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Lake Hour

Branding & Packaging

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Packaging System
Art Direction
Brand Merchandise & Apparel
Brand Messaging


Creative Direction: Christian Helms
Design Team: Nicola Broderick, Greg Thomas, Cooper Blaske, Emily Lamontagne
Copywriting: Andy Ogburn
Production Team: Crystal Glover, Kayla Dockery
Brand Management: Ryan Kitchens, Caroline Kirby
Photography: Philip Patton
Illustration: Steven Noble

The Story

Is there a word for that perfect time of day—any time of day—when you’re laid out on a dock with nowhere to go, and no particular time you need to be there?

Well, alongside founders Wyatt Russell and Rich Peete, we helped give it a name: Lake Hour.

Wyatt and Rich came to our team to launch a new kind of canned cocktail with some lake-inspired packaging. They’re a pair of buddies who realized that beer doesn’t go down like it used to for millennials of a certain age, and too many spiked seltzers out there taste like Jolly Rancher bubbly water. So they set out to create something different. Subtle, instead of loud. Something inspired by the lake days of youth and the memorable lake evenings of… later youth.

They landed on four easy-to-drink, dad-bod-resistant flavors: Rosemary Yuzu, Peach Jasmine, Watermelon Cucumber and Honeysuckle Ginger.

Real flavors, real fruit juices and real good spirits make every sip like a day on the lake in a can on your lips. These things are really tasty.

Our work on the Lake Hour packaging system is like Alan Jackson skiing in jeans: it’s alluring and absolutely soaked in nostalgia. Inspired by some ’80s beer cans and the famous Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler commercials of lore, we worked to create a brand universe that feels like it’s plucked right out of the Finger Lakes of New York. Some of the finer artistic details came to life thanks to famed scratchboard illustrator Steven Noble, whose lake scenes and biplanes grace each and every can.

The brand comes complete with a variety pack that’s at home in any general store, and when you take a look up close, you’ll get a taste of a brand voice that feels like it belongs in “Wet Hot American Summer.” All together, each piece of the identity makes for easygoing, sip-back-and-relax days—plus the kind of print ads you’d usually only find next to the beer fridge in your uncle’s garage.

So, next time you’re looking to take it easy, grab some Lake Hour. They’re perfect for enjoying on the lake, in the woods, by the fire, sunset cruising, canoeing, canoodling, kite surfing, bocce balling, dancing, clubbing and wedding-ing. Bottom line? Lake Hour is perfect for whatevering.

Helms Workshop®