We love the art direction cideries must take to convey their distinct brand visually and tie it to the flavor profiles of a given product. Not only do these designs have to align with the brand itself, they must evoke some kind of emotion from potential buyers when they walk down an aisle or think about making a stop at their taproom. Seeing is as important as tasting when exploring new products and this is all done with intention through design!
We decided to run an open-ended contest where anyone, cider fan or cidery, could submit cideries’ new-ish label or a label for a cider that has been in long-term production (less preferred). We took all submissions and gave each one a good hard look. We created 4 distinct awards based off what moved us the most. We did not consider any cider label that was not submitted.
NOTE: These opinions are not that of a larger audience or poll across the web. These opinions are that of CiderScene’s team members.
We listed all 17 submissions below for cider fans to feast their eyes on! Below, we have our four winners, too!
Interesting Approach: Lost Horizon Cider Mill – Old Haunt
Nostalgia Trip: Kekionga Cider – Watermelon Gumballs
Cleanest Design: Seattle Cider – Light Cider
Local Artist Appreciation: Humboldt Cider – Sunset Rubdown
Artist: Scarlet Moody
Details: Our inspiration behind this design is quite sentimental to our family and we’re hoping others will enjoy it as much as we do. We wanted the can label to be recognizable, yet still stand out on a shelf with a clean and classic design.
Our family hails from Switzerland/Germany, and the logo is a modernized version of the flag that represents the Canton (or province) in Switzerland where Co-Owner Ruth is from- Thurgau. If you look closely enough, the lion’s mouth and eye form an apple!
The faded background of the label is actually an enlarged photocopy of a hand drawn ink drawing of the original Waldschanke located in the forests of Romanshorn, Switzerland, made by Ruth’s father, George’s, best friend celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original cidery (which actually is still in operation to this day!)
Artist: Elle Correll
Details: It’s our summer seasonal, and our most popular and talked about cider over the years! Being both the artist and the business owner, I have a unique ability to know the full history of the company draw on the brand through design thinking.
For the Watermelon Rosemary Cider, we created this cider with our Randall program in May 2016 a couple of months after launching. The nature of the Randall program was we could test new flavors that we might want to make into future batches. The Watermelon Rosemary was an instant hit among customers, and quickly bars around town asked if they could sell it at their locations as well. After launching draft, we scaled it up into 12oz and then 16oz.
The Buskey Watermelon Rosemary label features our iconic industrial brick building located in the popular craft alcohol neighborhood of Scott’s Addition in Richmond, Virginia, with both BUSKEY and CIDER painted signboards featured on the front of the building. Using roughly 1,800 colors on the label, the exploding watermelon uses 2-D artwork to create the feeling of movement and excitement that would be elicited in real life. With the historic feeling of the bricks coupled with the modern vibes of exploding fruit, this label portrays what the Buskey brand stands for: quality cider with a fun, approachable experience.
Artist: Jamaica Cole
Details: The art concept was a collaboration between her and me, and is absolutely part of the aesthetic we knew we wanted to go with when we began. Old Haunt is admittedly a little high brow, so we wanted something fun and completely unpretentious for the label. We want to make excellent ciders without taking ourselves too seriously, and to bring people in on the experience. Texas forests, campfires, and ghost stories were all themes we talked about when we began working on this. Our motto is: “best enjoyed with a good friend on a late night hike into the unknown.”
Artist: Wilmington Team
Details: The Wilmington Brew Works Ciderosa line began as a blended cider cocktail, that transitioned to a blended cider drink for better quality control, and evental bottling. We experimented with a Watermelon Cucumber flavored cider at the beginning of Summer 2021, which was very well received. As the Harry Styles’ hit ‘Watermelon Sugar’ became the Song of the Summer, it was clear what we needed to do.
Artist: Nate Morken
Details: This label is for Watermelon Gumballs. It was designed by Nate Morken at Acculabel in Fort Wayne, IN. The inspiration for this came from our many summers on the baseball diamond. There we would throw in big “wads” of Big League Chew bubble gum while we were playing baseball all day.
Artist: Brendan O’Connor
Details: We knew we wanted to educate our customers about our methods, apple varieties and origins, and our mission. Brendan, our designer, came up with a brilliant and handsome solution. Drawing inspiration from vintage bus tickets, he organized all our information into different panels. The result is an info-dense can that is actually legible and pretty easy to read.
Artist: Vals (@vals421)
Details: Chili Lime Watermelon blends Pacific Northwest Watermelon Juice, Californian ‘Anaheim’ Chilis, and Mexican Lime Juice for a cloudy, 8.3% ABV. imperial cider that will take your taste buds and your best buds for a ride! Hailing from Mexico City, we partnered with Vals to bring this can design to life @vals421.
Our Imperial Stash series is an experimental line of high octane ciders that combines the creative spirit of Austin’s East Side with craft and culinary flavors for a unique sensory experience with every new cider.
Paying tribute to the tasty tradition of enjoying chili, lime and salt on freshly cut watermelon, we sought out a partnership with the amazing illustrator from Mexico City, Vals! People unfamiliar with this delicious flavor combo will be delighted to make the discovery. We love that we were able to work with Vals on this project to further the great tradition of Tex-Mex fusion!
Vals: “It is a Mexican tradition to eat fruit, especially watermelon, with chili and lime and I am so excited to be able to represent this tradition with my artwork for this new Austin Eastciders flavor. I chose to include a watermelon in sunglasses accompanied by chili, limes, and stars that symbolize flavor explosions to further animate the design”
Artist: Eric LiPuma
Details: The inspiration for the label is the collaboration between us and Black Diamond BBQ for the cider. The pineapples in the cider were smoked by Black Diamond, hence the smoking pineapple!
Artist: Joe Klockowski
Details: Our Lavender Lemon cider is a part of our seasonal cider series focused on showcasing the quality and breadth of NY agriculture, following or mission of using 100% local grown NY apples and ingredients. This label is designed with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients in a bold and contemporary way that appeals to a playful craft beverage demographic. Lavender leaves, blooms and lemon slices are simplified into flat colorful graphics that wrap around and extend beyond their background. These wrapping stylized elements encourage the viewer to pick up and rotate a single can to fully see the entire design while also creating a striking wall of pattern when multiple cans are stacked next to each other on a shelf.
Artist: Stout Collective
Details: We worked with the fantastic team at Stout Collective to add our Rosé to the family. The purpose of Right Bee Cider is to bring people together, and we wanted all of our labels to feel friendly, inviting, and welcoming. The design is classic, clean, crisp, and fresh with all the info you need. A little blurb about our origin story on the side makes you smile as you enjoy the magnificent medley of hibiscus, rosehip, currant, raisin, and a drop of honey from our very own beehives. Its beautiful blush hue and lively aroma are a delight for the senses, with a label that’s easy on the eyes. Enjoy!
Artist: Blind Tiger
Details: The design for our labels and cans is inspired by Day of the Dead. We started our company in Washington but we have roots in Texas which is where this direction originally spawned from. We wanted to showcase a side of toughness and perseverance but also vibrancy while bringing forward our flavors through flavor cues and illustration.
Artist: Tess Wilkinson
Details: We are submitting our recent specialty release: Spill the Tea, a Green Tea cider. We wanted this cider to be a toast to summer, as well as a toast to Pride. I was inspired by the vibrance and beautiful flare of Drag culture as well as the bold colors of summertime that align with the bright flavor of this cider. What came to be was a can that is playful, fun, fresh, and full of love. Hope you enjoy, and hope you find the time to try this cider.. you’ll love it!
Artist: Jake Scott
Details: My inspiration for the name and label of this cider came from Duluth’s largest and oldest source of inspiration: Lake Superior. The Isle Royale Greenstone is found only in Lake Superior, and is the stone I designed into my wife and co-owner, Valerie’s engagement ring when I proposed on the shore of Lake Superior in 2013. The can’s abstract design simultaneously represents 3 things: 1. the characteristic turtle-shell-like pattern of the Isle Royale Greenstone, 2. piled boulders along the shore of a calm Lake Superior, and 3. hop leaves from the aromatic Crystal hops used in this semi-dry cider.
Artist: John Daly
Details: Our Creamsicle Cider art was created by artist, Jon Daly, based in Buffalo, New York. Daly creates the art for all of our wines, ales, and ciders that we produce here at the farm.
We wanted our Creamsicle cider to be reminiscent of childhood days; bright, fun, and full of life! We make sure to always include the apples (how our cider is started) in the back of all of our can art. Once the apples have been incorporated, we then add in and highlight the true flavor of the cider itself. This label is one that we love and we hope that you will love it too!
Artist: Christina Dean
Details: The inspiration for the Light Cider can and box design came from the liquid itself. It’s light and bright, it’s minimalist but bold and exciting, it garners a second look and is fun and approachable. Light Cider is a notable departure from the core offerings of Seattle Cider Co. The goal was to appeal to light beer drinkers while remaining true to our cider drinkers. It’s fresh, exciting, and will be well-suited as a crossover beverage for all.
Artist: Dave Van Patten
This cider is made with Peach & passion fruit fermented separately, then blended with fresh mint.
From a cider fan: I love that they support local artist Dave Van Patten whose artwork decorates their labels, taproom and garden, and whose murals can be found in Eureka. His art is so fun and whimsical and I love seeing the new labels when they come out. Also it’s super cool that one of the founders of Humboldt Cider was also a founder of the Eureka Street Art Festival, which is transforming our city’s landscape.
Artist: Sheila Dunn
Details: This botanical cider starts with a refreshing spearmint nose accenting the delicious apples and bringing a perceived sweetness, the tannins of the Acai berry give structure and texture.
From a cider fan: I really enjoy the vibrant colors. It really makes it stand out on the shelves and matches the vibrancy of flavor I get from Bend’s cider.