Editor’s note: This short feature is one of several brief looks at local professional collaborations included in Xpress’ Business-to-Business Issue.
Local collaborations often create opportunities for businesses to bring new life to community campaigns. Such was the case for Highland Brewing Co.’s Pints with a Purpose, after it teamed with Sound Mind Design.
The yearly campaign, originally created in 2019, involves the release of several limited brews. Sales benefit multiple local organizations, including the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, the Asheville Humane Society, Helpmate, the WNC Nature Center and MANNA FoodBank.
Laura Beck, creative design manager at Highland, says that 2022 was the first year the brewery decided to sell the special releases in cans. They turned to Jenny Fares, owner and lead designer of Sound Mind Design, for unique label designs.
“I knew Jenny from just being in the design community for the last 10 years and I really liked her style,” Beck says. “I knew her illustrative style would work really well for these can labels, plus it just seemed to make sense that a locally focused project would also hire a local designer.”
Fares has worked in the graphic design business for over 20 years and says she was thrilled to come on board.
“I was excited to have the opportunity to design cans that were going to help people and benefit some really awesome organizations,” Fares says. “I also really appreciated that Highland chose to work with another woman-owned business. It really felt like they were supporting women, on top of all of the other organizations in the project.”
Sometimes, Beck notes, smaller cities lack the local talent to take on such projects. But Asheville, she continues, is fortunate to have a large arts community. “It made it easier to use [Sound Mind Design] because they were already very familiar with us and the five nonprofits we were working with,” she says.” I don’t feel that we would have gotten that level of connection from a bigger agency.”