Bearded Lady

by Elizabeth Freeman on 07/02/2015 | 3 Minute Read

Editorial photograph

Good People Brewing Co., the oldest brewery in Alabama, has now canned Bearded Lady, one of their most popular taproom brews that was for years available as a summer seasonal only. Bearded Lady is Good People's take on the traditional wheat beer. As a light-bodied beer, and their smoothest to date, it appeals to craft beer connoisseurs and newcomers alike. The design, by Lewis Communications in Birmingham, is at once delicate and bold with a sense of humor that's more smile-in-the-mind than knee-slapping.

With so many ales out on the market, Good People Brewing definitely needed to package their product in something striking, something that would make a consumer do a double-take. By incorporating humor into their brand identity, the beverage becomes memorable and the can a possible collectible item. 

Editorial photograph

"Good People Brewing Company's Bearded Lady had been available on tap for nearly a year before we were approached to design the can. They had been promoting it with an Alphonse Mucha-inspired painting. We soon discovered that trying to preserve the intricacies of that approach came at the expense of shelf-presence. We then explored more obvious directions that borrowed from sideshow handbills and circus typography. But since we all loved the idea of making our lady as attractive as possible — despite/because of her defining characteristic — the 'freak' angle felt mean (i.e. not in the nature of the good people at Good People). Further, again, these directions did not feel on-brand. We arrived at the final design by aiming for a tone of reverence — an elegance achieved through simplicity and a sense of playfulness."

Editorial photograph

"Our color exploration was inspired by the taste of the beer and our desire to convey that visually. In this case, Bearded Lady is a light-bodied, but still very flavorful wheat ale with bright, citrus notes. As well, it's radiantly golden in color. With our palette, we were aiming for summer with a hint of autumn. Bright, but earthy."

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"Going into the printing of the cans, we were concerned with maintaining the fine-line work of the background pattern. It's a lovely detail meant to call to mind flowing locks of hair, rolling fields of golden wheat, and the swirl of the pour. Too fine, and it would close up. Too open and it would prove distracting. Subtlety isn't an incredibly easy thing to achieve when printing on aluminum; but the team at Ball Corp. in Tampa seemed undaunted. Barring minimal fine-tuning of color, the printing went off without a hitch."

-Roy Burns, Design Director,Lewis Communications 

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Design Director: Roy Burns III

Designers: Andrew Thompson, Roy Burns III

Design assistance: Drew Hughes

Illustrators: Andrew Thomson, David Webb

Printer: Ball, Tampa, Florida

Photographer: Jeff Williams

Designed by Lewis Communications

Client: Good People Brewing Company, Birmingham, AL

Country: United States 

City: Birmingham


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