A few weeks ago I found out that two of my label designs had made it into the GABS Label Design Awards top 10 for 2021. There were so many incredible labels by some of New Zealand's top designers so to be recogonised in the top 10 was so surreal.
On Friday afternoon I got the news that I won and I'm honestly still lost for words.
A huge, heart filled thank you goes out to the two breweries who trusted me with their designs, to the incredible women I collaborated with on the winning label, to GABS for providing such an incredible platform that shines a light on the integral part designers play in the industry, and to everyone who voted for my designs.
Ladies of Dogtown designed for Searchlight Brewery
ABOUT THE DESIGN
When my partner and I were travelling through the US in our van we came across the epic all-female skate crew out of California called GRL SWRL. They were pushing boundaries and providing an incredible environment to foster skills and create connections. This became the foundation for the idea behind the Ladies of Dogtown cans.
We wanted to highlight the talent and passion of the skate culture here in Queenstown, while also empowering other women to breakdown gender-boundaries and take up the very male-dominated sport. Because why should boys get to have all the fun?
Beer cans are very dominated by artwork, so we decided to push the boundaries and use photographs instead. On International Women's Day we set out with our all-female crew to capture something uniquely Queenstown. What resulted was 6 rotating images that truly capture the free and easy going nature of this town.
A massive thank you to our epic all female crew for bringing my idea to life:
Photographer - Melissa Clark
Skaters: Ella Dulson, Michelle Ngyuen
“Really interesting visual approach – photographic treatments are surprisingly underused on beer artwork, so this in itself really stands out. The full image is a lovely piece of photography.”
“In a world where designs are artwork – we rarely see photos. This immediately makes the can stand out against others. It definitely gives off ‘good vibes’ while giving the consumer all the information they need front and centre. An absolute success story in bringing a brand’s values to life.”
“Great job and love that they’ve baked an idea and values into this beer rather than just focus on what’s in the can. It’s to be rewarded.”
Zenkuro Dry designed for Canyon Brewing
ABOUT THE DESIGN
Canyon Brewing decided to collaborate with Zenkuro Sake by using the spent rice lees (sake kasu) and turn it into a Japanese inspired rice lager. Zenkuro are the only sake makers in New Zealand so establishing a strong link between Japan and New Zealand was the main focus of the label.
To do this I drew on traditional Japanese illustration styles and imagery such as the cloud style and red circle. Within Japanese culture cranes symbolise longevity and were used to denote the unity between the two brands. Cherry blossoms are known as one of the most distinctive features of Japan in Spring time, and this is one commonality it shares with Queenstown so these were weaved into the artwork as a way of showcasing the similarities between the two countries. The mountain range is The Remarkables, a distinctive feature of Queenstown and a recognisable visual to the town. In an attempt to stay as authentic as possible Japanese characters were instead of logos (the top left says 'Zenkuro' and the bottom right says 'Canyon').
“I thought this was super distinctive. It screams rice lager, Japanese cues, but retains the ID and quirkiness of the brand as well as finding a nice connection between the Southern Alps visual of the brand and Mount Fuji. I like it a lot.“
“Really nice design. The concept is well thought through and executed with lots of lovely touches.. The textured label and the use of distinctively traditional Japanese artistic styles makes this really stand out.“
View the rest of the top 10 here