The Pioneer



When I found out that Jon Contino would be teaching an online class on hand-drawn label design I was sold. I’ve been a fan of his work for some time, so $20 for access to his insight and feedback seemed like a no-brainer. The class was hosted by the fine folks over at, and there are tons of kick-ass projects in the student gallery here.

At the time the class came up, I happened to be in the middle of brewing a batch of beer at my home. I live on a road called Pioneer, in a small town that used to be known for logging and milling lumber, before it burned to the ground in the late 1800s. “Pioneer Brewery” became the starting point for the labels and served as a direction for the imagery and style.

– Jason Thornton

From time-to-time we feature concept designs that aren’t production beers. Sometimes they are just fun practice work for designers or they are homebrews that get an extra boost by some awesome labels. It’s great to see the design work being made that isn’t in the highlight of publicly sold or high production brewery made beers.

As Jason mentioned, he participated in a Skillshare instructional class on creating hand-drawn labels and this was the result. Umm, ya…pretty awesome “student” project we’d say! The online learning community is a pretty great thing, the ability to both learn and teach through a service like Skillshare really gives more power to the people. (cheesy, but true) We’ve been intrigued by Skillshare as it can be really affordable for students and often has some really amazing artists and designers that teach and contribute to the classes.

The Pioneer label is 100% hand-drawn by Jason. The lettering work is great and has a very nice style and look that match the label design well. The amount of detail that went into the etched style illustrations is pretty impressive as well. It all comes together in a very traditional and old school style and executed damn well. Good work, Jason!

If you’re interested in checking out the Skillshare class Jason took on illustration and lettering or label design, you can check it out here!





DESIGNED BY: Jason Thornton


2 thoughts on “The Pioneer

  • November 4, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Nice work Jason! We are fans of Jon Contino as well.

    • November 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Definitely great work! Thanks for the comment Angela :)

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