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Young’s heritage ale

Design: Kingdom & Sparrow
Location: United Kingdom
Project Type: Produced
Client: Marston's PLC
Product Launch Location: United Kingdom
Packaging Contents: Beer
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass

Kingdom & Sparrow has rebranded one of the UK’s most celebrated heritage beer brands to help them appeal to a newer generation of beer-drinkers.

Young’s, with a brewery dating back to 1831, was under pressure to revitalise and refresh. Kingdom & Sparrow was brought in to give the brand relevance in today’s market whilst maintaining their history, provenance and credibility as brewers.

“With the core brand message of ‘Take London Head On’, we took Young’s on a bold journey.” says Managing Director Daniel Gradwell. “We wanted to incorporate their heritage, whilst embracing how London and the beer industry had evolved”.

The team created a series of confident and engaging brand assets to help eliminate younger consumers’ perceptions of cask ale and stand up to contemporary competitors on the bar and shelf, including a bright colour palette and a handcrafted, bespoke typeface with heritage London cues.

“Most notably, we’ve injected some attitude into Young’s iconic ram emblem. Previously depicted as static and shy, the new hand-drawn ram leaps confidently over the London skyline.” says Creative Director Johnny Paton.

Kingdom & Sparrow brought all of this together to create a consistent, coherent brand design system that would connect with consumers across all formats and beer styles.

But it wasn’t just the design that needed to refresh for today’s market. Strategy Director Sophie Cowles explains “One of our main challenges was to revitalise the flagship ‘Bitter’. The associations with bitter are a barrier to purchase for some of the newer generation of beer drinkers, so to establish this as their core product and hark back to Young’s original recipes, we named it ‘London Original’.

Young’s has begun to roll out the new branding across Young’s pubs in London and beyond. “We’ve had some really positive feedback so far, and the vibrancy of the pump clips on the bar is already really helping with the rate of cask sales” Louise Mercer, Brand Manager at Marston’s (owners of Young’s).

Johnny says “Ultimately, we’ve worked together to create a brand that is revolutionary for the brewery, but has classic bones to stand the test of time”.

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