It was dawn at Teak. The sun’s rays crawled through windowpanes and across a table, fathom by fathom, in a conference room. Two bottles of Lagunitas IPA were popped open. Their caps spun together through the air as if in slow motion, until they were transfixed in the path of a sunbeam and, for an instant, were things of radiant gold.
If you’ve enjoyed a tasty beer in the last 20 years, chances are it was a Lagunitas. The original craft brewery, homegrown in Lagunitas, CA (before moving to Petaluma) Lagunitas Brewery was largely responsible for putting the IPA on the world map with their eponymous Lagunitas IPA. And after spending all their time making incredible beers — and not on their web experience or traditional beer advertising — founder/Galactic Brew Lord/genuinely nice guy Tony Magee and his confederacy of brewmonsters at Lagunitas wanted a website as good as their elixirs. That’s where we come in.
We partnered with Lagunitas to redesign their brand’s website, revamp the user experience, and produce video content across the entire site. With 4 taprooms, 28 beers, a news section, an extensive music area, and plenty of other grab-bag items to place appropriately, we had our work cut out.
Part of Lagunitas’ genius is their very distinct and diverse design aesthetic and brand character (the man Tony Magee himself designs all the labels and writes much of the advertising copy). They are counter counter counter culture. They sometimes get in trouble with the fuzz. They truly, seriously, and to-the-bones love music. Our challenge was to ground that aesthetic in consistent brand principles that would capture the true essence yet allow us to create true brand guidelines for designing the website.
After drowning ourselves Houdini water tank style in their brand (and beer), we landed on a great design aesthetic for the site. Using bold, impactful type, realistic textures and integrated brand elements, as well as a grid-panel framework, we had ourselves a design as bold as their beers. Which is what they were looking for in the first place, so hey, high-five.
After it was all done, the sun fell toward the earth. Periwinkle skies turned to pink, and then orange, and then red. And just as the sun set, just as the day’s door closed with a click, at that moment we clinked our beers together, and there was suddenly a great flash of green light, like the flashbulb of some brilliant photogram, which spread across the sky. A warm wash of pure bliss crept into our minds. The next sip of beer felt momentarily like a new lover’s kiss in the center of a spinning carousel. The creak of floorboards sounded like the tuning of an orchestra before the finest performance of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 ever heard. And soon we drifted into somnolence, into oblivion, into sleep.
Check out the new Lagunitas.com.