Superior Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Fentimans made their first foray in the alcoholic drinks market with Hollows. They had taken their non-alcoholic ginger beer and extended the fermentation process to create an alcoholic version. We were all quite wary about calling it Fentimans, because they didn't want to cause any confusion between an alcoholic brand and non-alcoholic. After a few months of researching, writing, and designing on my part - and brewing, tasting, more brewing, and quite a lot more tasting by Fentimans, John Hollows Superior Alcoholic Ginger Beer, or Hollows for short was introduced to the market and it's 'Beware of imitations' call to arms.

Fentimans have a great history of making ginger beer and I discovered the story of John Hollows. John was a son-in-law of Thomas Fentiman, the company founder. He was given his own ginger beer factory to run, and produced the drink under the name Hollows and Fentimans. We also found out that they used to sell their ginger beers in the famous grey hens (stout stone jars) but with a signature blue stopper.

I designed the blue bottle tops for Hollows bottles as a nod to the old blue stoppers used in the grey hens. Beware Of Imitations became our Hollows call to arms, an old-school line warning drinkers of the fake gingers that pretend to be the real thing. Whilst researching Hollows, I came across all kinds of interesting old touches. 'Established in a perfect factory in the north of England' was imprinted into one of the old jars, so I thought it was worth resurrecting for the seal of quality on the Hollows bottle.

I wanted to give the label a detailed quality like the original jars often had, they contained lots of information and description. At the same time, to compete in the modern world, the name on the bottle needs to stand out on the shelf, or in the pub fridge. I wanted to do something interesting with the process on the label to reflect the superior quality of the drink. I devised this starburst device that is produced by leaving the metallic label to 'show through' the ink. We used an increasing dot-screen to fade it in.


To promote Hollows in pubs, we came up with the Genuine Ginger beermat. An old-fashioned long beermat with a pen and ink illustration by US illustrator Steve Noble. The card is notched so you can hold it up to your face and see what you'd look like with a ginger 'tache.


I wanted to make the launch advertising simple and challenging. For Hollows to go out into the world proclaiming its place as the genuine ginger. I used letter-pressed woodblock type, set in simple blocks, and bold headlines.

The Hollows launch website featured the same letterpress  style as the print work. A one page site giving the lowdown on Hollows and it's history.