Responses by Tess Wicksteed, strategy partner and Kate Marlow, creative partner, Here Design
Background: Louise Avery, the founder of L.A. Brewery, already has a local brand in East London called “Lois and the Living Teas” and a brilliant book about kombucha. She approached us when she took the next step to launch a delicious tonic. The brand needed to appeal to both first-time drinkers and kombucha experts, striking the balance between demystifying the complex fermentation process and standing out in a growing wave of competing products.
Reasoning: The name L.A. Brewery is shorthand of Louise Avery’s Brewery. Louise is a driving force behind the brand, so we always wanted it to reflect her passion and expertise. The addition of “Brewery” also helps position the brand between the soft and alcoholic drinks categories, bridging the gap of what you drink when you’re not drinking. Louise wanted everyone to benefit from L.A. Brewery, so our response was approached as a real mass-market contender.
Challenges: While the kombucha market is growing rapidly, it’s not yet universally known, so there is the challenge of educating first-time drinkers without boring the existing kombucha converts. Also, kombucha is alive, not dead—a tricky message to convey in a desirable way. We chose to incorporate “not too nerdy” diagrams to represent the real science behind the fizz and lifted notes from Louise’s brewery notebooks to explain the complex process.
Visual influences: We used the language of craft beer and combined this with the bold iconography of soft drink language, creating a design system that could translate across flavor variants but also more critically across categories. We also matched the craft beer aesthetic with uplifting and vibrant color palettes that represented the three different kombucha flavors. The background patterns show an abstraction of the mother culture colliding with an abstraction of the key flavor.
Anything new: We worked closely with Louise to learn about the fascinating world of kombucha. In fact, she brought us all mothers of our own which we nurtured and then flavored with whatever we fancied.
Alternative approach: This is a start-up brand, so everything to do with labels is quite low-fi, which has implications on finishes and material choice. As we grow, we know these things will come, but it’s always nice to have everything from the beginning!