My Craft: Kasper Ledet

June 24, 2017

To Øl has quickly become a household name amongst craft beer enthusiasts everywhere. Boasting 200 different beers to its name since 2010, To Øl has continued to gain a loyal customer base, and now runs two brewpubs: BRUS Copenhagen, and BRUS Bar Oslo. 

Its success can in part be attributed to its visually stunning bottle and can designs. The man behind the look is art director and graphic designer Kasper Ledet, who has helped To Øl's transition from humble beginnings to global admiration by making the beers one of the most prominent and visually striking on the bottle shop shelf.

Kasper took some time away from designing to reveal the thought process behind the artwork, and his views on graphic design.

My work for To Øl is characterised by an open approach and a somewhat incoherent result — we don’t have any style guide or design system. Each design is part of an exploration on how a beer can look, just as each brew is an exploration of how a beer can taste.

The designs are often conceptually based, primarily using typography and photography. They may both refer to the name, style, and taste of the beer, but also touch upon other subjects not related to the product. 

I don’t believe that graphic design’s sole function is to convey the information of the product, service, or organisation that it represents. Graphic design is not necessarily about organising and communicating information in a visually pleasing way, as some text books might want you to believe. Drinking a beer is an abstract experience that is hard to describe with words. The design of the can or bottle should not try to make this experience any less abstract or more graspable. On the contrary, the visuals for To Øl aim to fuel this experience by not giving away any clear answers or messages, but by hopefully sparking or provoking your imagination.

I find my inspiration from a wide range of people, from architects to musicians, but I also find that people — and even ideas — outside of the arts can also be very inspiring. 

For instance, I find quantum mechanics deeply fascinating. On the smallest of scales, things are radically different from our everyday interpretation of reality. Things can be in several places at once and behave as both waves and particles. Events can have no duration and particles can be instantly connected even though they are separated by billions of lightyears.

In terms of human art forms, I find Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to be a very interesting figure. He seems to connect his architectural vision with a deeply critical understanding of contemporary issues. He places architecture and design into a larger intellectual framework, drawing upon a wide range of disciplines from philosophy to anthropology.

Danish-German painter Sergej Jensen is at first glance the complete opposite to Rem Koolhaas. His paintings and canvases seem only to relate to themselves. But they are also a powerful statement that could be a very strong criticism of contemporary art and subsequently contemporary society. I’m not completely sure about this — it's only my interpretation — but one thing for certain is that his works are among the most beautiful artwork there is.

Has this post made you thirsty? Quench your thirst at To Øl's online shop — or just admire more of Kasper's artwork!