Established in 2001, Fyne Ales is a craft brewery in Glen Fyne (near the Loch Fyne lake) in Argyll, Scotland that was started by a retired couple who returned to the farm, a 4500-acre estate, where one of them grew up. After realizing all the spent grain they were generating, they decided to bring in cows and the now-famous brewery/farm was born. Producing 14,000 litres per week in 2010, Fine Ales now produces over 56,000 liters brewing over seventy different beers that include three year-round offerings. On site they have a tap room and every year since 2010 they hold a summer festival, FyneFest, that was attended by 150 the first year and welcomed over 2,500 this past June. Also on site are 27 highland cows, 2 bulls, about 100 sheep, and a herd of red deer. Last week, Fyne Ales introduced a new logo and packaging designed by Glasgow, Scotland-based O Street.
Fyne Ales is a family-owned craft brewery nestled in the hills of Scotland. Although they make true craft beers and love experimenting at their brewery—operating on a functioning farm—they discovered their beers owned a ‘supermarket safe’ perception amongst drinkers.
They came to O Street to fix that. After spending some time on the farm, O Street rolled up their sleeves to create a brand true to Fyne Ales’ farm roots. Planks from a fence make up the logo and supporting type; a massive range of textures made from different materials at the farm provide visuals for the wider brand.
The studio delivered a system for producing packaging and materials which the brewery can manage themselves.
O Street provided text
The old logo was fyne — see what I did there? — with a fairly clever “fA” monogram and a decent type-in-a-circle approach. It wasn’t generic per se but it didn’t stand out much on its own. The new logo establishes the connection to the farm through another fairly clever “FA” monogram now achieved by combining a series of planks: two solid ones for the “F”, two textured ones for the “A”. It’s both a cool, appropriate treatment and very far from being generic anymore. The “FYNE ALES” wordmark also in plank-y letterforms is a great complement and manages to not be overly cartoony or kitschy.
The range of textures are fun. I like the more abstract ones where it’s hard to tell exactly what they are (as opposed to the tree trunk ones) and, as you will see below (after the old bottles), they work great in the packaging.
The old labels, like the old logo, were pretty decent with strong typography, an interesting color palette, and a nice integration of all the elements into oval-esque labels. But, overall, very much within the safe zone of beer aesthetics.
The new packaging does a great job in completely transforming the look of the beers from what looked like something that came from a traditional, decades-old brewery to something much more novel, interesting, and exciting — not to mention, more clearly alluding to its farm influence. The labels on the bottles look great with the barn shape die-cut and the tone-on-tone use of the textures stands out beautifully against the dark bottles an the black area for the logo. My only complaint would be the treatment of the beer name with a band of color placed behind it and it being typeset in a generic sans… it should have been the plank type. The cans are a little more in your face with the textures placed against a white background, which is also cool in its own way. Same complaint applies about the treatment of the beer name, which is more jarring in this case with the white strip in the back. Still, both bottles and cans have a great look… and those kegs… I would buy one just to have as a sculpture in my house.
Overall this is a strong redesign that celebrates the place where the beer comes from and, in doing so, is able to avoid many of the design traps that craft beers fall for — mainly being cool for cool’s sake — to establish a unique, ownable aesthetic.