How to spot America’s most loved beer? Look for Betsy the purple cow

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After two weeks and thousands of votes, Newburgh Brewing Co.’s Cream Ale beer label was crowned the 2015 winner of CNBC‘s Most Loved Label competition.

Since we never tried the beer – our belief is that the man behind the design is responsible for the win. After all it was competition for the most loved label and not the best beer. The label was designed by Philadelphia-based design firm Modern Good run by Matthew Bouloutian, a former adjunct faculty at AAS Graphic Design.
It features Betsy the cow which was created for a poster for the Cream Ale a few years before.

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Four Beer Posters for Newburgh Brewing Company
Here is what Matthew Bouloutian told us about process of the design:


Our can design first began in 2012 when we created Betsy the Cow (with her two little side kicks) as the main subject for a promotional poster for Newburgh Brewing Company’s first beer, their cream ale. This poster along with 5 others, one for
each of their beers, was produced with the intention that when Newburgh Brewing decided to package their beer they would already have an iconic solution to represent each one. Each poster revolved around a unique illustration for the beer based on its name or character. Two years passed before the can design project became a reality. When it came time to start distributing the beer in cans,
I used our icon of Betsy, the established typography and colors from the poster to design a label, which basically looked like the poster with some adjustments. Chris Basso, the head brewmaster at Newburgh Brewing ultimately felt it wasn’t exciting enough and pushed for something more. I was surprised but Chris felt strongly about making something adventurous. He mentioned that other breweries had done some trailblazing in packaging their beer. At this point I had to do something very different. Our cow icon was already in use and wasn’t going to change so the design had to. 
After exploring design ideas we arrived at this patchwork, wraparound design which was engaging to pick up and explore. It allowed us to feature our beer icons as well as the town of Newburgh and other bits of information about the beer and spirit of the brewery. It also didn’t look like any other label we’d seen. There was lots to look at, read and discover. It has a pop/craft impression that is lighthearted but conveys a respect for heritage. The shelf presence is strong and I’ve heard that it’s been very successful in terms of sales… but who knows if that’s our can design or the beer! I’d like to think it’s both. Cheers.

Newburgh Brewing Website
Newburgh Brewing Website

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Paul Halayko, Newburgh Brewing Company, discusses the inspiration behind his cream ale beer, and the craft brewing craze.

Editor: Katarzyna Gruda


Spotlight | Yoko Nire | AAS GD 2015 | TDC 36 Typography Competition

Yko NireWinning Entry

Congratulations to:

Yoko Nire for winning the Type Directors Clubs 36 Typography Competition in category for excellent typographic work by students.


Yoko graduated from the AAS Graphic Design Program in December 2014. Her winning entry was a response to a design assignment in History of Graphic Design course ( Jason Booher, Faculty). Subsequently it was executed during Silkscreen course (Katarzyna Gruda, Faculty).

Project name: Yokan Packaging
Yokan is a Japanese traditional sweet that comes in various flavors. My approach was inspired by the Dutch designer, Piet Zwart, whose style was modern, constructive and mechanical, but also playful. To interpret his philosophy, I played a composition game with geometric shapes and type physically on a piece of paper, resulting in an unexpected and abstractly whimsical packaging. Silk screened on Japanese paper. In addition, I made the rubber stamps for children to play with the design and make original cards.

Yokan Packaging
Silkscreen Flat Sheet
Rubber stamps for children to play
Rubber stamps for children to play

The assignment description:
The students were given a designer [all from early 20th century—Yoko’s was Piet Zwart]. After exploring the relationships in their designer’s work, they created a series of designs that responded to or was influenced by the work in some way. This could manifest in any number of ways: ads, packaging, posters, covers, etc. The designs could surround an object, product, idea. Students were required to produce three or more designs. If desired, more specific constraints were given. The intention was not to mimic a single design, but to uncover the underlying force(s) in the work.

Inspiration & Process

Editing and photography: Katarzyna Gruda


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