BEER LABEL / by Ryan Newman


Brand collaborations have become an increasingly popular way to invigorate innovation as it allows brands to leverage their equity while engaging with totally new audiences. The fashion industry has embraced this idea with arms wide open. Target has proven a frontrunner collaborating with big name labels like Proenza Schouler, Liberty of London, and Marimekko. In one example, Target’s collaboration with Lily Pulitzer last spring was reported to have sold out in stores nationwide within minutes of opening its doors at 6:30AM. This success is just one representation of what collaborating can do for a business.

The notion of public-private collaborations (PPC) is not a new one. However, the way these collaborations come to life is what makes them stand out. As a whole, PPC’s are becoming more readily accepted because the partnership enables the knowledge, resources, and creativity of diverse community stakeholders to be harnessed.



american craft beer calls for label design ingenuity and style unmatched by large, domestic brands.

With the craft beer industry booming and information about it more readily accessible to consumers than ever before, creating a remarkable beer label design is imperative. It is no longer just a picture of your founder or some frosted mountains thrown on a can. That label and brand become important for someone from that hometown – the Rhinegeist logo can be spotted by a majority of people from Cincinnati and the overall state of Ohio. These labels go beyond just representing the beer, but also embody the city. The beer industry took a right turn with its shift to craft beer, and their labels followed suit by creating these unique stories that captivate their consumers beyond the scope of domestic beers.

progress is brewing

Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) is a local organization working to build a more dynamic metropolitan center at the heart of the Cincinnati region. In honor of their 21st year, it seemed fitting to capitalize on the craft beer renaissance happening, not only nationwide but specifically, in the Greater Cincinnati Region. Kolar through Ralok jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with both DCI and Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. in order to create a craft beer label to promote DCI's annual meeting. 

Rather than slapping the word “light” on a standard label, for instance, microbreweries aim to establish a distinct brand identity upon the introduction of each new brew. Think of it like this: labels have a major influence on the perceived quality of craft beer; therefore, these brewers (including home-brewing aficionados like me) aim to create craft labels. Craft beers look past the idea of “don’t judge a book by its cover” – in fact, the label can further connect their audience with an engaging story.