Mendo’s New Labels-Change is Good

Red Tail Ale

Red Tail Ale

Well, the rumors have been flying for a while, but the proof is finally out. Mendocino Brewing has re-designed their labels! The new labels–sleek and a bit more modern–follow the trend toward simple, clean design and reflect Mendo’s dedication to pure ingredients while still paying tribute to raptors that have been the icon of the brew since the beginning. Keith Stevenson, Mendocino Brewing’s Advertising Manager, gives us some insight into the process of the new label design.

Thunder Beer--Brewed with Flavor

Thunder Beer–the beer that started it all. Note the hawk.

Why did Mendo decide, after all this time, to change their label designs?

Keith: This new look is the first after well over a decade.  Brands have a distinct personality, and can be clothed in the trappings of the times.  Often it becomes vital to bring the brand more in line with today’s tastes.  So it is with packaging design.  We looked at our designs and decided that the time had come to revitalize the look of our range of craft brews, and we believe that we have achieved what we set out to do.

What key elements were you looking for in the new label design?

Eye of the Hawk

Eye of the Hawk

Keith: Impact. Impact. Impact.  That, and a not so subtle link to the icons that have made us the craft brew pioneers for the past 31 years.  A key element was retaining the imagery of our iconic hawks while heightening their presence and improving their looks.  To that end we regenerated our imagery using digital enhancements to highlight nuances of the hawks that had been overlooked.  Feathers were digitally preened, eyes sharpened, and talons honed. 

We also chose to simplify the fonts by going sans serif, resulting in lettering that is easier to digest on crowded store shelves.  We have but a nanosecond to catch the eyes of consumers and deliver our message, and we believe these new designs do just that. 

Did you go through a many different designs before settling on the finals?

Keith: If we were to share the design road travelled till we arrived at this destination, it would make War and Peace look like a novelette!  Well over 25 versions and design avenues were explored before we arrived at this point.  Note I did not say destination—because packaging design is an ongoing journey.  There is no final, last design—and some changes are so subtle that only a hawk-eyed professional can detect them.

A blast from label past

A blast from label past

When can we expect to see the new labels?

Keith: Starting mid-September, the new Red Tail Ale and Eye of the Hawk packages will start flocking to the stores, followed by  Black Hawk Stout, White Hawk IPA and the others.  We are thrilled with this new look.  It adds an edge to our brand imagery and gives our legions of loyal consumers a new vista to muse on as they savor the same excellent ales that we have been pioneering since 1983.

New Look, Same Taste

So grab those early bottles of Eye of the Hawk before they become collector’s items! And let us know–what do you think of the new labels? Our designers would love to hear your opinion.

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