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Derrick Lin


Design: Nelson Pereira
Location: Portugal
Project Type: Student Project
School: IPCA
Tutor: Daniel Brandão
Packaging Contents: Beer
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Printed Glass
Printing Process: Rotation screen printing

LETRA M is an academic work(2018) for a limited edition BEER package design project. The briefing stated that I should select one worldwide food or beverage brand. Then, from scratch, develop a packaging for limited, premium, anniversary, gourmet or thematic Editions for 3 flavors.

LETRA (rough translating to “letter”) isn’t just another ordinary beer. This is a northern Portugal based project that aims to produce more knowledge about the brewing culture in the country, creating and elevating the product to a different level. Their goal is to create beers from A to Z.

Beer is a typically male-oriented product. In a society with still a long way to go towards gender equality, LETRA M is created to honour and support the women still fighting for their rights. This project also honors and support all feminists regardless of their gender.

It was October 25th of 1973 when Maria Teresa Horta, Maria Isabel Barreno and Maria Velho da Costa, three Portuguese writers, started to witness their own trial at Boa-Hora court in Lisbon. Salazar’s totalitarian regime accused them of having written a pornographic book called Novas Cartas Portuguesas attempting to the good ways and morality. For which they became known as O processo das 3 Marias (The 3 Mary’s case), classified as the first international feminist cause. For today’s feminists, they represent Courage, Dignity and Liberty.

As written above, beer is a typically male-oriented product. However, more and more women enjoy beer the same way as men do, so why not produce 3 different flavored beers representing feelings and a packaging design made especially for them so they can feel proud and honored?

  • The bottle shape is a LETRA brand icon that was important to maintain.
  • White became a main color, in contrast to the dark heavy and masculine feel from the traditional bottle.
  • Vibrant colors and shiny effects for a sophisticated and fashionable touch.
  • The letter M stands for Mulher (Women) and for Maria (Mary).
  • 3 Marys, 3 flavors, 3 beers, 3 feelings: Courage, Dignity and Liberty.

Yellow – Courage: Pale Ale beer with Honey and rosemary flavors (happy, strong and awake).
Silver – Dignity: Pilsner beer with white rose petals flavor (soft, luxurious and enjoyable)
Magenta – Liberty: Barely Wine flavored with lime zest and dragon fruit extract (bold, strong and emancipated)

What’s Unique?
More than a packaging design project, my project is a social stand that brings to the beer packaging world a new look over the new potential target as well as a new way to present beer.