Since I originally designed the labels in an oval shape I wanted to experiment with different label shapes. Taking into consideration that I needed to include elements such as health warnings, barcodes, alcohol percentage, address of the brewery, ingredients, best before dates, recycling and disposal warnings, and perhaps even a brief description to each of the beers. There was a lot of information that needed to go onto these labels that didn’t quite fit my original oval designs. I didn’t necessarily need to include every single detail as I gathered from my research some of the information tends to vary on different beers, some with much more information and some with just the minimum. I wanted to include as much as I could simply to make the labels seem more finished and professional. It was also good practice at layout design as it’s not easy to place all this information into the label.
Even though these rectangular labels work with all the information included the illustrations themselves lost a bit of their strength, seemingly just floating in the centre of the labels. I decided to go back to my original oval shaped labels. Playing around with the positioning of the owl I arrived at this layout with the owl slightly popping out of the inner framing of the oval. I really liked how it looked like this, it immediately made my the owl stand out a lot more and made the label work much better as one piece. I also decided to change the colour scheme and go with the same colours on the owl its self rather than that cliche golden label I originally had. This way the colours complemented each other with the illustrations and I could do the same thing for the other two labels and have an individual colour scheme for each.
For the other labels I followed the same placement of the illustrations by placing slightly out of frame, flowing out the inner oval label shape. For the dragon illustration I ran into a bit of a problem being that the dragon had a long neck that flowed out of the label shape too much. That’s when I got the idea to clip the neck using the pathfinder intersect tool on illustrator to make it look as if the dragon is popping its head out from with in the inner oval shape. I needed to duplicate the image and separate the tongue and chin spikes using the pathfinder divide option and then placing those extra bits over the other clipped image. Making the third label was easier by just placing the image slightly oversized out of the inner oval like the owl label. The effect of having the illustrations pop out of the labels had definitely made the designs much stronger and I was pleased with the results.
I still had all the label information to be included in to the labels so I included an extension to the label to place all the necessary information. That extra part of the label would wrap around the back of the bottle. This design is definitely stronger than the rectangular labels however I still felt the oval shapes worked better on their own as a sort of emblem. Doing some test prints I managed to adjust the side flaps and extend them a little bit more so that the text wouldn’t be visible from the front but I still felt the oval shape lost a bit of impact with that extra red band going around on the sides.
Through out the whole design process I did a lot of test printing but when it came to the labels I did even more. Cutting the labels out and placing them around a beer bottle which was the same dimensions of the ones I planned on using for the finals. This was critical in getting the correct sizing of course, but also seeing the label placed on a bottle I was able to get a better feel for what works instead of just working off the screen.
Looking at different examples of back labels as seen above allowed me to make sure I was including all the necessary information and look at how the hierarchy of information had been arranged. Some of the back labels are about the same size as the front side counterparts while others had a smaller back label. Some gave a little back story to the beer’s origins while others focused on the unique tastes of the beer and some just had the ingredients listed. That’s what gave me the idea of including a small paragraph for each label talking about the unique flavours and ingredients to give the back labels a more personalised feel.
Since I didn’t really like the extensions of the label I decided on doing a separate back label to include all the information. Having a separate label at the back I was able to focus purely on the layout of that information with out having to work it around the oval shape. I was able to include the logo with a slight variation on the banner saying ‘Hecho en Mexico’ meaning made in Mexico as a reference to the country of origin like all beers have. I also included a slight description to each of the back labels, a website url (which doesn’t exist), the brewery address, ingredients, alcohol percentage, bottle volume, best before, recycle disposal symbol, government warning and a barcode. I had to do some test printing again to get the back label to a good size that wouldn’t over power the front label, and include the text at a good point size. The result of this back label seemed a much better solution and worked well.