Imbibing the Language of Beer
Trouble Was Brewing
In the Canadian beer wars, marketers had begun to sell beer like soda pop – straying further and further from the essence of beer. Moreover, an unhealthy dose of regional and brand manager independence had allowed just about everyone at Labatt to do their own thing.
As a result, there were around 175 different versions of the logo – including dramatically different fonts, the addition of icicles to communicate cool refreshment and the star of Texas to keep the good ole boys happy.
The lack of focus in the identity was symptomatic of a lack of focus in the company. Early in the project, Labatt was sold to a major Belgium brewer who wanted to bring the organization together and set a standard for quality across every function.
A Return to Tradition
We began by resurrecting and updating the "Streamliner Logo" from the 30's, a hand drawn, sculptural script redolent with good taste and character. To refresh the tradition of beer, the identity program embraced imagery like stripes, medallions from winning beer contests, the image of John Labatt and the streamliner beer truck.
As a reminder of the quest for quality, we launched the new identity with the motto: Beer is brewed, not manufactured.
To this day, the Labatt identity remains strong and true.
Identity and launch strategy, launch communications: Harry H. Cornelius, Cornelius & Co. (Sideren Inc.)
Design: Silvio Napoleone, Gottschalk + Ash International