Established in 2010, Camden Town Brewery is a craft brewery in Kentish Town, London, UK, producing six year-round beers, a few seasonals, and custom beers for restaurants. Their beers are sold in over 1,000 pubs and bars and their team of 95 — originally only 3 — produced and sold 12 million pints worth in 2015. This past December, beverage giant Anheuser Busch-InBev acquired the brewery in a deal worth around £85m. In preparation for expanded production and reach, Camden Town introduced a new logo and packaging designed by London-based Studio Juice.
Over the last few months we’ve been refining, perfecting, and scribbling on the back of beer mats to come up with our new look, and here it is! We hope you like it. As you can see, we’ve kept the important stuff, like our round logo (with a few tweaks), bold colours and strong typography but quite a few things have changed, too.
Neither the old or new logo are remarkable. Both are serviceable if forgettable. The new one has slightly better typography and a more deliberate execution but it’s certainly not the highlight of the project. The secondary “CAMDEN” wordmark, in straight-up Gotham, is a strong complement to the roundel logo and makes for a better visual hook on the packaging and further establishing “Camden” as the beer’s name, instead of “Camden Town Brewery”. Both old and new packaging use both logos on the label, which is a little redundant and slightly confusing but I guess also reassuring in that you are not mistakenly drinking a Bud Light.
Rolling out from June 2016 onwards, this new brand identity celebrates everything Camden has come to be known for: bold colour, strong typography, crafted illustration and a touch of irreverence. Making what worked, work harder.
This is a rare case where the old packaging was pretty good. It lacked a bit of consistency, perhaps, but I could easily see the old packaging being a new one and getting some positive appreciation. Still, the new packaging is a strong improvement. The die-cut with the CAMDEN wordmark looks great and adds a distinctive element to the bottle. The beer names are bold, playful, and energetic with more of an urban feel. The simplified graphics with bursts of white make it stand out quite well.
The cans are quite great too, although in their minimalism I feel like it’s missing something. They are real nice, don’t get me wrong, but it’s like the elements aren’t perfectly integrated (and with minimalist approaches, everything has to be on cue).
The one element I’m not convinced by is the button-like device that holds the beer type in the packaging or the tagline in the ad above; I realize it echoes the hard drop shadow of the beer names but starts to look almost cartoonish. Not a huge detriment but something that lacks the tighter finish of the other elements. Overall, it’s a solid evolution that maintains the craft vibe and aesthetic as well as acknowledges the previous and existing packaging.
Thanks to Tom Neish for the tip.