Butcombe Brewery rebrands to shake off “dinosaur” image

Halo has designed a new visual identity and packaging for the brewery, with the aim of tapping into the craft beer trend and targeting a younger audience.

Halo has rebranded Butcombe Brewery, creating a new visual identity and packaging design for the brand in order to appeal to younger beer drinkers.

The consultancy has designed a new hand-drawn logo which uses the brewery’s full name “Butcombe Brewing Co.”, as well as commissioning designer Pedro Oyarbide to create a series of humorous illustrations for each of its beers.

“Butcombe was looking to broaden the appeal of the brand and target a younger audience without losing the traditional elements that made it special,” says Halo founder and creative partner, Nick Ellis.

“Dinosaur” brand

Oyarbide’s comic book-style illustrations have been incorporated to help move away from the “stereotypical trappings” associated with the Bristol-based brewery’s original branding, Ellis adds.

The label on the brewery’s original flavour beer now features an illustration of a Tyrannosaurus rex as a play on the brewery being seen as a “dinosaur” beer brand, says Ellis.

’78 range

Halo has also designed the identity and packaging for Butcombe’s new ‘78 range which has been positioned as the brewery’s response to the rise of the craft beer trend in the UK, particularly among younger people.

The range comprises ten limited edition beers, each of which features a colourful design related to an event that occurred in the year that the brewery was founded in 1978.

The rebrand will roll out across all touchpoints this month.

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  • Jonathan Evans February 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Interesting proliferation in ale company rebrands. Can’t help but wonder if the clamor to keep up with the trendy craft ale market, is actually leading to brands looking nearly the same rather than achieving an individual look that separates them in the marketplace. Surely breweries like Butcombe (who actually make great beers, which is novel in these days of pale ale and ‘explosions of new world hops, lychee and pineapple!’) would be better to go for a classic look that plays on its history more?

    I have never liked their beers, but this is clearly what Shepherd Neame did recently – using their heritage to pull themselves away from the rest of the market – though I am yet to see this rebrand roll out in my local Lidl it seems…(https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/26-september-2-october-2016/britains-oldest-brewery-shepherd-neame-reveals-new-brand-identity/)

    As a graphic designer I love the look of that 78 range, but it is a trendy look that is so similar to every other craft ale in a 330ml bottle and can at the moment – it’s starting to look like graphic design for graphic designers. Surely the craft ale market must go beyond 20-something creatives in Shoreditch bars… Suddenly BrewDog is looking like the norm, instead of the exception, in fact maybe BrewDog need a rebrand…

    This recent story on Design Week ‘Hip Hops branding, by Eat with Your Eyes’ (https://www.designweek.co.uk/inspiration/hip-hops-branding-eat-eyes/). “Branding agency Eat with Your Eyes has designed its own range of craft beers, called Hip Hops.” A branding agency is brewing beer now? Or a branding agency has designed some beautiful bottles and then put some home brew in them? How much time was spent developing the actual beer I ask myself? In fact, I might go and design some trendy bottles over the next few weeks, and then get a home brew kit and ‘boom’! Oh yeah, I’ve never brewed before… doesn’t matter though does it?

    In a few years the thirst (!) for trendy craft ales will subside and we will be left with the best beers – some older breweries and some newer, not just the best logo/packaging design. I will stop getting sucked into buying cans of ‘Pistonhead’ and stick to beers developed with care and expertise where the branding is a true reflection of the company and its ethos. I bet Brew Dog will still be around as they clearly spent time developing the beer as well as the idea, but let’s hope proper breweries like Butcombe, Fullers, Hook Norton, Adnams, don’t get lost in the froth of trying to compete with the latest trend.

    Oh no, I just realised…. at 36 I am not a young ale drinker, those companies aren’t trying to appeal to me anyway…ouch. I better go and have a pint of bitter and a ploughman’s.

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