Less colour, more craft

Posted by Steve on Jul 29th 2013 in: Beer & Cider, Is grey the new black?, Packaging around the world

Brouwerij 't IJ Beer Bottles on Shelf

This charming independent brewery started life in one of Amsterdam’s last remaining windmills, but wisely decided against employing its home as a symbol and went for an Ostrich (with egg) instead. It’s a long story but something to do with the similar sound of ‘Ij’ and ‘Ei’ – ask a Dutch person.

I must admit to a tiny twinge of doubt about this superbly executed and ‘authentic’ design. Love it as I do, there was something even more charming about its previous colouring-book bright labels. That said, this label uses shape really well to capture the essence of the brand’s iconography even when all the colour is removed: the diamond, that wacky bird and its egg (inside an egg shape) and beautifully crafted typography…

Digging deeper I discovered that this design is part of a strategic repositioning of the brand – upping the craftsmanship but dropping the naive (if charming) lack of any information hierarchy. Such is the challenge for all designers with a brief to ‘professionalise’ a brand that knows everything about brewing great beer, but less about brand architecture. A great job by Positivity almost up there with my all-time favourite.