Although just starting out, George Samuel Brewery in Shildon knew what they wanted to do with their brand to get all of the local people onboard. They were in search of a drinks branding agency that could exceed their expectations. They put it to us, and simply said “The Railway Connection”. Shildon has a romantic history stretching back to the very first railways, steam engines and trains, and even to this day, the area is known as “The Cradle of the Railways”. They wanted their brand to portray the history of the Shildon area but didn’t want the usual beer and hop related logos and imagery a lot of their competitors seemed to be using. The brand needed to be a modern interpretation of a traditional and historic area. So we got onboard and starting to research just how much of an impact we could make using this strong emotional connection.
As you can imagine, all sorts of weird and wonderful imagery began rolling through the minds of the Creative Team as they built up a head of steam thinking about this exciting new project. We started designing train inspired logos, historic railway inspired crests and even used the typefaces we had seen in some of the history books. But then we thought, hang on, to put the wheels in motion, why not simplify it down and use a train wheel as the inspiration behind the brand. While doing our research, every member of the team had been surprised by the immense size of these awesome pieces of engineering. Using the initials G and S allowed us to do this. Circular letters for a circular logo.
We had to take into consideration how the circular logo would look on bottles, cans and pump clips. Make it too big and it looks distorted wrapped around bottles. Make it too small and it loses the impact of the immense size of the wheels it was based on. We also had to ensure that the brand style appealed to both the local people who grew up with the heritage of the railways, and the wider market who aren’t familiar with the Shildon area but are looking for something a little bit unique. We also had to target the younger market who are bored with mainstream drinks and are being drawn into the craft brewery sector.
Using the train wheel as the theme for the brand perfectly portrayed the romanticism of the railways as part of the history and heritage of Shildon. The brewery are very proud of their association with the area and are delighted that we created something with an emotional connection that everybody could relate to. We used the same industrialised imagery when creating the pump clip and label designs evoking memories of a by-gone era. Even those who are not aware of the history can’t fail to be impressed as the brand and the range of beers take them on an idyllic and fascinating journey that encapsulates the picturesque beauty of the railways.