What Bavaria has brought about over the past few months is not simply a rebranding. The Swinkels family, which has run the brewery in Lieshout, Brabant for more than 300 years, wanted to get back to basics. The result is that the heritage has visibly returned with renewed 21st century.
Go south young man
The new house style that can be found on crates, bottles, cans and kegs is already a fact of life in the Netherlands. The brand colour, blue, has been redefined. The crate, labels, cans and outer packaging match the colours of the Bavaria-shelf blue which clearly claims position. An equally important the new identity is the new logo designed by Total Identity in the form of a compass pointing to the south. This compass symbolises independence and the family company' individual course. A triangle with rounded edges served as the basis for designing all the of the materials.
The tricoid as archetype
Bavaria invited Total Identity to help them design a new look. Their collaboration with Total Identity bore fruit very early on. Hans P Brandt of Total Identity: 'We arrived at a basic design which would fill the triangle with rounded edges - a so-called tricoid. It was originally designed by the English design consultants, SeymourPowell and Brandnew and it is full of hidden symbols. It refers to the three Swinkels brothers who grew the brewery into a large company, the new triangular head office in Lieshout and, more philosophically, the three Vs represent the Dutch words for the three basic needs: vrijheid, vruchtbaarheid & veiligheid (freedom, fertility and security). A key factor in the development of the design was the discovery of a beer mat on which was printed the red triangle which adorned the first Bavaria beer mats at the beginning of the 1900s. The placing of significance upon an apparently ordinary triangle by turning it into a compass is thanks to Total Identity. The design also has relevance with identity and ethics coming together in a single image.
Bavaria identity archetype
Exploring the world
A better, more authentic and satisfying life
Becoming imprisoned, inner emptiness, not existing
Travelling, experiencing new things
Roaming, being a failure
The triangle turned out to herald – by beer brand standards – revolutionary design and imagery. Bavaria wanted an evolution for its brand, but they got a revolution. The board members deserve praise for the courage that they collectively showed. When the Total Identity designers laid the first compass sketches out on the table, it was a Eureka moment. It reflected the individual course that Bavaria has been following for centuries. In its final design of the compass also contains family values, including the needle that points south instead of north. A compass is usually round; the Bavaria compass is triangular. This means that it not only has legal, but also practical distinguishing value. The new logo contains everything needed to grow into a beer logo that is recognisable worldwide.
Brand follows form
All in all design and image reinforce each other. No other beer brand has managed to do this. Besides the compass, Bavaria' triangle was the starting point for their glass, tap column and beer mat. One salient detail is that the lines of the tap column make it striking whatever angle it's viewed from. It resembles a pioneer's flag that has been planted on the bar. The Bavaria family company is headed by the seventh generation of Swinkels. Marketing Director, Peer Swinkels, stated in an interview that the Bavaria brand had to be recognisable by its shapes and lines. Swinkels compares it with a distinct car brand such as BMW. A BMW without a logo is still recognisable as a BMW. In other words, good three-dimensional design makes a brand virtually superfluous. The bottom line is that this vision has yielded a convincing brand personality. It is supported by two key pillars: sensory form (SeymourPowell, London) and relevant imagery (Total Identity, Amsterdam). What' more, it's a great looking visual identity.
The winner of SAN 2010 Advertiser of the Year is Bavaria. Bavaria was received awards for its successful design in the role of challenger in the beer market. Among other things, this was down to a major design overhaul, the continuation of Bavaria City Racing, breathing new life into the alcohol-free segment and the successful Dutch Dress marketing stunt at the World Cup. This year Bavaria also won SAN Accent awards in the categories Fast Moving and Integrated Communication.