Not much has changed about Redhook since I last wrote about it in April 2011, so I’ll recycle some of the opening: Founded in 1981 in Seattle, WA, Redhook is a craft beer brewery with a devoted following not just in the northwest of the U.S. but nationwide as passion for craft beers has grown over the last
30 35 years and as Redhook has increased its distribution reach. Its flagship beer is the ESB (Extra Special Bitter) but it counts with a few other year-round selections, like an IPA, as well as seasonal offerings and has just added an American pale ale to its roster. Earlier this year, Redhook introduced new packaging designed by Portland, OR-based Sasquatch Agency.
I liked the previous look back when it came out in 2011 and I still like it today but I also don’t mind it changing at all since, in a way, it’s kind of a disposable look and not deeply ingrained with the Redhook brand. Its perspective-heavy logo is the constant and that’s the one intrinsic element. The new labels bring back to life the original design for the brewery’s flagship ESB beer and is now applied to all others. Although it has one or two more strokes than necessary around the logo and beer name, the badge-like design is quite pleasing and feels much more like a traditional beer than the 2011 redesign. The typography is very well handled throughout.
When the labels deviate from the original design and year-round beers as in the Blackhook, Summerhook, and Winterhook labels, things start to get sloppy with some very questionable “drop caps” with arrows and alternate patterns in the background. (I really don’t get the arrows.) I wish these bottles that extend the visual language of the revived labels were a lot better, adding to the charm and nuance of the originals.
The cans look really great, although I’m not sure why the green ones have a white stripe at the top, since the full-covered red one looks so much better.
6- and 12-packs don’t offer much in addition to repeating the badges on all surfaces, which is not a bad thing as the badges look great against all those large fields of color. Overall, this redesign makes Redhook look like it’s been around the 35 years that it has, whereas the previous design looked like it was trying too hard to compete with the onslaught of craft beers and now also capitalizes on the current trend in reviving visual elements from companies’ and products’ origins.