I recently finished my latest art commission, a logo for De Bier aan Huisman, a one man company from Amsterdam in the beer sector. De Bier aan Huisman (www.debieraanhuisman.nl) is run by beer sommelier Daniël Huisman, who provides beer tasting events for groups and companies.
I have known Daniël for many years, we went to the same high school, and I always knew him as "the beer expert". Sometimes we organize board game evenings with a group of friends and on several occasions Daniël brought specialty beers for everyone to try. What I didn't know until I worked with him is that he studied 3 years to become a beer sommelier and even went on a trip to Austria to get his certified diploma.
Personally, I love it when friends, family or acquaintances come to me for artwork. It means that my work is being picked up and appreciated. So it was a pleasant surprise to get a message from Daniël requesting a get together to discuss the making of a logo for his start-up!
A few days later we met at Gollem aan het Water, a lovely café at Entrepotdok 64 that specializes in, of course, specialty beers. Probably the only location of the five Gollem bars in Amsterdam that Daniël hasn't actually worked at. There we talked about Daniël's business concept of providing beer workshops and tastings on location, his ideas for the logo and the message he wants to convey on his website: funky and fun, yet sophisticated. He showed me a few examples of beer artwork that he likes, amongst which a drawing by artist Dan Blakeslee for brewery Alchemist Beer and the "Hoptopuss" by graphic designer Luke Keil for a beer can of brewery 81 Artisan.
We also talked about the shape of hops, Amsterdam and Daniël's plan to buy a bakfiets (cargo bike) for his business. And about my own surreal and graphic drawing style, which he wanted to shine through in the logo.
I was free to draw whatever I deemed appropriate, and even though the concept remained vague, a few ideas already started taking form during our talk: a bird man riding a cargo bike, the bike overloaded with beer bottles, perhaps hops growing out of those bottles and forming intricate shapes. I also pictured the hops plant forming the letters of De Bier aan Huisman, but I was not sure how viable this idea would be.
I had a lot of fun with this commission and I'm proud of the final result. Are you a beer freak in Amsterdam or do you know nothing about beer but are you curious to experience a beer tasting with a professional? Send Daniël an e-mail! I highly recommend it.