Launched earlier this year, Old Friends Brewery is a microbrewery in Cambridge (UK) started by two friends who wanted to fill a gap in the “burgeoning American-style craft beer scene” in their own town. Their Pale Ale is currently hitting the market in a few local shops with an identity designed by local firm The District.
OFB produces beers based on friendship and its brand represents this through emotive language and the variety of expressions and feelings communicated by the OFB marque. It’s in-your-face, maybe even a little truculent, but it’s not apologetic about the enthusiasm and passion that the brewers bring to their product.
This could have easily passed as a Friday Likes project tomorrow but I really enjoy the irreverence of the logo and the discomfort it creates so I thought I would give it some extra air time. The OFB acronym makes for a terrible starting point to generate a face but by forcing those characters to become a character the result is like a character out of a Guy Ritchie movie. (Sorry for using “character” three times in the same sentence.) The “B” looks more like a bra than teeth, the “F” is barely a nose, and the “O” is the only thing that looks like an eye, so the logo shouldn’t work (and perhaps it doesn’t) but once you buy into it, it’s a fun logo, perfect for a beer, and complements the name.
The bottle label introduces a bold, stripped back, black and white colour scheme and typography which contrasts with the playfulness of the marque. Colour is applied subtly through the bottle caps, which vary in colour for different beers.
I’m not a fan of the default-looking labels and they don’t pair well with the logo but they certainly have a designy, crafty, DIY feel that will make them endearing on shelves. Maybe as OFB grows they will be able to afford silkscreening directly on the bottle instead of putting a black label on a dark brown bottle as that would elevate the design quite a bit. The orange bottle caps are killer. Perhaps Helvetica lovers will disagree with me about the bottle and I can certainly see its appeal but the un-designed design of the label maybe takes away from the effort put into the beer. Overall, super fun logo, not super fun rest of it.