‘It’s all too easy to f*** up an icon.’
Leeds UK-based strategic branding agency Robot Food has created a design refresh for Brooklyn Brewery, creating consistency across the legacy brand’s range and creating a more impactful brand experience across touchpoints – all the while retaining its iconic Milton Glaser-designed logo. Brooklyn Brewery is distributed and marketed by Carlsberg Group. Milton Glaser originally designed logo when the The Brooklyn Brewery brand was founded in 1981.
Robot Food’s strategy centered on creating cohesiveness throughout the ranges. Glaser’s hand drawn B is deliberately untouched – out of respect for the late designer who died in 2020 — but the surrounding type within the round logo lockup was subtly tweaked in collaboration with typographer Rob Clarke. The redrawn typography better fits the curve of the circular logo, for a brand mark more suited to digital applications. “When it was designed, it was typeset in a way that we wouldn’t use in the 21st century, so it’s about building upon what they had, using today’s techniques,” says Simon Forster, Robot Food founder and executive creative director.
One of the main issues challenges is that the logo was designed for a limited range that has now expanded way beyond just Brooklyn Lager.“Brooklyn’s brand assets were being used in different ways across different touchpoints, making it difficult for consumers to join the dots and recognize the brand instantly,” explains Dave Timothy, Robot Food managing director. “This was creating a huge commercial barrier to sales, so it was our ambition from the start to create a united identity where all brand communications sing off the same hymn sheet.”
The identity is now bigger on pack; with a set space for the descriptor in a branded font, but still leaves room for playful sub-brand personalities. The new consistency future-proofs the brand for potential new additions to the range that can easily sit within the overarching design system. “Improving a classic with respectfulness is the pinnacle of design to me,” says Forster. “It’s all too easy to f*** up an icon.”