I HAVE A MINOR COMPLAINT: Your Label Fonts Are Too Damn Small

You are proud of your beer. You want to tell us all about it--which field they hops came from, the terpene structure of the oils; the way in which the wort was lovingly produced at your gleaming brewery; the story behind the pun you used in the name; the luxurious fullness of your brewer's lumberjack beard. And those are all worthy stories to be told, for sure!


Moby Dick will not fit on that label. Do not send hundreds words of prose to your design guy and tell him to fit it on that piece of real estate, which even on large bottles is the size of a business card. I don't care if you inhabit the most beloved brewery in this broad and fertile country, you must still never, ever subject your customers to this:

Even Dan and Deborah Carey are not forgiven for this crime.

There are places to tell your story. Your beer label is not one of those places. As a rule of thumb, there's a reason your design software is not scaled to go below three-point font. No human can read that with the naked eye, even the youngsters who are not legally allowed to buy your product. Just don't do it.

More handy advice: don't give so much damn handy advice:

It's a beer. The federal government does not require you to list all the potential side-effects of misuse. If you require 51 words to explain how to use a beer, you're doing it wrong. Figure a way to boil the substance of your instruction down to, oh I don't know, say thirty words. That's two complex sentences; surely you can explain how to use your beer in two sentences.

Language is hard--don't I know it! That is why we all have to heed the unyielding words of every editor since the first Egyptian scribe ran out of stone to carve his hieroglyphs: brevity. Brevity, brevity, brevity.* Strive to say what you need to say in fewer words. It's better writing and your reader will thank you.

*Yes, I am keenly aware that this post itself could have been written with half the words. That's a literary device we call "irony." Also, despite the constant negative comments covfefe.