Beer Letter Art

As we bid farewell to phase 1 and say wassup to phase 2, we wrap up our graphics creation process with the introduction of our lettering!  The mascot set the tone for our branding - fun, simple and a bit quirky.  To find somebody who could take this vision and turn that into a legible and cool-looking piece of art, we did what anybody would do; Google something along the lines of "best lettering artist."  From there, I’m not sure exactly how we landed on contacting Jason Carne, but it may or may not have been related to my love of tacos.  

Jason is lettering artist who specializes in historic styles.  His portfolio of hand-drawn lettering is beyond impressive and while his most visible strength is in detailed scripts influenced by old signs and advertisements, his love of lettering and composition lead us to dig deeper.  We listened to a few of his interviews, liked what we heard, then reached out to him with a description of what we thought we wanted.  Rather than him saying “sure, I can do that for you” he responded with his own ideas of how to style the lettering, while working within the overall framework of something simple and complementary to a cartoony parrot drinking a beer . . . so we hired him!

We worked through a series of initial style ideas before quickly landing on the most playful of the bunch.  Here is a behind the scenes look at the progression from pencil sketch to final design:

Just like the mascot, I think that this lettering nails the cross-section of fun, simple and unique.  Speaking from a beer standpoint, creating something that is both high quality and simple is often the biggest challenge because there is no hiding flaws behind embellishments.  The nuance and cohesion that he developed as a result of many small moves and edits gives the design an appearance of effortlessness.  Exactly like an awesome pilsner!

Here are four questions that Jason kindly answered for this blog:

This style is pretty different from what you have done in the past. What was the biggest challenge in composing this lettering?

It definitely is a departure from my more decorative and ornamental lettering that I’ve become known for. The challenge for me was two-fold with this particular project - one part was getting the lettering to have what appears to be realistic brush stroke mechanics, and the second part was breaking away from the very serious tone a lot of my work has. Being able to loosen up and do something bright, fun, and fluid was a new experience that I really enjoyed.

Do you have a favorite beer logo or label?

This seems like a weak answer being that it’s such a ubiquitous brand - but Blue Moon. I’ve always loved everything about their logo, their branding, and their packaging. It’s timeless and effective, and the color palette is excellent as well. If we’re talking about smaller companies, Kendrick Kidd just recently did some beautiful work for Sycamore Brewing, and Helms Workshop did an awesome job with the stuff they did for Austin Beerworks.

We won't judge Jason for the Blue Moon bit . . 

We won't judge Jason for the Blue Moon bit . . 

Assuming you drink beer, do you have a go-to?

Believe it or not, I’m not much of a beer drinker - I’m more of a rum or whiskey kind of guy. However, we do have a great local place in Stroudsburg, PA called Yard of Ale where they have over 80 different beers (mostly bottled, though they do have at least 20 different ones on tap too), many of which are from local breweries in the area. There are a few great ones there, but their names escape me as I usually try something different every time I go!

Our parrots are a menace but are also kind of adored. Do you have anything similar in your area (eastern Pennsylvania) and if so, would they make a good name for a brewery?

We have a few creatures in our area that are semi-invasive or rough on the ecosystem. Believe or not we have a big feral cat issue in our area and they eat a lot of the small prey other predators would typically eat. Coyotes and foxes are also known to be problematic from time to time with run-ins with domestic pets. It’s not their fault, they’re just predators being predators, but it’s wise to keep cats and small dogs inside overnight in this area. Feral Fox might be a pretty cool name for a brewery!

Bonus Graphics!  Here is our monogram, which would look snazzy on a bottle cap or baseball hat and our mascot perched on the lettering, still enjoying that beer.