Doug Levy is staff copywriter and editor for the Shutterstock blog. This post was originally published on the Shutterstock blog and has been reprinted with permission.
Here’s your challenge: Create the branding for a local brewery. Don’t know where to start? For some advance inspiration, here are some favorite beer labels and breweries, featuring everything from the work of a legendary illustrator to a tasty Game of Thrones tribute.
With names like Brew Free! Or Die and Hell Or High Watermelon, 21st Amendment is as creative with its naming and recipes as it is with its packaging, living up to its slogan “Celebrate the right to be original.”
Designer José Guizar modeled his branding for this line after the classic Lucha Libre films of the 1950s, giving each of these brews its own fantastic masked identity.
Ommegang has plenty of excellent beers (and labels) in its regular line, but as huge Game of Thrones fans, we’re especially taken with the brewery’s line dedicated to the show. The latest one, Valar Morghulis Dubbel Ale, just hit shelves this month.
An example of how well shifts in color can work with a great design, Magic Rock’s brews all feature the same captivating circus-themed design, with only the name and the color altered for each one.
This one is really special. Ippon Matsu represents the single pine tree left standing after the Japanese tsunami wiped out 70,000 others around it. Each limited-edition bottle of this brew supports continued relief efforts in the area — and features a handwritten seal telling the story of its genesis. Plus, they’re just gorgeous.
We’re fond of all of Ruckus’ offerings, but our inner geek can’t help loving Hoptimus Prime and its comic-book art style the most.
BrewDog keeps its branding consistent and cool for its main line, but with its small-batch brews, the brand starts to make things really interesting. Each of these releases gets its own unique visual identity, and they’re all worth a look.
A partnership with Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum, East End’s Illustration Ale features new labels designed by six different local artists each time it’s released. Want more info? Look right on the label!
Give a color and typography lover control of your design, and this is where you land. It would be difficult to find a graphic designer who doesn’t swoon over Modern Times’ packaging, which is almost like a real-life, more complex take on the recent Pantone beer concept that’s been circulating online.
Want to try creating your own beer labels to tackle the challenge yourself? Check out our Label Ideas lightbox for assets and inspiration.