Griffin Claw Norms IPA

Rebrand and Packaging Design System

Griffin Claw Brewing Company:
A story in every can

As hard seltzers and RTDs crowd out craft beers on retail shelves, locally loved breweries like Griffin Claw are feeling the squeeze of a slowly shrinking playing field. For a craft beer, the can’s ability to stand out and grab the attention of consumers is more important than ever. With an eye on increasing their footprint and get more of their beers on shelves, Griffin Claw Brewing Company knew that following the craft beer trend of louder, busy design in an attempt to stand out would only add to the noise. We took this into account as we built out a packaging system that promotes the easy comfort and wide variety of Griffin Claw’s many crowd-pleasing brews.

Griffin Claw gold logo

Griffin Claw’s previous cans were one-off stories, using different design styles and artists to promote the taste of the beer—but lacked the visual consistency that allowed consumers to recognize the Griffin Claw brand. In order to stand out at retail, we aimed to simplify the design and approach to their storytelling. The new look serves as a brand billboard on crowded shelves, with an attention to detail that rewards consumers for taking a closer look.

Griffin Claw cans

A bolder and louder beer name and type are placed front and center just beneath the new logo, making it easier for consumers to spot when scanning the crowded drink aisle. Consistency in name and logo placement offer flexibility to bring in an assortment of label colors which clearly differentiates beer types and entices consumers to pick up each product.

A flavor story on every can

Griffin Claw offers a range of crowd-pleasing favorites that have been around for years and small-batch experimental brews that push the limits of what brewing can do. Given Griffin Claw’s variety of offerings, it was important to create a consistent and repeatable design that allowed for easy brand recognition while simultaneously telling each beer’s unique story.

Griffin Claw El Rojo
Griffin Claw Bluesky
Griffin Claw Norms IPA

The art of the story

The new label features a subtle drawing of the eponymous griffin (and its claws) dropping key beer flavors right into the brewer.

Black background with Norm's IPA cans and two 12-pack retail boxes. On the top right corner of the box, hangs a black stetson.

New packaging was designed to be future proofed, allowing easily for line extensions, collabs and wild experimentation.

Griffin Claw Bluesky

The results

Since its official launch, Smooj has received rave reviews from Michigan’s craft beverage community. With nearly 50 stores carrying their product already, Smooj is quickly working to expand its distribution and product line to keep up with demand.

Griffin Claw El Rojo render

We partnered with Skidmore ahead of our 10th anniversary to give a fresh, consistent feel to the Griffin Claw brand. Bringing thoughtful illustrations and a modern design, Skidmore was able to apply the inspiration from our taprooms and the spirit of our community to our packaging design.

—Pat Craddock, Griffin Claw Brewing CFO

Griffin Claw Wish You Were Here

Let's get to work.