Heft Wing Beer Co Case Study

Hand brewed beer sourced in Portland, OR. Think Responsibly.
January 2016– April 2016

Originally published on www.cortes.us

My Role

This is one of those dream projects that only comes around once in a while where I have complete control over the entire image of a brand. Branding is a lot more than just a logo and this project allowed me to really explore the possibilities of the Heft Wing brand and be involved in every aspect of the company’s image from the initial logo and logotype to packaging and tagline.

What is Heft Wing?

Heft Wing Beer Co. is a new lager distributor based in Portland, OR that prides itself on process. Their lagers are hand-brewed and are highly focused on the culture around what it means to be a great beer company and how to make an impact on such a monumental and historic industry in America. There is a certain type of respect with a balance of confidence that goes into this approach and I was beyond happy to have worked with such a great and humble company.

The Challenge

Probably my favorite thing about this project was the challenge I was presented with when starting this project. Phillip Knowles, the founder of Heft Wing, approached me and presented his company as a modern addition to the lager industry but wanted to maintain the culture and history behind the American lager. Giving a company like this it’s own voice while preserving history and bringing confidence through modernization was a bigger challenge than you may think. As a result, I spent a large majority of this project in the research phase. I researched everything from the history of beer in America to visual references for beer packaging to the modern lager business and meticulously structured my approach and visual language behind what should be included in the brand. Some of my favorite visual references can be seen below.

My Approach

As with all my projects, after research I love to dive into a sketching and ideation phase. Iterating on early ideas is one of the most satisfying parts of branding for me. The feeling of pencil to paper and hundreds of rough vector concepts always hits my creative high. Here are a few of the rough sketches I drew before hopping into the computer (fun fact: the name was supposed to be “Left Wing” at first but was changed to “Heft Wing”). Below the sketches is a small portion of what my artboard in Illustrator looked like after a week of constant iteration of ideas.

Final Logos

After some iterations and some back and forth discussions with the client, I landed on the logos you see below. The first is the final logo and logotype and the two below are secondary logos to be used in smaller and larger applications along with marketing, packaging, and stationery materials. The logotype and secondary logos are both custom type, the primary logo being a custom version of Bookmania and the secondary logos being built from scratch by yours truly.

Brand Language

In addition to the logos and logotype, I believe it is also important to establish an overall brand language to keep the brand image consistent throughout the time of the brand’s existence for years to come. I developed a brand usage manual for Heft Wing which includes information and keys on using logos, colors, typography, grids, imagery, and collateral. Here’s a glimpse at some of the information that was included.

Packaging and Collateral

In addition to the basics of the brand, I also developed the packaging, stationery, and collateral for Heft Wing. I designed a carrier, the label for the bottle, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, order form, coaster, posters, signage, and brochures are among the main assets I created for the brand. See a couple of them below.


I’m always open to take on new freelance work and talk about hiring opportunities, feel free to email me at hi@cortes.us if you’d like to get in touch!

That’s it for this case study you can see more on www.cortes.us or if you’d like to stay updated with me and more of my work, be sure to follow me on Twitter! Hope you enjoyed!

— Dennis Cortes

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