Transmitter: A Beer Packaging Design Inspired by Ham Radio

The following packaging design project earned Best of Region for New York City in the 2015 Regional Design Annual—the most prestigious design competition in the USA. See more winners from NYC.

With a keen eye and informed appreciation for typography, judge Louise Fili selected the packaging for Transmitter Brewing as New York City’s Best of Region.

Transmitter Brewing // Jeff Rogers; www.howdyjeff.com: Jeff Rogers (creative director/art director/designer); Transmitter Brewing (client)

Transmitter Brewing // Jeff Rogers; www.howdyjeff.com: Jeff Rogers (creative director/art director/designer); Transmitter Brewing (client)

She calls it “fun” and “memorable,” and admires the work for how it sensitively handles a colossal amount of text. Designer Jeff Rogers explains that he knew from the start that just one label design wasn’t going to cut it for this branding system that needed to fit with the brewery’s “intense, mad scientist—like philosophies” and also inform people about the subtle differences in its beers.

Transmitter Brewing // Jeff Rogers; www.howdyjeff.com: Jeff Rogers (creative director/art director/designer); Transmitter Brewing (client)

“The numbering system is the hero of the label designs,” Rogers says. As for its origins, he saw an article in UPPERCASE featuring old QSL radio cards from the 1930s and ’40s that were created by ham radio operators, and “literally freaked out” since they were the perfect inspiration.

“They were different, but looked unified,” he says. As it happens, Transmitter Brewery’s original location was also near Transmitter Park in Brooklyn, which inspired its name.

Transmitter Brewing // Jeff Rogers; www.howdyjeff.com: Jeff Rogers (creative director/art director/designer); Transmitter Brewing (client)

Transmitter Brewing // Jeff Rogers; www.howdyjeff.com: Jeff Rogers (creative director/art director/designer); Transmitter Brewing (client)

Transmitter Brewing // Jeff Rogers; www.howdyjeff.com: Jeff Rogers (creative director/art director/designer); Transmitter Brewing (client)

Transmitter Brewing // Jeff Rogers; www.howdyjeff.com: Jeff Rogers (creative director/art director/designer); Transmitter Brewing (client)

The cards helped establish a visual hierarchy to guide the massive amounts of text, and soon after everything started to fall into place for Rogers. “My philosophy for these is more is more,” Rogers says. “The design approach also appeals to me because of my painting background. I use layers and layers of color and texture in my work, so layering with type really makes sense to me from a design perspective.”

At the end of the day, though, there was more to this project for Rogers than free beer and creating a memorable design. “These guys love what they do… so it’s important to try and capture the love and attention that goes into crafting the beer,” he says.

Transmitter Brewing // Jeff Rogers; www.howdyjeff.com: Jeff Rogers (creative director/art director/designer); Transmitter Brewing (client)

Don’t miss your chance to enter the USA’s most prestigious and well-respected design competition. Enter the 2016 Regional Design Annual today!

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