Typography

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.

Read more →

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

Read more →

How much text content to use in marketing material?

People are lazy readers

They don’t like reading lots of text.

Keep your text content short and sweet.

a4_flyer_word_count_options

Use headlines and sub headings to get the key message across and try to keep your word count relatively low. This allows readers to easily understand your message. Including your website address will allow potential customers to get more information if they are interested.

The above is easier said than done, you will be eager to give as much information about your company’s service or products as possible – resist the temptation to write 6 pages in word and expect it to fit on a flyer. If you bury your messages in dense text, the reader may simply decide that it will be too much work to even start reading.

You can use the below guide to help you to visualise how different word counts look on an A4 page.

Simply decide which version your target market would be willing to read and work towards that word count for your own content.

Text content of 45 words

Text content of 115 wordsText content of 265 words

 

 

Read more →

What is an infographic?

Infographics are visual representations of information that you see everyday without realising. The washing instructions on your clothes tag, following the illustrated instructions for building your flatpack furniture, reading a map and even crossing the road at the light of the green man – these are all infographics.

Infographics are used to communicate information quickly, clearly and attract and maintain attention. They are particularly effective when you have a lot of text or number heavy content.

Without knowing the term infographics you might refer to these as; graphs / piecharts, illustrations, clip art, icons, symbols or information design but it’s up to us to understand that you mean infographics!

Goboof – The Alfa Portable Vaporizer 

Instructional infographics were designed for Goboof – The Alfa Portable Vaporizer, to be found within the designed User Manual to visually describe how to use this product.

AKGraphics designed the full packaging suite for Goboof. Our infographics illustrated the product’s many features; using the product, cleaning the product etc. The infographics for the downloadable User Manual were simplified to be used as web icons on www.goboof.com also.

Goboof-Infographics
University College Dublin

In AKGraphics we often design infographics for various Annual Reports to make complicated information or statistics visually attractive and easier to comprehend.

This is evident in our Annual Report designs for UCD Report of the President; 2013 and 2014. By using well designed infographics, important facts and figures quickly communicate a strong message. Condensing text content and applying good design with strong colourful graphics makes an annual report more digestible for its intended target market. We’ve also created information graphics for the Annual reports of UCD College of Business (UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School) in 2013 and 2014.

Infographics can have other uses like for web graphics, added to powerpoint presentations, email newsletters or on social media – and even many more!

UCD-Infographics-1

UCD-Infographics-2

Irish Lime, Clogrennane Lime Ltd (CRH Group)

Illustration infographics were designed to graphically visualise the complex step-by-step production process for Irish Lime, Clogrennane Lime Ltd.

This design request was part of a large display graphic stand AKGraphics designed for Clogrennane Lime for the National Ploughing Championships.

By designing an illustrated infographic solution of how Clogrennane Lime production works step by step this resulted in an eye catching graphic display for the audience attending their stand at the NPA Show.

Clear, effective well-designed communications makes a salesman’s job much easier at a busy trade show where high volumes of traffic exist, plus it can be a great talking point for a sale also. Strong infographics can captivate an intended audience quickly.

This particular infographic has been used for web graphics and also in a poster display, making the infographic very worthwhile for the client as it had multiple uses.

CL-Infographics
 The Department of Social Protection

The Department of Social Protection requested AKGraphics simplify text heavy statistics and a year’s worth of facts and figures regarding the full spend within each Department for 2014. The request from the Department was to illustrate an easy-to-read two-page solution of these statistics for the 2014 downloadable Annual Report.

The result from AKGraphics was a friendly colourful A3 sized infographic to portray all the information in a simplest way that made the information understandable for all ages. Key to the design of this detailed infographic was to illustrate all the different types of people that the Department of Social Protection assists on a daily basis in Ireland. Additional individual statistics were also created as infographics for The Department of Social Protection for use in house in powerpoint presentations or on social media.

Click here to see the annual report and our ‘2014 in review’ infographic on the Department of Social Protection’s website.

Infographics_Department_of_social_protection_7

Carlow Warehousing

Colourful, impactful website infographics were created for Carlow Warehousing, a logistics and e-commerce fulfilment company, to visually present the smart technology offered within their vast expanding company.

AKGraphics designed the new website and also a promotional brochure to market Carlow Warehousing to a wider audience. These infographics were used as a web banner on the new website. AKGraphics also created other web graphics used on the site.

CW-Infographics

 

Infographics are great for your business because they have so many varied uses, in reports, promotional material, web graphics, display graphics, apps, online newsletters, powerpoint presentations or even PDF presentations.

AKGraphics apply strategic thinking to develop an effective infographic by working as a team. We make sure everything fits together seamlessly as demonstrated within all of our work. If you would like to discuss infographic design in more detail, please do not hesitate to call Anne on 059 9133633. To see more samples of AKGraphics’ work click here to browse through our portfolio and check out our infographics section.

Read more →

Aquarium Guard – T. E. Laboratories

bcard

bottles

An interesting project for us from T. E. Laboratories. Aquarium Guard is a new product that will become a necessary purchase for all aquarium enthusiasts and professional fish-owners in the near future. We created stationery, packaging, test cards, instruction booklet, a web-holding page and bottle labels.

Read more →