(Est. 1988) “Great Lakes Brewing Company is a brewery and brewpub in Cleveland, Ohio. The first brewpub and microbrewery in Ohio. In 2011, it was the 18th-largest craft brewery and 27th-largest overall brewery in the United States. The company was established in 1988 by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, located near St. Ignatius High School and the West Side Market. The brewpub and restaurant remain in their original locations, while production has expanded to adjacent properties.” (Wikipedia)
Unchanged for over 25 years—eons in the world of craft beer—Great Lakes Brewing Company has a rich history and passionate fan base. So we approached this project as more evolution than complete overhaul. Our challenge was to build consistency across all beers, while enhancing the rich stories unique to each one. Darren Booth's collage-style illustrations lent themselves perfectly to the task of including authentic historical elements while simultaneously simplifying the images. Ultimately, we maintained the classic style and wit the brand has always been known for, and paired it with a more cohesive, contemporary look.
Brokaw provided text
Images (opinion after)
Although I'm not a huge fan of the new logo — the typography is a little all over the place — I can definitely appreciate that this was meant as an evolution that maintained the proportions and aesthetics of the original while bringing it into the twenty-first century. This is evident in the logo as well as in the more successful and engaging evolution of the illustrations on the labels. Looking at the old and new Burning River Pale Ale illustrations (especially as presented in the video at the bottom of the post) you can see great care in keeping what made this original gangster microbrewery special and updating with it much better quality and detailed illustrations. I imagine it could have been very easy for the design firm to try to convince the brewery to go in a completely new direction but building on the equity in this case seems like the best course of action.