Illustration

The Wonderful World of Craft Beer Label Design and Can Design

Despite the cooler temperatures, some of us are still venturing into the chilled supermarket aisles or off licenses, in search of a good craft beer. And with a constant influx of new brands and new trends, how do we choose? There are 75 microbreweries estimated to currently be operating in ROI (and a further 50 brand owners that outsource their production to independently owned microbreweries), which is a 500% growth from 2012.

There are ever-changing impacts on sales and the craft beer industry, which mean that it’s becoming harder for brands to stand out on the shelf. We’ve identified some of the craft beer label design trends that have caught our eye.

 

Maximalist – bursting with color, illustration and attitude, these beer label designs are sure to catch your attention.

Marmota Brewery, their LegalLager beer can design portrays a vibrant block-party with illustrated characters and fluro colours.

Legalager beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Browar Minister, the beer label design includes characters and brightly coloured illustrations.

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Mikkeller brewery, the master of maximalist eclecticism. Their beer label designs range from image appropriation to graphic illustrations, usually in an expressive style and in vivid fluro colors.

Mikkeller beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Reflect recipes – some companies are opting to commission artwork for their beer label designs that reflect the breweries, brewers and beers more. They allude to the recipe or certain ingredients used to make the beer through illustration or text.

OostEke Brewery, this beer label is centered around a floral design which depicts how flower extract is used in the brewing process.

OostEke Brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Hop Heart, a heart shaped hop icon to show that this beer is made from the finest ingredients and is actually good for you and your heart – an idea inspired by the high levels of vitamin B6 found in beer which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Hop Heart packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Minimalist – supremely elegant and simplistic beer label designs to intrigue.

VICE Old Blue Last Beer, the can design has only the logo and ABV on it with the aim to  “tease the pretentious world of beer – with all its frills and fuss – and strip it back to the simpler days when beer was for enjoying.”

Vice label, not designed by AKGraphics

Vice label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Cargo Brewery, a super elegant packaging range that incorporates a subdued color palette, geometric shapes, simple line work and copper foil to cleanly describe the beer inside.

Cargo labels, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Typographic – using type rather than graphics to portray the brand essence.

Big and bold fonts paired with a bold yellow label makes this Sa Pilsen design stand out. The classic logo font makes it seem authentic, like it’s stood the test of time.

Sa Pilsen packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Sa Pilsen branding, not designed by AKGraphics

Sa Pilsen packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Inari Biru from Yeastie Boys is a Japanese rice beer. Inspired by minimalist Japanese design is has a classic colour palette of red, white and black. The beer label design also includes traditional Japanese calligraphy with loose textured characters to portray a sense of legitimacy and genuineness.

Inari Biru packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Flavour differentiation – an easy way to stand out and distinguish the various beer flavors is using different colors or characters, while still ensuring the branding is communicated collectively.

Hyde and Wilde features animal illustrations in a striking monotone colour scheme with a bright yellow logo. There is a clear consistency throughout the set of beer can designs, however each flavor is reflected with a different animal.

Hyde Wilde packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

BrewDog Brewery labels are designed with wood-cut and letterpress techniques to give the brand a hand-crafted feel. There’s a different colour and tagline to each beer to distinguish them.

BrewDog packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Photographic – with the increase in digital-printing capabilities more breweries are embracing photographic labels and cans.

Commonwealth lagers were created to drink by the beach, and the tide-lashed branding reflects this.

Commonwealth beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

The Norwegian landscape photos used in the Fjellsider beer can design reflects the fresh and natural ingredients, and the cider’s local heritage. An acetone transfer printing technique was used to make the image look weathered, conveying the craftsmanship of the brand. The fruity colors also reinforce the freshness of the product.

Fjellsider packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Fjellsider packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Black – premium or sinister? Dark label designs and bottles have been used very effectively on a darker stout beer.

Stoutnik stands out on the shelf as it uses printing techniques that other brands don’t use in their beer label designs. The frosted matte black bottle contrasts the multicolour holographic foil and highlights the blind-embossed morse code.

Stoutnik Stout packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

This beer label design has bold typography alongside fluid illustrations, Vocation Brewery’s usual method of communicating the brewery’s personality. They created a limited edition Naughty & Nice label for the festive season including seasonal illustrations of theatre, cold weather and holy. The gold foil and silver ink also conveys festive qualities and contrasts the black label well.

Vocation brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

Vocation brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Colour – it can always be used to catch the attention of shoppers. These beer label and can designs are bold, bright and brave.

Vocation Brewery have also used colours to reflect their brand personality. These beer can designs show the crisp and freshness of their new flavors. The striking colour and spray paint effect conveys their uniqueness and stands out.

Vocation Brewery packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Collective Arts Brewing in Canada is a grassroots craft brewery. Their mission is to merge “the craft of brewing with the inspired talents of emerging and seasoned artists, musicians, photographers & filmmakers”, by choosing previously published art pieces every year to print onto their beer can designs.

Collective Arts Brewing packaging, not designed by AKGraphcis

 

TicketyBrew beer label design use colour to reflect their range of experimental and complex flavour profiles (like Peach Iced Tea, Blueberry & Ginger IPA and Salted Caramel & Coffee). They have a simple identity that can be adapted to their 35 beer flavours. The core range flavors also have a printed number on the front to separate them further from each other.

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Vintage throwbacks – idealising the past through vintage styled beer labels and can design.

Chattanoonga Brewing Co. used historical branding elements from their previous packaging design but in a refreshed style. This honored their vibrant heritage and also makes them stand out with a simple design solution.

Chattanooga packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Chattanooga packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Director Beer has a film-inspired craft beer designed with Star Wars and Indiana Jones illustrations. It resonates universally by referencing two classic films with a movie poster aesthetic and even a synopsis on the back adapted to reflect a story behind the beer.

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

INDIANA HOP AND THE CAVE OF GOLDEN HOP

“An ancient hindu civilization called lupiranis lived for centuries in the inaccessible Himalayan mountain ranges. Known for an IPA millennial recipe, they idolised an ancient brew relic, the Golden Hop, capable of giving the brewing shaman who possessed the power to make an incredible IPA. For a long time, countless adventurers lulled by the legends of the  brewing lupiranis, explored these mountains behind such an artifact. Indiana Hop, a historian of special beers and master brewer, fearless and adventurous, while exploring ancient scriptures in the library of British Beer University discovered clues on a map that led to a valley in the mountains, covered by malt plantations and hops forests to a cave, which according to locals, is guarded by ancient spirits and full of traps. Will Indiana Hop get the Golden Hop and survive the consequences of the wrath of the brewing gods on anyone who desecrates his sacred temple?”

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

A step further…

Mikkeller Pale Spring Ale, the design is printed on heat sensitive paper so when it’s cold the snowflake is visible and when it’s warm it fades into the shape of a sun. They’ve also made beer labels in similar styles but for autumnal and spring styles.

Mikkeller packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Mikkeller packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

If you’re after a beer label or can design for your craft beer or beverage product, contact us! We are experienced in creative packaging design solutions and would love to help you bring your brand to life.

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Skincare Packaging Design Trends

Understanding the trends influencing the market can help set your product out from the rest of the market. Here are some trends seen in current skincare packaging.

 

Eco-responsible packaging

Customers are becoming more aware of how packaging affects the environment and therefore are preferring to opt for more eco-friendly and sustainable packaging options. Eco-friendly packaging has also become a key marketing strategy to make customers think that the product is made of natural ingredients.

E.g. Lush Cosmetics markets a 100% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging. 35% of Lush products are sold ‘naked’ and without packaging at all.

Range of skincare products, packaged and unpackaged

Lush packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Lush bath bomb products in store

Lush packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

E.g. Ethique are on a mission to eradicate the world of plastic waste. They started in 2012 when founder Brianne West began making natural beauty bars in her science degree lab as an alternative to the 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles thrown out globally each year. Since then Ethique have stopped over 500000 plastic bottles ending up in landfills. The bold colours used in their paper packaging ensures high self impact and makes this a memorable packaging design.

Ethique packaging and products

Ethique packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Ethique packaging and products

Ethique packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

DIY/Customised label

Google’s 2017 beauty trend report revealed that DIY-labeled beauty products are fast rising. The next generation of customers enjoy the opportunity to customize their own cosmetic experiences and treatments, one way is through bespoke packaging. Innovative packaging solutions like personalisation helps customers feel more valued and that the product is specifically suited to them.

E.g. Wondermins is a NZ company that allows customers to select which vitamins they want to supplement their diet, and Wondermins sends them a supply with a package of daily vitamins, customized with the customers name.

Wondermins vitamins packaging

Wondermins, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Men’s increased awareness

Men are beginning to show more of an interest and awareness in cosmetic care. They prefer informative and refined skincare labels over the stereotypical and medical style of packaging, as they want to know more about the product and make an informed decision when buying.

Hawkins & Brimble mens beard care packaging

Hawkins & Brimble, not designed by AKGraphics

No 7 mens skincare

No 7, not designed by AKGraphics

Barbon mens skincare packaging

Barbon, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Minimalist design

Simple design means customers can make intuitive decisions. Going minimal means limiting the content on the packaging, creating a visual language can help to communicate the product better than a paragraph of words would. If labels can limit the messaging to a few words and icons, it won’t take customers long to decipher the cosmetic packaging.This reflects our fast-paced society, and means shoppers won’t have to slow down to read labels.

Skincare packaging design

Naturaglace, not designed by AKGraphics

Minimalist packaging, square box

Eskay, not designed by AKGraphics

Malako skincare packaging, neutral colours

Malako, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Pastels

Pastels are coming back on trend with the rise of feminine and calming packaging design. It speaks to our softer side and offers an alternative to the bold bright colours that have also be seen in packaging. Pastel packaging gives the product a warm and welcoming feel, customers are eased into it rather than being rushed – exactly what they want when browsing skincare labels.

Funky shaped skincare packaging

Kevin Murphy, not designed by AKGraphics

Pastel coloured box packaging

Hanyul, not designed by AKGraphics

Beige box packaging

Huxley, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Doodles

Adults relate to drawing based designs because it conveys energy and reminds them of their childhood. Doodles are often imaginative illustrations that describe the product in an exciting way and can make the customer smile.

Illustrated line drawing packaging

Elaboratium, not designed by AKGraphics

Bright and fun drawing packaging

Mythos, not designed by AKGraphics

Female illustrations, skincare packaging

Bloom, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Big text

It’s easy to send a clear message when the focus of the packaging is large text. Often a bold and sans serif font is used to catch the customers attention, and a serious or creative message can ensure they continue checking out the product. This is particularly useful in skincare packaging and cosmetic packaging, when there might be a lot of ingredients but you want to get one main point across.

Skincare tube and box with large text

Love, not designed by AKGraphics

Layout of various skincare products

Red Earth, not designed by AKGraphics

Charcoal soap

Babe Scrub, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Vintage

Throwback design thrives on us remembering. It also conveys the idea that the product has been around for a while, and therefore it must be a success brand and quality product. Vintage design in skincare packaging shows the brand identity has tradition through the use of structure, a limited colour palette and clear detailing.

Bath foam and body lotion set

Boots, not designed by AKGraphics

Small bottles with vintage labels

Caru, not designed by AKGraphics

Vintage looking skincare range

Boots, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Holographic

Adding a holographic foil effect to packaging brings flair to any product. An innovative packaging style, it creates depth through the changing colour and light effect to catch the customers eye. Holographic design stands out from flat colored products, and adds elegance and value to a product.

Small boxes with holographic effect

Obe, not designed by AKGraphics

Silver holographic tubes

Mac, not designed by AKGraphics

Box with thin line holographic effect

Rewind, not designed by AKGraphics

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Table Talker with Medical Infographic Design

Infographic design for a Table Talker for Aut Even Hospital

table_talker_medical_infographic_design_akgraphics

Table talkers are a very popular promotional Point of Sale (POS) advertising device in restaurants. Table talkers have the advantage of close proximity to customers when they take a seat and consider what to eat.

Although most commonly found in cafes and bars these promotional items are not limited to the food industry. They can be used to great advantage in the hospitality industry, travel agencies, pharmaceutical, financial services and even medical industries as seen in this design project for Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny.

Sometimes an informational flyer will not have the impact required, in these cases a table talker is a great alternative promotional tool. This is also evident at large conferences, trade shows and events.

Aut Even Hospital required a printed item that would explain to patients why they are repeatedly asked to confirm their identity in the hospital. The process of confirming a patient’s details is necessary in the hospital and the design for the table talker had to convey this in a clear way.

medical_infographic_design_akgraphics

By designing custom infographics the finished design for the table talker was clear and engaging. The use of bold colours also helped to ensure the design was eye-catching and appealing.

medical_infographic_design_akgraphics2

More common uses for table talkers are for special offers, events, food and drink menus in bars, restaurants and cafes. Due to the ability for table talkers to instantly deliver your promotional message, they are very effective at instant communication for any target market.

medical_infographic_design_akgraphics3

Click here to view more of our infographic design section.

Or if you are looking for our display section click here.

If you are interested in having table talkers designed for your business contact Anne on

+353 59 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie

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Brochure Design for School Opening

Infographics for Brochure Design by AKGraphics

As we have mentioned in our previous blog post, Saint Mary’s Church of Ireland National School moved to a new building and had a complete identity redesign. To celebrate the opening they commissioned AKGraphics to create a fun brochure to promote the opening day. The opening day brochure had to appeal to the same target audience as the logo design. The resulting brochure design featured a mix of custom infographics, illustration and photography. The illustrations were designed by AKGraphics to appeal to the children attending the opening while the photography featured the children enjoying their school day. The bespoke infographics also caught the attention of the children and having them reading at a different angle added a fun, interactive element to the school brochure design.

Photo used in brochure design by AKGraphics

The brochure also features the visit of the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’ Sullivan T.D. to the new school building, who was pictured raising the school flag in the brochure. The response to the brochure design was overwhelmingly positive with parents, teachers and past pupils each taking copies of the booklet for extended family members to see. Not one copy of the brochure was remaining at the end of the day.

The Very Revd Tom Gordon, Dean of Leighlin, was so pleased with the design he had this to say.

“AKGraphics were terrific to work with. Their expertise and efficiency were matched only by their friendliness. The attention to detail was second to none and the end result superb. Our brochure and new logo for the Official Opening of our new school were striking in the standard of creativity and professionalism. We were absolutely delighted.”

Brochure Design by AKGraphics
Logo design used within brochure by AKGraphics

Photo of the opening of the school with Brochure Design by AKGraphics

Illustration Design by AKGraphics
Product Photography, Illustration, Infographics by AKGraphics for brochure design

Other Examples of our brochure designs include:

Innovative Brochure Design

Professional Annual Report Brochure Design

Infographics played an important role within this brochure, here are some other infographics designed by AKGraphics.

Custom Infographics

Infographics for Web

If you are interested in having a booklet or brochure designed to advertise an upcoming event or products, contact Anne in AKGraphics at: anne@akgraphics.ie or call 059 913 3633.

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