Drink local. Brew Paso. My experience working as a graphic designer and marketing coordinator on an initiative for the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce.
It is a bright, sunny day in Paso Robles, California. You can see huge, dark green oak trees, leaves rustling in the warm breeze. The hills are honey brown, stretching as far as the eyes can see. It could be a great day to go to an adjacent winery—I mean, that is what Paso Robles is known for right? But, don't you want a beer?
As the Marketing and Design intern for the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, I learned there was much more to Paso—and the craft beverage community—than anything I had known previously. On my first day of work I was tasked with creating a brand for a new initiative for Paso Robles, entitled Brew Paso. The initiative's main goal was to promote the growth and expansion of craft beverages, especially craft beer. So what had to be done: a logo, website, business cards, flyers, posters, banners, and marketing collateral (t-shirts, stickers, koozies, coasters). It may sound overwhelming, but I'm always up for a good challenge—and my prize: attending the world famous Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest.
I had my work cut out for me, so I immediately created over a dozen rough sketches of directions we could possibly go for the Brew Paso initiative. My boss gave me a couple images to focus on, many being what he called 'hipster logos' where there are many elements but they are all pretty minimalistic stylistically. The first idea I had was to relate it to Paso Robles, so I started researching the town and what made it unique. I knew it was surrounded by hills, and mountains and hills are often a trend in many beer brands, so some of the sketches focused on that aspect. For the other designs, I focused on beer and elements that go into brewing, like hops, wheat, and barrels.
After discussing with my boss, and the other staff in the office, they all agreed on a combination of a few of the different sketches to see an Illustrator mock-up of. This mock-up took elements like the hops and barrel from number eleven and the surrounding shape from number twelve, the 'hipster logo' shape that my boss mentioned, to try and capture a modern twist on a more country western style. Although it did spark a positive response from the office, we ultimately moved into different directions.
Over the course of a week and a half, I worked on creating six to eight completely different logos. Each day, I would have four to five short meetings to discuss what was going right and what elements needed to be eliminated or tweaked in each logo. Although many of the graphic elements were becoming more and more finalized, the typefaces and colors were becoming a problem.
The design criteria was very vague and it was becoming clear to me that the process was turning into a classic case of 'the client doesn't know what they want.' In order to stay on track and meet the three week deadline, I created a color palette sheet using Adobe Colors to help aid the process along. I also made a few sheets with typefaces I curated, in both serif and sans serif to eliminate all unnecessary options. These sheets seemed to help quite a bit; they put into perspective all of the choices and the close proximity allowed us to see what we liked and what we needed to scratch of the list.
After two and a half weeks, we had seven semi-finalized versions that we showcased to five different local brew masters and a local graphic designer. They were all very impressed with the designs and the timeliness I was able to complete them. The chance to show the brewing community my work was an incredible opportunity, and I learned a lot about feedback and how important communication with the client is. Although the logo was imperative to the initiative, my boss had many other tasks for me to work on for the project that were just as pressing. The local designer who had seen my work was hired to finish the logo from my concepts, while I immediately started working on a website, a Craft Trail Map, flyers, banners, and posters for the initiative.
Looking back, I wish I had limited the logo choices from the beginning to two to four choices. I believe this would have definitely created a faster process and allowed us to zero in on exactly what my boss and the brew masters were looking for. Although I did not create the actual logo, this was a huge learning experience for me and a great opportunity to practice on working with several different clients with different opinions. I am proud of the work I created and appreciated the feedback. I kept moving forward and was able to make others happy and learn something they may have not learned before.
To see more of my work for the Brew Paso initiative, visit my Work Projects. Thanks for reading!