The humble beer label must deliver so much. In a split second it has to win our attention from all the other labels fighting for it as our eyes quickly scan the shelf. Once the bottle is discarded, the best labels are easily remembered to do this job even more effectively the next time we glance in their direction. And while creating these impulses, the label must somehow visually convey the taste and feel of the beer in our throats.
I have zero artistic talent and know little about psychology, so don’t have the foggiest notion of how this works.
But I’ll take a stab at it. My favorite labels are not necessarily the most elegant, pleasing, or arresting artistic compositions, but those in their own unique unforgettable style leave me well prepared for what I’m about to drink. Don’t ask me how these labels do it, they just do it. Look at two of my favorite recently released beer labels below. Which bottle do you think contains a celebration of bold aggressive flavors balanced on a razor’s edge, and which holds a subtly complex combination of flavors mingling together from the farms of Sonoma County? It’s obvious from the labels, right?