When people learn that I’ve worked with Bath Ales, they often say “Oh, did you design the Hare?” I reply that I wasn’t his father, but that I did look care of him for 10 years or so!
The hare’s original appearance on Bath Ales’ bottle labels – alongside some small-but-neat typography – had bucked the traditional centre-aligned, shield-shaped designs that prevailed in the marketplace.
But by the time I was invited into Bath Ales in 2006, various visual bells and whistles had been added to the labels, and the typography lacked the care and craft of the original. All of this made the front of the labels look cluttered and lacking in the confidence of their predecessors.
The backs of beer bottles are often dull and functional, and Bath Ales’ labels were no exception. The text was dry, descriptive and devoid of personality.
However much anyone liked the beer, it was becoming harder for them to love the brand.