Pacific Western Brewing is Canada’s longest running, British Columbian-owned brewery. We at Red Rocket Creative Strategies have worked with them on many projects, and when it came time for a brand refresh of Pacific Pilsner—their flagship beer—they came back to Red Rocket.
Pacific Western saw package design as key to boosting their presence in the younger age market, where competition is stiff. It was a challenge to develop designs that attract the new generation of sophisticated beer drinkers, without losing the appeal of Pacific Western beers among the legions of existing customers.
The updated can and packaging designs also had to be supported by promotional materials for a province-wide brand launch in stores and bars. Pacific Western also asked us to apply the updated branding across their entire product line, from Pacific Pilsner to their Schwarzbock and Weissbeir products.
We developed the project in three stages. Understanding the strength of the Pacific Western name, we developed a company brand that would be a forefront, unifying element on every product. We developed identity standards that would maintain the brand strength while allowing distinct identities for each individual beer. Once the overall brand look was approved, we moved on to the identity for Pacific Pilsner.
- Brand update
- Packaging design development
- Marketing materials
The Pacific typeface and sailboat logo are central to Pacific Western’s brand. To update the type, we strengthened the font weight and unified the letter flow. We modernized the sailboat, simplifying its shape and giving it more energy and movement. For consistency and to allow the various beers to stand out, we created an area beneath the Pacific name where the beer names and font would not fight with the Pacific word mark.
We also corrected an error in the way the sails “blew” in the original sailboat, which had generated many comments from sailors!
The affects of the redesign were immediate. Pacific Pilsner’s sales increased by 183% once the product hit the shelves. Pacific Western Brewing do no advertising and rely on shelf appeal to grow their brand. The increase in sales was a directly attributed to the new packaging design.
In designing the beer can, we wanted to attract the eye to the sailboat, and then guide it to the Pacific Pilsner name. With the silver colour of the can as a background, the boat’s sail overlaps the gold ring and points upward to the type. On the back, full colour illustrations support a product story, with custom nautical icons, including a compass and anchor that form a crest-like icon. The same design theme was applied across the Schwarzbock and Weissbier tallboy can designs.
‘Party in the Pacific, Open a Can of Summer’ uses the curved lines of the product name and the boat to create a collage effect that draws together product photography, iconic images of summer and energetic illustrations. The simple colour pallet of blue, white and gold reflects the can design and ensures instant brand recognition in store.
Posters, in-store POS materials (fridge cling, shelf talkers, wobblers, etc.), product info sheets and online promotions used the same styling and built up a strong, memorable brand re-launch and marketing campaign.
Red Rocket took our Pacific Pilsner brand and embodied the essence of our design needs.
Paul Mulgrew, Pacific Western Brewing Co.
Product Development Manager
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