Brewery: Manchester Union Lager
Design: Studio DBD

Origin: Manchester, England
Style: Lager
ABV: 4.8%

Anyone with even the most basic sense of visual literacy can’t miss the proliferation of the Manchester bee in recent years. Whether thoughtful homages or lack of branding imagination that generally result the same lacklustre repeated piece of near-clip art quality. Walking around the city sometimes feels like we’ve reached saturation point of second-rate bee graphics.

So it’s joy to see a creative take on a explicitly Manchester brief without falling into the same trap. Dave Sedgewick’s hybrid lion bee is an attempt at tackling this, the lion being a reference to the city’s crest. The illustration is beautifully done - detailed but not too delicate, with hatching and hairlines that nicely reference the heraldic elements it’s inspired by.

The typography works just as hard, referencing neo-Gothic inscriptions on the walls of John Rylands or the Town Hall. In summary it’s a thoughtful and considered branding solution that sits head and shoulders above the competition. I can see this lasting years untouched.
A project by Richard Heap
A graphic designer from Stockport, England