Crafting a locally-inspired logo for Distraction Brewing

Grab a pint and join us for a peek behind the scenes at logo design for a top-voted craft brewery in the heart of Roslindale.

Congratulations to Distraction Brewing Co. for being named the #3 best brewery in Massachusetts! Like voters themselves, we’re fans of how the family-owned craft brewery is the best of fresh yet familiar. Distraction’s beers are unique twists you don’t find elsewhere, while their welcoming atmosphere is inspired by the tight-knit locals in Roslindale. 

When Distraction was getting ready to open Rozzie’s first permanent craft brewery, they reached out to us for branding. In addition to a welcoming and relaxed tagline of “Kick back, be(er) yourself,” we also delivered a logo that’s all over pint glasses, growlers, t-shirts, and signage on the iconic Roslindale building that Distraction calls home. 

Curious how we crafted the logo for this brewery on the rise? Pour a refreshing and summer-y Distraction Pink Lemon Wundertart ale and read on.

Inspired by our ingredients

Based on the creative brief and in-depth chats with the client, it became crystal clear (sorry, hazy IPAs) that we had a few key ingredients to play with for Distraction’s logo.

Local emphasis: While Distraction is gaining regional popularity now, they’ve always been passionate about maintaining a neighborhood taproom vibe and investing in their community. 

Neighborhood pride: The brewery wanted to showcase the Rozzie pride they share with customers (“this Cold Brew Coffee Cream Ale is from MY local brewery”).

Welcoming feel: Unlike some snooty or super serious brewpubs, this Roslindale brewery is friendly and laid back – a welcome distraction from busy life and pretense about beer.

Badge-style logo: During discovery, many logos they shared as inspiration used this approach. It’s especially popular with breweries, as badge lockups work well on cans, growlers, etc.

Pinterest board of brewery logo competitive research
Competitive research on craft brewery logos

A flight of logo explorations

Our top priority is ensuring that clients are hoppy…err, happy. While a big part of that is identifying what they want and delivering options that fit, there’s also more to bringing brands to life. For instance, fulfilling our responsibility to clients by exploring other paths to the same goal: an eye-catching, ownable logo with local appeal.

Logo option: Pull tab optical illusion

Alternative logo design: pulltab concept
Alternative logo design: pulltab concept

What we liked: This logo has multiple layers to it. There’s a little optical illusion aspect to it, naturally drawing in the eye with depth and curiosity. As a subtle and humorous reference to local affinity, we switched up the common “Established in 2019” approach by replacing the year with the Roslindale ZIP code. 

Overlapping D and B optical illusion
Overlapping D and B optical illusion

The D and B of Distraction Brewing overlap to form the pull tab, which immediately brings to mind refreshing beer. The B also has a bit of the Boston Red Sox vibe, for subtle appeal to fans of beer and baseball throughout New England. 

Logo option: Delight in the unexpected

Alternative logo design: upside down A as pint glass concept
Alternative logo design: upside down A as pint glass concept

What we liked: This option reveals interesting notes that invite you in for another look. The upside-down A serving as a pint glass was inspired by the brand attribute of “pleasantly distracted,” along with the quirkiness of Roslindale. 

Easy-to-read text logo with whimsical touches
Easy-to-read text logo with whimsical touches

The mood of this logo is chill and fun. With such a text-driven logo, the font needs to be easy to read, yet distinctive enough to add personality without being too distracting. The A is the star, with a whimsical treatment of beer and foamy head, including a bubbly hat tip to the 3 founding partners.

Logo option: Pleasantly, and interestingly, distracted

Alternative logo design: distracted, delirium-like badge concept
Alternative logo design: distracted, delirium-like badge concept

What we liked: This option leans heavily into the Distraction name, with an almost delirium-like quality to it. It naturally fits into a badge treatment, and the hop above the “i” adds some beer personality to the logo.

Pleasantly distracted logo concept on growler and shirt
Pleasantly distracted logo concept on growler and shirt

For a craft brewery, it’s critical that their logo works on glassware and merch. For each logo option we explored, we included examples of how the logo would look and feel in the environments where it would show up in the real world. 

Eventual winner: Location is everything

Approved Distracting Brewing logo: Historic building badge concept
Approved Distracting Brewing logo: Historic building badge concept

Why it won: Ultimately, we and the client agreed that this logo was the best option. It checked all the boxes for representing Distraction Brewing:

  • Local emphasis: Prominently displays the iconic building that houses the brewery and is immediately recognizable to Roslindale residents.
  • Neighborhood pride: Overtly, Roslindale is literally right there in the logo. More subtly, we included little flourishes inspired by beautiful detailing on the building itself.
  • Welcoming feel: Locals are already familiar with the location in the heart of Roslindale Village. And for non-locals, the landmark-driven logo helps with wayfinding. 
  • Badge style: Yup, sure is badge-y. Perfect for applying to pint glasses, cans, and growlers with limited head-on horizontal viewability.

Whether it’s craft brewing or logo designing, we’re constantly inspired by our clients and their goals. While the ingredients change for each brand, our recipe for success largely stays the same: Discover client needs and challenges, explore what’s asked and beyond, and then refine until everyone’s ready to say, “Cheers!”

Thirsty for a brand-affirming logo of your own? Contact us for something refreshing or visit our portfolio for more of our logo work. Who knows, we might be the ones bringing some beer to kickoff this time.

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