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18th August 2023

Robot Food focuses on the craftsmanship in traditional with character-packed Badger Brewery rebrand

Robot Food has rebranded Badger Brewery, creating a unified, illustration-led new visual identity for the Dorset-based ale-maker. The agency was commissioned on the strength of its work for Vocation and Brooklyn breweries, and looked to create more relevance for the brand in whats seen as an ageing category.

One of the main problems Robot Food looked to address was that the brewery had historically focused on promoting individual brews, such as ‘Golden Champion’ and ‘Fursty Ferret’. This was at the detriment to brand recognition, with the overarching brewery brand getting lost. Customers shopped based on a variant name and many were unaware they were shopping Badger. This was largely down to how recessive the brand itself was, and so Robot Food looked to make the identity much prouder and more prominent, with unifying brand elements across the variants to encourage trial.

While Badger already has a strong retail presence, one of the aims of the rebrand was to propel it to a category-leader status. The big ambition was to secure Badgers longevity,says Ben Brears, Robot Food creative director. But to do that, and achieve the brands immediate commercial ambition, we had to address the visual barriers that were holding it back.

Ultimately, we had to find out who Badger really is and what it stands for. In a category led by ‘favourite’ beers, Badger could become the favourite brand.”

“Badger is strongly positioned to lead the charge within the premium ale category, but to do so, we needed a bolder approach”, says Badger Brewery marketing manager Giles Mountford. “Our time honoured, traditional values appeal to all, but our visual identity was holding us back from attracting a younger audience. Robot Food has helped us to adopt an exciting, contemporary approach whilst amplifying everything we stand for”.

Crafting character

The new positioning was based around the concept ‘crafting character, meaning people could more easily connect with the brand through the characters of the beers and the breweries stories behind their creation. Overall, we wanted to give Badger a more clearly defined reason for being: create a smile in the mind’ with the characters and draw out the brands rich history,” says Rich Robinson, Robot Food senior designer.

“Nostalgia is a great tool to harness, but you need to ensure you maintain relevancy when working in a category that is traditionally shopped by an older audience. There was a big opportunity for Badger in this segment that hasnt been explored before – an opportunity to close the gap between ‘traditional ale’ and craft beer’ and make it more accessible for people who dont know what a Fursty Ferret’ is.

Badger was founded in 1777 in Dorset and remains an independent, family-owned brewery with many employees having worked there for up to 50 years. It also has 56 managed pubs and 111 tenanted pubs (which Badger calls “business partners”) sited from Woolacombe in Devon all the way across to Sussex and London.

Blurring the lines between ‘craft’ and traditional

From a business strategy perspective, Badger knew it wanted to rationalise the brand; so the new designs looked to help cross-sell the range in both retail and pub environments. To do this, the new positioning and branding gently blurs the lines between the craft and traditional sectors – giving Badger a contemporary feel that still amplifies the brands powerful nostalgic elements.

A brand with history and heritage like Badger can become relevant by taking what people know about the brand and are nostalgic for, and positioning it in a way that feels fresh: creating hooks for the current moment,” says Brears.

Demonstrating Badgers relevance was vital. The ‘traditional’ sector has been weighed down with stereotypes around older, male real ale’ drinkers with an assumed knowledge that could alienate potential new consumers to the category.

Badger had to play to its genuine credentials around taste and heritage rather than dressing up in craft beer’ clothing; conveying these strengths through an identity system that places the brand proudly to the fore, and brings it firmly up to date.

The new designs drew learnings from the craft category around accessibility, authenticity and simplicity; but without leaning on its distinctive nuances or relying on craft cliches that would feel disingenuous to Badger. We had to rise above the stereotypes of who Badger is for and how its perceived by communicating its unique definitions,” says Brears. We couldnt just follow what everyone else does: its Badger, not a sheep.”

Subtle but powerful shifts 

Where previous designs saw jumbled typography compete with illustrations on-pack, the new designs tone down the former wacky-leaning lettering. Robot Food opted to use a trio of sans serif fonts across the brand, which brings Badger a new sense of consistency and clarity; with Poppins as the headline font supported by Bicyclette and Bernino Sans.

The brands former beer colours have been largely retained to aid recognisability with existing consumers, but the tones are now punchier and more impactful.

These changes pack a punch when it comes to the central aim of bringing the badger brand proudly to the fore,” says Rich Robinson. They instantly create a more premium feel that better reflects the taste, richness and quality of the beer; bringing out the tasting notes as a nod to the craft category and making the brand feel more accessible, cool, and current.”

The original logo felt traditional and had proven itself as having stood the test of time; but Robot Food updated the master roundel to increase legibility, with the ‘Badger’ typography straightened out to create a proud new mark that acts as a Badger Brewery masthead. This makes Badger stand out across the category and sit as a strong ‘collection’ rather than just a range of disconnected ales.

A ferret, a mouse and stoat walk into a bar…

Illustrator Bob Venables was commissioned to create detailed animal illustrations for the various Badger beers. The characters feel traditional but with a modern twist that plays on the nuances of the category; with each given its own unique personality and props that link to the tales of their creation (the Golden Ale mouse wears a tracksuit and carries a javelin, for instance).

These playful storytelling elements draw on the brewery’s history and work to attract new consumers, while still appealing to Badger’s existing fanbase; subtly underscoring Badgers roots and siting Badger in its Dorset countryside home, but with a taste of adventure and escapism.

Proper beer fans are ‘repertoire’ drinkers – they dont want to be put in a box. Theres no reason these ‘traditional’ beers couldn’t be more appealing to a demographic that just wants high quality beer,” says Robinson. Craft beer brands can feel quite full-on, but this was about the feeling of enjoying a nice beer without all the noise.”


About Robot Food:

Robot Food is a fiercely independent global branding agency. Since 2009 the team has partnered with clients of all shapes, sizes and categories to deliver compelling consumer-led brands, grounded in disruptive, strategic thinking. Known for their entrepreneurial attitude, commercial understanding and ‘no-fluff’ end-to-end approach, Robot Food specialise in the creation and repositioning of brands with cut-through strategy and design for clients including Brooklyn Brewery, Carlsberg, Fritz Cola and ESN, as well as creating and launching Robot Food’s own brand Stories & Ink. Visit: for more information.

For more information on Robot Food please contact Red Setter PR:

Miriam Chumbley:

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