As Chris and I have worked to develop the concept of what The Virginia Beer Company means to us, we've had to decide on what that means for the business we have been working to build. What kind of taproom do our customers want to visit? What types of beer will be offered year round or seasonally? What kind of logo will represent the brewery name and beers? As with all decisions to this point, logo design is an aspect of the brewery and our future beer that has been a carefully crafted part of our new brand. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and let it be known that this was rarely truer than in the craft brewing industry.
As I mentioned in my post about a brewery’s use of social media, it’s always true that at some point the beer will speak for the brewery so marketing doesn't matter in the long run. To an extent this may be true when it comes to traditional channels of marketing, but anyone who says a brewery’s logo doesn't matter is full of hokum…bunkum even! A brewery’s logo and individual beer logos from there are memorable pieces of the craft beer experience. When you try your first Pliny the Elder, it’s not just the joy of trying one of the most sought after DIPA’s on the market today, it’s also the sight of that iconic red sphere at the center of the bottle that makes even the most profound beer enthusiast giddy. When you decide to imbibe a brew from Brooklyn Brewery, it’s near impossible to miss the iconic B-logo, whether on a tap handle, bottle, or at the entrance to the hallowed grounds of the brewery.
A logo helps to embed the core concept of the type of brewery you’re entering, the style of beer you’re trying, and the overall experience you’re about to enjoy. Whether it be based on color, style, shape, or size, brand image and logos are intertwined with the craft beer they represent. Consider the artistic nature of label art from Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project versus the simplicity and serenity of designs seen on Maine Beer Company offerings. Both brewery's create exceptional beers and provide exceptional serving experiences for the senses beyond the standard tasting notes. It’s important to establish a brand style that matches your brewery and your beers. These are the images that will follow you and your beers for the life of your business! Consider how you want potential consumers to view your draft offerings at the taproom and local pubs. When thrown in with a sea of peers in the local bottle shop, how will your bottles or cans stand out amongst the crowd?
We’ll continue to revisit the core concept that good beer stands on its own. But part of the fun of starting a business is coming up with a logo that’s your own…something unique that others will recognize and, like us, get excited about! Chris and I have truly enjoyed the experience of molding a brand image for our new brand name. And it's caused a few gray hairs as well; everyone has their own opinions, especially when it comes to style and art. With a name like Virginia Beer Co. we have plenty of imagery to work with. But in that vein we also wanted to highlight our backgrounds and opening location of Williamsburg, VA. We wanted a splash of color but something simple and easily translated across a number of mediums – bottles, cans, taps, kegs, glassware, apparel, stickers, etc. Plus something that would look great on building signage and a giant grain silo! We've worked with a number of artists, friends and professional references alike, and just as we collaborated back and forth to find the perfect name for the brewery and the perfect location for VBC, we've worked to develop the best logo for us and our new business.
Designing a logo has definitely opened up the creative flood gates and made us even more excited for what we are going to be brewing in the future. For any new brewery, designing a logo has to be taken seriously. It can be expensive, it can be time consuming, and it can be stressful. We’ll spend time in future posts talking about protecting your logo with trademark law as well going through the visual history of our logo, where it began and where it’s going. But for the sake of this post, just remember that opening a brewery is supposed to be fun. It’s hard work, but in an incredible industry. There’s so much vibrancy and beauty in the world and in beer; so find your muse and work to develop a logo that speaks to you and speaks for your beers. When you find the right icon and imagery, it’s one more piece of a very large puzzle that’s going to lead you to success. So we hope you enjoy The Virginia Beer Company's brand design, and we hope if this picture speaks a thousand words the beer will speak millions!