Back in 2015, Brewfist challenged us to design the packaging for a stand-alone bottled beer for the UK market that could visually communicate their italianness away from stereotypes and old clichés. Our answer was to create a replica cover of the popular sports newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport, carrying its visual language, layout, vintage typography and the iconic pink colour. With the newspaper being the organiser of the Giro D’Italia cycling race, the theme was set. The name La Bassa is a reference to the drop bar position made famous by cycling legend Marco Pantani and the name of the plains surrounding the brewery.
The concept proved so popular that soon we found ourselves evolving it into a full range. Every new addition to the range had to be inspired by a popular Italian sport and by the look of an old newspaper, whether real or fictional. The name Daily Brews (a pun on daily news) stresses the ordinary character of these beers, that stand apart from the more complex and hop-forward ones that made the brewery famous.
From 2021, La Bassa is also available in 500ml cans, an uncommon format in the Italian market where 330/400ml are the norm. To highlight the courage of this choice, we came up with the catchphrase #mezzolitro (half litre) and placed it on the lip of the can alongside the brewery’s old tagline more beer more people. We found the original illustration and newspaper-like layout suited the large continuous canvas of the can particularly well, and the black lid is a strong tie to the bold typography. The cans are also finished with an all-over matt varnish that makes up for the tactile effect of the paper label.
All the beer names feature the article to mimic the names of actual newspapers and tabloids. The main illustrations have a raw, sketch-like feel to them and draw inspiration from the Italian Futurism, an arts movement obsessed with speed and dynamics. The custom lettering and typography are a nod to old newspaper headlines, and the copy at the back is laid out in columns like real articles. We worked with Avery Dennison’s Fasson Alinea Blanc, an uncoated matt paper with a light directional ribbed tactile embossing.