Building a

craft beer brand

A famous Egyptian proverb suggests: “The mouth of a perfectly happy man is filled with beer.” Yes, we bet he’s even happier when it tastes great. Which was the case with Kamenitza’s craft beer. Its compelling characters inspired us to create Frik&S. Discover the whole story behind it here.

11.10.2023 7 min read

Hey, make sure to open up a beer before you read this, it takes one to the end of the article. Cheers!

The story

We were invited to think of a visual identity and a name that would unify the craft beer portfolio of Kamenitza. And It all started with a “closed” call between five studios and ended up with many open beers and cheers to our team.

Since every one of us here at PUNKT enjoys the drink, we decided to all take part in the initial brainstorming process and dedicate ourselves entirely to the task. We began with the name – we had no doubts it had to be something local and yet easy to remember and stick to your brain. That’s why we started digging up the brand’s century – old history. Kamenitza was founded in 1881 by Frick and Sultzer – two enthusiastic Swiss entrepreneurs who came here to build railways but ended up paving Bulgaria’s path to the tasty drink. Its first brewing house was constructed in the historical city of Plovdiv, on a swampy hill bearing the same name – Kamenitza. The brand is known as the first commercial beer of Bulgaria and for quickly managing to touch the hearts of all of the country. With its success, the company decided to move its production to a much bigger factory and left its old brewing house premises. And then, the floor was cleared for experiments and Kamenitza’s notorious side – its craft beer started pouring out of the old brewing barrels.

The name

Our first challenge was to collect those facts and come up with a name that’s in line with the international craft market but still manages to bring the uniqueness of the old, local story. By doing that, we were sure that we will succeed in distinguishing the craft brand of Kamenitza from the big label behind it. And last but not least, of course, the name had to be compelling for both local and general consumers. Since all of this didn’t sound like an easy task, we decided to go big (and not home, although Plovdiv is our home town) – and – we came up with not one, but three names and developed a visual approach for each of them. A lot of sweat and beer tasting in search of inspiration came out but no tears were shed – the big brand saw our small but eager studio enthusiasm and we won their hearts. The result – Frik&S – the new craft beer on the market. A sort of a posthumous recognition to the equally enthusiastic brothers, the founders Frick and Sultzer.

The logo

The two brothers came up here in a time of change and uncertainties. The country just got its independence back and there was a lot of wild spirit in the air waiting to be tamed. Luckily, they brought their European sense with them and pushed the industrial revolution forward. This was our main inspiration for the logo – we tried to catch the spirit of eagerness and westernish influence using typography, common for the 19th century. Our master typographer came up with solutions that we are sure would’ve been loved even by Frick and Sultzer themselves. 

The visual identity

Now what was left for us was the “tiny” task to think of a way to unify the name and the logo in a compelling brand story and visual identity that would represent our inspirations to this point. So, of course, once again we went back to the good ol’ digital drawing board and started digging up the archives to try and spot Frick and Sultzer’s entourage. From common folks and regular pub-goers to other entrepreneurs and the local bourgeoisie – they were all, oh, so chic. We chose our favourite characters and engraved them (literally) on the labels. Each of the different characters was drawn as animals with their look and taste in the style of old lino – cut to bring our 19th-century vibe to the max. The animals represented the different beer flavours – the reinvented traditional pale ale is presented as the local infamous shepherd dog, the IPA is the notorious Danube beaver diver and the spicy weissbier is the sneaky mysterious fox. By caricaturing the characters as animals, we had the opportunity to unveil more of the spirit and the taste of the beer right from its label. 

And just to be sure that we pop out from the competition on those overflown shells you see at your craft beer place, we decided to use 3 bright panton colours.

After drawing them, we gave the task to our copywriter who instantly got our flow and wrote a storyline for each of them, making the identity complete.

The aftermath

Well, cheers to the new beginnings. Another (but not just another) craft beer brand got its well – deserved place on the counter. And we added one more challenging project to our shelf. But stay tuned, the story goes on, Frik&S has got a lot of tasteful thoughts to share with you in the future. Who knows, maybe the next character would be inspired by you? Well, it depends on how often we see you in the pub.


Let's talk about you