Amstel Brand Identity by Elmwood London
With a presence in 115 markets, Amstel’s brand essence was being devalued by substantial clutter and incoherence. The beer leader needed a brand identity that empowered local markets to deliver localised design execution whilst ensuring the brand remained instantly recognisable.
The existing identity was too restrictive for local needs and, as the Amstel team sought new expressions for the brand, more inconsistencies arose. Elmwood London recognised the need to bring back more iconicity to Amstel’s fixed brand identity assets and reinvigorate the compelling stories from its rich history.
To create a brand that could be tailored to local markets yet still globally recognisable, our London studio amplified Amstel's key brand assets—namely, the iconic circle and the red-and-white split. The team then dialed up the use of these elements both on and off pack.
Elmwood London re-crafted and elevated Amstel’s logo in the new identity, modernizing the rich history of the brand for the contemporary consumer.
Building on Amstel’s position as the world’s local beer, the team brought to life three credential stories: "Born from better beer," "Born in Amsterdam" and "Born from friendship." These celebrated an ingredient, heritage and friendship story, respectively, leading the team to handcraft a series of illustrations that championed the brewing process, the Amstel River with its iconic bridge and the founders’ signatures.
To create flexibility at a local level while still remaining consistent across the world, our London studio dove into Amstel’s story-rich archives and, in partnership with the Amstel team, created the "I am Iconic" platform—a global strategic framework with multiple assets that local markets can pick and choose from to create their own unique stories. The framework empowers marketers with the controlled flexibility to generate their own designs by selecting the logo, finish, colour and type they want based on their product and market needs. The resulting bottle configurator was created by FX Agency.
“In their work for the Amstel brand, Elmwood London proved that they are not only good brand and packaging designers, but also have the capability to develop and co-manage a living, strategic brand-design system. That took next-level creativity, strategy, flexibility and perseverance.”
Following the global Amstel redesign, Elmwood London redesigned the UK market in line with the new brand system. The team created a design that tells a clear story of togetherness and building bridges between people. The assets are extended and elevated to work for both primary and secondary packaging, making Amstel more visually impactful on the shelf. The result is a design that showcases Amstel as a modern, premium lager perfect for social occasions.
“The new visual identity system developed by Elmwood London changed the game for Amstel. The combination of truly strong contemporary design assets and the ability to use them flexibly on and off-pack made local markets from all over the world enthusiastic. The system sells itself! The biggest compliment is that we don’t need to police the Amstel design anymore; the markets can ask to collaborate with Elmwood for their local adaptations.”