The Story Behind the Kaleidoscopic Beauty of Four Winds’ “Blackberry Jam” IPA

Branding Vancouver sources the stories behind some of the more interesting logos and icons that appear in Vancouver’s food and beverage scene. Some of the explanations will be long and others short, but the goal of deeper understanding will be constant. If you want the backstory of a particularly compelling local brand revealed, let us know via @scoutmagazine and we’ll try to figure it out.

All photos by Alison Page

The Brand: ‘Blackberry Jam’ IPA with Lactose, by Four Winds Brewing.

Designed by: In-House Graphic Designer, Justin Longoz, who explains his creative process for the brand below:

“I’m trying to produce designs that stand out. We have a lot of great designers making some super cool stuff in BC and it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out, but I love the challenge. I like designing patterns. I enjoy pushing all of the copy to the sides and back of the labels, forcing people to pick up the bottles/cans/boxes if they want to find out what’s inside. At the same time, I’m trying to string a Four Winds motif through my designs so that people can look across the liquor store, see a pattern and assume, “Oh, that’s Four Winds!” without reading anything or seeing any logos.”

The Story Behind ‘Blackberry Jam”: 

“…is pretty simple actually. Brent Mills (our Brewmaster) came into my office and told me we were doing a Blackberry Lactose IPA and that it was going to be in tall cans. He told me the ingredients and sort of just let me loose. Generally when I’m doing a label design, I’ll make 8-10 different labels before I find the backbone of a design that I like. From there I fine tune the label until it’s done. I started with a colour palette of reds, blues, purples and greens: all colours that I associate with blackberries and jam. I decided to focus more on the the jam aspect of the beer which is where the drops come from. The label itself is actually just a bunch of drops of various sizes and orientations, laid overtop of one another. Next, I went in and re-coloured the drops where they overlapped which is what created the pattern for the label. Then I started to think about how I could make the can really stand out on a shelf. I thought I’d push the design a little bit further and cut out drop shaped chunks. Then the printers put a layer of gloss over the whole label which made the colours pop, but more importantly, made the drop cut outs more like a window to the aluminum of the can and helped prevent the cut out sections from tearing during the labelling and delivery process. And that was that! Label done.”

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