Swedish beer Bellman repositioned to tell story of its namesake

Everland redraws wordmark and celebrates composer Bellman in an effort to say more about the Carlsberg-owned pilsner than its alcohol strength.

Scandinavian design studio Everland has redesigned Swedish beer brand Bellman with a new custom drawn wordmark and redrawn portrait of its namesake.

The pilsner is named after Swedish musician and poet Carl Michael Bellman, who had a major influence on Swedish music. His portrait along with his birth and death date embellish the front of the can. The number six on the can references the beer’s ABV percentage. In Bellman’s era, a beer of this strength would have been known as a “double beer”.

Everland partner and creative director Carl Larsson explains how the studio adapted the layout of these brand assets to better communicate “the storytelling of the flavour” rather than the “generic alcohol level”. The logotype and the portrait have been enlarged for “brand impact, aiming to better highlight the link to Bellman”, says Larsson.

He adds that the previous logotype “lacked both quality and impact”, explaining how the new custom drawn wordmark seeks to increase these factors. In turn, Larsson says this should “adjust the hierarchy” and shift consumer focus from Bellman’s high alcohol content to its high quality.

One of the letter L’s in the logotype has shrunk and now sits within the larger L, which aims to “adds craft and character to the Bellman logotype”, says Larsson. He adds that the secondary purpose of this design feature was to allow Everland to “make better use of the can surface and achieve a more balanced logotype”.

Updates to the portrait were made to “increase the level of detail”, which Larsson says will “reflect the craftsmanship in the product” and “support the origin story of the beer”.

Everland sought to build on the brand’s legacy by continuing the black base colour of the can onto the lid, making it “more unique”, says Larsson. He adds that the white of the graphics was “adjusted to an off-white tint and gold” colour, to create a “softer” overall look.

“Working on something dear to many people is a great and rewarding challenge for all designers and requires delicacy”, says Larsson. While a “design overhaul” was needed to “future-proof” the brand, Larsson says the studio had to strike a balance between “familiarity and ambition”.

Larsson’s hope is that Everland’s redesigned Bellman brand becomes “more appealing to younger consumers, is suitable for changing category patterns and makes fans fall in love with the beer again”.

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