Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music once objected to the wine ordered by a Wall Street Journal journalist during an interview. “I hate that,” said Ferry. “You hate the wine?” asked the interviewer. “No, the label,” he said. “I can’t drink a wine if it has an ugly label.”
The same rings true with beer, but even the most aesthetic, most loved of beer bottles needs an upgrade every now and then. Think along of lines of Batman, whose suit and batmobile just get more badass with every movie (minus George Clooney’s nipples of course). Although we love the last one, it needs to be continually reevaluated and moving forward, but less about bats and back to beer…
The beer formerly known as O8, an 8% golden ale brewed by Otley has made a come back and not only has it had a makeover; it’s changed its name.
“O8 has returned to bottles!” exclaimed Lee Squelch from Otley. “It’s been bottled in 330ml premium bottles and is now known as O8 Epic.”
“It’s the embodiment of the brewery’s strapline; ‘Epic Days are Brewing,’” said Dylan Griffith, the Creative Director of agency Smörgåsbord who are behind the redesign. “The O8 Epic bottle marks a slight departure from the trademark Otley bottle,” he continued. “As the beer is pretty hefty in terms of strength, we thought that it would be wise to put it in a 330ml as opposed to a 500ml bottle.”
The regular, slim line 330ml bottles however have little appeal to Dylan. Therefore the 8% brew will now be sold in a ‘Steinie,’ that is often favoured in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, but not only has O8 got a new bottle and name however, its label has had an upgrade too. “The omnipresent ‘O’ gets a slithered treatment creating a moiré effect, and is screen printed directly onto the bottle,” he continued.
Dylan and Smörgåsbord have worked with Otley since their inception back in August 2005 and their design has always gone against the grain. While other brewers opted for a witty or comedic name, some kind of mystical beast or woodland creature adorning their bottle, Otley and Smörgåsbord went a completely different route.
“We looked no further than the ‘Otley’ name for the brand and quickly settled on the purity of the white ‘O’ for our marque,” explained Dylan. “We adopted a pared back, utilitarian typographic style and a monochromatic palette. The only flash of colour came in the form of a colour neck sleeve that distinguished the type of beer without redesigning each label.” Such a strategy not only gave Otley’s range of beers a touch of class, it also gave them an instant family unity and strength.
“Whilst the reductive and timeless brand language is set in stone, we do continually re-evaluate the design and seek to tighten elements year on year,” said Dylan, and the techniques used for the new O8 Epic may well be rolled out across Otley’s core range in the near future.