Ever since I began making the sketchbooks, tasting notes and journals out of these craft beer boxes, and selling them, I’ve been a little concerned about stepping on the toes of the breweries who make these beers, and more specifically, the designers and agencies who create these amazing package designs.
As a graphic designer myself, I’m aware that the designs are part of their intellectual property, and never claim to be the designer or copyright owner of any of the boxes. I’ve said since the beginning, that if I’m asked by a brewery or label, that I will quit using a design or box, no questions asked, even though the argument could be made that I’m helping them keep their product or brand in front of their customer for an extended period of time while keeping it out of a landfill, that’s not the point.
That said, coming from the world of designers, photographers, artists and other creatives, where there seems to be a little different attitude — more competitive, perhaps — one thing I can say so far, that beer people are cool. Rather than replying on Instagram or Twitter with a perfectly-legal “Hey, you can’t use our stuff anymore,” most of the interactions I’ve had have been incredibly positive.
Even though my desk job is in a large company that has a dedicated social media person, I tend to forget that at the end of the day, craft beer brewers’ social media accounts are staffed with regular people too, or, depending on the size of the shop, perhaps the owners themselves.
And these normal people probably appreciate not having to do damage control or customer service for someone who didn’t like their product over social media once in a while. And let me say, it’s so cool to open up your phone and get a “@UintaBrewing is now following you” type message, especially when they weren’t the most recently tagged photo you uploaded.
Don’t surf through the #craftbeer hashtag from your cubicle or boring meeting; the photos of rocky mountains or campers or even just the behind-the-scenes-chair-races-around-the-brewery photos will make your job seem a lot less fun by comparison.