Gun Dog Ales

Barking attention!

James and Sarah Pickering’s shared passion for home brewing led to Gun Dog Ales, a new craft brewery in the Northamptonshire village of Woodford Halse. To do full justice to their exciting vision, they needed our help. 

Our first task was to create an identity for the brewery, one that not only took its cues from brewing but that also integrated a dog-themed idea. It needed to be eye-catching and memorable, so our idea of a dog’s name tag was the perfect solution. We reinforced this with the brand proposition ‘Beers To Call Your Best Friend’. With a range of canine-related beer names as a springboard, we asked our in-house artist Simon to bring them to life in our distinctive pump clip and bottle label presentation. Over the next couple of weeks, his loveable dog characters arrived on a daily basis and soon our ‘pack’ was ready to be let off the lead!

The brand thinking has also been applied to a range of materials, from advertising, bar runners, window and car stickers, beer mats, staff apparel, t-shirts and gift packs to the brewery’s portable bar and display. We have also been responsible for naming and designing a range of seasonal special beers under the title ‘Special Breeds’, involving cask ale pump clips, bottles and accompanying advertising campaigns.

Perfectly balancing modernity with a hint of nostalgia, our work has been instrumental in generating regular sales and we’re incredibly proud to have played such an integral role in elevating the brewery’s popularity. 


Work scope

  • Insights and market analytics
  • Strategy and positioning
  • Visual identity
  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Copywriting
  • Stationery
  • Illustration
  • Pump clips
  • Packaging design
  • Leaflets and flyers
  • Display banners
  • Bar runners
  • Beer mats
  • Advertising
  • Staff apparel
  • Merchandise
  • Website

Happy client

“We are delighted with the results following our rebrand. Our turnover has grown an amazing 62% in 18 months and for the first time we’ve discovered we actually stand out in the marketplace. Everyone loves the new work, even the trade has developed a bond with our pack and repeat orders are growing. As a small business in a highly competitive market, we’ve quickly learnt that you must invest in your brand because if you don’t your competitors will. Thank goodness we got introduced to Nick and the team at Blackbird!” 

Sarah Pickering, Director