North Rim Brewing stands atop the highest peak of craft beers.


A proud and passionate brand to match a proud and passionate brewery.

North Rim Brewing is a small microbrewery founded in Bend, Oregon. Run by a small, passionate team whose love of beer knows no bounds, their brand needed to elevated to the same lofty heights. 

The name North Rim was inspired by light from the sun slowly creeping up the north side of a mountain until it burst over its ridges and lit the valley below. This ocular phenomenon isn't uncommon, but it is a powerful experience to any casual observer caught in its graces. 

My ever-talented partner, TirzahJoy, and I set out to create a bold and confident brand that represented this event while simultaniously retained its brewer's spirit and passion in regards to their craft. 

It proved more difficult than we had imagined.  



The first direction was beautiful and ambitious, but ultimately the wrong route.

With very little narrative to build upon, and thus, free reign over North Rim's future identity, we began researching competitors and building a strategy based upon that learned knowledge. We found that direct competitors displayed minimal brand efforts, and if North Rim wanted to be taken seriously, it needed a professional-level of quality put into any visuals it presented to consumers. We also wanted it to stand apart from the norm (when it comes to beer labels) through materials used during the printing process. 

One direction TirzahJoy and I agreed played around with was that fact that there was little-to-none serene landscapes depicted upon beer labels. We wanted to evoke the essence of a peaceful moment that caught an explorer off-guard during their adventure; that instance when one summits a hill to unexpectedly encounter a breathtaking view of a valley below. It'd be a place one lingers a bit longer to appreciate the view. This idea of something unexpectedly breathtaking would come in the form of a beautiful illustration paired with reflective material embedded in the label. 

We set forth sketching out a few scenes that would pair well with specific North Rim beers. 

Once we landed on a few pairings (of scenes to beers) we liked, I dove into the actual creation of the illustation. I had no idea that it would take many hours to achieve the level of detail I desired. Here are a few snipettes of that process. 


As someone who doesn't consider himself an illustrator, I was quite proud at the progress I had made during this stage. However, it quickly became apparent that this approach wasn't working the way we intended; the desired effect wasn't present. 


TirzahJoy and I both agreed we needed to try a different direction. And maybe find a new naming scheme for the beers. It was difficult to say goodbye to my newfound illustration career, but it was for the best. 



We needed a new plan of attack, so we wiped the slate clean and started fresh.

As the sun set on the previous direction, we decided to revisit the unique dynamic of the sun hitting a mountain. Two powerful forces coming together to set a scene. If applied to North Rim - the company - it could become a bold, confident brand juxtaposed against a passionate, flowing spirit behind it. As the concept evolved, it became a duality of forces; light versus dark; solid versus fluid; human versus immortal.

Logo SketchesLogo Sketches

I was hyper-focused at this point in the process. It was if the brand was designing itself. The resulting logo was a simple white-on-black mark that was bold and powerful. The mountain was simple enough to be printed at any size and still be memorable. The script behind the mark was fluid; human. It off-set the mark by surprising the viewer with a bit of visual flavour; something pleasantly unexpected. The two pieces would rarely be seen separately. 



NR Business CardsNR Business Cards
NR BottlesNR Bottles


Unused Marks and Logos