Thirst creates unifying global masterbrand for Brooklyn Brewery

Global beverage branding specialist Thirst has created a masterbrand identity for Brooklyn Brewery, enabling global cohesion while retaining the legacy brand’s bold iconicity.

Thirst maintains a long-term creative partnership with Brooklyn Brewery, alongside partner Carlsberg Group. The global drinks specialist has already created the positioning and identities for Brooklyn Pilsner and Pulp Art, as well as refreshing the existing identities of many other sub-brands.

Leading with Brooklyn Brewery

Having developed a suite of characterful sub-brands each with its own strong personality, Brooklyn Brewery wanted to consolidate its assets while unifying and leveling up its off-pack visual brand identity globally.

Thirst was briefed to build on the existing identity with a new masterbrand enabling consistency in every market and at every touchpoint including OOH, digital and social, on-trade, off-trade and brand activations.

The masterbrand strategy was built around evolution not revolution, ensuring the brand’s globally recognised creative platform was being used as effectively as possible, and in a way that honors the original creative idea. The central concept here is that everything Brooklyn Brewery does and creates reflects its home borough of Brooklyn which isn’t just a place, but a mindset: ‘The Brooklyn State of Mind’.

Karli Bainbridge, Vice President, Marketing at Brooklyn Brewery, says: “Thirst identified an opportunity to create a bold, culturally-iconic and instantly recognisable masterbrand to unify our image globally while staying true to our Brooklyn heritage.”

Matt Burns, Executive Creative Director and Co-Founder at Thirst, says: “Achieving consistency while retaining the distinct soul of a brand is the challenge and delight with any new design iteration.

“This was especially true for Brooklyn Brewery, where we feel a genuine connection with the brand. Our deep understanding of what Brooklyn Brewery stands for was a core strategic strength that helped us guide the client through the development of the masterbrand to its deployment across markets.”

Reframing an icon

While a complex branding exercise involving multiple stakeholders, creating the masterbrand was also an exercise in restraint and simplicity. The goal was to develop a visual system that would allow the Brooklyn brand to shine while simultaneously celebrating the existing sub-brand identities.

A black frame device featuring the Brooklyn Brewery brand mark is the unifying backdrop for capturing and sharing the unique spirit of the borough, with different taglines for global use (“This is Brooklyn” globally) and in the U.S. (“Always in the Making”). The frame can showcase brand campaigns, a single sub-brand, or endless combinations of multiple sub-brands as needed, while maintaining a grounded visual consistency.

Thirst revisited and refined all core brand assets and sub-brand assets, simplifying how they coexist and come to life beyond the brand’s packaging. To build recognition of the masterbrand, the design system uses the iconic primary logo, originally designed by ‘I Love NY’ graphic designer Milton Glaser when the brand was founded in 1988, wherever possible. Thirst adjusted the secondary logo, the horizontal wordmark, to add impact while retaining strong visual links with the primary logo.

Versatility and cohesion

Thirst introduced new off-pack patterns for each sub-brand, distilled versions of the character and personality of each brand which could allow any combinations of beers to co-exist together, complementing the primary packs without visually competing with one another.

Its flexible layout system lends the masterbrand versatility, energy and cohesion, ensuring visuals can be scaled for all media requirements, and enabling local teams in every market to showcase the brand.

“This isn’t design for design’s sake,” says Burns. “It takes patience, time and several rounds of iteration to arrive at the right solution that is satisfying, seamless and above all, easily applicable everywhere.”

The new masterbrand is now rolling out globally.

Source: Thirst

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