Jens Nilsson delivers a series of tangy delights in his label designs for PangPang Pusher sour beers
While many beer enthusiasts may prefer IPAs and other modern brews, sour beers (made by intentionally introducing bacteria into the brewing process) hold their own devoted and passionate following among those who can’t resist a bit of tang and acidity.
PangPang Pusher is a fruity sour beer series created by the Swedish microbrewery PangPang. It was introduced in 2018 with the release of Peach Pusher and has since expanded throughout Sweden and beyond to include a wide range of lip-smackingly sour flavours such as Strawberry, Pina Colada, Mango Habanero, Pink Grapefruit, Passion fruit, Blackberry, Konatsu Elderflower, and Watermelon. Reflectling the sharp and punchy flavours inside, Stockholm-based designer Jens Nilsson worked with PangPang Brewery’s Frederik Tunedal to develop a vibrant and cartoon-like art direction, illustration, and label design for the cans.
“When Fredrik and I started the design process for these sour beers,” Nilsson tells us, “I remember us discussing that it’s quite common to go for a more convenient approach where a beer can has only one ‘front’ motive. However, when it’s placed on the shelves, the shape of the can itself doesn’t necessarily conform to that concept.” This insight led to the idea of creating a full-cover design that would be visually appealing from every angle. The final design is divided into three parts: the hand, the fingers holding a plastic bag filled with the fruit that hints at the flavour, and the “golden ratio-esque text layout” on the front, as Nilsson points out.
The logo is derived from an old custom type treatment that the team modified for the Pusher series, resulting in an overlapping look for a more compact type setting. The accompanying text is set in Schick Toikka’s Trio Grotesk. “The wider look created a great contrast to the wordmark, and the slightly rounded style aligned well with the illustration style," notes Nilsson.
The colour selection process, characterised by sweet and complementary hues, was effortless for the team, thanks to the black outlined look of the illustrations. According to the designer, this allowed them to play with colours and tones that may not normally be as cohesive or legible – while allowing the candy-esque, soft yet bright palette to lend to the cans’ feed-friendly look.