Established in 2012, Prost Brewing is a crafter brewery in Denver, CO, that unlike every recent craft brewer launch does not specialize in IPAs, hazy or not. Instead, they are committed to producing the best German-style beers possible in part by adhering to the “Reinheitsgebot” or “German Beer Purity Law” adopted in Bavaria in 1516 that, among other things, states that only malts, yeast, hops, and water be used in beer — which means you will have to go find your grapefruit-infused IPA somewhere else. The brewery even purchased and imported a 60-year-old copper brewing system from Germany. With two biergartens (one in Denver and one in Fort Collins) plus distribution locally and regionally Prost is expanding to Texas and California and has introduced a new identity and packaging designed by Indianapolis, IN-based CODO.
Traditional German beer culture trappings, while fun, tend to be kitschy and dated. Don’t get me wrong, I personally love everything about it: but weird old cuckoo clocks, lederhosen and ceramic steins don’t necessarily convey quality in 2019.[…]
If Prost looks completely modern and sleek, it undercuts what sets the brewery apart in the first place. But, as already discussed: if things look too traditional, the end result may not leap off of shelves and grab peoples’ attention the way beer of this caliber should. To strike a workable balance, we toured the more modern, diverse and progressive visual language of East Germany, while retaining a touch of Bavarian familiarity. With these parameters in place, we worked with Prost to develop the brand essence, ‘Berlin Modern’.
This strategy culminated in a custom-built logotype that calls back to traditional German Blackletter in a clean, contemporary way (look at those sexy angles), plus a series of secondary icons and a confident makers mark harkening to traditional German craftsmanship.
The old logo was surprisingly bad considering how much investment went into the launch of the brewery with the bringing-of-the-copper-thing-from-Germany — even without that in mind it was just not a good logo in a really weird typeface with a bad shadow treatment, a weak monogram, and little to no German-ness. The new logo is really great, with a custom blackletter wordmark that exudes German-ness (which could potentially be a turn off for some) and avoids pretty much every current beer-related trend. The letterforms are unique and innovative and the execution is pretty slick, especially with the “t” dipping below the baseline to serve as a book-end for the “p”. My only complaint would be the “BREWING CO” type, which looks almost default — even if it were just a bolder weight of the same thing I think it would be more of a unit. All is forgiven, though, for how the crossbar of the “t” angles with the “s”.
Not all beer-related trends can be avoided as Prost also has some badges and additional graphic elements. The “p/b” shield is pretty slick and continues the great interplay of angles. The goat, which comes from Bock style beers — see here for explanation if you are up for some TIL — works best in its full-bodied form and the other elements start to be a little gratuitous but nonetheless fun.
Prost’s flagship packaging expands on this idea with subtle Bavarian patterning and a bold black/cream combo threading the portfolio together. Individual colors differentiate each style and SKUs. All told, we revamped 9 bottle labels and 6-pack carriers, a variety pack and 24-pack.
Like the old logo, the old packaging was equally, surprisingly bad — sorry Prost Brewing people if you are reading this! — with the super weird combination of an Art Deco “Prost” (different from the one in the logo) and some flat-looking blackletter and odd patterns and cheap photographs. Also like the new logo, the new bottles are great. Big logo, clear hierarchy, and some solid graphic additions like the “p/b” shield and a thick, dark slash in the background that adds a touch of asymmetry. The design extends nicely into 6-, 12-, and 24-packs.
Overall, the redesign amplifies the German-style approach of the beers in a way that feels both traditional and contemporary while also allowing the brewery to have some fun as the shirt above demonstrates.