Trudi Hewitt
Workshop Brewing Co. re-design

  • 2020

    Submission # 183

  • Output

    Packaging – Pūhera

  • Kaupapa

    Impact – Environmental Stewardship

    Identity – People & Culture

  • Location


Project Overview:
The team at Workshop Brewing Co. approached me to re-design their cans. They were happy with their logo but they weren't happy with the cans, yet none of them knew why. From there the project evolved into a new design to be adapted to 500ml bottle labels too. They had three core range beers with existing designs, they were adding another to the core range and needed a solution to their one-off Hybrid series. An overarching look at the brand as a whole was discovered to be necessary too.

The thing with this craft brewery is that it's unique. Four friends from the small surf town Whāingaroa/Raglan decided to start a brewery and on their weekends and nights after working their full-time jobs, welded and built a brewery from scratch. This took them 3 years before they released their first beer to the public on a very tight budget.

Community and sustainability are the values at the core of WBC. At every step of their production, they consider the most sustainable response. From working directly with Xtreme Zero Waste to collect and reuse the can holders to the purchase of a bottling machine so they could create a circular economy within their community. Their intentions aren’t to grow big, they want to make good beer and supply it straight from the brewery, a refilled flagon, or a crate of bottles that are returned and reused.

Today’s craft beer market is oversaturated and competitive with an undercurrent of misinformation making the consumer think they’re drinking a small-batch brew without realising it's owned by the big guys. We saw this element of WBC as a strong point of difference and their packaging needed to reflect that ingenuity and to tell that honest story to enable the consumer to connect to their brand and support a sustainable brewery.

Because the cans were already circulating town it was important to consider this when re-designing. We found that everyone referred to the beers as ‘the blue, green or orange one’ so the colours were continued but changed to be brighter. Keeping in line with their values of sustainability the illustrations (that were already awesome) were kept as well. My aim for the new layout was to create a design that was easily duplicated as new beers were added without having to look at the whole label. All information on the sides and across the top stays the same, just a small illustration, typography, and colour choice is needed.

This layout was also chosen to emulate the classic badge style design that you see throughout the classics such as Waikato Draught, Lion Red, or Speights, this created a nostalgic nod to the swapper crate system they were trying to re-introduce.

Their Hybrid series was again following the same logic of easily replicated at a sustainable cost to the team but they needed to be different to the core range. A simple typography layout was used having the base beer colour as a signifier and a numbering system to differentiate them from each other.

An important part of the design response was communicating their story, humour plays a big part in their descriptions of beers and them as a crew as well. We decided to carry this through as a line of text that runs across the top and bottom of the label making it more likely that the consumer will engage with it. To get consumers to support their sustainable values they first need to believe and connect to the brand.

Credits & Collaborators:
Illustrator - Sam Cox
Illustrator - Simon Blanchet
Photographer - Molly McCabe

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