Legendary rap artist, E-40, (AKA Earl Stevens) got his name from drinking 40-ounce beers in his hometown of Vallejo, California. So, when he approached Auston Design Group about doing his own 40 oz. malt liquor we knew it had to be special. With a slightly higher price than the mainstream competitors, the charge behind the design was to create branding and packaging that communicates that the product is a higher-end malt liquor.
The package was designed, not only to attract E-40 fans, but to catch the eye of the long-time malt liquor consumer and present them with something new and different. Malt liquor drinkers are a different type of consumer than the typical craft beer aficionado. The craft enthusiast is likely to have a go-to brand, but is always exploring and eager to try something new or different. In contrast, the malt liquor consumer is very loyal and tends to wear their brand of choice as a badge. With this in mind, we developed a brand image that had strong E-40 branding and could be recognized from across the room. The branding had to channel the essence of its creator – successful, strong and bold, with a hint of refinement. We achieved this through a minimalist design approach that presents the brand name in large bold type on a metallic gold background. Application of the 40-ounce label design to the 24-ounce can was a smooth and natural extension.
It's not a craft beer, and it's not a traditional malt liquor, but through a bold and refined design, Auston Design Group was able to help E-40 build a strong brand and carve out a new market for his malt liquor.