A sleek new look for New Holland Brewing Co

The Michigan beer brand has been given a new look by Design Bridge that aims to honour its Midwestern-Dutch heritage while attracting craft beer fans

The New York arm of global agency Design Bridge has created a new identity system and packaging design for New Holland Brewing Co. The brewery and beer brand is based in Michigan, specifically a small city called Holland, which some locals affectionately refer to as New Holland after the beer, as the agency found during a trip.

The new identity maintains the symbolic Dutch orange along with the introduction of navy blue. A new custom typeface and illustration style have also been created, drawing inspiration from vintage signage and Dutch Delft pottery, which together give the packaging a charming folktale feel.

The typeface, NHBC Gezellig, is named after the concept of ‘gezellig’, “an all-encompassing feeling at the heart of Dutch culture that spans comfortable to relaxing, enjoyable to gregarious,” says Design Bridge creative director Mike Perry.

The city was founded by Dutch American settlers, and remains surrounded by relics of this heritage, such as windmills. While the windmill icon was already embedded in the New Holland Brewing Co logo, the newly polished motif now sits proudly front and centre of the packaging design.

The revamped look has been rolled out across digital touchpoints, packaging, and physical products such as glassware, signs, beer mats and pub taps.

Before and after

Updating the packaging and identity is said to have been driven by the brand becoming “lost in the crowd” as the craft beer market exploded.

The new flat design and overall sleek look arguably makes the packaging less distinguishable from the slew of craft beer brands on the shelves, and loses some of the obvious heritage from the old design. However, the new design manages to avoid pastiche while keeping hold of some of the branding’s quirky elements, and certainly feels in keeping with the designs that attract so many craft beer drinkers today.