Evening products, such as craft beer and wine, cannabis products, and nicotine pouches, are catching on as we find ourselves with more time to enjoy ourselves at home in the evenings (After all, what else are we supposed to do during lockdown and isolation?). And as we’ve mostly seen in craft beer over the course of many years now, creative labels go a long way in showcasing these kinds of personal treats.
To that end, as the craft beer market continues to expand and products like cannabis and nicotine pouches gain steam, there is limitless opportunity for designers to contribute in the space. Great design can pop up just about anywhere –– as demonstrated in our recent highlighting of Beatles playing cards! And rest assured, these markets are no exception.
Let’s take a look at a few specific examples of where design opportunities are popping up.
Craft beer is well known for its creativity not only in terms of flavor, but especially with its packaging. Bottles, cans, and even glasses from various breweries tend to have extremely detailed labels with wild colors, handwritten scripts, and original graphics done by talented artists and designers. And even if it seems like there are so many interesting labels there can’t possibly be room for more, nothing could be further from the truth! Just recently, the popular brewery Sprecher announced an intent to refresh its packaging, and this isn’t altogether uncommon. Plus, new breweries are still popping up all the time –– and they all need design!
While craft beer labels are often wild –– full of vibrant colors, heavily-detailed cartoon imagery, and gothic fonts depicting names like “Fit for Murder” –– craft wine tends to involve a more subtle, classic approach with calligraphy, muted or neutral colors, and minimalistic design on bottles (and sometimes cans, which as City AM noted recently are getting trendier). That said, there is an emerging playful side to this industry as well –– not entirely unlike what we see with beer. The bottom line is, whether you’re a designer with a tasteful, elegant touch, or someone who favors bold and inventive graphics, there may well be work for you in wine, too!
It’s no secret that cannabis product labels are often heavily stylized, often in order to help a given brand stand out from the rest. Also, the cannabis industry isn’t limited to just products; everyone on the production line including farmers, packaging companies, and distributors uses logos, which gives designers more opportunities to get a foot in the door. Most important in this space, though, is the growth we’re seeing. Cannabis products (and on a loosely related note, CBD products as well) are being mainstreamed in the U.S., and labels and logos are going to play a huge role in determining which brands have staying power. Lending your talents as an artist to companies in this market has the potential to pay off.
While some may see the emergence of nicotine pouches as just the latest fleeting pad in the broader nicotine industry, Prilla has identified some intriguing growth potential, noting that the consumer market has made a shift from tobacco products to nicotine products. Increasingly, these products include pouches, rather than just patches and the like; one convenience store chain consisting of 108 stores even noted growth of more than 40% in nicotine pouches as opposed to previous years. Smokers and vapers are making the switch to pouches, as well, due to both their convenience and social factors that make pouches easier to indulge in. Essentially, this looks to be a significant emerging market where leisure products are concerned, and we would expect packaging and design to play similar roles here as they are beginning to in cannabis.
While not quite in the same category as craft beer and wine, cannabis, CBD, or nicotine pouches, it goes without saying that playing cards go hand in hand with many of those products. Particularly as we emerge back into social situations, the idea of sitting around a table playing cards with a few treats on hand still appeals! And cards, too, offer a chance for designers to showcase their skills. There’s a limitless field of design options, themes, and color themes to choose from, especially since playing cards don’t need to follow a specific pattern because of a brand. There is even the possibility of creating entirely new card decks with different cards, as The Press-Enterprise celebrated with regard to an individual designer just last December!
We hope this list has given you that artistic spark of inspiration needed to create… well, whatever you want! These products offer limitless potential, and a ton of fun chances to create bold and marketable designs.