A dream project for any branding studio or freelancer is creating branding for a brewery. So in the spring of 2019, we decided we didn’t need to wait for a brewery to come to us. We could create one from scratch, just for the fun of it. Thus was born Bird Rock Brewing Co., a San Diego-based brewery right in the heart of Bird Rock's neighborhood. Below you'll find the story of the project creation, from early sketches to the finished product. We hope you'll enjoy it!
Once we crafted our client persona and the creative brief, we began thinking about how we were going to tackle this project. So we started off by sketching and figuring out how we could visualize and differentiate the Bird Rock Brewing Co. brand.
We first started thinking about imagery that's associated with beer, San Diego, birds, rocks, and more. The idea that really stuck was a combination of a bird's feather and a hop—an important ingredient in brewing beer. Soon we were able to develop a series of sketches and ideas and it was time to start thinking about how to pair this imagery with typography and other design elements.
At the same time, we were lucky enough to be apart of the Adobe Fresco beta — a new mobile software by Adobe that allows you to create in both raster and vector formats — and we used it to create vector sketches and doodles similar to what we were creating in our sketches. It was these doodles and sketches that invigorated us to move forward into developing the brand further.
When we started to ideate and develop the Bird Rock brand, we wanted it to be both versatile and responsive in its nature and so we worked to create just that.
The first hurdle that we tackled was the type experience for the brand. We wanted to pair a few typefaces that both contrasted each other but could flow nicely together and express a feeling of SoCal (southern California) culture. We were lucky enough to create a pairing that did just that with a strong gothic style for "Bird Rock" and a mono-lined script typeface for "Brewing Co."
From there we developed the brand's mark further from our original sketches and added another bit of detail with a wreath of barley — another reference to brewing beer.
To create a truly responsive brand, we knew we wanted and needed to make multiple brand elements that could easily break down to smaller sizes to be used in different ways. The most important element would be creating type lockups and badges — lockups are similar to badges but are primarily made of typographical elements.
Finally, the last part of the branding came down to one of the most important parts of any brewery brand: the can and packaging design. We decided to focus first on one can design, and plan to come out with more can designs in the near future to expand upon the brand.
We decided to focus on landmarks associated with San Diego with the design and one the most iconic spots, Sunset Cliffs — a beautiful lookout spot over the Pacific Ocean near Ocean Beach. We incorporated design elements from the brand and created a custom illustration representing the area.
The work that we created for this brand was a fun and educational experience for us. We created a versatile and responsive brewery brand that we’re proud of. As we mentioned above, this project is something that we plan to keep working on and developing further. Beer branding is a fun way to experiment, stretch our skills, and test possible packaging design concepts we can use on other projects.