“Usually the colours that are selected for the packaging are intended to create an impression of the taste of the content for the consumer,” says Hartwall’s graphic designer Johanna Koskinen. She has designed also the packaging for Lahden Erikois Pale Ale that was launched in autumn 2018.
The spicy and tropical, fruity character of Lahden Erikois Pale Ale pointed her towards the tones of ripe mango and apricot.
“Furthermore, the warm tones lead thoughts rather in the direction of tastiness than crisp freshness, so that was the colour scheme that we chose this time.”
Law and creativity in packaging design
Details that need to be printed on a container are strictly regulated, especially for alcoholic products. Mandatory information includes the product name, the best before date, content volume and alcoholic content by volume as well as the name and address of the manufacturer and the company that the product is manufactured for, energy content, any allergens and the code of the beverage or bottling batch.
“In addition to this mandatory information we need to find space on the cans for the EAN barcode, information on deposit and material, possibly the Finnish Key Flag mark and the warnings of alcoholic products. Minimum sizes are specified for all of these elements, and many of them also have recommended colours.”
There are also purely visual elements. However, it is unusual to add anything meaningless just for visual reasons. Every element has a purpose, including the illustrations.
“The goal of the visual elements is generally speaking to make the product attractive, identifiable and distinctive.”
The prints on the Lahden Erikois beer line containers have their roots in history
The packaging of the Lahden Erikois product line resemble the look of one of Hartwall’s historic beer packaging, but the design is updated for this era.
“The basic visual elements, including shapes and layout, are indeed the same as in the Lahden Erikois labels in the 1960s. Their design language works also today, so it did not make sense to change it much.”
The most notable element is the red word Erikois (special) on a white horizontal band.
“The Clarendon font that is used for the word must have been really fashionable in the graphic design circles of Lahti half a century ago because it was used in the 1960s also in the communication materials of the city of Lahti. So changing it was out of the question.”
The crest of the Mallasjuoma brewery in the top part of the label was replaced with letter H, but the symbols of the region, lynx, remained standing on its either side. The text “Alte et Late” on the ribbon banner under the crest was also replaced.
“We wanted to put there Henrik Mattsson’s name and the founding year of his Mallasjuoma brewery. The old text running around the label told that the product was sold under the license of the national alcoholic beverage retailing monopoly Alko. We replaced that with statement made in Lahti.”
The most significant change in updating a design from the 60s is actually in today’s technology. Labels are no longer created on the graphic designer’s drawing board but on a computer screen.
Lahden Erikois Pale Ale is a slightly cloudy and golden yellow top-fermented full malt beer. This full-bodied, tasty and fruity pale ale has a medium malty flavour and a bittering hop addition. It has aromas of mango and apricot and a hint of pine.