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WEST Brewery Delivers "Glaswegian Heart and German Head" With New Cans

by Casha Doemland on 01/16/2019 | 3 Minute Read

Glasgow-based design agency, Thirstcraft has created a name for themselves by focusing solely on strategic packaging design for beverages with their newest client being from the same neck of the woods.

WEST Brewery, whose ethos is "Glaswegian Heart, German Head" due to their German roots and work ethic and Glasgow headquarters, collaborated with Thirst to help introduce their first canned beer. Together, they produced three bold yet clean designs in WEST's iconic colors of black, red and white that are sure to catch the eye of anyone who waltzes past.

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We chatted with Thirst creative director Matt Burns to discuss the design process from inspiration to fruition behind these marvelous cans of beery goodness.


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Walk us through the design process, how did you go from start to finish on this project?

To build WEST’s brand we wanted to impose some rules. However, we knew that a rigid brand system wasn’t the answer, so we turned to color. WEST’s red, black and white brand colors are famous in both the on and off trade. So, we leveraged this powerful palette, along with graphic devices to create a cohesive can range. 

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With three brands to tackle, we first created a striking new style for GPA then crafted the existing WEST 4 brand to match. Finally, we isolated St Mungo’s more traditional brand assets to give a 360 degree can experience and allow it to fit in visually with this modern, minimalist look.

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How did you tell the WEST Brewery brand story through the packaging?

WEST’s story is all about "German Head, Glaswegian Heart.” The strong graphic devices communicate a dedication to brewing precision and perfection while emboldening St Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow and delightful design details, like the continuation of the 4 to hold the tasting notes, have a nice savviness to them.

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What inspired the variation in design/how did each flavor inspire its own unique can?

As this was WEST’s first foray into cans, we faced the challenge of uniting existing, established brands like St Mungo with new, never before visualized ones like GPA under the WEST umbrella. As a result, we needed to use the assets wisely - maximizing St Mungo’s more traditional assets to give them a new lease of life, helping them fit with the more stripped back, graphic look of the range.

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Share one lesson you learned while developing the finished product.

Our client had worked with many agencies before us, and she once told us the reason our partnership worked so well is that we don’t patronize her. We know she built the WEST brand from the ground up. That means she knows it inside out, so from the outset, we listened and questioned in equal measure to get under the skin of the brand and her vision for it. The designs simply realize this.

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