Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Logo love

I've been thinking a lot about logos recently. For all intents and purposes, we will be phasing out the original name and logo for the little homebrewing project as we look toward the future. There were two reasons behind this: first, it was too reminiscent of other business names in the state, and second, the logo was too reminiscent of a few others.

Having put them away, though, I've started thinking about logos for breweries. It seems like there are a few basics. You have the crest; you have the logo with hop cones; you have the brewing equipment illustration. To be honest, I'm a little bored with all three, and judging from the identities I've seen on recently opened breweries, so are others. And with good reason...

A crest? If you have a family crest, great. Use it. It's a nod to history and tradition. If you don't have a crest, why create one? What do you gain by trying to reference a brewing tradition that isn't actually your own? Be new. Find a new path.

Hop flowers? Grain sheafs? I think we all know that hops and grains are the integral parts of beer. See the first point. You're not adding anything new to the visual landscape by using one more hop cone. Find another visual.

Equipment? Sure, I like a pretty copper kettle as much as any beer person. Do I care whether your brewhouse is a copper kettle? Maybe, but it certainly won't make me think "Hey, I want to buy their beer!"

In the end, I'm a fan of simple and clean. I like classic looks and type treatments that are appropriate to the image you're creating. If there's a local connection, even better. Use it, but don't force it. Ultimately, it's all just a paper tiger, though. People buy the beer, not the logo. They will seek out a good product because it's good; a good identity is the head on the pint.

That said, will I obsess over this as we start moving closer to business ideas? Probably. You can make me drink my words when I greenlight the first logo that uses a woodcut hop cone.