Every year that I have lived in New York City (grand total of three!) I have attended the Brooklyn Homebrew Festival – an annual Springtime event in Gowanus that celebrates the best home made brew in New York City in a friendly competition.
In 2017 my good friend Ryan decided to enter the competition, under the name Brewery 129 – after the street in Harlem where the first batches of his Black IPA Bear Cub were made. Unsurprisingly, it did quite well! Before the festival, he asked me to whip up a design for the brewery and beer. I made a simple, but flexible branding system inspired by NYC street signs, and labels for the three beers that he has brewed so far. As a type designer I am always thinking in black & white (which is evident in the branding system) but with the labels, I wanted to introduce color and illustration to bring in some of Ryan’s personable character and jolly personality into the visuals are the brewery. Around the same time I visited The Met’s inspiring David Hockney exhibit and was reminded of how intimate and complex his work was, even though many of the forms and colors were pared back, or limited. So, I began a series of illustrations that were completely designed in ProCreate on my iPad Pro, but based on the story behind each beer and expressed in a limited, but convivial color palette.
If you find yourself in need of some suds in the Spring, please do join us at the Brooklyn Homebrew Festival! We’ll have our latest on tap and an empty glass waiting for you. Cheers!