New Belgium Brewery changes label design

The New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO.
The New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After two decades, the New Belgium Brewery packages are slated to be redesigned. The old watercolor-art labels are gone, to be replaced with a new, modern look to be released in Ohio in December and nationwide in January.

“We were buying that people weren’t associating that all the beers were from the same place, so we wanted to get consistency across the portfolio,” said Bryan Simpson, public relations director of New Belgium Brewery. “We wanted to do something fresh and new… it has been fun to play around with.”

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According to Simpson, a lot of the original concepts such as the bike on the Fat Tire bottle will still be incorporated in the new labels, but they have a new twist.

“We considered many possibilities – different styles and mediums [for a new label and artist]”, said Jodi Taylor, senior designer for New Belgium. “We decided to do something different while retaining the feel of the watercolor paintings for the sake of continuity and directness.”

New Belgium decided to start redesigning its packages more than a year ago after Anne Fitch, the original watercolorist for New Belgium labels, retired.

The company found Leah Gibson to design the new labels for the brewery after searching design-related sites and blogs online for a new artist, Simpson said.

“We definitely hope people like it and get excited,” Simpson said. “We are already hearing a little bit of feedback, like, ‘I like the old labels’, and people can rally around those. We get it – change is tricky sometimes for folks, but we think it is a really cool, clean new look, so we are excited about that.”

The avid New Belgium beer drinkers who are sad to see the old design go may have something to be happy about. Their old favorites will still be available as merchandise through the brewing company.

“I am excited to see how it is received by the public for sure, and then we are just excited to see the whole portfolio together in a cold box in the liquor store,” Simpson said. “That will be pretty fun and impactful because I think the designs are going to complement one another and it is just going to look like a full set that belongs together and we are excited to see how that plays out.”

Collegian Reporter Taylor Pettaway can be reached at news@collegian.com.