In 2007, during my packaging design class at the University of Central Oklahoma, I developed a concept for packaging and branding. The idea revolved around a beer product featuring color-coded bottles, designed to promote awareness of impairments and ensure a safer drinking experience. The initial concept involved a progression from green to red bottles, indicating the level of consumption and advising against driving. However, I am dissatisfied with both the design and the concept itself. Therefore, I believe it would be an exciting project to explore ways to enhance and improve upon this idea.
This beer branding and packaging I designed in college leaves a lot to be desired. At that time, my illustration skills were not fully developed, resulting in a lackluster logo and uninspiring color choices. Moreover, the concept itself is flawed and confusing. Using colors to determine impairment is subjective and fails to consider individual differences. As I reflect on this project with over a decade of experience since then, I am confident I can do it better.
The New Objective
Building upon the original concept of a responsible beer, I decided to take it in a more meaningful direction: non-alcoholic craft beer. Recognizing the demand for socializing and the desire to explore diverse craft beer options among individuals aged 21-35 who choose to abstain from drinking, I targeted this specific market.
During my competitor research, I observed that many of them adopted clean and minimalist branding approaches. In order to set my brand apart, I decided to shift the focus towards the fun and social aspects of non-alcoholic beer. To capture this essence, I developed a mood board that encompassed vibrant colors, expressive lettering, and an overall dynamic feel. The goal was to create a brand that exuded a sense of wildness, despite being a tamer alternative. By infusing excitement and energy into the brand, I aimed to emphasize the enjoyable and spirited nature of the non-alcoholic beer experience.
For the brand name, I carefully selected “Wild Wagon,” drawing inspiration from the historical water wagons of the early 1900s that played a significant role in the temperance movement. These horse-drawn wagons were employed by cities to dampen dusty streets, and individuals associated with the movement famously stated that they would rather drink from the water wagon than consume alcoholic beverages. This historical context led to the adoption of the expressions “on the wagon” for non-drinkers and “off the wagon” for those who relapsed. By incorporating the wagon concept into the brand name, and adding “Wild,” I aimed to convey the idea that one can embrace a non-alcoholic lifestyle while still enjoying a vibrant and exciting existence.
To create the logo, I made modifications to a vintage typeface called LHF Billhead, infusing it with the distinctive style of early 20th-century lettering. This choice aimed to evoke a sense of nostalgia while paying homage to the historical context. To complement the logo and convey the brand’s fresh, energetic approach, I incorporated a modern and vibrant color scheme. This combination of vintage-inspired lettering and lively colors serves to capture the essence of the new, exciting interpretation of the abstinence concept. I also created a responsive logo for social media, taphandles, etc.