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Hunter and Gather

Overview:

Hunter and Gather is a new brand craft beer brewed in Vancouver, BC. It features clever design that personifies different types of beer, connecting them to the people who enjoy them.

 

Hunter and Gather crafts delicious frosty beverages aimed at hip, design-savvy men and women between the ages of 20 – 40. The brief demanded the creation of at least 4 distinct packaging elements, so I aimed to develop 4 varieties of beer, each requiring its own label, as well as a carrying case for 4 bottles at a time (mixed and matched at the consumer’s leisure).

 

After completing an extensive competitive audit (beers of the world, microbreweries/craft beers and professionally designed packaging), it became clear that 500mL bottles would prove more interesting to the target audience than the standard 355mL, with pop-off tops that encourage re-use. I found the perfect bottle at a liquor store near my home, similar to those used by Grolsch but lacking any ornamentation or detail in the glass of the bottle itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the “research” process, which involved “emptying” the purchased bottles so that they could later be filled with different liquids to emulate light and dark beers.

 

I performed extensive mind-mapping, exploring different possibilities for the language and personality of the brand before arriving at a clever metaphor. Drinking beer (in moderation) is synonymous with relaxing; relaxation is, in fact, one of the main reasons for drinking beer. Another action that is synonymous with relaxation is sitting in one’s favorite chair. By attributing a personality to each variety of beer (such as Organic Wheat or Bitter Ale), and doing the same with types of chairs that one might sit in while drinking that specific beer, a relationship between the two was created. The result was a consistent visual language that personifies each flavour, catching the eye of consumers and educating them on the taste and texture of the beer they are about to enjoy before they read a single word on the label.

 

My moodboard explored various periods of design such as the colonization of North America and the Great Depression. The goal was to create a visual aesthetic reminiscent of vintage medicine bottles utilizing hand-crafted typography and flourishes. Decorative mirrors of the Victorian Era and other illustrative borders were a huge influence and propelled visual exploration and experimentation forward. The end result hints at these vintage time periods, but still feels distinctly new and modern.

 

Several names were in the running for this new brand of beer, but ultimately Hunter and Gather won the race for several reasons. 1) The packaging was meant to feel rustic, and ‘hunter gatherer societies’ are about as rustic as it gets. 2) The structure of the name sounds as if two partners (Hunter and Gather) started the company, conveying pride in the brewing process. 3) Drinking beer is about relaxing and of course ‘gathering’ friends together for a good time. 4) The removal of the ‘er’ in ‘Gatherer’ is done to emphasize the idea of gathering friends, and to improve the phonetic beauty and interest of the words, allowing it to roll off the tongue.

 

The wordmark was designed from scratch in Illustrator, influenced by a number of typefaces (Rough Riders, Horndon, Bettendorff, Hoyt’s German Cologne). All chairs, borders and symbols were illustrated by hand as well. The chairs in particular took multiple revisions in order to blend well with the rest of the design. These revisions brought a new level of cohesion to the labels, and was well worth the effort.

 

I am fortunate to have good friends, and one in particular truly surpassed my expectations with his help on this project. About halfway through the project I realized that a flimsy cardboard case would not lend itself well to the labels’ design; a raw natural material such as wood would work much better. I spoke with my friend Brad Sieber (a custom woodworker here in Vancouver), sent him a diagram of what I was hoping for, and on short notice he delivered a defining piece of my project. When I saw the result, I couldn’t have been happier. A big thank you to Brad, and also to Danny Chan for helping with my final product shots.

 

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