The Art of the Craft The Art of the Craft

AleBrowar didn’t just revolutionize the world of domestic artisan beer, but the world of Polish beer label design. We talk to Michał Rybczyński of Ostecx Créative – the creative agency behind the branding…

WI: How did Ostecx get involved in beer label design?
MR: First, we got involved with beer! We’re beer lovers, and some of us even brew our own. We were always convinced there was a lot of work to be done in beer label design and we wanted to be involved. Now we are.

So, how does the creative process work between yourselves and AleBrowar – do they tell you, right, give us an Octopus on the label…
Usually AleBrowar send us their plans relating to their next style of the beer. For example, the brand manager will call us and will say, “guys, we’re about to brew an Indian Pale Ale that’ll be ready for September – let’s get it on!” After that it’s all us. We’re responsible for the name and the labels. But we have to connect to the style of beer – or a special event – and the ‘brand hero’ has to have a consistent story. The exception was Golden Monk. They said to us, “it’s our tenth beer, you design everything and we’ll brew the beer to match.” 

What’s the favorite label you’ve worked on? 
Golden Monk. It’s not often the client demonstrates that much trust in their agency. It was a pretty unique situation. They said to us, “look, you’ve done a lot for us, now we want to do something for you.” We were like, “whaaaaat!? Awesome!” 

How does your style differ with other breweries?
Every brand has its own style. It all depends on the brand strategy, target group and ‘brand world’ – every brand has to tell a story. We use different styles and work to creative briefs – we rely on them to make designs that are appropriate and consistent. Understanding the brand is the key in any ad agency work.

Which other beer labels do you admire?
Ooh, lots! We like Mikkeller, they have their own specific style. Our art director actually collects their labels. I should also mention the redesigned Brewdog, Yebisu, Partizan Brewing and Prairie Artisan Ales.

What’s your opinion on the design of the standard ‘Euro lagers’…
There’s a lot of work to be done. Times are changing and designs should keep up. It’s no longer just about the product, producers are more and more conscious about the packaging, too. We’ve got work to do!

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