Beer is not just one of the world's most popular beverages. In many ways, we can also view it as art. Beer is a passion of collectors, as well. No one is indifferent to beer labels. Even those who don't like the taste of beer.
In England, at the very end of the 19th century, the Arts and Crafts artistic movement emerged. The movement aimed to promote a return to hand-craftsmanship. That in everyday life we all have the opportunity to be in touch with art, through architecture, furniture design, interior design ...
And craft beer today makes illustration and design artwork available to everyone. Of course, to all who drink craft beer.
The beer labels we know today were made in the mid-18th century. Beer was not widely bottled before that period. By that time, people had their own containers to collect beer (later on glass containers appeared) that were marked with family initials or, in some cases, a family coat of arms. During that period, the bottles were closed with a wax seal on which the name and beer description were imprinted. Due to the spread of beer trade, a metal capsule of foil was developed to carry information about the brewery. Because of the rough handling in the manual process, information on the cap was often unreadable. The answer was - paper label!
Over the years, the shape of labels has changed. From many variations of circular labels, to square, rectangular, shield and diamond shapes, to the present day, when technologically we have almost no restrictions.
Label design for non-commercial beer brands is a true refreshment in the packaging world. Craft breweries, with their somewhat rebellious attitude, provide design with space to be free-spirited. No matter what style it is about. There are countless styles. There are no boundaries.
But all this is accompanied by a craft measure. Label size, iconography, typography ... The entire visual system of the required elements whose layout forms an art frame.
Beer and art have met several times in history.
Following the passage of the Law on trademark registration at the end of 1875, on 1 January 1876, the first working day of that new office, the Bass Brewery sent its clerk to wait all night for the office to open, in order to have the first registered trademark in the world. That's what they did.
They were the first in something else, as well. The red triangle on the label of the Bass brewery appeared on the bottles of beer in the 1882 painting by the French artist Edouard Manet (A Bar Folies-Bergere) and it was the first known product placement.
And, at the end of the first part of series of texts - another beer and craft story.
The great Milton Glaser (I♥NY, Bob Dylan poster) designed the iconic logo for Brooklyn Brewery. Glaser found inspiration in the traditional Bavarian beer labels, and the effect he wanted to produce, bringing the identity of the new craft brewery back then, was to give the observer a sense of craftsmanship design approach. The letter B was constructed as if it were an object, not a letter. Combining the green hops color and the golden beer color, we got a B monogram as a stylized swirl of beer foam.
To be continued...