If you haven’t noticed, beer is big business here in Texas. And business is good. It seems like every time you turn around there’s a new brewery popping up and a new bottled concoction that’s coming out.
According to the Brewers Association (which promotes American craft brewers), between 2011 and 2014 Texas went from 59 breweries to 117, which ranks us as the 8th most breweries per state in the U.S. Those breweries produced 982,918 barrels of craft beer (good enough for a rank of 7th). And finally, a 2012 economic study by the Brewers Association calculated that the craft beer industry had a $2.3 billion (yes, with a “b”) impact on the state’s economy, which puts Texas at number two in the country.
With all this brewing business, it was just a matter of time until I got to create something related to beer. That’s where Zane Colvin comes into the story. He’s a friend, a “beer nerd” who had an idea and needed a logo.
Zane’s love of beer and his attempts at micro-brewing had given rise to the idea of starting a beer blog—Drafting.beer (read as “drafting dot beer”). Immediately I thought the name was fun since the word “draft” was a homophone (a sound-alike word) to ”draught”. I was also intrigued because the URL was a “.beer” address. No, that’s not a typo.
The blog does not have a .com address at all. Think that’s weird? Let me explain.
Ten or 15 years ago it was still pretty easy to register a good, easy-to-remember dot com URL. That’s not the case anymore. So many URLs have been snatched up, making it difficult to get the site address you want. Just ask 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz. But as of January 2014, the U.S. company Donuts Inc. released a bunch of new domain suffixes, which are resold to the public via URL registrars like GoDaddy. These new domain suffixes included “.financial”, “.guru”, “.bike”, “.camera”, “.equipment”, “.estate”, “.gallery”, “.graphics”, “.lighting”, “.photography” and most importantly, “.beer”.
This shift was one of the biggest changes to the interwebs since their creation. But with change comes the need for adjustment. For years I railed against putting “.com” in a logo (unless the business was primarily an online venture), but in this case I felt like we needed to look at some logo options where “dot beer” was spelled out.
For this project, we kept the number of logo explorations pretty tight. I had a ton of fun with the beer iconography (including mugs, heads of foam, wheat stalks and beer tap pulls), but I also really enjoyed playing around with the type in these logos. From extended slab serifs to tall condensed typefaces and even some black letter type selections, we crafted the three options which you’ll see below.
Ultimately, Zane selected the second option with some minor color tweaks. And we created a simplified version that could be easily adapted for social media and wearable applications. Needless to say, Zane was full of excitement—and so am I, since my fridge is full of fantastic beer.