Branding Vancouver looks at 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.
The Brand: Adrienne Café and Ryan Voigt are Coalesce Brewing Company. The two-person team has been making their mixed fermentation and wood-aged specialty beers out of Port Moody’s Twin Sails Brewing since last spring. Although the brand is new and small in output, their unique, nature-inspired logo and companion label artwork is already making a big impression on BC’s beerscape. Here’s the story of how the humble family brewers found their dream team of designers, according to Voigt:
“Being a very small company, with only Adrienne and I doing everything that goes into getting our beer out to the world (and having virtually no money after getting everything in order) we initially tried doing some of our own branding. That failed terribly. While we were not keen on spending more money we knew we couldn’t do it ourselves. After some searching online, we came across a logo of a brand Tim had done, and we loved it. Looking through some of his other work, we felt he could convey our vision and ethos through a brand better than anyone. He has a distinct and very genuine style of illustrating that really resonated with us.
“Once we decided to go ahead and work with Tim and Ali, we knew we wanted to work with them through the process, but not tell them what to draw. At this point in the business we did not know what we wanted our brand to look like. We knew the feeling we wanted to convey to the people buying our beer, and we knew what we didn’t want it to look like. At first it was a little awkward for us to try to explain, “We want you to make a brand for us, but we’re not really sure what we want.” Shortly after getting started, Tim began taking our feedback and putting it into a few rough concepts. It turned out to be a fascinating and very thorough process, and the many conversations we had with Tim truly helped us discover the direction we wanted to take Coalesce. What we came up with together is phenomenal to us. We didn’t expect the brand to be so personal. Giving Tim and Ali the freedom to get to know us as people, our vision, and the style of beer we produce was instrumental in the final product. He created a brand that feels earnest and personal, and one that conveys the delicacy and nuance that we strive for in the beers we produce.”
Illustrator and tattoo artist Tim Skirven fills in the blanks on the creation of Coalesce’s iconography:
“The process of working with Ryan was really organic and I feel that from our first conversation, we both realized we take great care in our work. Ryan’s brewing methods are exact, but leave a lot to chance and nature to develop a final product. Our creative process was similar – after a few back and forth conversations, we developed a moodboard that set the stage for work that felt authentic, trustworthy, natural, and hand-made. Our (Skirven & Croft) process is fairly straight forward: through questioning and conversation we gather loads of inspiration and vibes from our clients. Ryan talked me through the types of beers Coalesce was making and I could tell in his voice that he was calm but excited about everything. I went through lots of different options, but the natural imagery really knocked me over the head when thinking about Coalesce.
The blooming shrub (as I like to call it) just seemed like the natural choice from the beginning to me. I see wild/spontaneous fermented brewing as similar to gardening or farming. Plant the seed, put all your good energy and know-how into it, hope for the best and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a beautiful flower.
My other main thought process had to do with wind and air, as that’s a lot of the magic (to my limited understanding) of wild/spontaneous fermentation. A bird is a natural choice to illustrate that, and in my sketching of feather patterns, the leaf just came to be and it felt right. Again the idea of being wild, free, and blooming into something wonderful.
And last but not least, I had to add ‘CBBC’ because I thought it sounded like AC/DC…everyone likes rock & roll right?
Ryan was a total joy to work with and I’m anxiously awaiting a package to be able to taste some of his delicious creations! Thanks Ryan and Adrienne!”