An Edinburgh Napier student has been brewing up new label designs and packaging as part of a unique programme that pours talent into the Scottish brewing industry.
Third year graphic design student Rory Russell has been part of this year’s Natural Selection Brewing cohort – a collaborative project between university students, the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling and renowned Edinburgh brewers Stewart Brewing.
Now in its ninth year, the project gives four Brewing and Distilling MSc students from Heriot-Watt University the chance to produce and bring to market a selection of new beers in collaboration with Stewart Brewing.
This year, however, marks the first where a graphic design student has also been incorporated into the team, with Rory working with the team to design branding for the beers being produced.
Working two days a week alongside his studies, Rory helps bring the beer to life, with four beers being produced so far, including Man o’ War and Primordial Soup, an un-fruited Berlinerweisse.
For Rory, the chance to work on a live project and see his finished design in shops is something that he has loved.
He said: “I have been involved with most aspects of the projects, even some of the distilling – however I leave that mostly up to the MSc Brewing and Distilling guys as I have no clue! What has been brilliant, besides getting to try the beer, has been the free reign I have been given to create the various visuals that accompany our beer.
“The opportunity has really allowed me to develop all of my skills’ communicative, design, illustrative and marketing. Having such an experience will make my transition from university to work much smoother and I’ll be more confident as a result.
“I have always loved craft beer branding. I think they are the most varied, exciting and attractive of any industry which is a godsend for any designer. The most outlandish the better, which most certainly suits my personality and designs.
“I’ve really enjoyed the experience so far – working at Stewart Brewing has been fantastic and the rest of the Natural Selection Brewing team are amazing. Working on a live project has really boosted my confidence in my abilities and has so far proven to be successful!”
On the back of a successful launch of two new beers at Stewart Brewing’s Mayfest event, the team’s final beer will be a much larger batch which is set for release at a special event in Six Degrees North on 27 June.
More information on Natural Selection Brewing can be found here.