Howling Hops // Beer Labels

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Howling Hops started out in the cellar of my local pub, the Cock Tavern, so it was a truly happy moment when they – alongside design agency Tinder & Sparks – coincidentally approached me to work with them on their branding. Not just because I love their beers. Ahem. And what’s more, it transpired their beautiful new Tank Bar was to open just round the corner from our studio in Hackney Wick; so truly my ethos of working with small local businesses was to be fully served with this collaboration…

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Label No.1: Pale XX Custom Superior, No.1, introducing The Wolf

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2015: While Tinder & Sparks burnt the candles at both ends putting the logo and identity design together, I went about initially designing and illustrating the first 10 beers to be bottled.

We wanted the bottles to jump out from the shelves and fridges, so it was agreed early on that we’d reflect the richness and fruitiness of these hop-laden beers in the colour schemes. After a very enjoyable tasting session, I put together colourways for each flavour based upon the little I could remember (and my notes), came up with the idea of a cameoing Wolf – like a canine Hitchcock – to honour the beers’ previous labels, and landed on a template that everyone was happy with: large, psych-filled lettering with a spot illustration on the front; decoration and further illustrations depicting the wolf engaged in some activity related to the specific beer round the side. To make them jump even further, I stuck to 3-4 Pantone colours and tried to include at least one that wouldn’t normally be easily printed in CMYK.

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