We mentioned Darren Booth was helping Great Lakes Brewing Co. (GLBC) launch its beer rebrand. Booth’s style is classic and old school — just like Great Lakes — he works in acrylic and collage (that’s basically 100 percent analog for an illustrator and letterer). So, we were excited to see the results, which are above and are pretty much awesome. And like any great art, the magic is in the details. GLBC provided Booth with archival materials relevant to each brand that were incorporated into his paintings. These discoverable elements definitely bring storytelling opportunities to each package.
“Our customers may be familiar with Eliot Ness as a historical figure, but they may not know that our mother was his stenographer, or that he used to frequent our historic taproom,” said GLBC co-owner Pat Conway, who, with brother and co-owner Dan Conway, was actively involved in the brand refresh process. “Darren’s beautiful paintings include so many layers that allow us to share these kinds of details. They’re more than just labels. They’re conversation pieces.” On the bottom of GLBC’s new packages, customers will find similar stories that reveal the history behind each brew.
Booth visited GLBC in the summer of 2014 to learn the history behind the existing labels. GLBC owners and team members briefed him on narratives for each brand and supplied unique collage pieces for Booth to include in his artwork. Throughout 2014, what began as sketched concepts evolved into colorful, detailed paintings, all of which incorporate textures and mementos from GLBC’s 27 years in the craft beer industry.
Booth was commissioned to create label artwork for GLBC’s five year-round beers and nine seasonals. The year-round packages will hit shelves beginning in May. In June, GLBC will release its first seasonal with refreshed packaging: Sharpshooter Session Wheat IPA. Brewed with orange peel and Jarrylo hops, Sharpshooter is a hoppy wheat beer named for Ohio-born exhibition shooter Annie Oakley.
Along with refreshed packaging, GLBC will release redesigned taphandles, signage and merchandise around Memorial Day. A new company website will launch in May, along with the new Great Lakes Brewing Co. Beer Symposium — a visitor’s center and event space. We here at CBB are Cleveland headquartered, so this is all pretty exciting.