Responses by Johan Debit, cofounder/graphic designer, Brand Brothers
Background: Brasserie Diagonale, or the Diagonale Brewery, was born from the imagination of Thierry and Benoît, two long-time friends whose respective careers have taken them all over the world. The idea of creating an independent microbrewery in Broussy-le-Grand, Marne, France, was born in 2019, with the objective of sharing the singular life trajectories of the two founders in craft beers.
Reasoning: Our graphic proposal revolves around an extensive typographic and symbolic language. The logotype, composed of letters with pronounced inverted contrasts, was designed especially for the occasion and serves as the basis for a collection of 80 glyphs that enrich the narrative and the imagination around Diagonale beers. Designed in the style of the original Dingbats, these symbols allow for a variety of compositions, forming a simple and powerful graphic backbone. Associated with Gramatika, this visual language is developed on the first two cans of the brand, an e-commerce site designed by the studio and a series of posters.
Challenges: We only had four months from the start of the project to the release of the first production. The incubation time of the problematic was extremely short, so we had to grasp the general spirit of the brand in a short time to quickly embark on the first graphic research. We were also aligned to move towards a strong, raw and uncompromising graphic territory. We were given total confidence—a true creative freedom that offered a wide field of exploration, which we seized to push our graphic intention to the limits. In the end, this project was of a rare intensity; at the beginning of March, on the dot, the first 10,000 cans left the production site.
Favorite details: The extent of the graphic language. We created a logotype based on a typographic design with pronounced contrasts. Achieving a perfect balance of the nine letters was a real challenge, as we wanted to evoke the diagonal within the typogram. So, in the final logo, the A and O reproduced this effect in a subtle way. But beyond that, in order to develop a much richer language, telling the genesis of the project, the multiple journeys of Thierry and Benoît and their conception of beer, we expanded the typogram into a complete graphic grammar composed of dozens of dingbats, which can be assembled between them infinitely. They take up the graphic fundamentals of the typographic design of the logo while developing on multiple themes.
Visual influences: I’ll take this question in reverse: We carefully studied the visual expression of the world of craft beers, which is atomized and varied, and came to the conclusion that what we observed did not correspond to what we imagined for the visual identity of a new beer brand. We wanted to go back to a universe based on a monumental, powerful typographic block with a singular design—all without relying on traditional representations of the world of beer, its origins and its ingredients. Our clients were ready to adopt something strong, without compromise. So we led our clients through the typography, the strength of the letters, the modularity, and the care taken in choosing the colors.