The Culture and Typography of Beer

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Beer has been a part of the culture of man for thousands of years dating back to ancient times when wheat and barely were fermented and used as nutritional beverages, the alcohol a seemingly pleasant side effect. As the world aged beer began to play a bigger part in the world’s culture, eventually becoming the staple of social culture it is today. Love it or hate it, beer is here to stay. With it’s long, rich history comes a fantastic repertoire of growth from it’s storage in ancient pots to the cool beer labels we see on craft brews lining specialty stores and some grocery stores today.

There is little doubt about the role that a good brew plays in our culture, from winding down from a hard day to a way to get the party started. But ales, lagers and IPAs are more than that; they are an expression of who we are and the rise of home-brewing and microbreweries is a testament to that. Along with some of the most interesting, and well crafted beers comes a love affair with design–a desire to set our brews apart and to make their labels just as unique as the beers inside the bottles. It’s clear that graphic design, typography, and beer have never been more closely linked than it is now as the era of craft brews takes off.

Below is an excerpt from Print Mag’s second year regarding the history and culture of beer, typography and it’s role in the 1940’s as a social excursion.



Want more up-to-date information about the world of beer as we know it and see some killer designs? Check out Daniel Bellon and Steven Speeg’s new book, Cool Beer Labels, to learn more about the close knit world of graphic design and beer, available now at!

Featuring well-designed labels from craft and small breweries from around the world, Cool Beer Labels demonstrates how commercialized packaging design and thoughtful branding can be elevated to a whole new level. Not only will you get a chance to peruse these label designs, but you’ll also find interviews with those involved in their design process, like the owner, master brewer, or designer of the packaging. Get a taste of quality packaging design, and great beer, and delve into an exploration of fun design and a celebration of the craft brew culture.

Take a look inside with this video about the book: