Enter the Dragon

Kirin Light gets an
impressive brand refresh.

When Anheuser Busch asked DDW to refresh the Kirin Light packaging and strengthen the brand’s position as the premier Japanese-style light lager, we looked to the dragon.

We knew we had to begin by freeing the legendary Kirin Dragon from confinement, giving this mythical half dragon/half deer, and ancient symbol of happiness and luck, the generous freedom and honor he deserved.


‘’The ‘dragon’ feels so fresh, relevent and modern. The updated packaging is amazing ’’

— AB Inbev Client

Inspired by the
ancient arts.

We started by dramatically simplifying the design system and the color palette.

And because Kirin Light is made in the traditional first-press manner, our team turned to traditional Japanese art and culture for inspiration.

The elegant handcrafted design style and rich Indigo Blue colors of the reimagined Beast are influenced by both Aizome, the ancient art of indigo tie-dying, and Imari, the exquisite art of Japanese porcelain.


We simplified the Kirin Light Brandmark, rebalanced it to highlight the Kirin name and added metallic silver to highlight the calorie icon, which appears in the style of a hand-stamped seal, known as Hanko.

We simplified the brand’s color palette to Indigo Blue, Silver and White. We created a premium look and feel, while also signaling the recognizable colors of the light beer category.

Our objectives were to modernize the design, while respecting the brand’s important equities, and to make the calorie messaging, an important differentiator, more prominent.

Our goal was to unleash the Kirin Dragon. Mission accomplished.


kirin angle