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Craft beer label designs: the concepts and process

In the growing craft beer market, breweries are making their bottles and cans stand out through colorful packaging and distinct graphic designs that draw a customer’s eye.

Brewery owners, along with their graphic designers, look for every label to embody the style of beer, as well as the name and mission of the brewery.

Labels have become a staple in the local craft beer scene, defining each brand and bringing life to beers and the stories behind them through visuals.

“People seem to be really into our designs. In the craft beer industry people can really draw into the visuals that the beer has,” said Tradition Brewing Company’s graphic designer Alaina Meadows. The brewery is in Newport News.

“We’ve had a lot of requests for posters and copies of them. I just had a request for Hull 488 as a poster.”

If you’ve ever picked up a beer can from Virginia Beer Company in the Williamsburg area, you’ve seen one of Matt Leech’s designs.

Behind every bottle or can is a graphic designer in charge of branding behind a computer screen.

Leech has worked directly with Virginia Beer Company for almost two years. The designer and brewery owners, including Virginia Beer Company co-founder Robby Wiley, correspond often to compare and discuss ideas. But Leech is the man who makes them a reality.

“A lot of what happens, happens over email communication. I’m super lucky with those guys because they give me a lot of autonomy in terms of what I do,” Leech said. “On a typical project they will come to me usually with a beer name, some tasting notes and also what they are thinking.”

The shape of the logo represents the hull of Virginia’s state boat, the Chesapeake Bay Deadrise.

The rest of the logo highlights the brewery’s name and slightly resembles the College of William and Mary’s Crim Dell Bridge where Wiley and his business…

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