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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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Creating A Corporate Identity For A Beer Label: Part 3 – Annual Report Design

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Gruen Brewery

Over the past 14 weeks I have been developing a  corporate identity for a new fictional beer label called  Gruen. Over three articles I am outlining the process and decisions made while creating this identity.

This is part three – annual report design.

Below are the briefs of the three projects that we completed at University.

PART 1.  Beer Label & Bottle Design

Pitch two beer label designs to the class > the class will vote on the best design for you to pursue > create mock ups of the chosen design.

PART 2. Creative Billboard Design

Pitch two creative billboard designs to the class based on the chosen beer from project one > the class will vote on best billboard design.

PART 3. Annual Report Design

Pitch two concepts to the class for the Gruen Brewery annual report design > the class will vote on the best annual report design.

Project 3: Annual Report Design

The final project for the Gruen Brewery corporate identity was to create 2 annual report design concepts. We only had to do 2 spreads and the front cover for each report… thank god because annual reports can be hundreds of pages long.

The Brief

With the general identity you devised for Gruen Beer, you are required to produce 2 indicative designs for the 2008 Gruen Brewery Annual Report. This must include a cover design, a double page spread for the ‘Year in Review’ section, and a double page spread for the financial pages – all of the copy is provided. The format is typically A4, but it is essentially open to interpretation. It must, however accommodate the necessary information, and be practical to distribute via local and international mail. Some thought should also be given to an electronic conversion of the design for viewing via the web. All imagery must be unique and copyright free.

Annual Report Concept 1

For the first concept, I went with a light earthy colour scheme reflective of the Australian outback and the overall image of Gruen ‘Double Hopped’ Beer. In this report I used the typeface Stempel Schneidler Std for both the headings and body copy which provided the the report with a traditional and coherant look.

As you can see on the front cover and throughout the spreads, the repetition of the two kangaroos really enforces the brand along with the red circle and various hues of brown / creme that tie the report together as a whole.

The use of large headings on each page draws the viewers eye to that part of the page first, clearly stating exactly where they are in the annual report, which is useful when skimming through – reports are usually hundreds of pages long.

The large figure of $43,406,000 is the annual profit after tax, something that should be highlighted as most people don’t stop to study the numbers… This heading gets the main point across in an instant – Gruen Brewery is a company to invest in.

Annual Report Concept 1

Annual Report Concept 2

For the second concept I went for a more sophisticated yet contemporary feel using the colour scheme found on the Gruen bottle itself. I used the beautiful typeface Bodoni for the headlines and Times New Roman for the body copy.

The front cover is clean and minimalistic with a lot of white space that gives the brand an up-market, sophisticated look. The clean cut fonts also help portray this image which is also evident on the inside covers.

On the right hand side of the Year In Review page is a pull quote – “Production for the year was 2.3 million bottles, an increase of 11% on the 2007 level.” This highlights the main point of the page without the need for reading all of the text, which as you know, no one ever does.

Again on the finance page, like in concept 1, the large $43,406,000 is highlighted as a prominent feature to e,phasise the fact that the company is extremely profitable. The two kangaroos, again, are featured on each page reinforcing the Gruen Brewery brand.

Annual Report Concept 2

The Verdict

When I held a Poll on twitter, 20 voted for the first design and 33 people voted for the second design. What do you think?

Personally, I think the second design is stronger as it reflects the nature of the beer boutique market, that of sophistication and class. It also has a more unified and coherent colour scheme that mirrors the colours of the beer itself.

Poll:

What annual report design do you believe is best?

View Results

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There we have it, the design process of creating a corporate identity for a beer. As always, comments are appreciated along with constructive criticism.


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36 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • Laurel Reply

    I voted for #2 but I have to say I did like the little splash of red color in the first.

  • Kathryn Proulx Reply

    I voted 2, as well. I really prefer the 2nd spread of the 1st concept though!

  • Jack Reply

    I voted for the second link aswell.

  • faruksal Reply

    I voted 2.2,beautiful annual report.Thank you very much…

  • liam Reply

    I absolutely LOVE the Dark brown concept, seriously amazing work man. Beautiful.

  • Ole Bülow Reply

    Love number 1.. the red contrast and the use of the two kangaroos made me love design 1 from first look.. ;o)

  • nick brookfield (Liverpool, UK) Reply

    has to be number 2! looks more classy and bold!

  • Alissa Jones Reply

    Number 2 is great and looks more like your branding on the bottles. You might want to adjust the cropping of the kangaroos on the bottom right corner of the Year in Review spread. They are starting to not read as kangaroos so much. Probably because there is no delineation between the two animals, and we can’t see their tails here. They work great when not cropped though.

  • Kristof Reply

    Enjoy both designs – nice work!

    If we were voting on just design (not considering purpose) I’d vote for #1.

    Considering it’s an annual report — generally created for stock holders — my vote went to #2. It has a more solid and trusting feel.

    Again, nice stuff.

  • Zach LeBar Reply

    top notch stuff man, and thanks for posting stuff like this. posts about design processes, behind-the-scenes type stuff are my favorite.

  • Stephen Emlund Reply

    I like the front cover of the second design. The simplicity can’t be beat. But I also like the first spread of the first design. because of the curved lines that mimmic the kangaroos

    The first spread of the second design: I don’t care for the cropping and flipping of the kangaroos in the bottom right corner. It produces an awkward positive/negative space result. I like how you cropped the beer bottle ont this same spread. The other thing I don’t like as much is the very light rectangles behind each heading, they line up awkwardly with the first column’s headings.

    Overall I really like the second concept! Awesome work.

  • Preston Lee Reply

    Great work as always Jacob. I really like the muted earthtones you used in the design. Thanks for sharing.

  • Trenton Reply

    I really like the second one. I think the only thing I would chang with it is the second page under “Year in Review” I would make that text a bit bigger and make it wrap the side of the bottle.

  • Peter Reply

    Lol, I voted for 2 as well….

    The stuff you guys do at school makes us look like amateurs man.

    Just out of interest, what are your marks like?

  • pienose Reply

    I like the second one more overall but I do like the layout of the first one. The second fits the rest of the design more, and I’m a sucker for matching designs :p

  • judge mental Reply

    i think the fist one has its upsides… mainly, the curves, that sort of mirror the curviness of the kangaroo logo. Its a nice touch.

    The second cover is vastly superior though. So much more elegant. The only thing I’m not too wild about in this one is the big ‘year in review’ heading… just doesn’t appeal to me the way its arranged. But overall, this one is better, and I voted for it.

  • Max Weir Reply

    I like the lower curves of the first one but the second one gets my vote. The lighter browny colour I feel needs to be a little more brighter.

    But both have good qualities about and I like the direction you took.

    Thanks.

  • Patty Reply

    Nicely done on both, but I also chose #2. The only change I would suggest is to the page with the kangaroos in the bottom right corner.

    Maybe the color of the kangaroos is to distracting for something that should be an accent, or maybe I just dont like the way it is cutting off the graphic Im not sure. I just know I would make some changes on that page.

    Otherwise the colors on both are great, and I I like the layout of both. I think it is was the darker colors and larger fonts for the titles that pushed me to #2.

  • George - LogoDesign.org Reply

    #2 for sure! #1 is nice but doesn’t have the “classy” feel that #2 does, IMHO.

    Awesome work!

  • Web Design Adelaide Reply

    Another great part of this series. Your very talented. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    I was pretty divided between 1 and 2, but I think # 2 just wins it for me.

  • Foo Reply

    I must admit that both of them look very nice, but I’ve voted for #2 for few reasons :

    1) The colour scheme is more suitable for beer. The colour scheme for #1 looks more suitable for red wine / other drinks.
    2) The cover design for #2 is simple, yet good enough. Cover design for #1 looks more like menu at restaurants rather than an annual report. It is also too common.

    However, the smaller titles in concept #2, such as ‘Balance Sheet’ are too small when you compare with the big titles. I think they should have the same size as in concept #1.

  • Jenny Stewart Reply

    Wow way to keep a great design and keep it professional! Cheers mate!

  • Science Technology News Reply

    Voted for second. I think it’s better than first choice.

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Laurel, Kathryn, Beaulys, Jack, Faruksal, Liam, Ole, Nick, Alissa, Kristof, Zach, Preston, Trenton, Pienose, Judge, Max, Patty, George, Adelaide, Foo, Jenny, Sciece Tech,
    Thank you very much for your feedback of these annual report concepts, I appreciate it!

    Stephen,
    I also loved the front cover of the second design! I would love to see it in print.

    Peter,
    There is always going to be people better or worse off than you, just don’t take it to heart and keep improving. My marks are generally between then 80-100 bracket. Highest mark was 99, and boy was that annoying!

    My 3D Multimedia Class was not so good, only 70 because it involved 3D animation and that is not one of my strongest skills… everyone has their weaknesses.

  • Rob Reply

    Is nobody going to comment on the use of Times New Roman? Seriously, what’s up with that? (Not to mention the absurdly overused Scriptina for the logo itself)

  • Dainis Graveris Reply

    actually both designs are pretty good, but for me – second variant is better too – just colors. But that’s not objective – somebody will like first variant because of colors..:)

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Rob,
    Times New Roman has it’s place in design and it is a much respected font… the problem lies with it being the default font in Microsoft Office which makes it overused. Scriptina, I believe was a strong choice for the logo. Even if a font is *overused* it doesn’t mean that it is not the right choice for the job at hand.

    Dainis,
    Thank you for your opinions!

  • Rob Reply

    I have to disagree with you, Jacob. Overuse is certainly something to consider when researching type choices. When I see Times New Roman, I think of an MS Word document. There are so many wonderful alternatives: Arnhem, Stone Serif, Minion, etc.

    The same goes for Scriptina. It feels cheap.

    P.S. I think you meant “its place” (not to be a grammar Nazi).

  • David Reply

    I voted the first concept, because of the optimistic immpresion that it makes to me. The red color makes it more vital, but it still is classy.
    The second one is for my taste in a bit funeral colors, despite of its elegance. Would be great coffee making company.
    But anyway great job on both. Congratulations!!!

  • Infrastruktur Reply

    love the tones of brown…

  • Rachel Reply

    Really enjoyed the description of the development process. I came across this on StumbleUpon. I think both color schemes do the job well, though I voted for the 2nd because the 1st, with the red, reminded me of a chain restaurant like Outback Steak House trying to hard to be very classy. I also found these designs and blog entries to be interesting and very creative http://www.incdesign.com/

  • Chris Reply

    Although I like and understand the motives for the first concept, I think the second is more effective in achieving it’s goal. Reinforcing the high class niche of this particular beer is key. I also much prefer the close up image of the bottle. You don’t need to see the entire bottle when you already know what you’re reading about. Less is more in this case. I do see one weakness consistent in both pieces though. The typography is tasteful and the fonts are fine choices, but taking the time to adjust kearning by hand, particularly in titles is worth the extra effort. In cases like the second “YEAR IN REVIEW” text the serifs may make kearning awkward, but use your judgment and make adjustments that balance the weight of the text. Attention to detail always counts and is absolutely essential for a high end market.

  • Chris Snee Reply

    Definately number 2! I love the color palette – very reminiscent of beer


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