Good Things Brewing

Creating a New Identity and Brand Style for Labatt


Identity Launch Piece Cover

It unfolds into a poster.

First Fold

Product managers and distributors were key targets of the launch. 

Becuase the change in identity would drive a change in label, it was vital to assure them that sales would not go flat.

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.

The Team

Identity and launch strategy, launch communications: Harry H. Cornelius, Cornelius & Co. (Sideren Inc.)

Design: Silvio Napoleone, Gottschalk + Ash International