Opinion Series: The Rise of Craft Beer

"Craft beers are opting for innovative designs, focusing more on communicating their quality craftsmanship than denote European tradition."

Guillermo Dufranc of Tridimage talks about the rise of craft beer.


Craft beers have been recently opting for innovative design, focusing more on communicating their quality and craftsmanship, rather than denoting European tradition.

Beer label design was previously based on European graphic styles - almost medieval - by means of Gothic fonts, medals, coats of arms, and aesthetic resources that refer to tradition of the old continent. All these elements previously seemed unavoidable when designing beer labels.


Everything Changes 

However, nothing is forever and everything changes. The beer market is growing at a steady rapid pace and brands will look for new ways to connect emotionally with new consumers. In recent years, many brands have begun to focus on the value of craft for the most consumed and famous beverage in the world. 

The new beer consumer is more demanding and savvy and therefore is more open to trying new brews. As a result, the craft beer category has grown to include many varieties of beers, even including flavored ones. 


Original = Authentic

Another highlight is the valorization of craftsmanship in food and beverages in general. We are in a period of Authentic versus industrial or artificial. A handmade product involves special care, personal attention and patient dedication. This requires a bespoke label design -  distinctive, unique and unrepeatable. This trend seeks complicity and empathy with young consumers who are open to new and attractive product proposals.

To communicate this new concept, craft beers began to use expressive resources borrowed from the wine label design world. One of the distinguishing features is the format of the labels. They almost abandoned the classic oval shaped die for straight-cut labels, matte and textured papers. Color schemes have also changed with the use of desaturated color palettes.


Revolution Is Here

This very special category is great at communicating brand stories on pack. Whether origins are traced back to a place, a family history, or a peculiar character, emerging craft beer brands have collectively built a new dynamic category.

About Guillermo Dufranc 

Guillermo Dufranc is Graphic Design Coordinator at Tridimage, a leading Latin American Branding and Structural & Graphic Package Design agency based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 1995 Tridimage has been helping shape world-class brands by working close to their clients on award winning design solutions.