Steam Bell Beer Works: Naming + Brand Strategy
Last Fall, we began working with Brad Cooper on the branding and name strategy for his budding brewery in Chesterfield County. Brad had spent the last few years refining his brewing craft and connecting with the homebrewers club. He was ready to take his hobby to the big leagues. He came to Campfire & Co knowing where his brewery would be, what types of beer they would focus on, and the general atmosphere they wanted to cultivate.
We started with a brand strategy session facilitated by The Spark Mill's Sarah Milston. Through a series of brainstorming tactics, we worked to translate Brad's vision into a full brand personality.
With the brewery's brand personality in mind, we researched and explored names based on a number of different themes. After falling down a lot of wikipedia holes, we finally found a name that made everyone really excited: Steam Bell Beer Works. Rooted in the history of "cooperage," a steam bell is the device that coopers (barrel makers) used to heat up the wood staves of a barrel to bend them together into the curved cask shape. We loved the connection between the historic cooperage process and Brad's last name: Cooper, not to mention Steam Bell rolls off the tongue so nicely. After we landed the name, we started to explore visual concepts based on the Steam Bell brand personality.
We explored visual cues that represented the hidden history that the name Steam Bell evoked. Brad and his team gave feedback on thier likes and dislikes throughout the concept exploration process.
The final logo naturally developed a slighly historic feel as we imaginged the image of the steam bell to be the centerpiece of the logo mark. Building off of Brad's passion for homebrewing and his focus on the handcrafted nature of beer, we felt a hand illustrated logo was important to the overall brand.
Our next step will be to finalize typeface options, a color pallet, and patterns for the complete brand guide. As we've been busy working on developing Steam Bell's identity, Brad and his team have been purchasing equipment and working to nail down a location. Follow their journey on facebook and check back with our blog to see the final brand guide!