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Beer Packaging Design for Allendale Brewery

The four beer labels were commissioned by Allendale brewery. They gave me a lot of creative freedom regarding the illustrations, asking only to keep the theme similar to their existing packaging, which mostly featured monochrome Victorian-style collages against a colourful background. The commission also included a complete redesign of the pump clip shapes and bottle and can label layouts.

Allendale is based in Northumberland, a region often described as England's Last Wilderness. When creating the illustrations I focused my research on Celtic mythology and British mythical creatures, but also existing wildlife. The illustrations are executed in black and white to resemble old Victorian prints and drawings. The colourful busy backgrounds, featuring natural elements, strengthen the central monochromatic illustrations and provide the modern feel. The contrast also helps the packaging to stand out on the shop shelves.

The project won Silver Award in the Creativepool Annual 2021 Illustration category.

★★★★★

"Beautifully executed and a great series of illustrations that fit together within a collection for product design."

 

"Your series is incredible in both craft and concept [...] Some of the nicest work I have seen in a long time."

 

Rachel Perry

Founder/EP - Whale BV

Creativepool Annual 2021 Illustration category judge

Rhubarb Saison / Wild Lands Project 

The first beer label I was asked to design was for Rhubarb Saison, a collaboration brew between Allendale and First & Last Brewery and part of Wild Lands Project.

I've done few sketches and the team liked the ideas around the ent (fantastic being that closely resemble a tree) and the traveller, so I've decided to combine the two, but killed the traveller in the process. The black and white illustration was then set against a purple and pink background featuring a pattern of oak leaves and acorns.

The illustrations were initially drawn in pen and ink on paper and once approved by the client they were redrawn in Photoshop using Wacom Cintiq tablet for a clean and crisp line. The elements of the background patterns were also hand-drawn using the tablet and then arranged and coloured in Photoshop. The layout of the labels and pump clips was executed using Adobe Illustrator.

Curlew's Return Beer Label Design

My second task was to redesign an existing beer bottle label for one of Allendale's flagship ales - Curlew's Return.

The curlew is the largest European wading bird, characterised by a long, slender, curved bill and mottled brown plumage.

For this beer label design we settled for a highly detailed black and white portrait drawing of a warrior woman wearing curlew's skull mask decorated with feathers. The monochromatic illustration was then set against a warm orange/brown background featuring a pattern of feathers.

allendale-black-grouse-beer-bottle-label-design-martin-marcin-reznik-10tacled-illustration

Black Grouse Beer Label Design

My next task was to redesign packaging for the brewery's award-winning oaked porter beer - Black Grouse.

Black Grouse, also called the Blackcock, is a rare game bird that thrives in the moorland of the North Pennines AONB, England.

The choice for this beer label design was an obvious one. I've created a detailed black and white illustration of a black grouse and to add a bit of atmosphere I made it howl at the full moon. The drawing was then set against a vibrant red background featuring a pattern of feathers.

Beacon / Winter Ale Beer Label Design

For the last label in the series I was asked to create a "generic" beer label design that could be used on various small batch beers. The first two beers the label was used on were Winter Ale (Christmas Special) and Beacon Pale Ale. 

I've done few different versions of the label and we've decided on a detailed black and white portrait of an Amazonian-type female warrior wearing a ram's skull and adorned with feathers and tribal/vintage jewellery. The monochromatic illustration was then set against a colourful background featuring a floral pattern.