Graphic Design, illustration

Designing Illustrations for Ontario Craft Beer Can Artwork

Illustration for Ontario Craft Beer Can Artwork

Illustrations for local craft brewery beer cans. Click for larger view.

Are you a beer label art connoisseur? Do you buy your beer based on cool illustrations? You’re not alone.

Crooked Mile Brewing opened their doors in Almonte just about a year ago and I popped in to introduce myself and congratulate them on their opening. I was thrilled to receive a call from owner Vicki Pruiksma a couple of weeks later to say that she loved my work and wanted to hire me to design and illustrate the brewery’s new beer can labels!

Craft Beer Can Artwork - Standing StonesIn 2006, Vicki and her husband, co-owner Nick Pruiksma, travelled through Scotland, Wales, and England, and their inspiration to open a craft brewery was born. Each of their flagship beers is named after a specific place: Highland Hillwalker after the Scottish Highlands, Druid’s Dusk after the Iron Age ruins, Black Dog after the legends of the English Moors, Standing Stone after these beacons of the distant past, and Crow’s Castle after the castle Dinas Bran in Wales.

Craft Beer Can Artwork - FoxWhile having such powerful beer names of course made the decisions around content for the illustrations easier, I strongly recommended to Vicki and her team that each label should have a compelling focal point to pull the viewer into the vista reflecting the origin of the name. We chose animals – and in Highland Hillwalker’s case, a person – that would typically be found in each of the areas depicted: a hiker for Highland Hillwalker, a mischievous fox for Druid’s Dusk, an eerie and sinister dog for Black Dog, a short-eared owl for Standing Stone, and of course a murder of crows for Crow’s Castle!

Craft Beer Can Artwork - Pencil SketchAfter reviewing a variety of presented illustration styles, the team at Crooked Mile settled on a classic wood cut look and I proceeded to produce layout sketches for approvals. Once the layout was approved, a second more finished sketch was presented, and then “inked” on the drafting table with a 4B pencil, and brought into Adobe Creative Suite for the digitizing process.

Each digitally created illustration went through a series of approvals for overall layout, form and placement of elements, and colour palettes, until we were all totally thrilled with each of them. We also developed label art to encompass and brand all five beers.

As I write this post, Crooked Mile has sold out of their first set of Highland Hillwalker and are canning more this week along with Druid’s Dusk. We are waiting with great anticipation for the other three cans to be delivered! You can see all five labels below. We also created posters from the artwork for sale at the brewery; if you click on each label, the poster art will open up for you.

Would you like a taste of these delicious craft beers? Drop by the brewery at 453 Ottawa Street in Almonte for a sip and a chat.

Do you need some custom illustration done? Give me a call or drop me a line!

It’s pretty much my favourite thing ☺️

Illustration for Ontario Craft Beer Can Artwork

Illustration for local craft brewery beer Highland Hillwalker. Click to see poster artwork.

Illustration for Ontario Craft Beer Can Artwork

Illustration for local craft brewery beer Druid’s Dusk. Click to see poster artwork.

Illustration for Ontario Craft Beer Can Artwork

Illustration for local craft brewery beer Black Dog. Click to see poster artwork.

Illustration for Ontario Craft Beer Can Artwork

Illustration for local craft brewery beer Standing Stone. Click to see poster artwork.

Illustration for Ontario Craft Beer Can Artwork

Illustration for local craft brewery beer Crow’s Castle. Click to see poster artwork.

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