final pump clip designs. Expect to see them in the pub soon.
Broken Bridge Brewery
Here's another of Nate's designs, named 'Super Villain'.
Nick Dwyer is the creative director and designer at Beavertown Brewery, one of Digital Arts' favourite beermakers.
His comic-book designs are gritty and sometimes graphic, but he says inspiration for the design of each beer comes from the flavour and style of the beer itself. Oh, and his imagination.
Each artwork is created after the name of the beer is decided, and after Nick throws a few words around with his good friend James, the guy behind the recipes.
BrewDog has been around since 2007, but underwent a brand transformation in 2014 that received mixed reviews.
The company had seven agencies from three different countries pitch ideas before working with its chosen agency for over three months to develop the packaging and branding.
The Scottish company wanted keep the new design process organic. They used wood-cut and metal letters at one of the UK's few remaining letterpress studios to create the labels.
BrewDog says using physical texture and ink gives a "hand-crafted feel" to the embossed labels.
Additional features to the bottles include tasting notes on the caps, a three-word tag-line to each of the beers to describe what they are, and changing of the BrewDog logo to just the iconic dog symbol.
BrewDog has also produced ales featuring artwork by best-selling colouring-books-for-adults illustrator
Johanna Basford (who's also married to one of Brewdog's founders).
London-based hybrid agency
Studio Juice has recently given Camden Town Brewery a spice-up with its loud use of bold, block colours and typography.
Each beer name carries its own individual typeface to reflect the beer's character, as well as heavy use of white and drop shadow, transforming the label into an image to be noticed.
The Camden Town logo was also simplified and given a sharper geometric design to create a recognisable icon that would standalone from the brand name itself.
Adnams Spirits, known for its spirits as well as its beer, generated a small but fresh batch of craft beers named after a historic bottle found in the brewery archives.
CookChick Design created the packaging design of all Adnams alcoholic beverages - the combined work of Lee Cook and Sally Chick and a small team of creatives.
The packaging design for the Jack Brand still incorporates the traditional Adnams beer logo, but throws vibrant pastel colours overtop to create a striking look.
Manchester-based creative studio
DR.ME designed a series of surreal collages for independent brewery Cloudwater Brew Co.
The collages depict black and white environmental landscapes with waterways replaced by colourful cloud designs.
DR.ME is made up of Ryan Doyle and Mark Edwards who offer creative services in art direction, image making, graphic design, work shops, video and teaching from a creative studio based in Manchester.
Mr B & Friends are behind the naming, brand strategy, packaging and website design for Fourpure Brewing Co – a family-run brewery based in Bermondsey, London.
The design used on the beer bottles and cans is based on the travel and adventures of founders and brothers Daniel and Thomas Lowe.
Each different type of beer stamped with the location of its origin and the cityscape's iconic features pencilled in the background.
Tickety Brew branding and packaging by Carter Wong Design is probably the most simplistic in design within our list.
Carter Wong Design, based in London, worked alongside entrepreneur and actor Duncan Barton to create a brand for his craft beer start-up.
Playing on the British phrase Tickety-Boo, the Tickety Brew label is a simple theatre ticket wrapped around the bottles of traditional Belgian Dubble and Pale Ale, with a subtle glass shape found in the ticket perforation. Fantastic.
Local graphic designer
Emma Scott-Child's colour-infused labelling for Brixton Brewery incorporates the identity of the colourful Brixton neighbourhood.
The pattern design on the Brixi Saison label is Connect Brixton – designed specifically for Brixton Design Week 2015 by international design company EleyKishimoto.
It can also be spotted on the pavement of the Brixton Design Trail street gallery on Ferndale Rd and outside the Brixton underground station.
All label design incorporate vibrant colours and African batiks reflecting Brixton Brewery African and European inspiration.
West Yorkshire graphic designer
Richard Norgate chose the magic from Magic Rock Brewing to create a beer logo that did away with normality.
His designs are intricate collections of creatures amidst various circus activities – breathing fire, on a trapeze and in a circus ring, giving the brewery ownership of the circus look.
Five Points Brewing Company is situated beneath an old Victorian railway arch at Hackney Downs station in East London, and graphic artist
Kate Lyons used this as inspiration for the designs of the Five Points label.
A clean and classic look emerged based on rail signage and print ephemera from the late nineteenth century when the station was built.