By Fran Johnson
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Creating the Charnwood Brewery brand

We often get asked about the making of the Charnwood Brewery brand. The team behind the brewery have done an incredible job of spreading the brand throughout Leicestershire, and its much loved beer has been sampled by many! Clarence the fox is now recognisable in the region, with fans of Charnwood Brewery creating likenesses in felt. He can also be found adorning cakes, pumpkins and bread.

© Andy, a dozen eggs and various Charnwood Brewery customers

Creating the Charnwood Brewery branding has no doubt been one of our most rewarding and engaging projects. So, we thought it might be a nice idea to look back, and explore the process. A few years after a brand has been established, it’s often hard to remember the ‘what could have been’ and the alternative designs we presented to Andrew and Andrea – the brewery owners.

From the initial meeting, we knew this was going to be a good project. The Reeds obviously had a solid understanding of what they wanted the brewery to be, and who their ideal drinkers were – music to our ears! It also helped that Andrew brought ‘competitor’s samples’ with him – which is, of course, crucial to the design process.

As Andrew had been in the brewery industry for a number of years, most of our questions around audience and brand direction were answered based on his previous experience, so we dived straight into the designs! One comment stood out – they wanted their brewery to be rooted in the local community. From day one, using a fox as part of their branding was an obvious choice. For those of you not familiar with Charnwood, the fox is the borough’s emblem and can be seen everywhere!

Charnwood brewery initial branding ideas
Charnwood Brewery initial logo designs

After a brand has become so recognisable, it feels strange to delve into the ‘what could have been’ in terms of logo and feel for the wider brand. One decision we took early on within the process was not to design the logo in isolation. We needed a context, and that context was pump clips! Andrew and Andrew had already decided upon 3 initial beers; Salvation, Vixen, Carousel and Hubble Bubble. So, we started designing a number of options – both for logos and pump clips – to get a steer on the brand vibe; elegant and refined, fun and cheerful or more classic. The initial design ideas were then shared with the Reeds and they made a decision on which design style they preferred.

Just opened your email and I can tell you – a very positive reaction from me to all 3 designs :)) You’ve really bought to life the brief we gave you – thanks for all your work on it. Goodness, it’s going to be difficult to choose!


Once one of the initial designs had been selected, it was then time to extend the brand. The brand direction felt more colourful than some of the initial design ideas, so we took to creating multiple pump clips in a consistent style and had lots of fun with the various beer names – a designers dream!

As designers, we often play with lots of options – trying out various ideas and establishing which are successful. Our design programmes are full of different directions that the pump clips could have gone in, and its always nice to see that designs from 2014 are still standing the test of time.

Over the years, we’ve got to know the Reed family, the brewery and their customers really well, so designing has just got easier and easier! Take a look at how the brand has evolved on our portfolio.

Illustration mash up from Charnwood Brewery pump clips
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