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Brief Published: 7 Mar 2017

Visualising Flavour: Commonwealth Brewing Co.

Commonwealth Brewing Co.

UK-based design studio Thirst has designed a range of packaging with a dynamic dye effect that expresses the flavour of beer through digital colour and pattern. The project was created for Virginia’s Commonwealth Brewing Co.

Brewery owner Jeramy Biggie commissioned the studio to design a can that enables the customer to “visually see the flavours”. Thirst, a specialist in the craft drink industry, responded with a series of four cans printed with vivid swirling colour and textures to represent bursting flavour.

To create the effects, the studio experimented with macro photography, capturing the movement and textures of different oils, vinegars and inks interacting on a plate. Thirst then edited the photographs by adding layers of deep, rich colour to represent the depth of flavours in the beers, which include India pale ale Papi Chulo and chocolate stout Marvolo.

Designers are increasingly finding new ways of visualising flavour and giving taste a sense of materiality and colour, conjuring up a more visceral understanding. This will prove a lucrative direction for beverage and food brands, where graphic packaging can offer consumers a better sense of the flavours contained within.

For this project, Thirst took a similar approach to London-based designer Zuza Mengham, who used free-flowing colour to represent scent in a series of resin sculptures for British brand Laboratory Perfumes. For more on her work and the idea of sculpting scent, see Look Ahead 2017: Colour & Materials.

For further inspiring visuals of marbled colour and texture, see Colour in Suspension and Exploding Colour. For more on developing food aesthetics, see Food & Colour: Visualising Flavour and New Food Styling.