Field Notes: Magnificent Metal

Posted: September 8, 2014 by
Linda Casey

Taking full advantage of the large graphic area of its 16-oz. cans, Griffin Claw’s Brewing Company uses vivacious imagery to convey the brand’s personality and provide a connection for loyal customers from the brewery’s previous incarnation to its current.

“All of our existing designs have been in place prior to us moving from Big Rock Chop House to Griffin Claw Brewing Company,” says brewery spokesperson Scott LePage. “The designs speak to the brewery’s brand personality because they are clean, bright, vibrant, bold and high quality. Yet, each style attracts a different type of beer drinker because the market we are trying to reach depends on the beer.”

Do these package designs support the dual goals of highlighting Griffin Claw’s brand personality and attracting different types of beer drinkers? Package Design readers weigh in.


The Griffin Claw Brewing Company uses a disciplined graphic architecture to let each brew speak its own language, while building a tight family. The material and structure choices are eco-responsible because aluminum cans are lightweight and easy to recycle. The challenge for aspiring brewers is the frat party vibe that many consumers associate with beer in a can. Layering on rich colors, imagery and typography, this brand has ditched the frat house by taking cans into premium territory.
Philip Hague, studio director, Webb deVlam


Although the black bands at top and bottom help provide a standard framework, complex illustration, too many fonts and an unappealing color mix undermine the brand consistency of Griffin Claw’s beer cans. Perhaps if all of the illustrations took advantage of the bright colors shown in the El Rojo can, the brand might be more appealing.
Candy Zimmer, owner/designer, Ligature Creative


Bold graphics and the designs and illustrative style changes to fit each flavor of beer are smart tactics to entice new consumers and change it up a bit for the diehard fans. The designs and flavor names play well off the bold brand personality and distinctive Griffin Claw logo.

The logo reminds me of the 1901 Indian motorcycle circle emblem or a 1925 Fiat logo—masculine, daring and free, which fits with their demographic. I also like the larger cans, which offer a bigger canvas for each beer’s imagery and story.
Amy Graver, owner and principal, Elements


The choice of color tone and the decision to maintain the same design layout keeps the unity across designs embellished with different imagery and typography that are customized for each beer’s particular target market. The Grind Line’s imagery is an outlier, though; it has too much empty space.
Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, independent art director and senior design consultant