Well, hello there! Welcome to our new little internet-home. Please, make yourself comfortable.
I’m excited to announce the launch of Beer Prints and share my thoughts on why I started it and what I hope it can become.
What is Beer Prints?
Beer Prints is the place to celebrate the world’s most righteous craft beer graphic design. This is where craft beer fans come to upload, catalogue, share, learn about, critique, extol, and purchase artwork from the best brands and artists in the biz.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘the internet already has, like, AT LEAST fifty websites. Does it really need another?’ Yes it does, my dubious dude. There’s three big reasons I am launching Beer Prints.
1: There is no existing online forum for people who love craft beer brand artwork.
Surprisingly, there is no central, organized catalogue of craft beer art. It lives in a bunch of siloed, unorganized environments: personal portfolios, brewery websites, Pinterest boards. I want Beer Prints to become the most extensive collection of craft beer brand design, where people from around the world can share and treasure this art form.
I’ve made a personal collection of my favorite labels for years. And I bet that there’s a whole bunch of zealous wackadoos like me, who want to see and share kick-ass beer art. This can be their go-to place for community and conversation. Users can scroll through the gallery, approve their favorites with a “Like”, and join in a conversation about each individual artwork, artist, or collection. Boo ya!
This label art is audacious and remarkable, and it is way under-appreciated. I hope that having a website where folks can come together and promote this stuff will elevate our collective appreciation for the artwork and artists.
2: There is no existing marketplace for craft beer brand artwork.
I think we can boost breweries’ merchandise sales and help them delight super-fans. This site will turn visual products into actual products. We’re starting by selling wall art, and we have plans to offer a lot more in the future. Upon launch, we're starting with just five breweries listed with products for sale, and we'll release another 5-10 at the beginning of each month.
Breweries are missing out on an important part of the brand experience and literally selling themselves short. They pour so much creative juice into each new beer line they produce: the name, the label, design, layout, font, packaging, copy. A lot of care went into birthing that brand-baby, but when you’re done with the beverage, it’s literally tossed in the trash. Breweries don’t put out more merchandise related to this awesome artwork, and that feels like a missed opportunity.
Imagine a Venn diagram, with a big circle for people who love beer and another for people who love art. There’s a big, sexy middle section in that Venn diagram! There are fans who love and appreciate craft brand artwork as well as craft beer. These super-fans would enjoy a more permanent way to interact with those brands. I know this to be true, because it’s this very endeavor that sparked me to launch Beer Prints.
If this can become the defacto platform for craft beer artwork, then it can be a great supplement for breweries’ merch channels. People visit a brewery’s store mostly to buy beer. People on Beer Prints are looking for visual products. Win-win-win.
3: We rarely credit the artist(s)/studio responsible for the creation of the art.
You will almost never see an artist credit on any beer label or on a breweries’ website. You probably won’t even see an artist credit in a brewery’s social feeds. I think there needs to be more recognition for the graphic designers or studios who have created these brand experiences.
When you go to an art gallery, each painting displays the artist’s name on a plaque. When a Super Bowl commercial is a hit, the ad agency becomes revered. Every time I key my step-dad’s car, I text him so he knows it was me. (fuck you, Rick! You’re not my real dad!)
My point is: when people create noteworthy artwork, we should recognize them and give them more business. Beer Prints will, whenever possible, display artist credits as the first piece of information on each piece, and create a personal gallery for each artist.
Beer Prints can be a platform to recognize the people behind the brand design, and hopefully a place whereby breweries find their next artist.
How can you make Beer Prints awesome?
The truth is that I don't exactly know what this site will become. And that’s exciting! I’ll rely on users to figure out how to make this better. If people use this as a place for social interaction, I’ll focus on forum and discovery functionality. If people use this mainly to purchase artwork, I’ll expand to new products and shipping carriers. You reading/sharing this blog post (or not) will tell me whether I should write more or shut my big, fat beer-hole.
This is all to say, YOU are someone who can make a difference here. You are one of the first users of this site, and your opinion/effort will go a long way. Here are the key areas I plan to focus on, and how you can contribute:
- Customer support — I think I am right about people wanting to purchase visual products from their favorite breweries. As such, I am going to make sure every purchase is seamless, customer is happy, and brewery is paid for their sale.
How you can make it better: if you purchase something, tell me about it! Give us feedback on the customer experience, and share your product with us on social media (Instagram, Pinterest)
- Brewery outreach — If more breweries participate on Beer Prints, I think this will be a better platform. I want users to be able to travel the world of craft beer art from their homes.
How you can make this better: Drop me a line, and tell me your favorite brewery! If I can tell a brewery that their fans are asking for them to participate, it goes a long way.
- Content — This blog will focus on 2 things: product launches and Artist profiles. I will use this to inform subscribers of new breweries displayed in the gallery or selling on the marketplace, and to feature specific artists or studios who have created exceptional work. My particular topic of interest with artists is “using humor and personality as a brand tool”.
How you can make this better: Tell me what brands you think have exceptional, noteworthy artwork, ones you find particularly humorous. I will reach out to their artist for content.
Working on this project has been so fun and exciting. I’ve had conversations with dozens of breweries, and they’ve all had encouraging things to say. I hope to get more breweries involved, and I hope that Beer Prints will continue to grow and improve. More than anything, I hope it makes you happy :-)
Cheers to you,
Crown Prince of Beer Prints