Two Hearted Ale, Bell’s Brewery
2 Comments on “Two Hearted Ale, Bell’s Brewery”
Eric points out that the original art used for the labels is by local artist Ladislav R. Hanka from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Hanka has provided the Bell’s Brewery with label designs since 1984. He considers the Two Hearted Ale “to be the most successful packaging the brewery has yet to come up with and whose six packs and bottles are ensconced as altarpieces in fish camps from Maine, to Wisconsin and all the way to the pacific Northwest.”
The very first design he submitted featured a fish-themed woodcut. “… they were deep-sixed for many years – Larry [Bell] being afraid people would avoid buying the beer thinking it might taste fishy […] My thinking was that fishing goes with beer like a Cubs or Tigers game does. A fishing trip is incomplete without a six-pack cooling in the stream awaiting your foot-sore trudging back to camp at the end of a long day […] I was of course right about that.” The woodcut is currently used for the cans, see the images above.
These labels show that both ITC Clearface and ITC Souvenir were used for the typography already in earlier years. Hanka mentions that Paul Hayden-Duensing was his mentor in the book arts, but it’s unclear whether he was involved in the typographic choices. Left: A portrait of the artist’s father, Dr. Ladislav J. Hanka, “early investor and active board member with a few of his beloved Brook Trout on an early incarnation of the brewery’s flagship beer: Two Hearted Ale.”. Top right: Portrait of John Voelker AKA Robert Traver, “author of Trout Madness, Danny & the Boys and many another fine fishing story (Anatomy of a Murder too)”. Bottom right: Opus Salvelinus – Brook Trout III. Etching with aquatint & Drypoint. This art also appears on the side of the packagings shown above. Images © Ladislav Hanka.
Visit Hanka’s website to read the full story and see many more images.
I think the 'brewed and bottled’ line in the first image is News Gothic.