Cultivating Creativity with Brew Dr. Art Director Laura Gano
Brew Dr. is never one to shy away from innovation and creativity; we love sharing our knowledge and passion for tea while pioneering new and exciting beverages. One adventure we are especially excited about is welcoming the Limited Release: Watermelon into the brand’s full-time lineup of 14 flavors — sporting a shiny new label to boot!
Behind every great company, there is a great team of people… people who push the envelope to continue growth, and who fuel creativity that leads the way. For Brew Dr. Kombucha, Laura Gano is one of those people. She helps to bring the brand to life every day. We sat down with Brew Dr.’s Art Director for an inside look at the process and evolution of the Watermelon design, and the journey of the Brew Dr. brand.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF!
I’m a native Oregonian! I grew up in the suburbs of Portland, went to Portland State University, and never left. I love the Pacific Northwest – I draw a lot of inspiration from the outdoors and love living close to so many natural areas. When I’m not designing, I keep busy with our 2 little kids, and also enjoy gardening, kayaking, hiking, and travel.
HOW DID YOU BECOME A PART OF THE BREW DR. TEAM?
My husband was employee #1 so I started off doing small freelance projects for him and Matt (Founder) in 2006. I left my agency job in 2013, and officially joined the Brew Dr. crew as the in-house designer and art director!
HAS THE ART & DESIGN OF BREW DR. CHANGED OVER THE PAST DECADE?
We started with a very Northwest, organic aesthetic – lots of wooden elements and a color palette heavily influenced by nature. In expanding our reach to a wider audience, we’ve shifted to using brighter colors and photography to appeal to customers from all parts of the country. As we grow, I think it’s still important to keep some of the original spirit of the brand alive through continued partnerships with artists, and maintaining a connection to our community and Northwest roots.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE THAT YOU HAVE CREATED?
I’m really proud of a lot of the work I’ve done for Brew Dr. (including designs for the teahouses & distillery) over the years. It’s been a ton of fun to be part of the brand since the very beginning and see my work pop up all over North America!
My favorite projects are packaging projects. I especially loved the creativity involved with our old distillery’s labels and got to bust out my gouache and paint for the first time in years on the Townshend’s Gin and White Rose labels.
SPEAKING OF PACKAGING, TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS OF DESIGNING THE WATERMELON LABEL.
We started designing the Watermelon labels around the same time the rest of our packaging was getting refreshed, so it was the perfect time to change things up a bit. Previously, our limited release flavors had a very similar template to our core flavors, but the top half was colored, and the bottom half was gold. This looked nice, but we had some readability issues so we decided to change it up a bit.
For Watermelon, our initial concept was color-blocked with a green lower half and a pink upper half with watermelon seeds:
As we continued, we started with another concept that included a full-height colored background. By going that route, we gained extra space to use design and illustration to highlight the brand’s values of creativity, craft, and artistry.
Starting with Watermelon, the decision was made to make our limited release flavors an ‘artist series,’ with each limited release showcasing a different artist’s work. I kicked off the series as the first artist, infusing watercolor texture and illustrated watermelon seeds into the design. We altered the color a bit, making it a little pinker.
When we knew that Watermelon was going to become a permanent flavor, I updated the design to match our other core flavors – with a cream top and colorful bottom. We loved the texture and illustration from the limited release label so much that we kept that, instead of using the botanical illustrations the other flavors use.
WHERE DID YOU GATHER INSPIRATION FOR THIS TEXTURED DIRECTION?
Watermelons! The watercolor texture on the label + seeds was made to look juicy, refreshing, fun, and like summertime.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PART OF DESIGNING THE WATERMELON LABEL?
It was fun to come up with a new label template (the ‘artist series’) that allows us to partner with other artists moving forward and do something different than our standard labels every few months!
IT MUST BE INCREDIBLE TO SEE YOUR WORK AND DESIGNS NATIONWIDE — HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
Full of pride. Still kind of amazed. I will be scrolling and see friends in Tennessee or Chicago, drinking a Brew Dr. with my labels/designs and it is still amazing to me. We started out so small, and are continuously growing and my artwork is all over that. I don’t know that it will ever get ‘old.’
We look forward to continuing to share the incredible artwork of Laura, as well as other partnered artists through the Brew Dr. brand. Make sure to check us out on Instagram for other fun pieces of art, and much, much more!