Comm Lab: Visual Language

Week 1: Design Anaylsis of Other Half Brewery Labels

Other Half Brewery in Brooklyn, NY has a reputation for their creative labels which accompany their cleverly named beers.  Other Half collaborates with other well known breweries to develop a constant line of new beers.  As a result, they are constantly developing new labels.  My family has been going to Other Half for years and I have watch the creative minds develop new, but consistent labels.  A list of all the beers and labels can be found here.  Despite the amount of labels, Other Half does an amazing job sustaining a style for the labels. One way they keep this consistency is by categorizing the beers and thus the labels.  All of the beers with “mosaic” in the name have a distinct style while all of the beers with the name “shower” in the name have another style.  Some names combine two words with different styles, and thus the labels have aspects from each category.  

To highlight the design features in the Other Half labels I will focus on one of my favorite labels, the Mosaic Daydream IPA as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 : Mosaic Daydream Label

Figure 1: Mosaic Daydream Label

This particular beer label is a good example of how Other Half combines the styles of two categories into one.  Since the beer is called the Mosaic Daydream the label takes from the labels that are in the Mosaic category and the Daydream category.  Figure 2 & 3 shows the labels for beers that are in the Mosaic and Daydream categories, respectively.  It is very apparent how the Mosaic Daydream IPA takes from both of these styles.  The pixelated, gradation pattern is taken from the Mosaic labels and the cloud grid is taken from the Daydream labels. 

The Mosaic Daydream label uses three layers, the Mosaic layer, the Daydream layer, and the text layer.  The Mosaic layer uses a diagonal color gradient to move from yellow to purple.  Figure 4 shows a simplified color pallet for the label that is largely represented on the Mosaic layer.

Figure 4 : Color Pallet

Figure 4: Color Pallet

 The Daydream layer is represented in a grid pattern, Figure 5.  In order to connect these two base layers, the designers cleverly replaced the cloud closest to the yellow section of the label with a round sun.

Figure 5 : Daydream Layer Grid

Figure 5: Daydream Layer Grid

 The final text layer is placed on top of all the layers and is centered in the lower left third of the label (Figure 6).  This text layer is consistent across all Other Half labels which allows for clear messaging.  The text is in a font called XIntnl Morse De Code which provides a clean read over the busier background.  For the Mosaic Daydream label, this is the only font that is used.  However, in other labels, Other Half will use different fonts to differentiate between the text layer and the other background layers.

Figure 6 : Text Layer Grid

Figure 6: Text Layer Grid

Overall, this analysis has given me a deeper appreciation for the time Other Half takes to develop their labels and the design vocabulary they have created for their brand.

Eva PhilipsComment