Lervig is an independently owned and operated craft brewery located in Stavanger, Norway. They consistently push the boundaries of craft beer and have brewed some of our favourites over the last couple of years – Sippin’ Into Darkness, Big Ass Money Stout (brewed with pizza and money… no really!) and Tasty Juice, to name a few.
Over the last year or so, they’ve also raised the bar in terms of the artwork adorning their wonderful beers. One of the most interesting recent releases was Liquid Sex Robot. We posted a photo of the can on Instagram last week and who responded? None other than Lervig’s Art Director, Nanna Guldbæk!
Nanna was kind enough to have a chat with us, so read on to find out more about the artist behind the Liquid Sex Robot and Lervig’s other awesome, recent artwork.
For those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am Nanna Guldbæk, designer from Denmark – Art Director for Lervig in Norway, and have been working with them for little over a year. Beside doing artwork for Lervig, I work as freelance product and graphic designer in my studio GULDBAEK.
Have you always been interested in graphic design? Is it something you studied?
I’ve always been interested in art and design – as far back as I remember. I study Industrial Design at Kolding Design School in Denmark, which means I actually normally draw more physical products (doing my graduation project about small scale bio-dynamic/eco pig farms, and how to improve the pigs houses but also packaging/branding) but I believe the process of design can be used in any field. Illustrations, mixed media, gifs and video are a big part of my work.
How did you get involved with Lervig?
I used to work as a bartender for Mikkeller in Copenhagen. During a beer festival in Tallin two years ago, I got to meet the brewers, Mike Murphy and David Graham. After the festival we kept in touch, and (I guess) they followed my work on social media. Last year on New Year’s Eve I sent them some sketches of labels and it developed from there.
Are you part of a larger team who work on the designs for Lervig?
No, just me. But I share my ideas with the rest of the team, it’s always good to get feedback.
Can you tell us about the design process? Does the beer come first, then the name, then the artwork?
It’s very different. For the majority of the beers the brewers have an idea of what they want to make, and then I get started on the label – then the name of the beer comes during the process. Either from me or someone else in the brewery. It’s a very dynamic process.
Which beers have you designed artwork for so far?
Uhhh.. *thinks*… Coconuts, Easy, Acid Crush, Toasted Maple, Liquid Sex Robot, I’ve got Pils, Now What (Cloudwater collab), There’s a Cold Beer in my Fridge, and I Need a Beer (Cloudwater collab), West Coast Dank (Boneyard collab), Black Forest Stout (Cloudwater), Socks n Sandals (Warpigs), Perler for Svin, Orange Velvet, Christmas Shake, Hop Drop Sour, M.A.D. (Beavertown collab), 3 Bean Stout, Konrad’s Stout, Sippin’ Into Darkness, Passion Tang, Barley Wine 2017 and Rye IPA. I think that’s it so far! 😀
Wow! What’s been your favourite so far that you’ve been involved with?
Probably one of our newest, Easy – first of all i’m mad about the beer – it’s gonna be my summer beer this year! It was a really interesting label because we’ve used holographic foil which, together with the simple illustration and the colour scheme, works really well. The brewers’ thought it might be too simple when I came with the idea but I trusted my process – and am really happy with the result. Otherwise, Perler for Svin is a favourite, that one is also focused on mixed media and the feeling of the different materials (smooth foil and mat paper).
Are there any other graphic designers in the beer industry who you admire? For example, we love Beavertown’s artwork.
Yeah, Nick is great. Also a favourite of mine. The label I made with him was actually the first can label I ever made.
There’s so many cool designers in this industry. To mention a new player, I’ve recently been falling in love with James Yeo’s work for Left Handed Giant Brewing Co. I want to live in the worlds he creates with his dreamy illustrations.
Why do you think craft beer lends itself so well to this type of visual creativity?
Beer drinkers are the best. They expect quality in every aspect of the beer. They are never afraid of trying something new.
Have you always been a fan of beer? How have you found working in the beer industry?
I’ve always liked beer, but it was first when I kinda randomly started working at the original Mikkeller bar on Vesterbro in Copenhagen that I really learned about beer. The people I worked with there were the best – and lots of them are still my close friends today.
We got in touch after you commented on our photo of Liquid Sex Robot – can you tell us a little bit about this beer?!
Haha, yeah, that’s a good one. I don’t know the story behind the name, one of our brewer’s wanted to use the name for a long time. The beer itself is quite full bodied and strong in the hop profile, so I wanted to make the artwork fit the strong name and taste.
What’s your favourite Lervig beer?
Currently Easy or Toasted Maple Stout.
And your favourite non-Lervig beer?
Another summer favourite i’m looking forward to is Mikkeller’s Rasperry Blush.
Two great choices. Before you go, do you like pizza? Where’s your favourite pizza joint?
Haha, yes! Neighbourhood on Istedgade in Copenhagen. All organic, gourmet… very light and crisp with lots of fresh toppings and ingredients.