There are few kinds of package design more exciting than the labeling of boutique products created by small companies. The craft beer boom of recent years has enabled this art form to flourish. When trying to push a unique product into an increasingly saturated market, brewers need to use all of their creativity and effort. This has had an effect on labeling, creating a kind of arms race in which breweries continually hope to one-up their peers – as well as the global brands competing for the same eyeballs.
A center of design excellence
Louisville, Kentucky, news source Leo Weekly recently quoted brewer Paul Young, who dubbed labels "the new album covers." This is where artists are doing ambitious work with a commercial goal – to win over more customers for their respective brands through sheer visual exuberance. The news provider added that label gimmicks and flash aren't limited to independent or local companies. Organizations of every size are using eye-catching looks to sell their brews.
Leo Weekly pointed out that the use of bright colors and compelling designs is actually a full-circle moment for breweries. Before Prohibition, at the advent of printed labels in the 1910s, breweries used their packages as places to display large amounts of information about their products. The return of legal beer was accompanied by rules that kept the packaging simpler. Now, there is a balance between disclosure and visual exuberance.
More info forthcoming
As for the amount and nature of facts listed on beer labels, there may be change in the air. A press release from the Beer Institute announced support for rules that would bring nutritional facts to beers, to suit evolving disclosure requirements in the realm of restaurants and other eateries. The rules are being debated by the Food and Drug Administration, and the Beer Institute noted that its member organizations are set to help with disclosure of calorie counts and other facts by using labels or links to websites to pass this information on to restaurant owners.
Beer labels are educational tools, telling people about the drinks they – or their restaurant's patrons – are about to consume. They are also a loud and vibrant form of advertising for their respective brands. Breweries that haven't refreshed their designs lately should likely ask themselves whether their product packaging is living up to its responsibilities, or if a redesign is in order.
When companies change up their labels, they can bring printing in-house – provided they have an adequate label printer. The Primera LX1000 is one potential option – check it out on our U.S. page or in our Canadian store.