Familiar Creatures

Devils Backbone

Taking them national after the AB InBev purchase.


Virginians loved Devils Backbone. But we needed to get people from all over the country to love them too.

Reaching a broader audience while still maintaining Devil Backbone’s soul: now that was a doozy. Because looking corporate can really tee off your (super passionate) core audience. Since we're not in the teeing-off-of-craft-beer-lovers-business, we set out to establish a design identity that could be scalable, yes, but also unique enough to show the craft that goes into every bottle of Devils Backbone.


With our work cut out for us, we got down to business: creating multiple design directions, building the packaging architecture from the ground up, re-imagining everything: from the wide angle perspective of the imagery to the blue ridge mountain shaped die-cuts of the packaging. And our client was right there collaborating with us every step of the way.

Capturing the beauty of where Devils Backbone is located was key. They sit smack dab in the middle of the Blue Ridge mountains, so we wanted to explicitly reflect that, all while taking care to invoke the slow-going personality of the brewery's culture. Take a look at all these concept sketches, we made hundreds of ‘em.



To try out multiple illustrators, we had them redesign the packaging for Devils Backbone's flagship beer, Vienna Lager, making sure they displayed a rugged, yet sophisticated style.



The winners of this illustrating boxing match were Brian Miller and David Moore, because of how they took our concepts to final design. BEA-utiful if we say so ourselves. On our end we created typography true to the spirit of every beer, making darn sure they also complemented the compositions.



And that’s how a whole enchilada packaging redesign RFP was won, started and completed in nine months, all nice and shiny and ready to be shot in our launch brand campaign. (And drank by beer-drinkers across the country too!).