Empire View Brewery | Skillshare Projects

YiRan Carroll

Art Director



Empire View Brewery

My husband has been on my case to design labels for his homebrew for over a year now. This class gave me the motivation I've sorely needed.

Moodboard #1

This was my original moodboard, when I thought the name of our brewery was going to be something like "Dean Street Brewery" (Dean Street being the street we live on). However, after a few brainstorms, we decided on something a tad more creative. The resulting "Empire View Brewery" stems from our view of the Empire State Building from our Brooklyn apartment.

Moodboard #2

Thus evolved the moodboard. I went a little crazy over art deco references, and may be in danger of taking them a bit too literally in my designs. However, I've had a ton of fun doing so!

Inklings of Ideas

My "client" quickly honed in on the 3-tiered banner motif. Everyone loves a good banner. However, I was itching to incorporate deco into the design, and decided the best way would be to start with the banner as a centerpiece, and build around it.

First Pass

My "client" saw my first sketch (Hopgasm) and decided, wouldn't it be fun to do a slightly different design for each style of beer? Why, yes. I mentioned earlier I went a little overboard with deco elements. Case in point.


Second Pass

Not a dramatic evolution from the first. Just lined up the edges over graph paper, and worked on the typography a bit more. Still pencil at this point. Didn't know what to do about the shadowing. I wanted either to colorize it on the computer, or to figure out some way of creating a duotone. Since we'll be printing this ourselves, I want something that will print nicely and cheaply on a laser or inkjet printer.

Third Pass - Ink

After tracing the outlines in ink, I really the dimensionality of the first pass. Inspired by the Wiffle Ball box in Jon's first video, I decided to try and create my own halftone via stippling with a 0.1mm pigment liner.


I think the stippling effect was definitely an improvement, but it makes everything a little harder to read. I tried to remedy that by adding more black to the versions on either side, but don't love either of those. The one of the left seems crass somehow, and the one on the right looks like it's wearing suspenders.

Playing with Color and Texture

Though I would love to do something crazy (letterpress! foil!) we'll most likely be printing these labels on our home laser or inkjet printer. I might try my hand at tea-staining some paper, or just use beige newsprint.

Quick Comp

I'm not completely satisfied with this, but it's a start. I'm going to move on to the other 3 designs for now, and maybe inspiration will strike on how to fix this. Oh, and I haven't gotten around to doing those little flip top stickers from the first pass, but am planning to.

Thanks for scrolling through this unintentionally long post. If you have any thoughts on my project, I'd love to hear from you!

~ YiRan

Update 9.5.13

Label for Liquid Gold

I think filling in the design with solid black might be a little much. I'll have to try stippling like I did with the Hopgasm label to keep it a bit more consistent.

Update 9.9.13

I've traced and scanned in designs for the final 2 labels, Chocolate Rain and Cornucopia:

I've comped together all 4 of the labels to see how they look as a set.


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