Designing The Crafty Little Brewery

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As the Designer for Superfly, I find myself working on a vast range of different projects for a wide variety of different businesses. When I was presented with the Crafty Little Brewery Project, I was really excited. It was something new and it required some skills and techniques that I had been waiting to get the chance to use at Superfly.

Crafty is a new local Brewery offering premium real ales, that are handcrafted in small batches in East Yorkshire. They wanted their brand to reflect the background of the business and the location where it was formed. The idea of having woodland animals was where the design concepts first began, starting with the design for the Red Ale, which punningly enough we decided to call Red Tale, and focused on a Red Fox as the face of the beer. Crafty were not sure at this point what style they wanted their characters to be, it was a huge decision as these characters were going to be the heart of the brand, the face of each beer, it had to be perfect.

This was design no.1 for the Crafty Little Brewery, Red Tale. Starting with a basic sketch, I then brought the design to life digitally by adding detail and colour. Crafty wanted their animals to each have a drunk smirk on their faces so it was important that I incorporated this. I felt like the design was good but along with Crafty we felt it wasn’t strong enough to work as a beer, it came across too cartoony which could aim at the wrong target audience and we didn’t want that.

After some long debates on what route to take with the designs I took a risk and decided to go down a route we hadn’t even discussed before. ‘Crafty’ came from the term ‘Craft Beer’, that being what the business sells, as a designer all I could relate it too was Arts and Craft. The logo was already in this crafty style I was visioning, so I stripped all of the ideas we had back and sketched up a detailed image of a straight up Red Fox and presented the idea to Crafty. I still incorporated the little cheeky grin that the team wanted in the designs, but it was the simplicity and the sketchy style that they really loved.

I then worked digitally on the piece to incorporate colour using a watercolour technique on Photoshop to nicely blend the colours and define the features of the animal. I took the ridged border style from the logo and bordered the animals face too to help emphasise the finer details and also create a link between the animal and the logo forming the overall brand.

It was from here the rest of the brand developed. I drew a range of different animals, using only the strongest pieces for each of the Crafty Little Brewery Beers, the biggest task was actually deciding on their names! We explored Lions and Owls, Squirrels and Cats, all of which we didn’t use!

But then there were the pieces we did use and these are what make up The Crafty Little Brewery.

Once these were finalised it was then on to the Beer Pump Clips, Stickers and Keg Clips for each beer and also a Pull Up Banner, Letterhead and Information Sheets were needed too.

It has definitely been a long project but most certainly one of my favourites too. Getting to see the beers as actual physical products after hours of only seeing them on my computer screen was really rewarding. I hope people drinking Crafty all across Yorkshire not only enjoy the taste of this beer but also love the branding as much as I do too!

To find out more about The Crafty Little Brewery and to see each of their beers visit the Crafty website.
They’re also on Instagram and Twitter too!

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