Case study / Peak to Peak Brewery
Case studies offer a glimpse into my process
Description of the business:
What started as a 20-tap neighborhood tap room expanded into a 30-tap brewpub with an impressive line-up of brews and a delicious food menu.
New primary, secondary logos
The creative process
The original conversation began with blowing up the logo and going all out to create a very new brand for Peak to Peak. These very first concepts explored many different design styles of fonts and layouts. As you can imagine, the mountain motif is extremely ubiquitous for businesses in Colorado.
My goal was to make sure the mountains I designed did not look like anything that was already out there, and I probably did more research in this area far more than I would usually do.
So many things have Mile High, Mile Hi, Mountain View, Peak This, Peak That and every "fourteener" peak name in Colorado, that my biggest challenge was to have Peak to Peak be able to visually stand out among all this cacophony of 'alpine-ism'. And while the home town behemoth Coors didn't use those Colorado-friendly words in their name, their branding included mountains. So, lots to compare and contrast to, but there's only so many ways to convey a peak!
I tried layering, with the foothills in the foreground, a middle range, and the highest peaks in the back. Some included trees as a way to add a differentiator, but that added complexity. I used lines and even went way out on a ledge and tried a polygonal style.
Gordon was immediately drawn to the poly mountain direction of the original concepts* and was a definite surprise to me, but was actually my personal favorite concept to develop.
This poly style was the most eye-catching choice when it came to distinguishing these peaks from every other peak logo that existed under the Colorado sun. The only request was that it felt like the original peaks on the left didn't cover enough real estate, so I expanded the appearance to feel larger in scale, to be more of a mountain range (right).
I also continued to try various fonts, the unique thing being that the same word was used twice in such a relatively short space.
While meeting at a different brewery (didn't want his own employees knowing he was rebranding quite yet), it was at this time Gordon wanted to get some impromptu feedback. As an established business with a loyal following and familiar in the community, he walked around and asked patrons what they thought of this radical new look. From where I sat, I read the instant body language and expressions as being pretty positive.
After a few more days getting feedback, it was decided that building on the existing equity would be better than a radical change. So I went with a more rustic, traditional tact.
This is where the current logo begins to take shape: more traditional graphic of peaks; exploring more creativity with the custom fonts. Originally, the peaks were an illustration, then one evening while driving home towards the west, the sun was just right, and I took a picture of the mountain view that spread out before me and I used that vista as I worked toward my final destination, er, inspiration.
Continually simplifying and reducing and exploring the interplay of the text and peaks; layering the wordmark and the mountains to play with depth. This version is the genesis of the completely original typography for the wordmark.
Everything came together for the final version.
The applications and collateral
A few of the labels
Creating the new labels really allowed the new logo to flourish and grow right out of the gate. Gordon was on board with the idea of changing the logo colors to match the colors of the label. This really let the brand be malleable and assertive.
You will also notice a pattern theme throughout of the topographic lines that Gordon had asked to be part of the brand. This demographic, and most everyone in Colorado really, loves to hike and get out to the hills and the topo lines was a natural use.
As the progression of the peaks design evolved the wordmark began to be incorporated into the peaks and I wanted to make this font unique to this business, as another way for them to stand out among their multitude of competitors in this market. While most other breweries (and brands in general for that matter) use off-the-shelf fonts, I can now make your brand especially one-of-a-kind by creating a proprietary font just for you.
Peak Caps is different in that there are quite a few 'peaks' in the letter forms, including the baseline, to present an exceptional look of angles that mimic the angles of mountain profiles.
Note: Sadly, Peak to Peak Brewery had to close their doors permanently in February, 2021, a casualty of the rough economic business environment and limitations in Colorado due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This font is now available to the public, for purchase here.