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Pulling at the heart strings

One of the holy trinity

Diageo Ireland launches new look for Harp Lager with JDO

 JDO Brand Design & Innovation has joined forces with Diageo Ireland, the Guinness brewery to launch a new brand identity for Harp Lager. The brand’s aim was to continue to move Harp forward, increasing its relevance to a new generation of Northern Ireland’s drinkers, and to restore some of the brand’s illustrious heritage.


  • Client: Diageo Ireland
  • Year: 2013
  • Location: Ireland
  • Categories: 2D, 3D, Brand Identity, Innovation, Animation, Production, Design for Manufacture

Harp Lager was first created in 1960 by the Guinness Brewery under the guidance of German master brewer, Dr Herman Muender, who fused German beer knowledge with Irish brewing heritage to create a delicious Irish Lager. Throughout the past fifty years Harp has become synonymous with quality, winning five gold medals at the Monde Selection International quality awards and today it is Northern Ireland’s number one on-trade lager. However, increased competition from massive international brands, meant that Harp could not rest and so a revolutionary redesign was required that would both modernise the brand but remain true to its distinguished brewing heritage.

JDO has restored the harp marque giving it back its iconic status in a relevant and ownable way. The Samuel Beckett bridge in Dublin is one of the inspirations behind the new marque which is centered around a theme coined 'Torsion'. The addition of chrome to the new Harp blue colour palette delivers a premium engineering feel, whilst the brand identity is drawn from the concept of taut strings on a harp, with their intrinsic resonating tension. These torsion lines give Harp a sharper edge with a little more irreverence. Harp has always been perceived as rough and rugged - a beer for the people. The new look Harp retains all this masculinity yet now delivers it with an underlying subtle strength, not brashness.



The signature of the master brewer features on pack and on fount to impart more credibility and authority to the new brand look. The colour vignette deployed across all formats provides Harp with a certain modernity and also communicates the desired premium beer cues.

Ray Smith, Design Director at JDO said: “Our aim was to reinvent, reappraise and reset the Harp brand experience for consumers, as well as enhancing the value and quality perception of its brewing heritage.”



With this fantastic new design, JDO have enabled us to elevate the Harp brand to a more authentic and sophisticated level - the new look livery is distinctive and iconic and we believe it will inspire a sense of pride.
Colum Campbell, brand manager at Diageo

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