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June 24, 2024
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Behind the Brand: The Journey of Renew Brew

When Charlotte Water embarked on their innovative “Renew Brew” initiative, they sought to not only highlight the quality, safety and potential for sustainability of treated wastewater but also to create a memorable brand that would engage and educate the community. Here’s a look into the design journey that brought the QC Water and Renew Brew logos, as well as Renew Brew beer can and accompanying collateral design to life.

 

The Vision and Challenge

The award-winning Renew Brew project is a unique initiative aimed at demonstrating the potential of treated wastewater by collaborating with local breweries to produce beer. The key message was one of sustainability, innovation, and safety, a concept that needed to be clearly communicated through the brand’s visual identity.  YDM was tasked with first naming and branding the treated wastewater, which uses technology from a leader in the field, Xylem Water Solutions USA, Inc. That’s when the brand for the reclaimed water, QC Water, came to life.

Using QC Water and partnering with local brewery, Town Brewing, to take on the first iteration of a beer using QC Water, Charlotte Water’s Renew Brew was born. YDM began by holding a naming brainstorm with our team to ideate on names for the project and beer. Renew Brew was a clear favorite by the project’s stakeholders, and so we set out to designing a logo and beer can design that would not only capture the essence of the project but also appeal to a broad audience. The challenge was to create a design that was both educational and engaging, resonating with the community’s values while showcasing the advanced technology behind the water treatment.

Concept Development

The design process began with a deep dive into understanding the goals of Charlotte Water and the Renew Brew initiative. YDM held brainstorming sessions and identified key themes such as sustainability, innovation, purity, and community engagement.  With these themes in mind, the design team put actual pen to paper and began sketching initial concepts. They explored various symbols and imagery associated with water, brewing, and sustainability. The goal was to find a balance between technical sophistication and approachable design.

 

Crafting the Logo

The final logo design is a testament to the collaborative and iterative process. The logo features a clean, modern aesthetic with a nod to community. Color played a crucial role in the logo design. The use of blue hues evokes a sense of flowing water and cleanliness, while earthy tones ground the design, giving it a natural, authentic feel. The typography was chosen for its clarity and modernity, ensuring the logo is easily recognizable and versatile across different mediums.

 

Designing the Beer Can

The beer can design was where YDM creativity truly shone. The can needed to be not only visually appealing but also informative. The design features a wrap-around illustration that tells the story of Renew Brew. The hand-drawn elements of the can design, which won the Best in Show at the QC Brewers Fest, further enhance the brand’s unique character and commitment to sustainability.

Community Engagement

Yellow Duck Marketing understood that Renew Brew was more than just a product; it was a community-driven initiative. To foster community engagement, they designed a range of promotional materials and marketing collateral that extended the brand’s visual language. From invitations to signage to social media graphics, every piece was crafted to maintain a cohesive and compelling narrative.

Creating beautiful promotional marketing materials is just one piece of the puzzle. It was important to get the word out and make Renew Brew a part of the sustainability and innovation conversation. After creating a holistic Public Relations Strategy, we implemented and amplified the project garnering 80 pieces of coverage, over 8 million views and over 2,000 engagements.

The Renew Brew initiative showcases the potential of reclaimed water in a way that is both appealing and educational. The collaboration between Charlotte Water and YDM is a testament to the power of design in making complex, important issues accessible and engaging to the public. Renew Brew is not just a delicious beer; it’s a conversation starter about the future of water and sustainability.