Smithwick’s Logo Redesign

27 Jul
Smithwick‘s is one of my fiance’s favorite Irish beers readily available in the U.S. Though he is not a designer, when he saw that they changed their logo a few month back he was fairly distraught (though it was not enough to deter him from purchasing the beer on this original occasion, I have noticed that his brand loyalty has diminished thereafter). While I do not have any emotional connection with the brand like he does, I do agree that the new logo has it’s faults.

Old Smithwick's Logo

New Smithwick's Logo

As with most changes, there are both pros and cons. I do think that the new logo has more of a regal or refined feel than the old one, which happens to be a bit more gimmicky. Additionally, simplifying a logo and sticking to simple shapes and blocks of color often proves advantageous as  it allows the logo to be better transferable to a larger range of mediums and surfaces, and creates a more memorable icon.

Despite these points, I see a variety of issues with the new logo. First, Smithwick’s has completely disregarded their color scheme which was heavily dependent on green, with occasional red highlights. This color scheme is well known to their consumer base and has become a large contributing factor to their brand identity. Perhaps the goal of the new logo was to target a new range of customers, however, it is important at the same time not to alienate the existing ones.

Next, Both my fiance and I find the shape of the castle unsettling and illogical. A large portion of the right side of the castle is missing. My only guess as to why is that this cut away portion is meant to really be a shadow of the word “Smithwick’s” which overlays the icon. Even if this was the case, however, I do not think that the shadow is spatially consistent or accurate. I strongly dislike the fact that in the bottom right-hand corner there is a white block (part of the castle) that is completely disconnected from the rest of the castle. A typical shadow would not fall so as to single out this irregular shape, and it simply further confuses the concept of a partial castle. The logo could be strengthened immensely by displaying the full castle on the top and bottom, even if there continues to be negative straight across the center where the brand name appears.


19 Responses to “Smithwick’s Logo Redesign”

  1. Mr. Beer November 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    I agree … the new Logo is a bust !
    Why would you put a modern face on a 1710 Beer ?
    It looks like a BUD bottle !

    • T.H. March 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      As soon as I saw the new packaging I disliked it. I disliked it even more after noticing the 11.2 vs. 12 oz. volume. I came to love this beer when i visited Ireland and wanted something a bit less heavy than the ‘black beer’. Recently one of my brothers came to visit and surprised me when he arrived and stated: “Look, I was able to score a case of ‘vintage’ Smithwick’s”. It even tastes better!

    • pat March 17, 2014 at 5:41 am #

      tastes like bud light now.

  2. Dick Perry December 5, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    New logo blows, management must have hired a new head of marketing. Thats a wasted

  3. Bob December 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    I would like to weigh in on the old vs. new label controversy from a different perspective. Not only do I prefer the old logo, but, in my close examination of both, I noticed, much to my chagrin, that the bottle displaying the new logo contains 11.2 fl. oz., compared to 12 fl. oz. in the bottle sporting the old tried and true (green) label. No wonder the castle appears less solid – why, it’s sprung a leak!

    • pat March 17, 2014 at 5:42 am #

      And it tastes like bud now.

  4. James February 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that dislikes it. I never post to these pages, but this made me want to. And I’m a DIEHARD Michigan Wolverine fan, the logo sports Ohio colors.

  5. Liz February 17, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    I’ve been leaving notes on the beer coolers for our local distributor to PLEASE bring back the green Smithwick’s! Because, I swear, and so does my spouse, this beer does not taste the same. It just doesn’t. 😦

    • pat March 17, 2014 at 5:40 am #

      Indeed they changed the taste. The new one is awful. Taste engeneered and unnatural.

    • pat March 17, 2014 at 5:43 am #

      it tastes the same as budweiser now.

  6. Harry Epstein (@hblsc) March 2, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    funny story: Having recently finished a few of the old bottles that I had around, I went about calling around to the local grocery stores to inquire if they had any Smithwicks; Naturally I was skeptical when the clerk told me that they had an ale by the name of Smithwicks, but that it was in a red bottle not in the green bottle that I had told them to look for; that was until I read this post. But, yeah, I very much prefer the older design. Though, I’m just happy that it is widely available.

  7. LD March 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Bring back the old label and the old ale that goes with it The new one does not have as satisfying a taste enough said

  8. pat March 17, 2014 at 5:36 am #

    The ale has taste been drastically americanized. Smaller bottle too. Generic taste now. Only the name is the same.

  9. S. Saltmarsh March 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    I’m really disappointed with the new logo. C’mon! Smithwick’s Irish ale and where’s the traditional green label. The head is not the old foamy tan and the taste is different. Bring back the label and bring back the flavor!

  10. Dennis March 30, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    I’m So disappointed! “Smitticks” (as it’s pronounced over in Ireland) was my go-to beer for special occasions, especially St. Paddy’s Day. Now it’s lost that magical connection without the classic green label. It just looks like a generic bottle now, and it looks like I need to swith to another brand!

    • Dennis March 30, 2014 at 11:03 am #


  11. Joe August 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Old logo is much better.

  12. John boyce February 7, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    It’s like “the new Coke” from the 80s all over again … Beer is sacred and should never, ever be screwed with especially a well crafted, legandry brew. A big miss with the Ohio state colors to… I’m john and I approve this message !!! Go blue !!!

  13. Kris March 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    The new label is terrible! We had an Irish celebration party and Smithwick’s was the least liked beer that we had. I don’t know what they did to change the taste, but none of us will be buying it again.

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