We chat to Connie Hunter-Jamison from StudioStereo about Brehon’s striking new brand, the art of storytelling, and business meetings in taprooms…
Firstly, who are Studio Stereo?
We’re a branding and multi-disciplinary design studio based in Belfast, working in the field of brand identity and visual communication. We’re a small but agile team… just two of us, Connie & Jonny (and a very lazy Basset Hound called Wally who contributes very little to anything design-related). We’ve been doing this since 2008 and love to work with companies of all shapes and sizes; from tiny start-ups looking for a new brand, to big businesses looking to restrategise their branding and visual communication.
How did you end up working with Brehon Brewery on their rebrand and what interested you in taking on the project?
We have a great working relationship with two whiskey brands, Killowen and Two Stacks, who are connected to the export company Ireland Craft Beverages; the guys there introduced us to Seamus and the team at Brehon and we had an immediate rapport. We love working in the food and drink sector… the fact that the first meeting also included a tasting in the Brehon taproom may have also sweetened the deal!
The new labels feature a really striking linocut art style with some gorgeous imagery – where did the idea come from for that?
There’s nothing we love more than getting our hands stuck into a project and away from our computers which can often necessarily dominate the design process—we felt Brehon was the perfect fit to get the actual cutting tools and inks out and get some real craft in the mix!
Brehon felt like that to us—the fact that it’s sited on a working dairy farm is indicative of that spirit, there are no shortcuts—grit and humble hard work are folded together. That’s the approach we took with the rebrand; image-led—a tip-of-the-hat to those traditional craft processes, mirroring the traditional brewing process that could feel at home in the drumlins of Monaghan without being “clichéd Irish”.
The bespoke linoprints are all of the farm site itself and the locality—the Killanny Red even features old family photos from the taproom. We’re excited about how far we can take the concept with future releases… watch this space!
The idea of storytelling is front-and-centre on the new labels, with each beer telling a unique story – how did this concept come about?
We had barely stepped out of the car on our first encounter with Seamus and the stories were just pouring out of him—he’s really quite the raconteur! Some tales had us howling with laughter, others would bring a tear to the eye—Brehon might be a relatively young brewery, but the family who run it go back generations in Monaghan, and the place is steeped in history and genuine stories. In an ideal world everyone would visit the Brehon taproom, Seamus would pour you a pint, and you’d hear it all first-hand… but in lieu of that, the packaging will do its best!
And finally, what does the future hold for Studio Stereo? Any other exciting projects on the horizon?
Hopefully more business meetings in taprooms? Ha! But honestly, the thing that gets us really excited is when we get to work with people who are trying to do genuine good work in their own field, and who do it with a bit of heart and soul. So as long as there’s plenty of that on the horizon, and the occasional IPA thrown in for good measure, then we’ll be more than happy.