Posts in Your Favourite Label

Your Favourite Label 003 ~ Sam Taylor, Hop Culture

December 12th, 2018 Posted by Beer, Design, Your Favourite Label 0 thoughts on “Your Favourite Label 003 ~ Sam Taylor, Hop Culture”

Ho-Ho-Hollo (does that work?) one and all to the December issue of Your Favourite Label.

Hop Culture are an online publication who do a terrific job celebrating all things wonderful in beer. They create some of the best articles and merchandise in the biz as well as putting on some seriously good events. Recently their apri-ski themed winter invitational was a massive hit as was Beers With(out) Beards a weeklong celebration of women in the beer industry last summer. 

All their gorgeous invitations, glassware and pins come from someone, and that someone is UK illustrator Sam Taylor. We spoke this month on Die Hard, fast planes and Jack Nicholson. Enjoy…

WHAT WAS THE LAST BEER YOU DRUNK?

I think it was a Stella, some sort of lager anyway.

THE FIRST BEER YOU DRUNK?

I’ve pretty much only ever drank the same stuff, basic lagers. Although when I was a student I went mad on cider, any kind, even K Cider which is totally toxic, I don’t think it even has apples in it to be honest! I never drink cider these days though, way too sugary for me. I’m a beer boy.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BEER? 

I’m pretty simple in my tastes. Every now and then I’ll have a Guinness and very rarely I’ll have something more crafty but most of the time I drink Stella, Estrella, Amstel, that sort of thing. I put my hands up, I’m no craft beer nerd or expert!

Soldiers of Summer – Sam Taylor

WHY DON’T YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAME TO MEET THE HOP CULTURE TEAM? 

I’m an illustrator based in London, UK. They (Travis and Kenny, owners of Hop Culture) emailed me a while ago because they’d seen some work that I’d done for a different company and they asked if I’d like to work with them. Of course I was down, all of their ideas sounded great, but nothing really happened for a while and then, a few months later, they were ready to get things going and sent me my first commissions. I had no idea that it would snowball like it has. I’m stoked to be involved.

Sam Taylor, UK based illustrator

WHAT’S IT LIKE DESIGNING HOP CULTURE MAGAZINE? CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS AT ALL? 

Sure. Firstly, they email me a brief, for example the Summer Invitational festival and they tell me what products we’re going to be working on, glassware, t-shirts etc. They give me some ideas and a general direction to go in and then I run with it. They came to me in the first place because they like what I do so I have a lot of freedom with what I draw. I try my best to include all the things they want but I also inject a lot of my own characters so that I can be most proud of the end product.

Summer Invitational – Sam Taylor

YOUR FAVOURITE LABEL? 

Branding wise I like classic, simple stuff mostly, like Red Stripe, stuff that’s bold and has instant brand recognition. I’m also really into old-timey moonshine with a big ‘X’ on the glass or jug, that’s very cartoony to me, like those old Acme anvils in Roadrunner.

I like the Asahi label, the silver and black is satisfying. Art label-wise I like the work of Alec Doherty for Partizan Brewing, his illustrations are great.

Alec Doherty for Partizan Brewing

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? 

All over. I listen to a broad range of podcasts that inspire me a lot, I like to listen to creative people in any discipline and try to absorb their lessons and take on board techniques or whatever. I also love art documentaries, it doesn’t even matter who it’s about most of the time.

I watch a lot of films, listen to music and talk to my friends about art. I generally try to consume as much as possible. I try my best to remember things I find interesting and most of the time my interests find their way into my art.

IF YOU COULD HAVE SOMEONE PLAY YOU IN A FILM, WHO WOULD IT BE? 

I’d like to let a young Jack Nicholson take the roll, just ‘cus. He’d have to learn the Leicester accent though.

WHAT’S THE ONE SUBJECT YOU THINK YOU COULD BEAT ANYONE ANSWERING ON? 

I did win a pub quiz the other night for my team by answering a question about ‘00s pop music in a quick answer round but I wouldn’t say that.

Maybe films? Or The Simpsons?

But there are definitely people out there that know more about that than me. Erm, I’m going to go with Die Hard.

The Carrot King – Sam Taylor

GOT ANY GOOD FACTS OR JOKES FOR US? 

The SR-71 Blackbird is the fastest plane to ever take flight, with a top recorded speed of 2,193.13mph (July 1976), it could fly from New York to London in under two hours, how’s that?

ADVISE FOR ASPIRING DESIGNERS? 

You’ve got to draw a lot. All the time.

Constantly record your ideas and be on the look out for new ways you can implement them. I think you need to have some sort of natural talent and work really hard at the same time, one by it’s self isn’t enough. Come up with your own way of doing things. Do as much work as you can. Contact the people or companies that you want to work for and show them what you can offer.

Be positive!

The Birthday Party – Sam Taylor

NOW SUM ALL THAT UP IN ONE WORD… 

I’d rather sum it up in an emoji: 😅

Juicy Weiner – Sam Taylor

Hope you enjoyed the article. For more good reads, interviews and news from the wonderful world of alcohol, you can sign up to our monthly ‘Top 5 Alcohol Marketing Stories‘ newsletter or follow YesMore Agency on Linkedin.

If you’d like to hire our excellent team contact hello@Yesmore.co.uk (for both US & UK work) or if working with us sounds fun (it is) email Jobs@Yesmore.co.uk 

If you want to get back to the main site just click this way.

Your Favourite Label 002 ~ Benjamin Kinzer of 21st Amendment Brewery

November 13th, 2018 Posted by Beer, Design, Your Favourite Label 0 thoughts on “Your Favourite Label 002 ~ Benjamin Kinzer of 21st Amendment Brewery”

In the second episode in the series I sat down with Senior Designer at 21st Amendment Brewery, Benjamin Kinzer. We talked all things beer and design (as usual) as well as the chaos which comes with all of it! Enjoy…  

WHAT WAS THE LAST BEER YOU DRUNK?

East Brother Bo Pils, brewed just around the corner from me in Richmond, CA. I’m so tired of IPAs at the moment and it’s too warm in California to be drinking dark beers.

THE FIRST BEER YOU DRUNK?

I have no idea, but some of my fondest memories involved Widmer’s Hefeweizen. After a full day riding motorcycles in the backcountry, we stopped by the bar and would order a pitcher of Hefe.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BEER (BESIDES 21ST AMENDMENT OF COURSE)? 

My all-time favorite beer was Alpha Queen Quadrupel IPA from Boneyard Brewing, not even sure they make it anymore, but it hit you right up front with sweet malt notes and finished with a bitter bite.

The only down fall was I had a whole growler to myself in the middle of summer in Bend, Oregon when it was 101°F in the shade… 🙂 10% ABV + 101 degrees + 64 oz…

Benjamin Kinzer, Down To Earth, 21st Amendment

Benjamin Kinzer, Down To Earth, 21st Amendment

WHAT’S IT LIKE DESIGNING FOR 21ST AMENDMENT? CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS AT ALL? 

Chaos. Kidding.

Well in my head it’s a bit of chaos. I’m given a style of beer and sometimes a name, If no name is provided I organize a workshop. After we have a name I sketch as many ideas as I can into a sketchbook, edit down the ideas that work within the brand, tell a story and feel relevant to our audience.

Usually I will present anywhere from 1-5 ideas to the team in sketch form, then the team makes a decision. From there we either begin the design in-house or find an Illustrator, work through a few rounds of sketches, finalize the illustration, hand draw the type and design the layout for the packaging.

YOUR FAVOURITE LABEL? 

Wow, there are so many good labels out there. So it would be a tie between Keith Shore for Mikkeller or Gretta Johnson for GRIMM. I love the HMRC Wheat Ale (Mikkeller Running Club) and Gretta Johnsons Ink Sumi for Grimm (below).

Ohhh but there is the Bionic Brew China label…  But I think Recipe #1000 BA Sauternes by Mikkeller (also below) is probably my all-time favorite label.

Taking the classic poster of Michal Jordan Wings and swap Jordan for your quirky character for your #1000 recipe is brilliant and simple.

Gretta Johnsons, Grimm: Sumi Ink

Gretta Johnsons, Grimm: Sumi Ink

#1000 by Mikkeller

#1000 by Mikkeller

 

 

FAVOURITE LABEL YOU’VE WORKED ON? 

I’m not sure how to answer this question. This is extremely difficult. Carpe Diem Mañana (below) was a wonderful opportunity, really fun project to work on and really enjoyed working with Paul Arney at The Ale Apothecary.

A Terrible Idea, a collaboration between 21st Amendment Brewery and Fieldworks, was also an interesting project as I was invited to a meeting with the founders of both breweries and all they did was talk about how they found their way to brewing. There were some funny stories, which I used for the content of the 6-pack. 

Benjamin Kinzer, Carpe Diem Mañana

Benjamin Kinzer, Carpe Diem Mañana

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?

Long walks on the beach, holding hands… kidding. Walking is a great way to get ideas flowing. When I’m attempting to surf. Reading, a lot of reading. Sometimes the shower. You would be surprised how many people love to offer up ideas as well and if it’s good I will definitely pursue it.

I often use music to inspire my work. I also visit a handful of websites, which will lead to an endless pursuit of information, that leads to an article on how many Chimpanzees the United States Government killed trying to reach space, and next thing you know, you have an idea for Bitter American. Sorry to go gloomy on that.

Or I might just smoke a joint, it is California after all.

IF YOU COULD HAVE SOMEONE PLAY YOU IN A FILM, WHO WOULD IT BE? 

Javier Bardem.

WHAT’S THE ONE SUBJECT YOU THINK YOU COULD BEAT ANYONE ANSWERING ON? 

Benjamin Kinzer’s life.

GOT ANY GOOD FACTS OR JOKES FOR US? 

“Why did the orange cross the road? To peel out!” – My son was three years old when he told me that joke and he came up with it all by himself. Might not be the best joke, but the coolest memory.

ADVISE FOR ASPIRING BEER / BREWERY DESIGNERS? 

Design is f*&king hard, or at least for me it is:

Always keep a sketchbook.

When you feel hopeless, want to cry, or just quit, keep pushing, you are almost there.

Essentially always pursue the best idea until you have no more time.

Don’t kick yourself if you didn’t make any progress, you actually did sub-consciously.

Find the masters you love and study their work.

NOW SUM ALL THAT UP IN ONE WORD… 

Cheers!

 

Hope you enjoyed the article. For more good reads, interviews and news from the wonderful world of alcohol, you can sign up to our monthly ‘Top 5 Alcohol Marketing Stories‘ newsletter or follow YesMore Agency on Linkedin.

If you’d like to hire our excellent team contact hello@Yesmore.co.uk (for both US & UK work) or if working with us sounds fun (it is) email Jobs@Yesmore.co.uk 

If you want to get back to the main site just click this way.

Your Favourite Label 001 ~ Earl Holloway of KCBC Brewery

September 19th, 2018 Posted by Beer, Design, Your Favourite Label 1 thought on “Your Favourite Label 001 ~ Earl Holloway of KCBC Brewery”

This month I sat down to talk about the design process from paper to can with KCBC’s very own Creative Director, Earl Holloway. Earl has been designing can art for the brewery for a few years now. He took the time to share a few tips ‘n’ tricks he’s picked up along the way. Enjoy!

1. WHY DON’T YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO WHERE YOU’RE AT NOW?

We can go way back on this question but to be brief I can say that for as far back as I can remember I liked drawing a lot. The desire to create images has stuck it out in me through ups and downs. Like a lot of other people it was a coping mechanism at first, a way to exercise control, a pretense to interact with people. For a person like me because that was all pretty important as I was a bit of an introverted kid.
More to the point I’ve been friendly with one of the head brewers Peter Lengyel for close to thirteen years. He was working in biology at the time and had started home brewing in earnest in, I believe, 2006 and shortly thereafter embarked on becoming a professional brewer. When he opened up KCBC with his partners he and the other brewers approached me to produce some labels and see what would come out. I can say safely that we gelled well and have gone on to make some interested work together. 

Art and commerce can create wonderful things, it has made for a creative space for people to work in which has really been missing due to the reduction of the print and newspaper world.


2. YOU HAVE SUCH A UNIQUE STYLE, WAS THIS SOMETHING VERY PERSONAL TO YOU BEFORE YOU MET KCBC? IF SO WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

The way I’m working on KCBC material is from the tradition of comic books down through its history. It’s really fun to understand and use comics as a starting point for what I want to get across because most people already know the language so the art produced is usually immediately accessible. I had the good fortune of being able to study with an artist named Jack Potter in which I gained a wealth of knowledge of understanding how to put pictures together and to expand on my drawing skills. I draw a lot of my influence from comics, film, animation, German Expressionism, pulp cover art, traditional painting, American illustrative art from the 1950’s and 60’s and British science fiction illustrators from the 1970’s and 1980’s. 

3. HOW HAVE KCBC BEEN ABLE TO PUSH YOUR STYLE AND CREATIVITY? DO YOU FEEL AS IF THE BREWERY IS EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS IN TERMS OF DESIGN?

One of the most alluring parts of working with KCBC is that they’re interested in collaborating. As much on imagery as they’re with working in tandem with other breweries. Because of that dynamic the three brewers all have differing interests in terms of subject matter. Zack Kinney (KCBC brewer) for example worked in advertising so he has a fundamental understanding of the creative process. He and I work closely on ideas for upcoming labels. KCBC uses a very talented graphic designer named Christy Borg, she makes the fonts and package elements that adorn the cans. This all ultimately means I’m learning how to dovetail my coworkers wants with what I want to do, along with a time crunch and how to operate in those limitations-something I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

4. MOST DESIGNERS HAVE A PROCESS THEY LIKE TO TAKE ON THEIR WORK, WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO TALK US THROUGH YOURS?

My principle way of approaching KCBC labels is working out everything I possibly can on paper. First comes a talk with the brewers to see what they have planned and going over some gut reactions to our conversations. From there it’s on to thumbnail sketches and looking at work people have done that will inform what I’m working on (this could be from photography, film, sculpture, illustration, cartooning etc…). I move on to drawing things out in pencil and non photo blue penciling to get everything worked out and then on to inks and then on using a computer to color digitally and do editing there as well.

5. THE DESIGNS ARE PRETTY WILD, IS THERE ANYTHING KCBC HAVE EVER SAID NO TO?

That’s a tough one because there’s usually an array of sketches produced with the name of the beer in mind. The brewers come up with interesting names that inform the imagery which I can start playing with. 

6. BEER DESIGN IS NOW BOOMING. I THINK I SEE A NEW CAN EACH TIME I CAN INTO MY LOCAL SHOP. ARE THERE ANY REPEATING TRENDS YOU’RE NOTICING, BOTH GOOD AND BAD? HOW DO YOU THINK BREWERIES AND DESIGNERS CAN STAND OUT FROM EACH OTHER?

First and foremost it’s nice to see small breweries populating the area I live in and some of the breweries seem committed to go that extra mile to make room for art. I understand completely why they do this but art and commerce can create wonderful things, it has made for a creative space for people to work in which has really been missing due to the reduction of the print and newspaper world and I always see interesting stuff at my local super market. What I see a lot of is an either/or trend between graphics and text heavy label design. To me it’s always more interesting to see a pairing of the two. 

7. MANY GRAPHIC DESIGNERS OUT THERE PROBABLY WOULD LOVE TO GET THEIR DESIGN ON A CAN, ANY TIPS FOR THEM?

I can only tell you what I know. Unbeknownst to me I had the good fortune of having a brewery interested in what I was doing personally for a while before they reached out. I had spent about five years steadily working on my own self published comic book, sketch book drawing and generally the type of art that put me in the position of being able to work with KCBC. I can’t stress how much I didn’t pursue artwork with that in mind. In fact I had all but ruled out working for or with other people, I was only creating for myself and the friends that were interested in what I was doing. What I’ve gleaned from other label artists I’ve interacted with, they say find a brewery you like but has shitty art on it and see if they’re interested in working with you. 

8. FINALLY CAN YOU TELL US WHAT’S NEXT FOR KCBC AND THEIR CANS? ANY ARTWORK WE SHOULD BE KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR?

KCBC turns two years old on September 6, 2018, I would say there’s going to be a big party and everyone will be having some fun. The brewery is continuing to put out seasonal varieties of beers and collaborating with breweries both near and far. They’ve been steadily growing and have had a very good first and second year. It really looks as if that trend will continue for them, which is great to see. Hopefully I’ll continue to evolve in my roll, become stronger with composition and drawing and keep putting out work on their labels that are a lot of fun to look at and keep people engaged. 

Hope you enjoyed the interview. For more interviews and news from the wonderful world of alcohol, you can sign up to our newsletter in the right hand column of this article. 

If working with us sounds fun why not email Jobs@Yesmore.co.uk? And if you’d like to hire our excellent team just say hello – hello@Yesmore.co.uk  

If you want to get back to the main site just click this way.