Case Study

Atlas Brew Works


Atlas Brew Works



Agency Of Record

Brand Identity

Collateral Design




Website Design & Development


The American Advertising Awards

W3 Awards

Illustrating an Iconic Identity to Acquire a Loyal Customer Base


Atlas Brew Works is a neighborhood production brewery located in Northeast Washington, D.C. Recognized for high-quality, sophisticated beverages and an artistic steampunk brand identity, Atlas was born from a passion for craft beer and community.

When Atlas first emerged onto the District beer scene in 2013, the founders had nothing more than a vision and the early stages of a name. Atlas sought the design and creative strategy to execute a visual tone that attracted distributors in a highly competitive space, and needed to partner with an agency who could turn their ideas into a reality.

Working from a blank creative slate, Beyond Definition had to establish a consistent presence and identity for Atlas to build upon in the future.


Beyond Definition presented Atlas Brew Works with a series of mood boards anchored in an artistic steampunk theme, which was used to inform the logo design, color palettes, and provided a visual umbrella for its sub-brands. Each beer receives a custom illustrated hand-drawn icon to personify the uniqueness of every Atlas beverage.

Atlas Brew Works’ brand identity showcases a merging of science, culture, and community that comes together and tells a story with unmatched art at every touchpoint. From packaging to promotional materials to limited edition posters and more alongside a responsively designed website, Atlas now has an established and distinct visual tone that attracts distributors, enthusiasts,  and eclipses competition.

“Beyond Definition (formerly Bates Creative) has been wonderful for helping Atlas Brew Works take our branding to the next level. The design is amazing; the thought behind the coherent branding structure has really been a boon for our image.”

— Justin Cox, FOUNDER AND CEO, Atlas Brew Works

Phase 1Diagnostics & Discovery

Without an established brand in place, Beyond Definition began the brand identity process by conducting several discovery workshops with key stakeholders. This included Justin Cox, Founder & CEO of Atlas Brew Works, to establish a brand direction and visual identity. We landed on a steampunk theme to reflect the art and science that goes into the craft brewing process.

Phase 2 Brand Design

Building upon the insights gained in the discovery phase, our objective was to execute a visual tone reflecting Atlas Brew Works’ core values, mission, and target audience. We presented Atlas with a series of mood boards anchoring the steampunk theme to discover an ultimate design direction. Because art is an essential component to Atlas’ mission, the final logo was hand-drawn with sharp angles juxtaposed with rounded gears to showcase a modern-day interpretation of steampunk aesthetics.

Phase 3Brand Integration

Housed under Atlas Brew Works’ umbrella brand are individual beer identities that reflect the essence of each respective beer’s flavor profile. Beyond Definition set the brand’s visual tone with its three original beers: District Common, Rowdy, and NSFW. Atlas Brew Works continues to work with Beyond Definition to personify each added flavor profile with a custom illustrated icon complemented with two feature colors to emphasize the brand’s core ideology.

Once the team at Atlas Brew Works establishes a name for a new beer, the brewery collaborates with our team on icon development before entering the design phase. We then design the visual components to artistically pair with the experience of each flavor profile across packaging design, collateral development, and promotional materials.

Beyond Definition continues to exercise the same design methodology for every new brew that is added to the lineup to expand Atlas Brew Works’ visual identity both onsite at the brewery’s locations as well as on store shelves.

Phase 4Digital Design & Development

Over the years, as Atlas has expanded, the brewery’s digital presence has needed to shift alongside its growth. The early stages of its website acted as a curator of social media, establishing an experiential and community-driven presence online.

To further its reach and grow the Atlas brand name on more of a national scale, we reimagined its web presence to act as a digital representation of the brand’s iconic steampunk aesthetic, art, science and of course, beer.

Because Atlas Brew Works diligently collaborates with Beyond Definition to ensure that each beer has its own artistic footprint in the brand, the website hallmarks the beers with a comprehensive beer portfolio. Each beer selection is complemented with a photograph, descriptive flavor profile and beer statistics. Tying in the element of art, each selection showcases the icon design and how it embodies its respective beer.

To pair with Atlas Brew Works’ expanding distribution, Beyond Definition designed a beer Atlas to assist thirsty beer patrons in locating where Atlas Brew Works beer is sold in stores, restaurants, and bars. The beer Atlas automatically geo-locates where you are in relation to Atlas Brew Works beer for a seamless user experience.

Phase 5Brand Maintenance

Beyond Definition has worked with Atlas Brew Works since its inception, establishing a strong agency relationship to continue building its brand into a local and national presence. In just a few years, Atlas has expanded in output and styles brewed, opening up a second location alongside a growing team of nearly two dozen employees.