Adventurously Brewed, Brilliantly Branded: an Interview with our Graphic Designer
Amanda Fasken is the talented artist who brought the Riverhead brand to life, and continues to do so with imaginative on-fleek can designs, giving each one of our brews personality. If you've ever bought our beer to-go, you know exactly what we're talking about.
One of the questions we get the most at Riverhead isn't about our beer, it's " Who designed your branding?" , so we interviewed our graphic designer to answer your questions.
How long have you been working in the graphic design industry?
I've been working in the graphic design industry for around 19 years. I graduated from the Graphic Design program at St. Lawrence Collage.
How did you come up with the Riverhead logo? What did this process look like?
It was surprisingly quick and easy. Mostly due to having it sit on my 'creative back burner' for some time. I find the longer a project sits at the back of your mind, the easier it is to complete. You in a way are letting your subconscious do a lot of the early conceptual work for you. I went through a round of doing what the owners 'thought' they wanted. This usually doesn't work out well, and the results were a weak design. I convinced Jeff and Richard to let me do my thing. I knew the design had to have numerous canoe paddle. There was a lot I could do with the shape of the paddle graphically and how they are patterned together. The final logo you see came fairly quickly as a result. I presented a few similar ones with small variations to them. They loved it and that was that. I was surprised as it was so completely different then what they initially 'thought they wanted'.
What does the Riverhead brand and “Adventurously Brewed” mean to you?
For me it's about having the courage to take the risk to undertake a new and daring enterprise. When Jeff first talked to me about seriously opening a brewery with Richard, my initial thought was 'are you crazy? No way.' But I tried to keep a open mind and ultimately decided that we only live once and if this is their dream, then it's worth the risk. “Adventurously Brewed” also tied in well with the outdoor theme. Craft beer goes hand in hand with camping and cottagers. It also goes well with the brewery's concept of daring to try new things and brewing many seasonal and limited releases.
You do the graphics for the cans of beer as well. How do you go about starting that design process?
Yes I do. I pretty much do everything graphic related. Having a Graphic Designer wife is handy for a brewery owned for sure.
I came up with the concept of doing the limited releases as badges. I call them 'Beer Scout' badges. Jeff and I use to be Scouters with our two sons. The thought was to actually get them made into real embroidered badges that customers could collect. We haven't figured out the best and economical way to produce them yet, but we're still hoping to do it.
The can label design process starts with Aaron, our very talented Brewmaster. He will send me a email with a creatively written description of the next beer about 4-5 weeks before it gets canned. He will even suggest imagery based on his experience in the industry. I don't always use the suggestions, lol. I tend to want to lean to the creative side.
I usually search online for what the industry is doing as far as colours and types of images used for the type of beer. If I do something completely different, then I try to keep to the similar colours. I tend to get stuck between not wanting to do what everyones else is doing and not wanting to do something different just for the sake of being different.
The challenge is making it creative and eye catching, while still looking like a badge. Because of the quick turnaround time, I don't present various mock ups. I've gotten to a point where I know what's needed and what everyone likes. They give me a lot of creative freedom and trust my judgement.
What is your favourite can design to date? Why?
I really like the Mexican Cerveza because I just love how many design possibilities can be used in the sugar skulls. But I think the New England IPA might be my favourite. I had a lot of fun with it creatively. I was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to do a giant hoptopus attacking a ship.