Creativity, Craftiness, and Our Benefit Brew

Have you seen the latest creative initiative from EALT?  Our Benefit Brew submission? Well, we’ve been outclassed by the creativity which has gone into the label in Phillips’ new brew!

We hope you’ve bought your selection of this very limited batch of the Edmonton and Area Land Trust Oatmeal Brown Ale.  If so, you’ll have seen the fantastic label, designed by Phillips Brewing graphic designer, Shawn O’Keefe. Shawn is an artist and designer, and for the past 14 years has been designing labels for Phillips. We thought we’d ask Shawn about how he came up with the design, colours, font, and overall feel of the label. He kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to give a little interview.

When designing the label of Phillips Benefit Brew, Shawn worked up a unique colour pallet of greens, browns and blues, that are intended to represent the beer style, the brewery and EALT. He created a font collection for the label that has a vintage feel, but is contemporary in layout and design. The EALT label fits well into the general line of Phillips’ products with its colours and design. Shawn’s goal was to keep the unique Phillips design style and combine it with environmental conservation. Whenever Phillips creates a new product, Shawn designs a new label and lets the brand and beer style guide his art. The themes aren’t constant, because the beer comes in a huge variety. He tries to find the best suited illustration style for each product and lets that vision lead.

EALT was surprised and intrigued that Shawn said: “I see a kinship between my label art and Skateboard art.” But we can see what he means!

Shawn sees Phillips like a skateboard company and tries to represent the company with an overall aesthetic sense when he rolls out his graphic design and packaging. He imagines each individual beer brand as a unique pro-rider; whose character and style he wants to represent with the design of each pro-rider’s signature deck design. “Those are my labels…that is how I see them. The challenge and fun is to create something that captures the beer’s character, the unconventional style of Phillips and have it result in a label that appeals to craft beer drinkers.”

Shawn loves his job and says the people at Phillips are really great, smart, and creative. He is part of a super fun staff at the brewery. At Phillips the employees joke around and strive to have as much fun as they can while they work. Everyone works really hard to make the best product they can, in a fun atmosphere, when grinding away at deadlines.

“It is essential to maintain who we are and who we want our children to be.”

Environmental conservation means a lot to Shawn. He was ‘born in the woods’ and grew up surrounded by nature. He treasures the value of that and is happy to have contributed his part to EALT’s goal.

Thank you Shawn!

- by Robert Brundage, EALT's Volunteer Conservation Intern