June 2011

Introducing Spearhead Brewing Company

378Photo by Ross McAuley– photo by Ross McAuley

I thought that my next blog should highlight Spearhead Brewing Company. This is the company my brother started two years ago and it launched last week. The brewery focuses on hand-crafting extreme beers, and boy are they tasty. I have been working evenings and weekends for 2 years designing all the branding – from logo to labels, vans to t-shirts, pens to tap handles, glassware to booth displays. The crush is over now and I am a bit bewildered with the  free time I now have. I feel the need to phone my brother at midnight just for old-times sake.

379DimitriDimitri van Kampen, President of Spearhead Brewing Company – Photo by Ross McAuley

Most people caution against going into business with family but in this case it worked very well. There were a few bouts of sibling rivalry to keep things interesting but for the most part, my brother, Dimitri was open-minded. I give him full credit for embracing an illustrative approach to the label designs a route most clients are afraid to take due to it being interpretive. Being a new and innovative craft brewery I wanted to visually express the hand-made quality of the beer without looking traditional or old-fashioned. I created bold illustrations to simulate the carved look of block-printing. I added a highlight colour to simulate the look of a print that is slightly off-register to visually communicate "Beer Without BoundariesTM" which is the Spearhead tagline.

What a crazy few years, I doubt my brother will ever forget them. I wish him and the Spearhead team evry bit of success. I know they have earned it.



377Spearhead MaddnessSpearhead Maddness. The Spearhead team having some fun.


Spring = Baby Showers.

375mimi owl music charmPhoto taken from etsy.com/shop/mimishop?ref=pr_shop

I went to my first baby shower of the season on Saturday. I am not one for knowing anything about babies, baby care or baby needs as I have a cat instead.

The mother-to-be is the wife of a colleague of mine. They both have impeccable taste and appreciate good design. I was beginning to panic about "the gift". I became desperate about what to get for this shower. What colour, what pattern, what if the gift doesn't go with the decor, what do babies like, what do mom's need?

On my walk home from work I saw a shop called 100 Mile Child. To quote their website: "we are a Canadian company based in Toronto and specialising in local, ethical and safe products for kids." What a fabulous shop. I highly recommend it for any of you non-kid people faced with the dilemma of the baby shower gift. Though I'm not quite sure about the 100 mile aspect, since mimi is based in North Vancouver.

376mimi music box plushiesPhoto taken from etsy.com/shop/mimishop?ref=pr_shop

I ended up buying the sweetest musical owl, that does not need batteries and that plays Brahms Lullaby. It can be used in a crib, hung in a car or on a stroller. The colours are fun but neutral enough that it will not offend any decor. And most importantly – the gift was received with great enthusiasm. Success!