Cannes Lions

Anchor Brewing Rebrand

R/GA , San Francisco / ANCHOR BREWING / 2021

Presentation Image
Demo Film






Anchor Brewing is San Francisco's most iconic brewery and created the flagship beer synonymous with the city, Anchor Steam. Over the course of the last decade the brewery fell on hard times. The label designs were neglected, left untouched and dusty, and the dated packaging was hard to spot on shelf. Meanwhile, the craft beer category that Anchor unofficially founded in the US over 100 years ago ( source: ) was being revolutionized with new innovative products appealing to younger customers with bright, trendy packaging and gimmicks.

To reclaim the throne as the Bay Area’s most admired local beer, Anchor was faced with the challenge of winning back traditional beer enthusiasts and new younger customers. So, they embarked on a brand and package redesign, emboldened with new visual markings and a design system for Anchor Brewing’s master brand, including its 7+ unique beer SKUs.


Rather than chase current craft brew design trends, inspiration came from the heritage of the brand and the city of San Francisco itself. At the heart of the design, is a newly forged iconic anchor. Anchors being one of the most iconic symbols in the world and very closely tied to San Francisco’s history. Anchors are also usually seen as a symbol of certainty and stability, however, through our research it was uncovered that people now interpret them as representative of a voyage or journey. Therefore, the design of the anchor connected with our target and this internal desire to seek change and conquer the unknown. No matter the sku, those raising their anchors share a desire to become unencumbered, free to explore and venture into uncharted waters in search of what’s next.


The new design is an homage to the anchor, using it as the centerpiece of the design system and adapting it for each beer style to tell a uniquely California-inspired story: The color yellow to signify the gold rush of the late 1840’s in San Francisco, green inspired by the majestic California Redwoods, etc.

The anchor itself was updated to be both modern and graphic. The deep, bold colors were meant to represent the resilience of the brand. Combined with the illustration, the design serves as a visual metaphor as the “anchor” of San Francisco.

Lastly, the design is meant to evoke a sense of established permanence, but also feel light and refreshing.


This redesign is brand new to market, so we do not have any results to share at this time.