Andrew Sparrow, Tried & True’s Creative Director, has a saying, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts, but what’s on the outside that matters,” and this was no different for the revolutionary makeover they did for Zeelandt Brewery.
Established five years ago, this small, independently owned Hawkes Bay craft brewery had a reputation for making good beer, but were over-looked in a category that was very experimental and full of ‘zany’ looking labels. The brief from Chris at Zeelandt was quite simply to create a brand, which reflected the ‘true to style’ story of each brew and say ‘pick me up’.
As Sparrow says, “What we were given to work with was a traditional European beer name (Helles, Schwarzbier), a brief explanation on where the beer originated from and tasting notes. From there, their first step was to find out a bit more about what made each beer unique, its history, the story behind who created it, or what they were doing at the time.
“We knew for Zeelandt, it was really important that each beer was authentic and true to style yet somehow brought to life with a bit of ‘New Zealandness’ thrown in. After all, that’s what made these traditional beers different.” Along with the development of each story, the team created new variant names for each brew that were easier to pronounce and far easier to remember (try pronouncing Schwarzbier after you’ve had a few).
Once each story was written Tried & True created unique images for each brew, bringing the story to life visually. The consistent woodcut style enabled them to tie together a diverse range of images and stories into a distinct range. With small independents, budget is always a big consideration, so they were constantly looking at ways to extend and reuse the illustrative assets. The outer cartons are a great example, as they took the original illustrations and redrew them to work as single colour illustrations - solving two problems in one…. a cost effective solution that delivers strong variant differentiation in-store.
The brand mark (originally just ZB) was evolved to work better in isolation and across all brand assets, so, Andrew says, “We created a more unique monogram by integrating the Z & B into one unified brand-mark and brought in the full brewery name, so when seen in isolation (away from other touch-points) it was obvious that ZB was a brewery. Simple but effective.”
Having a strong look and story for each brew has enabled them to extend the brand across many touch-points – from stationery, livery, clothing, packaging, beer taps, trade material and in-store POS. Each piece tells it’s own story, but each has Zeelandt’s original stamp on it.