Tag Archives: art

Craft Beer Author Posters

For my senior capstone project, I created the craft beer series Aleing Authors which is inspired by great 19th and 20th century writers and their works. These posters highlight each unique beer that corresponds to the authors.

I really enjoy seeing the variety and innovation in spirits and liquor packaging. My interest was particularly caught by the multitudes of craft beer labels I saw and the spike in small craft breweries. The labels of these craft beer bottles had bold personalities of their own and often made humorous cultural references. I love the unique combination of flavors found in craft beer, you won’t find a bacon maple ale or chili beer offered in the large scale industrial breweries.

Additionally, in a time where most of our products, clothing, and electronics are outsourced half way across the world, it is welcoming to see local breweries growing in popularity and supported for the quality and distinctiveness of their product. A renaissance is occurring in the craft beer world.

While researching craft beers, I knew I wanted to create a series, I just had not decided what kind of series it would be. I wanted my beer to have a distinct personality, spark conversations, and be witty and humorous. My beer line would be strongly themed and reach a small niched audience, but resonate strongly with those people. I had considered musicians, artists, dictators, and authors. As I researched, I quickly discovered that the latter had already been referenced in many beers, but there were not so many beers that alluded to authors. I felt that this subject was rich in content and symbolism. I knew that many of my favorite authors were troubled and struggled to cope with their success and usually used alcohol as means to accomplish this.

There are two types of people I wished to target with my craft beer series. The first category includes craft beer enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and brewers. These people would be mainly interested in the quality and flavor of the beer. They include men and women who prefer craft beer over other alcoholic beverages and usually have a greater knowledge of the brewing process than the typical person.

The second segment targeted are educated, literary-minded consumers. The category also varies greatly in age and gender. However, this is a niched group that will recognize the authors featured in the craft beer series. They will understand the references which may be unfamiliar to the layman, and thus recognize the value of my product.

As well as being sold directly from the brewery, my Aleing Authors series would be sold at literary themed bars and restaurants such as The Dead Poet and stocked in stores.

First, my brewery needed a good, solid name. My brewery would ideally be creating many beer series and not all would be related to literature. I settled on Old Inkwell Artisan Brewers because it loosely connects with the Aleing Authors beer series but could also stand alone as its own entity. This was important for any future pieces I wanted to create that would only have the brewery name and not include the beer series.

Old Inkwell craft beer LogoI knew I wanted a hand drawn logo stylistically similar to a woodcut or etching. I love hand-drawn type, and I also studied many examples of antique woodcut letters and signs as inspiration. I also looked at many brewery logos and noted that most of them were circular and fit nicely wrapped around the neck of a bottle or printed on the cap. I wanted to follow this tradition and began sketching ideas. I choose to place the name in a waving banner similar to many antique posters I saw from the turn of the 19th century.

I decided relatively quickly on Aleing Authors as the title for the beer series. I loved the play on words and the fact that the authors I chose were suffering in their own ways. Now, I needed to choose my specific authors and name their unique beer flavors. I connected the style of beer, the name and specific ingredients to the authors and their literary works. I also incorporated imagery from their famous novels on the labels as well as appropriate quotes.

Virginia Woolf craft beer poster

Virginia Woolf was an English writer, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. She uses the literary device stream of consciousness in her narratives. This device depicts the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind. As a play on words, I decided to call this English pale ale Stream of Unconsciousness. Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse is also referenced.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Craft Beer PosterF. Scott Fitzgerald was an American author whose works reflect the Jazz Age. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Known to be a big fan of gin, Fitzgerald’s drink is a juniper infused wheat beer called Double Vision. This is play on the double vision Fitzgerald experienced in his own life. He had the ability to experience the lifestyle of the wealthy from an insider’s perspective, yet never felt a part of this clique and always felt the outsider.

Oscar Wilde craft beer poster

Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. He became one of London’s most popular playwrights. His drink is an absinthe pilsner called The Pilsner of Dorian Gray. He is notorious for his excessive drinking of absinthe.

Mary Shelley Craft Beer Poster

Mary Shelley was an English Romantic novelist and short story writer best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. I chose a caffeinated old ale to reference the electrical experiments used in galvanism and the title Galvanized Grog.

Edgar Allen Poe Craft Beer posters

Edgar Allen Poe was an American author and poet considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story. His drink, a New England dark ale alludes to his Bostonian heritage and life in Baltimore. Once Upon a Midnight Draught references the first line in his poem, The Raven.

Ernest Hemingway Carft Beer poster

Earnest Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction. He reacted against the elaborate style of 19th century writers by creating a style in which meaning is established through dialogue and very little is stated explicitly. He often depicts scenes of war and popularized the term the lost generation. His beer Anis del Toro lager is a direct reference to Hills like White Elephants in which the characters are drinking a Spanish beer of the same name. The title of my beer The Old Man and the Swill is a play off of his novel, The Old Man and the Sea.

One of my major concerns was balancing the old with the new. I wanted my beer to have a nostalgic feel to it, yet interest a contemporary audience. I wanted my portraits to bridge this gap by illustrating them in a graphic novel fashion. I felt like this style energized these long dead authors and primed them for a 21st century audience. I also wanted to pull in new eyes that may be unfamiliar with the authors and their works but would be drawn to the illustrative style.

Over the course of the semester, I learned a ton about these six authors as well as the rich craft beer culture and brewing process. I learned to appreciate the subtleties of a good beer and the appropriate visual language that is needed to create a sense of atmosphere and energize a product. I learned much about hierarchy and activating the space on the front of the bottle to create a dynamic composition. I feel like I want to further explore the field of package design because it offers so many unique and exciting opportunities.

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Aleing Authors – Craft Beer Portraits

I’ve completed three more author portraits for my capstone project. Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley, and Oscar Wilde. These along with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald totals up to five portraits completed so far. The last one I need to draw is Virginia Woolf. Mary Shelley was extremely difficult to draw, mainly because I was referencing an oil painting, which was very challenging to transfer into a graphic image. There are few good portraits of her on the internet, and it doesn’t help that her features are awfully plain to begin with. Wilde and Poe were easy with their unique and striking qualities.

Next steps after completing all the portraits will be to put each on their individual craft beer label. Along with those six labels, I plan to create a six pack carrying case as well as a media kit and a display poster for a beer tasting festival. I also will be printing the logo (I haven’t figured out how yet) onto coasters. I’ve got only about 5 weeks left before this project is due. Quite a big challenge lays ahead of me!

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Old Inkwell Brewery: Senior Capstone

For my senior capstone project, I chose to design packaging and the identity for a brewery which I named Old Inkwell. I plan to design 6 craft beers based off of famous authors such as Earnest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, and Mary Shelly. I have been doing a lot of research on each of the authors, as well as learning a lot about the brewing process. I want to pair specific types of beer with each author appropriately while additionally choosing witty names for them. So far, I have decided that the series will be called Aleing Authors. I have a few names for each of the specific author beers and will post them as I progress. As far as the style, I am drawing inspiration from a lot of nineteenth century posters and typography, as well as many craft beers such as Rouge, Bocanegra, and Ballistic Brewing Co. I also have been inspired by Helm’s Workshop and Tomasz Biernat who both incorporate vintage aesthetics with modern design.

This logo was completely hand drawn except for the text “artisan brewers” and “est. 2012”. But besides that everything else is hand drawn and outlined in ink. I aimed to create a wood carved-esque, etched, illustrative logo using an inkwell as my subject. I was inspired by hand drawn type and slab serifs from the nineteenth century. I not only will apply this logo to the bottle necks and beer caps of my project, but also to coasters and promotional materials that I hope to create as secondary pieces for my capstone. I will be updating this blog as I continue researching and designing elements of my project of this semester.

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Saber: Street Artist

One of my favorite street artists is Saber. I think he makes many valid points about the health care system and how we’ve really come to a crossroads in our country. We’re so divided, that progress is at a stand still, and we need to do something and come to a compromise. We need more people: artists, designers, and educators to challenge the system and make their voices heard. His piece reminds me of Jasper Johns’ American Flag.

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National Blues Museum Windows

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This project is something you do once in a lifetime, it a very unique opportunity to be a part of.

Recently, my graphic design class at Maryville University participated in painting the windows of the soon to be museum for the National Blues Museum located on Washington Ave. in Saint Louis, Missouri. The window mural is about a city block in length and 11 feet tall. The goal of the mural was to incite a sense of liveliness and energy in the area and for the future museum. The windows are creating a lot of buzz and interest in the museum. The blog documenting our class’s work and progress can be found here.

We were also featured on KPLR Saint Louis, here is the link to the video.

I helped come up with the concept and design for some of the windows. Below is the section I designed.

section of the National Blues Museum Windows I designed and partly painted

Planning the concept for the National Blues Museum’s window mural was a project that was unlike any other I have had in school. First of all, I was surprised at the creative freedom we were given in planning the design for the windows. There were very little requirements other than the logos for The MX District, The Laurel Building, and The National Blues Museum that needed to be included. I found it a challenge designing for such a huge scale. It is hard to imagine how your work will transfer once it has been blown up to scale.

This was my first time working on a project with real clients. I had imagined they would be much more demanding and strict, but in reality, they were very friendly and provided us with lots of information on the project and building.

The whole project still didn’t seem real until we were at the site and started prepping the windows and drawing the outlines of the shapes. While working on the windows, it finally came together in my mind that this project was actually happening. Up until that point, it still seemed like a fictional class assignment. I was excited to finally see our concepts put into action.

Overall, I had a lot of fun working downtown on the windows. Many pedestrians were curious about the project, asking questions and taking pictures of us working, which I believe will really work in favor of the museum. I think that with the attention we are receiving for just the basic window prepping, when the actual painting is up, people will really be excited and curious. Overall, I found the work very engaging and challenging because we were transferring a drawing from an 8.5” by 11” sheet of paper to windows measuring 5.5’ by 11’. This project is something you do once in a lifetime, it a very unique opportunity to be a part of.

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