Student Submits Winning Beer Label Design

Instructor with Winning Student

Minneapolis College Graphic Design Instructor Samantha Sather remains on alert for ways to create real-world experiences for her students, even with digital only classes because of the pandemic.

When the opportunity presented itself to collaborate with Able Seedhouse + Brewery for her class to submit label designs for a newly branded can for launch of the  Not Quite Forever sour ale, she and her students dove in.

As a result, Able Seedhouse brewers and graphic designers selected the entry of second-year web and graphics design student Sarah Rusch with the winning can design for the raspberry, lime flavored beer.

“Just as we were getting ready to begin the collaboration, COVID-19 hit right after spring break,” Sather said. “Luckily, graphic designers work digitally. We rely on sending projects via email and the success of the project was not hindered.

“This was a real-world gig for our class to experience the entire design process from start to finish,” Sather added. “Able provided the background and specs and our students produced the creative brief, mood boards, typographical consideration, colors, drawings and rough drafts.”

According to Rusch, who graduates from Minneapolis College in May, “knowing that it was a can and not a flat design, I wanted all angles of the product to be eye-catching, but have all the critical information like the Able brand, name and flavors visible when packed into shelves.”

Rusch, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Minnesota, also worked as a Graphic Designer for the Minneapolis College Marketing and Communication Department.

“In this role I have gained experience creating brand-compliant printed materials and digital content on real deadlines,” she said. “I also work at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, so I am really inspired by pattern and surface design. For the Not Quite Forever project, I wanted to use bright, fruit-inspired colors in a pattern that would pop and reflect the punchy flavor of the beer.”

Vital in Rusch’s studies was receiving the Minneapolis College Kopp Presidential Scholarship the past 2 years. “Having the financial support of a scholarship has pushed me further in my design studies and inspired me to do my best work,” she said.

Sather was excited her students participated in the design assignment and for Rusch to have her work recognized by Able Seedhouse + Brewery. “Sarah is extremely passionate with a great willingness to learn,” Sather said. “When you get a student like Sarah so eager to grow, change and evolve, it is such a gift for a teacher.”

Rusch grew up in the Milwaukee area and moved to Minneapolis in 2008 to begin her fine art studies at the U of M. She wanted to expand her creative abilities with some technical skills, so she enrolled in the Design program at Minneapolis College in the spring of 2018.

“At Minneapolis College, I appreciate the diverse ages, backgrounds and experiences of the student body,” she said. “I feel comfortable at Minneapolis College and the diversity really enhances the learning experience.”

Branding the Able Seedhouse + Brewery Not Quite Forever beer can is a way to share that experience.

“I’m grateful that Sam arranged for us to take on a project with a real client,” Rusch said. “Having my work out there in the world is super exciting for me as a budding designer and the experience of working with a client before graduating is so helpful.”

Sarah’s winning design can be seen at Able Seedhouse + Brewery, located at 1121 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

Watch the WCCO interview.

can of beer
Winning Beer Can Design
2 women sitting
Instructor Samantha Sather with Winning Student Sarah Rusch
stacked cans
Pallets of Able Seedhouse Beer
tops of beer cans
Winning Cans of Not Quite Forever Beer
Student sitting with Instructor
Winning Design Student Sarah Rusch Sitting with Instructor Samantha Sather
labels going on beer cans
Not Quite Forever Beercan Labels in Production
labels going on cans
Beer Labels Going on Cans
beer cans
Closeup of Pallets of Beer Cans
Closeup of Can Label
Closeup of Not Quite Forever Beer Can Label
Outside Able Brewery
Outside the Able Seedhouse + Brewery Building

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