Hillary Halldorson Designs

KPU Brew Lab (Case Study)



This project is the result of a collaboration with the Brewing and Brewery Operations program at KPU. The goal of this collaboration was to produce a non-hypothetical branding project for students, and to set the Brewing Program apart from other post-secondary brewing programs.

My research and process led me to create a brand that would put a fun yet industrious face to the program. This distinct look would attract the attention of potential students, KPU students of other programs, Langley residents, faculty, and industry, and help those groups recognize the inherent value of the program to the thriving local craft beer industry.



The actual requirements of this semester-long project involved conducting an information session with the Brewing Program’s students and faculty. From here, each design student generated a creative brief and competitive visual landscape. Collateral was predetermined by the professor.

There are a number of requirements of the branding. One of the considerations was the need to treat the program, physical space and business enterprise as one entity. The faculty expressed a need for the program to stand out from competitors in formal brewing education. Students of this program found difficulty with engaging people outside of their program, and by extension, seeing their space a fully actualized community. Whatever sense of community that already existed could only subsist if only the program could attract more attention.



There’s a lot about the program to be proud of and inspired by. As students see it, the selling point of the program is the opportunity for hands-on learning within their industry-standard “scalable system”. KPU has seen a need for trained brewers in the thriving craft beer industry and has responded to this demand in an innovative way. Some of words faculty used to describe ideal potential candidates for the program were “keen”, “passionate,” and “inquisitive.” I was inspired by the program’s desire to facilitate curiosity and creativity through both knowledge and practical skills. 


This inspiration led to an exploration of ways to represent and communicate these features and values. I wanted to keep the look and feel of the brand light, playful, and injected with enthusiasm and attitude. Students and faculty emphasized the comradery that exists in the craft beer industry. The program is not a fierce competitor of local breweries. Rather, it falls into a category of its own. It is a supportive entity that trains intrepid brewers and produces some tasty products to boot. The final logo represents the harmonious relationship between different concepts -  thinking and doing, theory and practice, learning and having fun, and curiosity and tangible success. It sums up what the program offers to all stakeholders in a unique manner.



My first proposed logo was an attempt to literally represent KPU Langley and the Brewing Lab, as shown below. The feedback I got was that the logo had no actual concept behind it. Although a nice, if generic, illustration and badge, it said nothing about the spirit of the program or what goes on inside the building, no reference to learning, chemistry, or beer.

The logo I initially submitted was too busy - the type and illustration were fighting for attention and the use of Museo reduced the longevity of the logo due to the typeface's reputation as fad font. The offset and additional colours added no meaning or feeling to the final product and added visual clutter. I also included a few sketches to show my process of working out layouts and general look.