Published on December 8th, 2015 | by Alastair Gilmour


In brand we trust

Like-minded people have created memorable styling for a North East brewery

A company’s brand creates and maintains a reputation for its customers. But it extends further than sticking a logo on everything; a strong brand interacts with customers, suppliers and employees alike. So, it can make a business stand out in a crowded, competitive market.

When Morpeth-based Anarchy Brew Co decided its A-logo – striking as it is – needed a bit of help, owners Simon and Dawn Miles took a long, hard look around at what was being done elsewhere. Eventually they turned to Marc Ross and Jonny Seal at Dirty Hand, a multi-disciplined Newcastle design company that works very effectively in the region’s leisure industry.

“It all kicked off when we had to change our name from Brew Star,” says Simon Miles. Another brewing company thought Brew Star was too similar their own name and started to get heavy, so Anarchy was born.

“We never had the opportunity to bring changes into the new name because we were so busy. We knew what we wanted, but had no time to think.”

Simon and Dawn had seen Dirty Hands’ work at Dat Bar in Newcastle and thought it was the way to go. When client and designer met they felt comfortable with each other and understood what was required – which is vital.

Simon says: “We got ideas from the guys who work here at the brewery – we involved everybody. Marc sat and listened and understood what we wanted right from the beginning. We felt a synergy.”

One strong idea that emerged straight away was that the branding would have a Punk aesthetic using newspaper-style typography with a DIY look involving headlines, intros, cross-heads and cut-and-paste, torn-up lettering.

“We started off with a brainstorming session,” says Marc Ross. “We all sat together and got to know what we were all about. It wasn’t just us going away and coming back with something. Simon had a lot of ideas in his head but wasn’t sure what was possible.

“All the labels have funny little stories; everybody sits and reads them as they’re drinking. That was the idea all along.”

AnarchyBottlesIt wasn’t just the more obvious beer labels that got the Dirty Hands treatment, but the colour, shape and size of the bottles themselves, backed by posters, t-shirts, advertising and web design. On the labelling, small news story paragraphs describe a little of what to expect inside the bottle, but aren’t tasting notes in the traditional sense. The wording fades, smudges and dances in and out of focus like passages in a scrunched-up newspaper would do. One thing is, the branding is memorable. Crucially, so is the beer.

Now, not only do bottle shops and distributors want Anarchy beer, but the posters and merchandising to boot – with one national company requesting framed images for their new offices.

Marc Ross admits he was a huge beer fan anyway, but only got a taste of what brewing was all about when he met Simon and Dawn. He says: “Anarchy was a dream client; we were on the same wavelength, and it was a good, fun project.”

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Alastair Gilmour

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