Brew Period: The Craft Beer Labels That Are Works Of Art

With its barrel-aged stouts and gooseberry saisons, craft beer has transformed British beer. But that revolution has not solely been about flavour. It has been aesthetic, too. Beer cans are now a canvas for dazzling, cutting-edge design, and this golden age for beer art is celebrated in blogs-cum-books such as ohbeautifulbeer.com, and even at exhibitions.

This makeover of pump clips, bottle labels and packaging has been pivotal to craft’s appeal, says the beer writer and consultant Matthew Curtis: “Craft brewers needed an updated image to match the modern flavours in their beers. Breaking with traditional brewing imagery was essential.”

For Becky Palfery, the co-owner of the Leeds bookshop Colours May Vary – which in May held a beer art exhibition, Pumped – that marketing necessity has facilitated the rise of branding that can be considered art. “We wanted to see if, removed from the bottle and put in a frame, the artwork would stand alone,” she says. The beautiful, often logo-free bottles created by the revered Karl Grandin for the Swedish brewery Omnipollo, she insists, have the “aura” of artworks.

That is certainly how Textbook Studio would like its work with the Manchester brewery Cloudwater to be regarded – as art that, although shown on cans, would work in a gallery. The Salford design agency commissions and curates original art (about 130 pieces annually), which it then works into labelling for Cloudwater’s seasonal beers. It is a serious endeavour, as the notes for the current campaign explain: “Mariel Osborn worked with tactile fabrics and materials with a feminine aesthetic to create site-specific responses to the Cloudwater brewery.”

Last year, Anglia Ruskin University’s pubLAB research centre found that snazzy label designs were more important than shelf-space in catching consumers’ eyes. That may explain why craft has embraced such bold packaging. In a crowded marketplace, craft breweries want to stand out – particularly online. “A beautiful can goes a long way,” says Textbook’s Chris Shearston. “A lot of US bloggers get the cans, photograph them and it becomes part of the experience. People do collect them.”

The radical, tangential and aesthetically purist way in which many craft breweries approach branding has confounded big breweries. Larger businesses design product packaging to strict “brand guidelines” for specific demographics, whereas, initially, UK craft beer had no defined audience or marketing budget. It just made it up on the hoof, often differentiating itself not with the obvious signifiers of authenticity (retro printing styles, images of hops), but with wild, abstract designs that utilise everything from voguish hand-drawn illustration to landscape photography. When established breweries attempt to tap into this market (see the generic hipster branding for Beardo from the north-west brewery Robinsons), they often look, says Curtis, “Like your weird uncle trying to dance to Taylor Swift at a wedding.”

“The big guys are fascinated by it to the point of confusion,” says Nick Dwyer, the creative director at Beavertown in north London, where he executes all aspects of the brewery’s trashy, B-movie aesthetic. Dwyer talks of his illustrations building trust and intimacy with an audience of a similar age (he is 27) through a shared visual language of graphic novels, old Star Wars comics and cult movies: “This generation is not ashamed of nostalgia.”

Over at Partizan Brewing in south London, label artist Alec Doherty wasn’t “thinking about being distinctive. But do your own thing and you will be.” His work (a fusion of Soviet, modern European design and 1960s US counterculture influences) might reference a beer’s ingredients or its style, but obliquely (eg a wise old man to represent the herb sage). Doherty sees himself as cultivating a likeminded audience who might decode his artwork in the way rock fans once scrutinised album sleeves. Beer, he says, encourages such “nerdiness”. “We wanted to add to the experience in a visual sense. You might taste something unusual, look at the label and it would have these reference points.”

“If a product makes you feel sophisticated, you’ll keep buying it,” says Palfery. “In a way, it’s a clever strategy.” But, says Design Week editor Tom Banks, there must be an essential truth to such marketing: “Craft breweries see themselves as anti-establishment agitators, and people are buying into that. I don’t think that branding is disingenuous, and if the drinks weren’t nice they wouldn’t be selling.”

Naturally, a hardcore of drinkers regard any sharp design as suspect – a gimmick to shift substandard beer. But craft is a flavour-focused scene. A cool label may get a beer noticed, but if it is a lacklustre liquid, interest will wane. Conversely, says Curtis, an “awful” label (“It even uses the dreaded Comic Sans”) has not stopped Russian River’s Pliny the Elder from becoming one of the world’s most sought-after IPAs.

Nor is every new brewery compelled to spend big on design. The Kernel’s vintage labelling (black type on brown wrapping paper) is simple, instantly recognisable and conceptually fitting for a brewery obsessed with historic beer recipes. In Yorkshire, Bad Seed brewery’s inexpensive branding – a DIY effort based on the swing tags homebrewers use to identify bottles – works for a brewery pushing a handcrafted ethos. “It’s unique and comes from our story,” says co-owner Chris Waplington. “You need something eye-catching but it doesn’t need to be perfect. An honest reflection of you is more important.”

“There are a lot of old farts out there who don’t like change and complain about anything,” says Doherty. “Essentially, the label is inconsequential.” Except that this new wave of design is not entirely frivolous. Rewind to 2007 and real ale packaging was, as Palfery recalls, “ludicrous”. Its lingua franca of craggy moors, steam trains, adolescent fantasy imagery and lazy sexism (blond pinups on blond ales etc) defined good beer as a middle-aged, male pursuit. In contrast, craft beer’s aesthetic is asexual, inclusive, urban. “With skeletons and aliens you don’t have to think about gender, race, age,” says Dwyer. “It is what it is.”

Craft beer may look cool, but that stylistic shift is cultural, too. Beer is now in a far more progressive place.

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Fall Crafts And Decorating Ideas

Fall is just around the corner—or, at least, I’m hoping it is. Seeing fall décor in stores and mums at garden centers just gets me in the mood for fall. I’m ready to throw some pumpkins around the house.

Here are a few fall crafts that might get you in the fall spirit, if you aren’t already there.

Glittery fall garland

This is an easy fall craft that the kids will enjoy as well. Find some fall-themed wood or foam cutouts, then glitter them up. Here’s how I made mine.

Ampersand pumpkin

Instead of just regular ol’ pumpkins, why not add a bit of embellishment to those faux ones you can find at craft stores? I made an ampersand pumpkin a couple of years back, and it’s one of my favorite fall decorations to date. The tutorial is here.

Go colorful

Instead of just decorating with orange and white pumpkins this fall, why not paint some in colors that reflect your taste and décor? I love painting pumpkins in kelly green or pink and then glittering the stems.

Five DIY and crafts projects you can make in an hour or less

I love seeing a custom painted accent wall or piece of furniture I’ve built turn out beautifully in the end. Sometimes, though, the small projects that take a whole lot less time turn out just as great.

Here are five DIY and craft projects for your home that you can complete in an hour or less.

Bottle into a lamp

Did you know you can take just about any bottle and turn it into a lamp? That’s what I did with this vintage wine bottle I found at The Insyde Outsyde Shop.

Fringe it up

Embellishing things like pillows, lamps or other small home accessories adds just the right amount of punch to a space. I love making fringe from duct tape for embellishing.

Faux jadeite

I love vintage jadeite, but it gets pricey. I came up with a way to get the look for way less.

Custom lampshade

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found the perfect lamp, but then finding the perfect shade to go with it has taken forever. One fix for that is making your own custom lampshade using any material you want.

Custom knobs

Ever since I discovered how easy it is to make your own custom knobs for furniture, I haven’t stopped thinking about what all I can make into a knob. Read this tutorial to start coming up with your own ideas for custom knobs.

Tips for Tackling a DIY Deck Project

MISSION, Kan., Aug. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — (Family Features) While planning a new outdoor living space can be overwhelming, chances are there’s a home improvement retailer nearby that offers an abundance of resources to help you tackle virtually any project. If a DIY deck project is on your to-do list, these tips can help you navigate the aisles like a pro.

Do your homework. Get started by perusing retailer websites to learn about their product offerings and services. Then visit manufacturer websites for more information and to compare aesthetics and performance. Research your options and decide what materials and styles make the most sense for your lifestyle and preferences. For instance, if you are looking to spend more time enjoying your deck than maintaining it, you may consider a high-performance composite material, like Trex. Unlike wood, composite decking won’t rot, warp, crack or splinter, and resists fading, scratching and mold.

Take advantage of retailer resources. After you’ve decided on a preferred material, your local big-box retailer can help you obtain additional information, design ideas and product samples. To help get you on your way, lowes.trex.com can help you explore the decking and railing collections available through Lowe’s. In addition to perusing an array of decking options, you also can preview designer-curated railing pairings. Once you find a combination that suits your outdoor space, you can download the materials list to better guide your in-store experience.

Explore the store. Once you have determined the direction of your project and narrowed down your product preferences, orient yourself with the store landscape so you can navigate the merchandise in an order that correlates with your project. It may be easiest to start with decking materials in the lumber aisle and then move to railings, which can typically be found in an adjacent aisle or on an end-cap display. Pay close attention to signage and look carefully for logos to make sure you’re finding the brand you want.

Ask an associate. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The staff at your local retailer can provide tips to help you successfully navigate your project and the store. For instance, if the materials you are looking for aren’t on the shelves, many options are available via special order. Typically, an associate can arrange for the product you want to arrive in-store in about 10 days. Most stores also offer assistance with installation.

5 Easy Diy Projects To Re-Organize Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of your home, where family gathers and we nourish our good health. So, why not show it a little extra love with an easy home improvement project?

Quick do-it-yourself projects don’t need to be complicated or take up much more time than cooking a plate of pasta. In fact, one of the easiest ways to upgrade your kitchen is with some handy sliding shelves – it only takes 5 minutes!

Here are 5 ways to install sliding shelves to you’re your kitchen clean, organized and ready to go.

1.Economize your essential pantry space

For those with a narrow pantry, or no pantry at all, quickly installing sliding shelves will not only give you more surface space, but it will help to easily organize your groceries!

2.Install a pull-out trash can

Trash in your kitchen can be bothersome, get in your way, or be just plain unsightly. If it’s not contained well, it can start to smell, and foul odors don’t mix with cooking and eating. By installing a sliding shelf, you can tuck your trash can beneath the countertop so it’s out of the way when you’re not using it, and easily accessible when it’s time to clean up.

3.Make pots and pans more accessible

Instead of reaching into the back of your cabinet and fumbling with heavy pots and pans, simply install a sliding shelf that brings the heavy items to you. Glide the shelf out of the cabinet, grab what you need and then tuck it away again. It makes cleaning up less painful too!

4.Create storage for Tupperware or cleaning supplies

Maintaining a clean kitchen is important for keeping your family healthy. Easily store a supply of towels, disinfectants, and soap in a designated drawer so they are always readily available. Adding a shelf beneath your kitchen sink is easy and will ensure you have enough storage space for these essential items.

5.Organize your spices or cutlery drawer

Is your oregano, paprika and black pepper all jumbled together? Instead of wasting time searching for what you need to season your dish, use a sliding shelf to organize your spice rack so that each one is clearly visible. You might even end up rediscovering some flavors.

The next time your family gathers for a holiday dinner or you’re passing along a secret family recipe, you’ll be happy with how easy it is to find what you need in your newly organized and re-designed kitchen space. Plus, this transformation only requires a few basic household items like a screwdriver, pencil, measuring tape and 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. To get started, check out this easy-to-read installation guide.

With over 25 years in the business, Shelves That Slide knows exactly what your kitchen needs, and that’s why their DIY shelves come with everything you need for an easy installation.

DIY Computer Desk Ideas Space Saving

DIY Computer Desk – I am so thrilled to be sharing my steps to earning your personal DIY computer workdesk with you! Nevertheless, if you’re not seeking a computer workdesk, this same concept would certainly help an accent table, kitchen area table, or coffee table! And also it’s so feasible and also very practical. So strap on your building contractor’s belt, get your drill and prepare to party!

I know how when you most likely to a DIY blog that it’s really irritating when the writer chit-chats the very first half of the blog site, so I’m just mosting likely to leap right into the products. I want to detail every one of the essential components and devices that you’ll need for this task first like a recipe.

DIY Computer Desk

Initial point wases initially, you ought to reduce the timber. We got the butcher block from a regional Knoxville shop, Southeastern Salvage; it is substantially less costly compared to at Lowes and Home Depot. You can make the surface area whatever dimension that you desire, our particular dimensions used were 47 ″ on the short side and also 55 ″ on the long side. The racks were 11.5 ″ vast. The deepness of the workdesk and also the racks were the standard 26 ″ that we purchased the butcher block at.

Diy Computer Desk Wood

The office is a location where the business of the day is done. Functionality, functionality and also efficiency are of the utmost significance, yet an ever-growing interest in making this room refreshingly trendy has resulted in a lot of home office DIY jobs. Why should not this space of your house weigh on style? A well-decorated work room has the power to influence and invigorate, transforming the most ordinary of tasks into bearable as well as (attempt we state) pleasurable experiences!

Diy Computer Desk Gaming

It’s as a result not a surprise that a lot of DIY workdesk projects have arised, from the relatively simple to the a lot more intricate and complex. We’ve accumulated the very best of the lot for do-it-yourselfers of all levels. Even if you’re not in the marketplace for a new workdesk, have a look at the office setups below. Probably you’ll locate some business style ideas that will certainly rejuvenate business of work.

Diy Computer Desk Plans

Our initial collection of workdesks is not for the pale of heart. These sturdy, huge items are for the most dedicated of work-from-homers. That’s right– the desks supply the best in storage room, making room for a range of devices and documents. Got lots of workplace products? No problem! These workdesks could support the weight of your work.

Diy Computer Desk Laptop Stand

For a comparable edge look, have a look at the DIY Build Your Own Craft Desk project. Note just how table legs are connected to one end of the desk, while cube shelving adds support to the opposite end as well as middle. Browse through Jannypie for further instructions.

7 Home-Staging Ideas You Can DIY to Save Cash

Home staging can seem like a magical process—transforming your cluttered, uninspired bungalow into a dream home that instantly inspires multiple offers. A professional stager will have knowledge on the most desirable design trends and bring stylish furniture and accessories to transform your home. But if your budget doesn’t accommodate this oft-pricey service, fear not.

Home sellers who want to present their home in a tasteful way can do so with the tips below from design-minded experts. The best news is, they’re all styling tricks you can pull off yourself.

1. Arrange bouquets of flowers

Look for long-lasting fresh—not fake—flowers that smell good and won’t drop petals quickly, recommends Bee Heinemann, home design expert at Vant Wall Panels.

“Great selections include ranunculus, calla lilies, pink freesia, dahlias, roses, and carnations,” she says.

“Place flowers in small, tightly arranged bundles in short vases,” suggests Carole Marcotte, a designer with Form & Function, in Raleigh, NC.

Pro tip: Use a rubber band to keep the stems together. And be sure to trim the stems and change the vase water every few days.

2. Fill a fruit bowl

“Fruit is a symbol of abundance, prosperity, and good luck, which is why you often see it in staged homes,” says Heinemann. It’s inexpensive and adds a burst of color and texture that helps tie a room together.

The best fruits to display are oranges, lemons, and green apples. “Green apples are particularly pretty and last a long time,” says Marcotte.

Avoid bananas, berries, or pears, which will ripen quickly and smell sickly sweet. Fruit shouldn’t look fancy or fussy, so just stack the pieces on a serving platter or pile them into a glass or ceramic bowl.

3. Pile on the pillows (but not too many)

The trick to staging with pillows is to have just enough to make a room look welcoming and spruced up, but not so many that buyers are distracted, explains Marcotte. Beds should have sleeping pillows on each side, a Euro pillow in front, and perhaps one decorative pillow, she says.

On a long couch, Marcotte likes to place two pillows on one end and one on the opposite end.

“An asymmetrical look is more interesting and not overdone,” she says. Heinemann likes to use four pillows on sofas, two on larger chairs or love seats, and one for every upholstered chair.

To keep everything looking coordinated but not too matchy-matchy, choose throw pillows in the same color palette, but feel free to mix prints.

4. Fold towels the right way

Both Heinemann and Marcotte agree that simply folding a towel in threes looks best regardless of whether you’re stacking towels or hanging them over a bar or through a ring. Here’s how: Fold one side toward the middle and then the other so no raw edges are showing, and then fold it in half lengthwise to hang or stack.

Also, you shouldn’t—for any reason—have messy or soiled towels in the bathrooms. And don’t even think about tying towels with ribbon.

“I hate it when stagers do this—no one does it in real life,” Marcotte explains.

5. Curb bedside table clutter

When it comes to bedside tables, the neater, the better.

“Keep it simple with just a couple of books, a small plant or candle, and a lamp,” recommends Heinemann.

As for family photos, do a clean sweep. “It’s best to depersonalize, because you don’t want a buyer looking at your kid’s graduation picture and then missing the beautiful bedroom molding,” she explains.

6. Curate your coffee table

With a surface larger than a side table, you have room to design a smart tableau. Make your coffee table stand out by organizing your odds and ends in distinct sections, usually thirds or fourths.

“In one section, place a nice tray to hold a plant, a geode, drink coasters, or candles,” Marcotte says. Two sections of the table can hold large art books, and the last quarter can either be empty or contain a pretty box to hold your remotes.

“You might also add a large plant, flower arrangement, or tall piece of art in the middle,” she suggests. Long-lasting orchids are great here, as is a collection of small succulents.

7. Don’t forget the closets

Buyers do poke their heads inside closets, so staging them is a must.

Stephen Newman, president of Closet Factory in Fort Lauderdale, FL, reports that many potential buyers make assumptions based on closets.

“A disorganized, cluttered space says, ‘This home is tight on storage,’ even if that’s not the case,” he explains.

Never put your home on the market without an assortment of clothes in the master bedroom closet. An empty closet might make a buyer may think you’re desperate to sell, which could lead to a lowball offer. Group like items together, and then color coordinate.

“This helps a buyer’s eyes flow easily along the space, making it feel larger than it really is,” Newman says. Be sure everything is off the closet floor and toss old, mismatched hangers in favor of uniform ones (hanger continuity also improves visual flow).