CHAPTER TWO: THE MAKING OF LIL' HELPER
All mothers need their “lil’ helper” and we were proud to be Mother’s Brewing Company’s helper for this project. Now that you have read how we “Brewed up An Exceptional Brand” (if you haven’t, you can find it here), we are going to break down each of the four beers that got a face lift, starting with Mother’s Lil’ Helper. While there is a lot to say for a label that can grab your attention at first glance, we want to let you in on the little secrets our design team has placed in the packaging. There may even be some hidden messages that you can find if you know where to look!
The first discussion on the table was who was THE Lil’ Helper. The obvious choice was man’s best friend— a dog of course. But to make sure we didn’t leave any stone unturned, we challenged our initial gut reaction and tried a few more ideas, a step ladder being one and even a lawn gnome made it into a few sketches. Ultimately, we all agreed that there is no better fit than the original concept of a pup, so Kendra Miller, the local artist we worked with, and Amanda Day, our senior art director, got to work on concepting the scene. They spent a lot of time together throughout this process, even texting ideas back and forth at all hours of the day (and night!)
The scenes of each illustration take place in “Mother’s world.” In this snippet of a day in the life of Mom, we thought her lil’ helper would be assisting her in a moment to herself—laying out on a Saturday afternoon with her fur baby fetching her ice cold brews. Can you imagine a better way to unwind?
It was important to keep the equity that Mother’s has established for themselves over the last five years. The original dominant color for Lil’ Helper was turquoise; so that was the direction we took. We kept a monotone color palette on each label so the Mother’s logo would stand out above everything else in bright red. This decision was critical in how we wanted the family of beers to look when they were displayed on the shelf together—each uniquely their own, but clearly in the same family.
Working on the illustrations for each beer, we really wanted to have a consistent element that was represented in each design. We originally thought that we could use a more simplified version of the Mother's logo and banner. This idea later progressed into a simple concept— a red heart. It was the perfect way to tie all of the illustrations together and be a small little reminder of icon that has come to be the mascot of Mother’s. Lil’ Helper’s hidden heart is the charm on the dog’s collar. Next time you pick up a beer with the new label on it, look for the heart!
Our creative director, Chris Jarratt, commented that a common thread he saw when doing research for this project was that there was a lot of space that went unused on the packaging for other breweries. We saw this as an opportunity to capitalize on every inch of the packaging to showcase the quirky and unique personality that is Mother’s Brewing Company. Next time you buy a six-pack of Mother’s, flip the bottom over and you’ll see a fun little maze. This is where our secret lies. Look closely and you’ll see that each of the mazes have a word built into them that is associated with that particular beer. Lil’ Helper reads, “HOPS,” indicating that this Midwest Coast IPA is full of ‘em! Read our upcoming blogs this week as we reveal the secret word in each of the new six packs!
Lil’ Helper is one of Mother’s year-rounders and is a favorite among Mother’s lovers and this new design is definitely one of ours!
Tune in tomorrow as we shed some light on the design elements behind everyone’s favorite American blonde, TowHead!