Lake Hour's Packaging Is Infused With Nostalgic Elegance
by Chloe Gordon on 08/25/2023 | 3 Minute Read
Lake Hour's packaging for their aluminum cans is a harmonious blend of cream on the upper portion and a colored lower third that resonates with the drink's flavor profile. The brand's logo, presented in a chunky serif typeface, perfectly encapsulates its laid-back vibe. The design was created in collaboration with Helms Workshop, led by Christian Helms and Ryan Kitchens. The packaging features colors that evoke a nostalgic '80s and '90s beer can aesthetic while retaining a unique charm for a mixed canned cocktail. Balancing graphic design with Stephen Noble's evocative illustrations, the packaging's horizon line is adorned with subtle nods to family legacies, creating a captivating tapestry of visual storytelling.
Rich and I thought creating an RTD with a personality was worthwhile. And we put our hearts and souls into it. So, we set out to capture nostalgia integral to how we felt about our time growing up on the lake. We wanted it to feel personal because it was...We always loved the Howler Brothers clothing and hats, so we looked up who did those original designs.
That's how we found Helms Workshop. Christian Helms and Ryan Kitchens have been invaluable in that process. We came to them with a clear idea of how we wanted the can and design to feel and together spent a couple of months obsessing over what colors worked best together to achieve the feeling of a nostalgic 80's or 90's beer can but still appealed to the essence of something slightly different in a mixed canned cocktail. We wanted to make it as personal as possible without becoming too crafty. So, we explored all the different types of iconography on the cans. We were going very heavy on my grandfather's floatplane at one point. He was Maine's first float plane operator and flew liquor for Al Capone in and out of Canada during prohibition. Apparently, it's not something he was proud of, but a good story nonetheless!
However, as we began to focus group test them, it became clear it may have been skewing too male. We wanted it to appeal to everyone and be more ubiquitous. Rich would send me renderings of ideas that Helms would expertly translate into incredible images. We always wanted to use Stephen Noble for illustration, as his illustrations define nostalgia, and his landscapes are fantastic. Yet it became difficult to fit those in with a more graphic design. So, we found a happy medium by using some of his illustrations as easter eggs rather than focal points.
His horizon line defines the can, and if you look closely at the back, Buddy's (my grandfather's) airplane and Rich's Uncle Bill adorn the scene. Uncle Bill inspired Rich to become an artist, and his spirit will forever live on as the fisherman on the Lake Hour can. Our Lake Houses we grew up in (and currently reside in) are also on the back of the can. Again, you have to look very hard...on purpose.
Helms convinced us of the importance of flavor color identifiers, so we spent a long time deliberating on those colors. Wanting to keep the idea of primary colors but not be too obvious, Helms was instrumental in finding the right hues for each flavor. A fine Time was a slogan we liked as it harkens back to a simpler time. We are not fancy people, so we wanted that to reflect our design. It's about having fun with your family and friends and laughing over a fine drink.