52 Weeks of Design: Week 22


As an example, lets look at a darling relic of the Pacific Northwest – RAINIER BEER.

With a rich history in the region, and a timeline packed with stellar design work[1] , the Rainier brand has been present in peoples lives in taste and culture; enduring as a staple beverage for college freshmen and retirees alike. It is force of the local zeitgeist……and yet……between 1977 and 1999 it bounced from owner to owner until Pabst closed the brewery. (It’s currently being brewed with help from They Olympic Brewing Company in Olympia, WA…thank god)

The result of being bought and sold, opened and closed, and moved from state to state, is a brand that has suffered a severe lack of design attention. Neglect and constant relocation have turned a visually forward brand into a shadow of it’s former self, and we’ve been left holding this [2] all night…

So how about a refresh? There are some amazing examples of beer branding out there for inspiration, and it’s become sort of an art form in it’s own right. Check out some of these for direction:

O’Brien – Rebellion Brewing[3]

Rush River Brewing Co[4]

DOZENS MORE at Oh Beautiful Beer[5]

What this beer needs – OR ANY BEER YOU CHOOSE – is a logo update, can or bottle label designs, carton design, and maybe a coaster or patch for good measure.

Pick one element or piece, pick a few, or the whole ensemble and go nuts. 😀

PROTIP: The best way to ‘research’ whatever beer you’re redesigning is to drink a bunch of it. Good luck!

Rather than make some kind of flashy modernist twist on an old beer, I decided to see if I could just touch on the outdoor and classic taste that Rainier would be marketed towards.  I made the can green because it will stand out next to every other american lager (other than rolling rock) and kept with some modification the seal that has been on their labels throughout their history.



  1. I dig it. A lot. But I think you can do better on the typography for the R–the proportion and direction of the leg (I don’t know what else to call it) seem just a tad off…and maybe it’s too thin at that one point?

    Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s great and is certainly a gazillion (technical terms only) times better than anything I could ever come up. But you are the one who posted it on the web…and your blog allows comments…so…there.

    1. Ya, that is my one issue with it currently. I actually think I’d take it the other way, making it skinnier to look like a fly fishing line. I either way you’re right, there is something a little off.

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