“There is art. There is beer. This is where they meet.”

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As most of you over the age of 21 have noticed, there has been a recent explosion of different kinds of craft beers being made all throughout the United States that have been making your adult life even tougher by giving you an extreme amount of options to choose from. As a matter of fact, the US now has more beer styles and brands than any other market in the world, which was not the case just 30 years ago. Along with this mass production of different kinds of beer comes the mass production of their labels that represent them. As if their fun and witty names weren’t attention-grabbing enough, craft beer breweries now feel the need to go beyond a simple advertisement on their bottles. The beer label has now been incorporated into the “experience” of drinking the beer itself. It’s what catches your attention while walking up and down aisles and aisles of different branded craft beers.
The labels are one of the newest forms of art in that they try to portray the beer much like a CD cover tries to portray the kind of music on the CD. Artists come together and attempt to show the personality of the people behind the brewery and have that as the face of the craft beer. The Pour Curator is a site fully centered around the idea of craft beer labels becoming an art form, so much so that their tagline is “There is art. There is beer. This is where they meet.” They display different labels and discuss them thoroughly much like painting lovers discuss their favorite paintings.
Breweries like Three Floyds have hired comic book artists to create some of the labels to enhance the artwork and grab peoples’ attention even more, but I think more importantly to show that this truly is a new art form taking place in the modern day world. Comic book artist Tim Seeley created the label for the hard to find craft beer Zombie Dust. Zombie Dust is so rare that if you actually find it at a liquor store they will only sell you one six-pack per customer for about $15.
I chose to this topic simply because I have noticed the immense amount of new craft beers all over the place, whether it be at a bar, restaurant, or the obvious, a liquor store. Their labels have gotten so many positive reviews that clothing has been made with their images on them. This would be an example of print making since they make several copies of the same images over and over again.
Here’s the link to The Pour Curator
  • Would you consider these labels as a form of art more than an advertisement or vice-versa?
  • If you were to design a label, what would be on it?
  • Have you (if you’re over 21) fallen into their trap and bought a craft beer simply because of the artwork on the label? 

Sara Delgado

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20 thoughts on ““There is art. There is beer. This is where they meet.”

  1. There is many of those I came across it many times , I must admit I love how someone finaly mentioned this. Now I am not 21 however it does draw my attention to the point where as soon I finished this blog I want to go out and get one. This would be advertisement due to fact that the reason was to bump up their sales however, that of what you said that even the fashion industry are making these images onto their clothing it’s amazing these comic book artists that you mention must be millionaires to be showing their form of are in 2 separate categories. Outstanding post

  2. I really like the idea of how beer labels are becoming a form of art. Although i would consider the fun and artsy labels to be used more for for advertisement and a way to get people attention, it still is considered art. I think its more used for advertisement because they have started to design clothing after it with their name on it. I am not over the age 21 but if I were to witness this type of beer with these labels over the very common names it would definitely begin to persuade me to buying the craft beer with the fun and creative labels.

  3. I believe art can be anything. These labels contain art but are being use as a marketing tool to sell a product. I tend to stay away from these types of beers because I feel that sometimes they make more of an emphasis on the marketing then on the content of the beer.

  4. Interesting blog, I think you’re right about the growth in beer labeling art being related to the need to stand out among the many new brands. The fact that cartoon artists are now some of those designing beer labels is amusing. I wonder if there is a correlation between the lowered sales of cd’s and newspapers with cartoons and a lookalike form of art showing up on beer labels and other places.

  5. I definitely think this type of graphic design is a form of art…some of the best everyday aret comes in teh form of advertising. I love eye catching labels that are targeted towards a certain demographic. This is an area I hae studied in other classes and here is an interesting link that shows what type of consumer you are and what is most likely to appeal to you. http://www.strategicbusinessinsights.com/vals/about.shtml My family makes homemade wine and we make a special Christmas label every year so I love the inspiration from Pour Curator

  6. I find advertisement and art the same thing. I had to create an advertisement piece for my studio art class my senior year in high school for my art portfolio to get into art colleges. It honestly felt as if I could do whatever I want, but under certain requirements like any other assignments in other classes. I feel that the advertisement for beer has the same idea. You follow a vision. Of yours and the costumers. Then you make it your own while giving the company something they would love to represent themselves. So its like when you do an art project for a grade. You do it your way, but you want the teacher to like it as well for the good grade.

  7. I’ve actually seen a commercial (of course now that I mention it, I can’t think of the name of the brand) where they show the faces of several different brewers saying a phrase along the lines of “Hi I’m Joe, and I’m the man behind the making of your beer.” that being said, I think creating labels to do the talking is a more efficient and less expensive way of getting those names and faces out there. There has been several studies done for the ways people remember certain things- one of those ways to remember notes you take is to do it in different colors or fonts because your brain remembers them more easily. So, if the companies produce eye catching labels, like the ones in your post, I think its fair to think consumers will remember and later recognize the product if they saw the artwork.

  8. I’ve actually seen a commercial (of course now that I mention it, I can’t think of the name of the brand) where they show the faces of several different brewers saying a phrase along the lines of “Hi I’m Joe, and I’m the man behind the making of your beer.” that being said, I think creating labels to do the talking is a more efficient and less expensive way of getting those names and faces out there. There has been several studies done for the ways people remember certain things- one of those ways to remember notes you take is to do it in different colors or fonts because your brain remembers them more easily. So, if the companies produce eye catching labels, like the ones in your post, I think its fair to think consumers will remember and later recognize the product if they saw the artwork.

  9. I believe that advertising by it’s basic nature is art. Many of the labels featured are very interesting to say the least. After knocking back the contents the bottles could be excellent conversation pieces also [consumed in moderation of course 😉 ]. My own label design would be something with a space faring theme. “Lift Off With BLAST Lager” a smooth ride to the Moon. All my Space Cadets with happy expressions on their faces, I could see them now. I digress. Wonderful talent and vivid imagination.

  10. I agree with John, advertisements can be seen as art itself. The artwork on the labels represent the brewery’s personality and company culture. I actually found this quite interesting, I never really noticed the artwork on the beer bottles. I prefer a more simplistic label opposed to one thats really “artsy”. I’m sure these bottles would catch my attention if I was walking down the aisle though.

  11. First off who is bringing the beer? The struggle graphic designers have is fighting to earn respect in a world that diminishes their capabilities to brochure and billboard design. While we are combatants in creating a communication that can sell products/services, we are also quite capable of creating solutions that yield works of art to our contemporary society. After all, art is a form of meaningful communication as well. The only difference is that graphic designers, as a trend, utilize these communication tactics via modern technological means to promote their client.

  12. I love this blog post. I do think beer labels are a form of art and I’m glad to have them on this blog. I am guilty of having bought beer based on the label….not always leading to good beer! If I were to design a label it would have some kind of hops on it–something garden-like. I have a friend who brews beer and I’m a big gardener and we always threaten to have me grow hops for him to brew with….

  13. I think that the artwork on these beers are pretty cool. I’m not 21 but I have been a victim of buying something just because of how the label looks. Like that type of gum, I forgot what it’s called. If I were to design a label I think I’d want to design a label for candy.

  14. I dont drink and I have never gone beer shopping but the labels and the designs on the bottles look very nice. I’d consider it more of an advertisement because I am sure that the beer companies are more concerned about their sales.

  15. This is great. I think they made the labels like that to grab people’s attention and for advertisement. I don’t think it’s one or the other I think it does both. You are right when you talk about how there are so many options now it is kinda hard to choose, though I am a fan of three Floyd s brewery and their zombie dust beer.

  16. This is very ironic because I was actually going to do this topic because of how close to home it hits. I love beer, so much that I may actually get into brewing with my cousins. I have noticed the large jump in beer bottle art in the last couple years and i love it. There are so many meaning behind each bottle design and every one can relate to what you are drinking which is awesome.

  17. I definitely think it is art! I think what makes this art very interesting is that it is in an unexpected place! I would definitely buy this beer (and keep the bottle) simply for the label.

  18. Being an add major this is the kind of stuff that makes me love advertisement! You can find art in anything especially advertisement. Since the two go hand in hand, this is the kind of advertisement that attracts the buyer! So glad you touched on this.

  19. That there is a craft beer boom, and without corporate backing, it is not only smart but necessary for brewers to identify their brewed craft in distinctive manners. It takes creativity to stand out and many are hiring artists to design their labels, so this is definitely an art. As a fan of vodka and having admired some interesting shaped:

    http://www.kalashnikov-vodka.com/html/the_ak_47_vodka_bottle.html
    and designed bottles such as these:

    http://neatdesigns.net/36-cool-unique-vodka-bottle-designs/

    This blog brought to my attention a beverage market to which I had not paid attention but now makes sense. I have witnessed many conversations of people holding beer bottles with much admiration!

    If I were to design a label, it would definitely be car themed. Somehow I would incorporate the colors of the Bavarian flag, an homage to BMW and use their font for text. I can also see a letter of cease and desist from their lawyers!

    And as consumer, yes, I have fallen into the trap of purchasing craft vodka simply based on design and label. Is that wrong? No, and it makes for a conversation piece. Extraordinary art can equal extraordinary marketing.

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