En af de absolutte åbenbaringer i de nyere danske bryggerier er uden tvivl københavnske Alefarm.
Deres øl har været svære at få fat på – faktisk er det kun lykkedes mig én gang på fad og nogle få gange i kælderen hos Kihoskh. Og hver gang har de været af absolut øverste skuffe.
Men der er lys for enden af tunnelen. Alefarm har i år gennemgået en ganske kraftig udvidelse og er nu i gang med at rebrande sig med nye etikker, øl på dåse og generelt et nyt udtryk.
Jeg har sat brygger og indehaver Andreas Skytt Larsen samt Lead Designer Dan Johnstone stævne til en snak om produktion, fremtiden og især den nye designlinje.
Snakken med Dan er på engelsk, så vi starter med de små korte til Andreas.
Hvornår kan vi være så heldige at kunne købe jeres øl på dåse?
Vi har vores første dåsetapning på fredag. Vi håber alt går som det skal!
(Red.: Det ser det umiddelbart ud til på nedenstående billede fra Alefarms Facebook side)
Er dåserne ment til det danske marked eller er de øremærket til udlandet?
Vi har fokus på både en national og international tilstedeværelse, men der vil ryge klart mere øl ud over landets grænser, da markedet selvklart er større i andre lande.
Kommer vi stadig til at se Alefarm 37,5cl flasker med vild og blandet fermentering?
Ja, det vilde vil stadig komme ud på 37,5 cl flasker.
Og så tager jeg fat i Dan og får en snak om den virkelig lækre nye designlinje for Alefarm. Så jeg skifter lige til engelsk.
How did it come about that you should design labels for Alefarm?
Andreas and I met through some mutual friends back when I was working as a bartender at Warpigs in Kødbyen.
I worked independently on various illustration projects at the time and Andreas found my work through Instagram and pitched the idea of working together on some labels for the upcoming beers.
What design work have you done before?
Back in the UK I worked as a lead graphic designer for the Oval stadium in London on both national and international marketing materials for the cricket industry.
Before that I was working on various freelance projects after graduating in furniture design.
How is your process? Do you try to convey a feeling, a taste or something different interely? Do you design on your own first and present your sketches to Andreas and the others or is it a more collaborative approach?
The process can vary from label to label. We start with the name mainly and then I begin to suggest some imagery that can work, sometimes it’s fairly literal and other times we like to work with something more conceptual to define a feeling that relates to the name.
I would certainly say it’s collaborative in the sense that Andreas usually has some kind of message he wants to portray as the beers can be named for a specific reason, like a particular production process or a taste.
The style was created specifically for working with Alefarm and will no doubt evolve over time, but the fundamental idea is to have a ‘dream-like’ feeling to the work that fits into the aesthetic of the brewery, without limiting ourselves too much.
How much do the sales aspect play into a design line like this? I’ve seen plenty of elegant designs fade away on crowded shop shelves…
I guess with any kind of branding you have to have the sales in mind.
I wouldn’t say that each label concentrates too much on that when it comes to the concepts, but as a whole we use the aesthetic that we have developed (as I mentioned earlier) as a kind of umbrella to the work, so as long as it fits within that ‘guideline’, we should be on the right track.
What’s your favourite part of designing/drawing
I have two main stages in the process that I enjoy the most:
The first is the initial concept stage. This usually comes as soon as a beer is suggested and I begin to think of imagery that could represent the name and it involves a lot of early sketch work.
The second stage is the ‘finishing’. I have created a series of unique digital paint brushes that give the texture we have in the work, after making vector files that define the composition, colour and shape of the label.
I take the work into Photoshop to digitally paint each layer individually. This can obviously take some time depending on the complexity of the design but it’s certainly a labour of love.
Have you designed the bottlelabels well? And either way, will the bottle design change to comply more with this new look?
I have been working on a re-brand for all of the Alefarm products, so updates to the bottle artwork are on their way as well as the can designs.