IWANT’s prismatic packaging for women-led brewery Talea Beer Co. flourishes in its fluidity
East London-based branding agency IWANT have gone across the pond with their identity for NYC-born women-led brewery Talea Beer Co. – whose passion for their brand and future plans, including their soon-to-be-realised Williamsburg taproom, is instantly mirrored in their ecstatic and kaleidoscopic visual identity and packaging. Thriving in geometric patterns and vibrant colours, IWANT embraced the typical tropes of craft-beer and took them all one step further, creating something exciting, original and jubilant.
Wanting to bring something new to the table, IWANT’s John Gilsenan recalls finding inspiration from the geometry and pattern of a vintage optician’s lightbox he found in his studio, with a graphic icon reminiscent of beer hops. “We started to play with the other shapes and joked that the tag could be ‘let’s get blind drunk,’” Gilsenan remarks, “of course knowing we would never be able to use anything like that!” With a newfound enthusiasm for the limited colours and shapes they’d formulated, that were both fun and methodical, IWANT began to build up collections of shapes and patterns, explaining “it started to feel more like a Factory Records sleeve than a typical US craft beer.”
Despite having a set of rules for Talea’s core range, the beauty of the identity IWANT created is the fluidity of the system. Rather than sticking entirely rigidly to the rules they set, they instead allow for the aesthetic to evolve and adapt beer to beer, in doing so providing a sense of personality and candour to a commercial brand. Matching this the remarkable use of colour, the range of which manages to find the sweet spot between seemingly primary and colourful without coming across childish. “We wanted a bright palette that would complement the bold shapes and shout from the shelf or fridge,” Gilsenan explains, whilst including “softened colours and some muted complementary tones” grounded and bolstered by a foundation of typography in a rich black.
Wanting to adopt a no-nonsense typeface in order to not overly confuse the design, IWANT chose LL Circular, a geometric sans serif, that Gilsenan remarks as “a clean, bold workhorse to carry the brand.” Embracing the warmth and subtlety found within Circular to stop the brand losing control, Gilsenan tells us “the lower case ‘e’ is used as a way to soften the bold marque and to add a touch of playful femininity to the masculine,” adding “which is a direct representation of what Talea are doing by breaking convention as women in what is seen as a very male-dominated arena.”