Blue Blaze Brewing Company (BBB) is a craft brewery based in Charlotte, NC, and is focused on promoting the hiking and outdoors lifestyle. Blue Blaze’s owners approached Sublmnl in the Spring of 2014 to discuss branding and their intentions to bring a taste of the wilderness to the big city. We created the brand with this notion in mind at every point throughout the development process.
A “blaze” is a marking system (usually a paint mark on a tree, rock, etc…) that helps hikers follow a given path. It’s used to indicate things such as the beginning and end of a trail, a change of direction, an intersection with another trail, or a path to water, etc… We took this concept and tied it into the overall image of the brand, with the main logo consisting of an actual blaze shape. We furthered this tie into the trail systems by using the same fonts and arrow treatments used by the National Park Service on their trailhead signage. Each of the beers in their core lineup is named after a different blaze color and follows the bold color schemes used to catch attention in the forest.
When we began developing the product packaging, we decided to go in a more interesting and modern direction by dropping the color out of the labels and letting the brightness of the aluminum cans shine through (which at the time, was something no one else in the craft beer segment was doing). The BBB brand image is rooted in the outdoors, but has a bit of a modern twist. It’s definitely a distinctive brand image in the North Carolina beer scene, and continues to stand out next to competitors after almost 10 years of retail presence.