Rocky Mountain Brown Water, a Colorado whiskey club, approached me to make the. Logo and branding for their group. The end result is one of my favorite logos I’ve created.
What is a whiskey club? Well, it involves talking about and drinking whiskey, but also involves single barrel picks. If you aren’t familiar with the whiskey single barrel pick process, clubs and liquor stores around the country connect with distilleries to taste and pick a single barrel of whiskey, which the distillery then bottles and delivers.
Surprisingly, every barrel of whiskey tastes quite different than the barrel next to it, so it’s quite a fun process to taste through a bunch of samples and compare the flavors to select your favorite.
The entire process reminds me of the arcade claw machine games, where you’re going for the best prize and feel that rush of excitement when you grab what you were aiming for. That fun arcade vibe also reflects this club; a fun place for friends to share a common interest.
My design process usually involves a lot of exploration in Adobe Illustrator. I do try sketching out my ideas, but more often that not, when I finally vectorize my sketch I find it to be lacking and needs a lot of further vector exploration before I find “the idea.” I essentially do my sketching in Illustrator.
However this was one of the rare instances where the final logo ended up pretty close to my sketch. I think it was a strong idea from the start, and it was great to have the idea in my head at the beginning of the project make it to the final mark.
I expanded the branding with some additional elements, such as a token graphic to keep the arcade theme going. I also made a stacked wordmark that loosely uses a barrel shaped border.
Lastly, I designed a badge that can be used on a sticker - great for placing on the single barrel bottles the group chooses to make it clear this was a RMBW pick.
Because this is a Denver-based group, the brand colors colors were meant to reflect a little bit of the classic Denver Broncos orange and blue, but using a redder orange and a slate blue. I also wanted to reference the brown of the group’s name, and was able to come up with a dark red that appears brownish when on top of the orange. This was a way to reference the group’s name without being too on the nose and just going straight brown.
The typography works well for an arcade theme - a blocky sans-serif that’s a little fun, yet still strong and purposeful.
The final branding provides the perfect tone for this fun, friendly group, reflects Colorado and whiskey, and tells a story in a single, simple logo.
If you click through the additional images below, you’ll be able to see some of the fun and crazy parody stickers I’ve made for this group’s bottle releases. Cheers!