“Inspired by the legends of this famed pub’s historic location, my goal was to create a fun and fantasy-infused beer can design”
During the big lockdown of 2020, I was commissioned by The Baum pub in Rochdale to conceptualise and illustrate a design for their takeaway beer cans.
Going to the pub at the time was a big no-no, but if you ordered in their online shop, you could pickup your favourite cask beers, ales (or even ciders!) from their doorstep – cleverly contained of course in one of my vibrant 400 ml cans.
Baum For The Road was a stroke of genius. Figuring out a way of carrying on at a time of great difficulty, and it’s not the first time something like this has happened on Toad Lane either – see my story about The Rochdale Pioneers here. Perhaps there’s something in the air on Toad Lane, or maybe it’s just down to sheer Northern resilience.
Hidden in the Illustration
My design was 100% inspired by The Baum’s legendary location on Toad Lane in Rochdale. It’s oozing with history, local myths and packed with quirky character and charm.
The Baum Rabbit
Spooky stuff! The gardens surrounding the St-Mary-in-the-Baum church is said to be haunted by the ghost of a rabbit, whiter than snow.
Sat under the Toad Lane sign is a plump toad. A reference to this historic location’s name. Like the woodland, this warty character is merely a play on truths. There are no real connections to actual toads here. The name Toad Lane comes from years of local dialect reengineering it from ‘The Old Lane’, pronounced ‘T’old Lane’.
The real Toad Lane still retains its original stone sets. How could I not include them in my design? They’re like Rochdale’s very own yellow brick road.
Hops & Barrels
It’s beer! And we can’t have beer without hops and barrels. At least not in this can design’s story. The hop vines connect everything together, winding their way around the length of the design.
It’s a Tree?
Baum is the German word for tree, and a tree is used in some of The Baum’s original branding. So I set the scene of my illustration in a woodland. The Baum’s name is in fact completely unrelated to trees, and instead comes from ‘balm’ – a reference to the medicinal herbs once grown in the neighbouring church’s gardens.
The Baum has a stone beehive in its beer garden. Have you ever spotted it? The beehive is one of the symbols of the Cooperative Movement, which was founded in 1844 in the building next door to The Baum pub. The bees have strong roots here, so it’s only fair that I gave them a home to enjoy in my illustration.
Since these cans are to be filled with a choice of beers, it was an absolute must to leave a clear space for the name of the beer to be written. A scroll felt like the best way to incorporate this whilst maintaining the fantasy feel of the whole design.
The Full Design
So what do you think? Are you feeling inspired? I hope you enjoyed reading the story behind my doodle illustration. I certainly enjoyed making it!
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