Navigating Uncharted Seas

September 16, 2013 / Uncategorized /

It’s no secret around these parts that Bevel Design is passionate about two things: great design and great beer. In 2003, we started working with Clipper City Brewing Company on launching a new brand line Heavy Seas Beer. In the beginning, this line was set to stay under the parent company, but the Heavy Seas brand started to grow exponentially with its national popularity. So in 2009, Clipper City asked Bevel to help redesign the entire brand and bring it all under the Heavy Seas brand name. As the company has grown, we have managed the progress of the company logo, labels, and packaging.

Flash Forward to Present Day (we get better with age, obviously)….

When Hugh Sisson, managing partner of Clipper City Brewing Company — maker of Heavy Seas Beer, paid us a visit to discuss his new product line, Uncharted Waters, we couldn’t help but salivate. The Uncharted Water Series is the breweries highest ABV% beer, sold seasonally in 22oz bottles.

These premium small batch beers are rich, robust and aged in wood barrels to draw out a wide range of complex palate-pleasing flavors. We may not have asked Hugh to bring in some samples, but they definitely helped spark our creative process. Having already designed his line of Heavy Seas Beers with great success, Sisson left the creative direction up to Bevel with one stipulation: visually push the wood barrel messaging.

Say What?

Heavy Seas wanted us to create a visually stimulating image that lets the customer know what went into the brewing of this beer. To really create a theme for the Uncharted Waters line we needed to create a storyline.

As Heavy Seas explains:

“In the most worthy of pumpkin patches and during the silence of the midnight hour, the Greater Pumpkin raises up and pours a rich deep and burnished orange color.  Heady aromas of bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove linger seductively over the thick white head of this tremendous brew.  Its love at first sip as the full malt body, dominated by British crystal malt, brown sugar and pumpkin, slowly washes over your tongue.”from the Greater Pumkin label

We needed to spin this beer lover’s fairy tale into a label with imaginative, thought-provoking graphics that challenged what customer’s thought of when it came to seasonal brews. Our color palette continued to be reminiscent of an aged treasure map, but this label introduced you to the characters you would meet on this journey.

Research and Reveal

During the research process, Bevel found its muse in an old nautical book: an antique maritime etching of a Siren, who charted the course for the other characters in the line. With Siren as their guide, Bevel’s in-house illustrator created a crew of flavorful characters — rich in color and warm in tone — to communicate the lines sophisticated taste and premium quality. Vintage nautical charts and an antique barrel texture help to push the aging process messaging and serve as a backdrop for the brand’s overall nautical theme. Rich and bold in both taste and appearance, Heavy Seas Uncharted Water Series proves not to be just another fish in the sea of small batch craft beers.