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Packaging for Japanese craft beer: a disaster relief effort

Gen 11, 2016 designdiffusion

Il packaging della birra by Nendo

As part of a project to support the Sekinoichi brewery in Ichinoseki, Iwate—a city devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japanese design studio Nendo has branded the packaging for the brand’s Kura beer. Taking inspiration from the unique combination of both beer and sake brewery, called a ‘kura’ in Japanese, the products were named Kin Kura, Aka Kura, and Kuro Kura.

Available in three color-coded varieties, golden (= kin) pale ale, the red (= aka) dark pilsner and black (= kuro) stout, the family crest-style logo is unique to each flavour, and combines the Chinese characters for gold, red and black with the English transliteration of ‘KURA.’ The crest sits on a rounded color that contrasts with the gradient background, stylized images of hops ornamenting the base of the can.

For the Kin golden pale ale, Nendo designed yellow packaging that fades to white at the top, while the Aka dark pilsner is covered in a red to burgundy gradient, and the Kuro stout is wrapped in amber brown which fades to orange at the bottom.

Nendo is no stranger to the role of design in facilitating disaster relief; in 2013 the studio designed bottles for a coffee-flavoured beer also produced by Sekinoichi.

Tx: Julia Ardila Zurek