Editor’s Note: This project won Best of Region for the Far West in PRINT’s 2017 Regional Design Awards. See all of the winners here, and don’t forget to enter the 2018 Regional Design Awards.
Nothing in this year’s RDA captures the wanderlust of the Far West quite like the can designs for Fieldwork Brewing Company. Full-bleed landscape photography inspired by National Geographic images from the ’50 and ’60s wraps the cans, depicting locations that tie into the names of the beers. “The photography style is the most major piece,” says Gamut principal Ian Gordon. For each photo to be consistent, it’s treated with a preset that gives it a classic autochrome look that’s then printed on an adhesive-backed label.
Gamut is designing roughly six Fieldwork cans every week, all bringing to life their “adventures to go” theme, with inspiration drawn from topographic maps and legends. “There aren’t a lot of breweries releasing new and different beers at such a fast pace as Fieldwork is, which they’re able to do because the packaging process for beer has [become] a lot more streamlined in the past couple years,” Gordon says.
In order to support and sustain this brand concept, Gamut developed naming guidelines for future beers so that the photo-driven theme could be brought to life with each new brew. “Since that time, the names have taken on a life of their own, subject to the brewers’ whimsy and what the beer means to [them],” Gordon says. For instance, the beer Tiger Uppercut references the character Sagat’s special move in the game “Street Fighter II.” A photo of Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Thailand was selected for the can since it’s featured in Sagat’s scene in the game.
It’s clear that Gamut has hit a sweet spot in both keeping things interesting and cohesive, all while hitting deadlines to keep up with the breakneck pace of their prolific client.