In the first of what I hope to be a regular series of blog posts as it allows me to drink alcohol under the guise of important research for 'self-promotional efforts', we're kicking off with a spotlight on Feral brewery's branding for their ales and beers. If you couldn't tell from that vague use of 'ales and beers', I'm not a big beer (or ale) drinker. Gimme a pint of cider or a glass of wine. Or a Bacardi Breezer. I'm not fussy.*
Anyway. Since I'm not a huge beer drinker I'm not going to be drawn to a bottle of the stuff unless it has something else going for it. And let's be honest, I wouldn't have been drawn to Feral if it wasn't for Pinterest - as they're actually an Aussie brewery. You can import four bottles over for about twelve quid from one of those specialist beer nerd websites, but otherwise I haven't seen it hanging round any of our off-licenses.
But I was indeed lucky enough to spot the above branding on Pinterest, and as we have already established this is a place for admiring such branding, rather than the beer itself. So let's crack on.
I'm a big believer in tone of voice being the key behind a brand that's going to become something you stick to and feel loyal towards. You're not going to buy in to a company, or organisation, or product unless you feel like you get it - it stands for what you stand for, or you like the way it's made, or it fits with your lifestyle or image or your own interests. And to really 'get' it, they have to explain themselves in a way that resonates with you.
Feral are a great example of bum-rushing the over-crowded craft beer industry with a tone of voice that stands out and grabs you from the get-go. Fair enough, it's hipster. It takes visual cues from zines and that kind of punky, DIY aesthetic with the photocopying textures and handwritten scribbles. Very independent, low-fi, power to the people grassroots style - which in turn references the hands-on nature of the brand itself. The colours are classic biro ink, there's a hint of Sharpie, both contrast nicely with the solid, bold, proud type for the brand name that stop it all feeling a bit too amateur. And that all pairs perfectly with the copy - 'shove', 'bacony', very casual, properly written as it would be spoken, pub-style chatting. Clever one-liners in the ads that you can relate to more immediately thanks to the rushed and uneven handwriting. It doesn't feel preachy, doesn't feel like a know-it-all craft beer geek's beer that you can only drink if you know what a hop is. It's light-hearted, fresh, and in turn you can almost tell just how easily sippable a bottle of it would be. Perfect.
The branding for Feral was created by Block, who are based over in Perth. If you couldn't tell from the waffle above, I'm a fan.
* This is, of course, a fib for comedic effect. About a year ago I would gladly accept a Barcardi Breezer but I now have a much more sophisticated, London trained palette, being a young professional and all. Sometimes I can even tell when wine tastes like peach. Who am I kidding, I'd still down a Breezer.