My favorite sort of project in design school was as follows: create a fake company and develop its branding from the ground up. While my classmates would eagerly pick “clients” like airlines or football teams, I’d be in the corner figuring out how a fly fishing company would open up a brewery. Or how a custom bicycle maker would open a brewery. Or how a luthier would open a brewery. Damn, I was magnificent. My creative range was unparalleled.
This sort of work is a staple of design colleges across the world and freshly minted design grad portfolios are full of these types of pie-in-the-sky projects. Fast forward to late 2016, when we received a call from an affable (yet vaguely mischievous) guy named named Greg Smith.
“Hi, I own a printing company in Carrollton, Georgia, and am in the process of turning an industrial space next door into a 20-bbl brewery. I’d like to talk to you about branding, packaging, web design — everything. We’re calling it Printer’s Ale Manufacturing Co. and would like the branding to center around our family’s history in the printing industry.”
“Yeah right, this can’t be real,” I thought to myself. A designerly-themed brewery — this is a project ripped straight out of my college sketchbook. Is this a joke? Maybe a friend at another agency is messing with us? Are we getting Punk’d? Is it still acceptable to say “Punk’d”? Ashton Kutcher will be 40 years old soon…
And just like that, something as simple as a fun project opportunity turns into an existential crisis. Damnit, another Tuesday lost.
Read the rest of the post over on CODO’s blog.
This column was provided by the folks at CODO Design, a five-man branding firm based in Indianapolis, Ind. They’ve worked with breweries across the United States and around the world, on naming, branding and positioning, responsive web design, and package design. They’ve gathered their experience into a comprehensive Craft Beer Branding Guide to help startup breweries navigate the entire branding process. Check it out at www.craftbeerbrandingguide.com.