Docent Brewing is the first ever public house and brewery in San Juan Capistrano, California. Founded by the folks behind La Sirena Grill in Laguna Beach, Docent was started with greatness in mind from day 1. They wanted to have an instagram worthy brand, a tasting room that made all feel welcome – from beer novices to aficionados, and have the best beer in the area, even competitive on a national scale (flash forward a few years to 2018 when they won Silver in Best American Pale-Ale Category for their brew Double Nickels at the 2018 World Beer Cup). Hoodzpah helped Docent execute the visual side of their grand plan, working on the beer label, branding, website and other collateral.
From the jump, the Docent team imagined a retro inspired brand. They came to us with folders full of old typewriter tape tins, postcards, and soda cans for inspiration. The color palette was kept to 3 colors, like many older brands who were limited in color because of the cost of printing. The three stars signified the 3 pillars of the Docent brand: Craftsmanship, Community, and Independence.
The custom wordmark was always meant to be the star of the show. We agreed that the brand should be original and simple enough to be clearly legible on the shelf with the logo large and prominent. Here’s a couple of lettered optioins that didn’t make the cut.
The mural was a key piece of the brand and experience planning from our first meeting. We wanted something that was larger than life (8ft tall by 32 ft wide, so check) that expressed the conviction of the brand in a cool way. And let’s be honest, we just wanted something people couldn’t resist posting to Instagram and Facebook.
Docent was opening with just a tap room, but the big picture goal (which is happening now) was to get into other restaurants and bars. Custom tap handles needed to embody the Docent aesthetic while still being legible from afar. There’s nothing worse than squinting to read what’s on tap.
Being situated in a business park on the river trail we wanted to make sure Docent was easy to spot despite the strict rules of the center. Every window has some sort of decal on it. The two entrances have logo decals with hours, and the windows facing the river bed feature giant letters on each window that spell “Proper BEER & FOOD” to bicyclists and hikers on the river trail.
The beer boards list what’s currently on tap and the details of that brew. They needed to be durable and easily edible for the Docent staff. We had custom chalkboards fabricated with vinyl description lines. Each week the boards are updated with chalk.
Beer Labels: Docent Brewing cans crowlers on site as you order them. The Crowlers were a huge part of the Docent culture which promotes being outside as much as possible. To encourage customers to take the beer on their next hike, the hashtag #DocentFieldTrip was created and put on cans. To establish brand recognition we planned for every beer can to be the same and to use color to differentiate brews when Docent decided to begin selling in Grocery Stores and Liquor Shops.
Keg Collars: Clearly outlines name and details of each keg.
Other Collateral: Menus, Business Cards, Coasters, Keg Tape, Custom Corn Hole Boards, Tees, Patches, Hats, and oh-so-much more.
Docent wanted a simple website to outline hours, menu, etc that they could edit internally. They also wanted the ability to have an e-commerce shop down the line. To keep it simple, we found a wordpress theme that was responsive and customized it editing fonts, colors, photos, and adding custom badges, line breaks and other elements to make it feel fun and unique. They can now update prices and beer lists on their own without having to reach out to a developer. Check out the site and visit the Docent tasting room next time you are in Orange County, California!
33049 Calle Aviador Suite C
San Juan Capistrano, CA