I’ve recently been asked to write a blog post (my first) about the package design Kramer Madison created for Cascade Mountain 60th Anniversary Edition beer can label campaign which whom Cascade collaborated with The Lone Girl Brewing Company and their “Off the Trails” IPA brew for this festive celebration.

Gather ’round as I run it down, and unravel my pedigree: After a brief kickoff meeting with the client, detailed notes gathered and a project brief in hand, my initial creative process for any project always begins with several conceptual sketches with the customer’s point of view in mind: the look, the feel, and the overall brand awareness for consistency purposes. Extended shelf life and/or keepsake are also top of mind when tackling a project of this scope. This creative process is essential to build a strong foundation from concept to execution and allows me free reign to develop creative ideas and to see what sticks prior to moving forward with the final polished design. This is the best part of the process, plus who doesn’t love to sketch, am I right? The initial supporting graphic element ingredients were there from the get-go, we just needed to add some additional spice to bring this campaign to life.

I aimed for a practical approach that encompassed familiar settings of Cascade Mountain using a variety of familiar shapes, a cool color palette with different shades, and a bold typeface prominently placed above the Cascade 60 years logo. This concept builds upon the Cascade Mountain brand for consistency and brand awareness. This got me thinking about the day when my son was scheduled to work at Cascade Mountain all day on Christmas day several years ago. Instead of sending him on his way alone, I drove him to work on that particular day and sat there working on my laptop the entire day, so he didn’t feel left out on Christmas. From time to time, I’d get up and stretch my legs wandering around the facility grounds. That day was the inspiration for this design — the snow gently falling against a rich blue backdrop, fresh powder as far the eye could see, and whispering pines swaying to-and-fro in the brisk wintery air followed by impressive skiers swooshing their way down those blinding white steep slopes. Starting to see pictures, ain’t ya?

Ultimately, the main goal of good package design is to elevate the customers product. It’s all about delivering a unique and sustainable premium design that encompasses the overall company mission and brand. For Cascade, it was all about capturing the magic of the Mountain and its naturesque surroundings. The final design is basically a snapshot of a long adventurous day hitting the slopes, and then unwinding afterwards in the warm cozy lodge while spending quality time with family and friends recapping the day’s stories.

After sign off on the final design, we headed to production. It was exciting to experience the behind-the-scenes operations at Karben4 Brewing and to see first-hand how these cans were magically assembled. First, thousands of empty clinking cans first make their way down an automated assembly line belt. One-by-one, the cans are filled with the delicious ice-cold IPA, sealed, and labeled by spot on calibrated machines. Next up, a couple of handy folks assemble the six packs by hand and are neatly stacked on a nearby palette which was carefully shrink wrapped and shipped to the customer for all to enjoy. The best part about this process is the taste test and sampling the final product. Aaah, when in Rome!

On January 13, 2022, Cascade Mountain turns 60 years old. If you’re heading to Cascade in the near future, I recommend trying the Cascade Mountain IPA which is a fine balance of citrus hops mixed with a little malt sweetness. Trust me, nothing beats a cold IPA after a day on the slopes!

If you have an upcoming package design project that needs tending to, don’t be shy… give us a call today at (608) 849-1984 or click here to get started. There isn’t a project and/or challenge (small or large) that Kramer Madison can’t handle.

Until next time, Cheers!