Considering I’ve scanned miles of aisles of every liquor store from top to bottom over the last twenty-five years, taking mental snapshots may seem like a chore, but sometimes I find it can be cathartic…sort of like browsing an art museum. While perusing the beverage cooler of the local bodega recently, this beer label caught my eye:
Unsung Brewing in Anaheim’s Packing District has created a comic universe to explore its portfolio of inventive, mutant ales. With a full story on the side of the bottle, I asked Unsung owner Michael Crea about what went into their design.
“The art was done by a very talented artist in San Diego named Dane Danner and curated by Mother Sponge Inc. We first create the character storyline based on a correlation to the beer style or its ingredients. That gives us some idea how we want the hero to look physically, which we relay to Dane. Mother Sponge works on the finer details of color, lettering, printing, scale, and overall label design. It’s important that the more labels we create, they have a similar feel next to our previous labels.
“Since we are also adding to the comic character family, we have to figure out how they fit into this world we created. Overall, it’s a pretty creative process that stretches our inner geek across the spectrum of comic lore. Ultimately, we hope beer fans are able to take a second and appreciate the art and thought put into creating the label! I hadn’t anticipated this, but by making each beer a fictional character, it’s given the product inside the bottle more of an identity and a deeper connection to the customer through the use of the label,” Crea explained.
Bottle Logic Brewing, Jam The Radar
Lindsay Langton of Bottle Logic noted, “Josh Emrich does all of our design work, from brand identity to developing new themes for beer series. He designed our Stasis Project labels that follow a pretty rigid template, but we work fun little nods in if you look closely. My description paragraphs usually touch on the inspiration behind the beer, then house Chef Patrick Whittaker matches three ideal food pairings along the bottom. Generally, he’ll suggest a cheese, and entree, and a dessert.
Anaheim Brewery, La Morena
Barley Forge, Future Tripping Double IPA
The Bruery, Share This! OC
From Bruery Distribution Marketing Manager Cambria Griffith, “Each beer release in the Share This! series reflects a pattern that is indicative of the region with which we collaborate. I’m a big fan of the most recent one, which focuses on Southern California and showcases custom art inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement. The series uses work from two designers, including Joanna, our in-house graphic designer, the other is Eric Sena, a freelance designer based in Oregon who works on many of our labels from afar. We met Eric through one of our design contests we hosted on social media years ago and he has been a wonderful part of our design team ever since!”