Brewing a brand

In partnership with Studio Morfar


Take one look at the craft beer section in your local supermarket or bottle shop and you might find the choice to be a little overwhelming. There are just so many brilliant brews to choose from but there's a chance you might just buy one because the artwork on the can looked kind of neat (don't worry, you're definitely not alone).

With so many flavours, brands and snazzy can designs on the market, how does a brewery stand out from the pack? That's the challenge accepted by London-based creative agency, Studio Morfar, which has turned the concept of creative branding into a fine art. Not only does the studio create innovative marketing campaigns across photography, illustration, web design and film, its team also uses new technology and physical spaces to put brands on the map.

"We want our clients to see themselves as brands of the future and to not be afraid of using abstract, innovative and cutting edge design methods," says Torsten Power, Studio Morfar's Founder and Creative Director. Torsten isn't afraid to push companies into thinking outside their comfort zone and look at how their brand can make a statement through bold design.

One of the ways Studio Morfar is helping brands to think more imaginatively is Augmented Reality (AR) technology, which is seeing a real comeback after a bit of a false start in the early 2010s. The tech is really blurring the lines between physical branding and online spaces, to the point that breweries should think about both at the same time. "We can marry equally wonderful on and offline mediums to create something new and exciting, like AR beer can labels," Torsten suggests.

"We can take a beautifully-designed, brilliantly printed label that springs to life when you hover over it with your phone's camera. You can have a spectacular animation that flows out from the can and pulls you into an immersive world of interaction, with hovering friend recommendations, interactive tasting notes and details about other beers that are available in the range."

AR is a growing example of how the worlds of offline and online marketing are blurring into one interesting space, and Torsten argues this also means thinking carefully about packaging materials and context. "Why not use sustainable packaging materials made from seaweed, bamboo or potato starch," he asks. "Or create a giant art installation out of recycled beer cans at a music festival to promote your latest brew? Our worst case scenario is to produce something dull and normal. Our job is to turn brands into the viral, recognisable eye candy they deserve to be."

But how does the studio know what will get a brand's audience interested? Unlike Twitter trends that appear then fizzle out almost hourly, Torsten's team designs powerful campaigns and branding that are focused on sustained engagement rather than a quick hit. "That's all about looking at the underlying trends and then working out how to tap into what your potential audience is looking for, even if they don't realise yet." 

The merging of physical packaging, social trends, neat tech and online interaction is here to stay and it's only going to get bigger. Who knows? The beer brands that dare to think bolder might just be the ones you pick next time you're staring at that busy craft beer section in your local store.

Work by Studio Morfar

Art Direction & Design: Torsten Power

Illustration: Alysha Takoushian


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