Beer LabelProjects

Beer Label: Shark Bite

Sharktor Brewing “Shark Bite” beer label design


Sharktor Brewing (or Christian “The Sharktor” Kristensen), an independent home brewer based in Copenhagen, was looking for a revised beer label for his “Shark Bite” brew. After seeing my other character illustration work, they decided my style would suit the job well. I created a fully detailed character illustration of his brewery’s mascot character and set up a file that printed well as a beer label.


Kristensen crafts a number of brews and regularly enters them into a variety of festivals and competitions. It’s clear from the art he’s commissioned for them that he takes his craft seriously.

The label he had for his “Shark Bite” brew did not match the quality and detail of his other labels. This is the one he commissioned me to create a replacement for.

I reviewed the labels for his other beers to get a feel for the level of detail he would need for the replacement. He also provided a reference sheet for his mascot character, a dragon-shark hybrid creature.


Kristensen requested that the label show the character chomping or bursting through a wooden plank. With that in mind, I created two similar concepts, the main difference being in the pose and how much of the character would be shown.

While the client enjoyed that the first concept showed more of the character up-front, we both agreed that the second concept was more dynamic, with a greater emphasis on the name of the beer. He agreed for me to continue with the second concept.

Art process

I shared works-in-progress images with the client as I continued work on it. There are many approaches I can take with my colored character art, but I decided a rougher, sketchier look would suit the theme of a “pirate” shark the best.

I wanted the emphasis to be on the character and the label, and as such kept the background simple. While arguably not ideal for a coffee stout, I chose a vibrant orange background to contrast the dark blues and browns of the character and wood plank in the foreground.

The client was thrilled with the colors and character details. Next, I went through my font collection and chose a royalty free font that would suit the theme well and worked it into the wood plank for the final label.

A dragon-shark character bursts through a wooden plank on which the words "shark bite" are written, before an orange, watery background.

Final result

I created a few mocks for the client, both to help imagine how the label would look and to allow him to promote the beer in advance of getting his own labels printed on real bottles.

Once he did get his own labels printed and affixed to his actual brew, he was happy to share a photo of the real product with me.


Kristensen had the following to say about this project:

I enjoyed working with Zelaphas, there was great communication from start to finish and I always knew how long I was in the process. Not only was the result as great as I hoped but it was handled extremely professionally and fast. I am a very statisfied customer.


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