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The Portland-based design firm accepted the award at Revolution Hall last week

Cascade Brewing's rebranding design won it for Portland design agency Murmur Creative at the AMA MAX Awards Show ceremony on February 7.

The AMA (American Marketing Association) MAX Award celebrates marketing excellence and brings together creative, innovative Portland professionals. It honors the work of the eclectic mix of marketers, creatives, freelancers, entrepreneurs, strategists and innovators in the Pacific Northwest.

Last week at the Revolution Hall ceremony, Murmur was specifically awarded for creating work that reflects the direction and intent of an intelligent business strategy.SUBMITTED: MURMUR - The highest tier label showcases a woodcut inspired design with illustrated flourishes and stamped foil to communicate value. The second tier label features a watermark background and the third tier is rendered in brighter colors to highlight their accessibility.

"Cascade creates artisanal beers and they needed a new logo and packaging to truly showcase that level of quality," said Murmur Creative Director Andrew Bolton. "Their logo also needed to reflect their place in Portland's rich craft brewing history and their packaging had to help customers to visually distinguish between their three tiers of sour beer while maintaining clear brand aesthetics."

Murmur intended to create a new brand aesthetic that felt both accessible and high end. The final design referenced the beer crafting process in the new branding and also created packaging that positioned the brand for less customer confusion and better sales.

"When we first set out on this journey for a new brand and identity, we were pretty well set on what we wanted with regard to a particular look and feel, but after just a few meetings with the Murmur team, they opened our eyes to a whole new direction. " said Tim Larrance, vice president of marketing and sales for Cascade Brewing. "After seeing their concepts, we completely ditched our previous ideas and let Murmur take control and guide us to where we need to go."

Cascade Brewing has been a pioneer in the sour beer renaissance since 2006 and is the proud innovator of the Northwest Sour Ale, featuring fruit forward, barrel-aged ales with an emphasis on project year-to-year variation.

The new logo features the top view of a barrel in the shape of a C, paying homage to the brewery's barrel aging process. A hammer and spigot represent the tools used to tap the barrels, while also lending a playful nod to Cascade's sour influence on Portland's beer scene. The "A" in Cascade was designed to mimic the nearby mountains in the Cascade Range, the brewery's namesake.

Murmur Creative also designed three label formats, one for each of the three tiers of products the brewery produces. The three tiers are based on the ingredients used in the beer, the time the beer is aged in the barrel, and the type of barrel used. Each beer within each tier features its own color to delineate between brands.

"The logo and packaging work together to create an overall high-end brand that evokes the craft and history of Portland beer," said Bolton. "The impression is one of regional history, artistry, and uncompromising craft — it's Cascade in a bottle."

Learn more about the project and Murmur Creative here.

By Jules Rogers
Reporter, The Business Tribune
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