One of the first assignments for my Graphic Design course was to create a beer label. We had to come up with a name for a craft beer made in Australia by a company with a Scottish heritage: A blend of Australian amber ale and Scottish stout.
Now there are few things in this world that I hate more than the taste of beer… I was first introduced to the taste in Germany when I was on exchange in high school visiting an awesome family. I loved the exchange and my host German family! I hated the beer. Since then my hubby has tried multiple times to introduce me to the taste, but every time he gets a dramatic display of face-pulling as the horrible taste fills my mouth! So needless to say, I was not exactly thrilled at the idea of designing a beer label!
Initially I thought I might call my beer ‘Red House’ after the house William Morris‘ designed, as my designs for the menus, coasters and carpets of the Art House Bar (where this beer would be launched) were based on the Arts & Crafts movement [1850 – 1900]. I then did some research about what that era produced in Scotland (as this beer has a Scottish heritage.) I found that the Glasgow School of Arts was very influential at the time and that Charles Rennie Mackintosh was particularly well know for his stained-glass rose designs from that era.
After some deliberation I decided to call the beer, Glasgow Rose. Hubby was absolutely horrified: “You can’t call a beer Rose – no bloke will drink it!” (Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of that?) However by that stage I had already done a lot of research and sketches and I was not excited about the prospects of starting again. My lecturer said that since it was a craft beer it was probably for the more cultured drinker, and did not have to apply to the average Aussie bloke…(not that hubby is uncultured or your typical average Aussie male!) So I kept going.
I wanted the design to look like a stained glass window, incorporating a rose and a eucalyptus leaf. I submitted my first draft that looked remarkably like a wine bottle label! Of course it did – what do I know about beer labels?!
I kept researching and looking at real beer labels and had another go. I adjusted my colour choice and as background I used images of textured glass. I designed a wrap-around label for the bottle neck and body, as well as an image for the bottle-top. This time I was much more satisfied with the result.
I then also had to design an invite to the launch of Glasgow Rose, drawing on the style and colour-scheme of the Art House Bar as well as the beer label.
I used some of the illustrations from the menus I had already designed and tweaked my original beer label design (the one that looked like a wine label) to become the invite.
All in all I learnt a lot and passed the course. Who knows what exciting assignments and designs next term will bring…