Responses by Robot Food
Background: To showcase the distinct character of some of its favorite hops, Vocation Brewery decided to create a limited edition series of dry hopped beers. Released in three instalments, each pair of juicy single hop beers were brewed in exactly the same style, but all contain a different hop variety. Aimed at craft beer enthusiasts, the series challenges them to try both in the pair, then compare and contrast.
Reasoning: Having worked with Vocation for five years now, we know that what makes them special is their passionate attitude and experimental approach to brewing. So, as always, we wanted to create a look and feel that would reflect that. The Hop Showcase series is all about putting flavor center stage, so it was essential that the creative captured the distinct personality of each hop variety. We chose to create six unique can designs that would all follow a consistent visual style, drawing inspiration from both the origin of the hops as well as the flavor they add to each brew.
Challenges: Nailing the finish. It wasn’t possible to print our designs directly onto the cans, so we wanted to create a label that would mimic the natural finish of the aluminum can, and, when applied, it would give the illusion of a direct print. We worked closely with UK-based label manufacturer, The Label Makers, to achieve this. The designs were printed digitally onto a metallic silver label with a high luster. A white base coat layer was printed first, with a number of tinted areas to allow levels of metallic luster to shine through, and then the design was layered over the top.
Favorite details: The impact of the final result! We made the decision early on to stick to the same color combination for each drop to make it clear that they should be enjoyed as a pair and add a sense of collectability to the series as a whole. This, combined with the contrasting metallic can, adds a real quality feel to the drinking experience and is completely unique to anything we’ve done for Vocation previously.
Visual influences: We were inspired by a retro, collage-style aesthetic as well as tropical imagery associated with the origin of each hop variety. We opted for a combination of exotic fruit and wildlife images to create visual puns that celebrate the juicy flavor profiles of each beer.
Specific demands: The challenge with special releases is making sure that we do the beer justice with a bold and intriguing design that’ll stand out from their core range—while ensuring it’s still obvious that it’s a Vocation beer. But what makes this easier is the great relationship we have with the Vocation team. We’re lucky that they trust us and give us the creative freedom to do what we think is right, which makes projects like this a joy to work on.