From Brand to Bland

BrewDog

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We rebranded and restyled BrewDog in 2014 helping set them on a track for what in hindsight was seemingly exponential growth, I have nothing but admiration.

The previous iteration of the BrewDog branding, before we got our hands on it, whilst avant grade, rebellious and noise-making, was seen as overly aggressive and appealed to mainly young males.

As with most of our best work we wrote a brief in close quarters with the client team that had one very simple idea present, a synergy between the craft of graphic design and craft beer, this idea also tied very well with the punk ethos of BrewDog.

To achieve a punk aesthetic we knew we must avoid the bland and the anodyne, not only to hold and bolster market position but also to stand out from the crowd, and so it was with some thought we decided to do this for the most part without a Mac.

All of the type for the BrewDog product names and core branding were hand printed from wooden and metal type with our print partners Typoretum who did an amazing job, not just putting all the type away after our visits!

Echoing punk flyers we used scalpels on repeat photocopied patterns and purposefully built in small errors, scratches and textures into the design, we wanted the comms to feel home made, done by hand, crafted, a call to arms, kind of like an impromptu punk gig with great beer.

We opted to use vertical type on-pack to allow for larger communication of products names and we built in texture using a DIY approach, it immediately felt inline with the punk fanzines that had inspired us and the right move for BrewDog in a bid to broaden its audience.

The Mac is a dangerous delivery tool in graphic design, we all use it but nearly everything it turns out, regardless of the designer, does have a tendency to lean towards being ultra perfect and hard edged, this is now the new look for BrewDog.

In hindsight and having seen the comments on the new branding it seems many of the fans of BrewDog identified with those do-it-yourself imperfections and irregularities in the design, they gave BrewDog part of its appeal.

The branding we created for BrewDog wasn’t slick and it wasn’t corporate but it didn’t look bland, it stood out in a sea of mediocrity on the supermarket shelves. I guess it's still a revolution, just a quieter far more polite one that doesn’t stand out!?

We thought we’d share some photos from the production of our previous version of the branding together with some of the comments we’ve enjoyed via social.

All of our work can be seen in our Work section of our website at https://www.unitedcreatives.com/work/craft-beer-people/
and https://www.unitedcreatives.com/work/brewdog-1/