We are regularly asked about our labels and graphic design. We receive compliments on it all of the time and we are also big fans of it. We love the look of our labels and are more than happy to share information about our “process”.
The first person we worked with, to develop our logo and the Harbinger character, was Josip Kelava. He lives in Australia and worked well with us via Skype. He was very good at taking our ideas and turning them into exactly what we like. We chose him because of his very specific aesthetic.
After working with Josip (and having a great experience) we decided to look for graphic designers who were local to us. There is a lot of talent in this region and we definitely want to support local whenever and wherever we can!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we like Geekery. We’ve never been to ComicCon or anything but one of us has a pretty extensive Star Wars collection, and 80’s toy collection and the other used to be really into Star Trek, and loves Iron Maiden.
Each of our beers is a character. That will continue on indefinitely. We like to think of each of the beers as having a life and personality of their own. With that in mind we develop each “character” rather than a beer label. The characters have to be unique, visually appealing, fun and interesting. Each character has a bio. So far each of their names has a meaning.
Harbinger APA: The word Harbinger rhymes with “car ginger” rather than “car singer”. It means “a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another”.
We chose this name because he was the first of our beers and announced that we are here now. He is pretty cool. He gets a lot “ooooh Assassins Creed!”. It was not our intent to develop a character reminiscent of Assassins Creed but it works for us if it works for you. (He was designed by Josip Kelava).
Reynard the Fox Golden Rye Ale: Reynard the Fox was introduced in June of 2014. The character is actually a Medieval Fable. He is evident in many cultures during many periods. We chose him because he is known as a trickster and pseudo-Robin Hood figure. Also, we just really liked the name and it went well with a rye ale. His image was designed by Jon Johnson , also known as Bearface Johnson, from Kitchener. We have worked with Jon on several projects now and he is super easy to work with, has a great eye and is very patient (when Robin asks him to do opposing things simultaneously, “make it black and white and colour at the same time! jk).
El Buscador: El Buscador is Spanish for “the Seeker”. This is our newest character. He is not available in cans yet but we are working on it! Like Reynard the Fox, we really liked the sound of this name and the idea that he is a light, Mexican style cerveza because sometimes we are all “seeking” a light beer for refreshment. We had the idea to make him a Mexican Day of The Dead painted skull early on. The skulls appear as though they are supposed to be ominous and scary but their actual purpose is to remind us to celebrate life, take risks and don’t take things so seriously (which is a reminder that we need sometimes-beer is fun right?!). This character was also designed by, the ever patient, Jon Johnson.
We have a female character in the works. She doesn’t have an image yet but she has a beer style and a name (which I am not going to release now as it will steal her thunder when her image is revealed). I am hoping she will come out within the next year. I am pretty excited about adding a female character to our gang.
We don’t normally produce imagery for Seasonals or One-offs. Last year our Bootzamon Harvest Wheat was very popular and we had a design created for it. The design was a collabo between our Territory Manager, Jim Fay, and his fiancee Erin Jeffery, a graphic designer at Banyan Marketing. Bootzamon is a German, immigrant, farmer term for Scarecrow, hence the scarecrow imagery. Bootzamon is also not available in cans yet but we have had a lot of requests for it to be released year round so you never know what the future holds.
Our intent is to have fun, interesting, visually appealing characters that people can relate to. We don’t think craft beer should be pretentious or stuffy and it is our hope that our characters make our craft beer just a smidge more fun than they already are.