Sunday April 20th 2014

The Beer Babe

A package full of summer

By: Carla Companion

Nicole Holmes, a senior graphic design major at MECA, holds her winning packaging for Geary’s Summer Ale. (Courtesy Photo)

I like winter, but this one is really beginning to wear on me. Some days it’s just important to remember that we do still have summers here in Maine (really, we do).  Thankfully, D.L. Geary Brewing is here to remind us – if only briefly – that summer will be coming back, and is using young talent to do it.

Each year, Geary’s has asked Maine College of Art (MECA) students to compete to design packaging for their summer ale. The task is for undergraduate students to design packaging for bottles, six and twelve pack cartons. Though the contest has been run for the past 15 years, it has only recently become a required project in MECA graphic design courses.

This year’s winning design, submitted by MECA senior Nicole Holmes (pictured at the right), features warm colors and bold, nautical themes of anchors, crabs and lobster. Check out the slideshow for the past few year’s winners as well.

You can also see a gallery of other submitted designs on MECA’s website here.

According to a press release, the design came down to its impact:
“Every year we get so many great entries and have a really tough decision to make,” said Kelly Geary Lucas, director of operations, D.L. Geary Brewing. “We needed to pick a design that was not only artistic and evocative of summer, but also had the graphic impact that speaks to a consumer in the marketplace. There were many that did that, but Nicole’s design really drew us in and spoke to our brand the best.”

The new packaging will show up when the beer is released in March, and will appear on nearly a million bottles of the beer throughout its run through September. And if that isn’t cool enough, the contest also provides a $5000 scholarship towards the senior graphic design major’s education.

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