Interview with designer Alexander Michelbach (AM), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Beertone Beer Color Swatches.

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Interview with Alexander Michelbach at Friday 5th of April 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
AM : There's some Beer Guides on the market but we would like to create one with a complete new approach, at the same time with useful content and cool to handle.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
AM : We are planning further editions, German, USA, England, Brazilian Beers and products using Beertone as a Brand, may be next year we are back in A award.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
AM : Working in a small team, just me and Daniel, we took almost 4 months, during the process we had to handle some issues but at the end everything worked great.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
AM : We are producing by ourselves, at the moment there's no plans to sell or lease the production rights. In the next weeks some companies world wide will present special editions with different special pages.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
AM : I'm always looking for something new, to be innovatite.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
AM : When we created Beertone we thought that designers/ graphic designers would be the main customer, but there's a lot of Beer enthusiasts out there that liked the product, the idea.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
AM : I'm from Brazil, Daniel from Switzerland and we wanted a name that could be spoken in different languages. Thanks to the German and Portuguese. Using our mother languages we decided to use: Tone = Tons (Portuguese) Tone = Töne (German), we took the ö out, because it's complicated for non-german spoken people, and the word Beer, I think, doesn't need further explanation ;-).

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
AM : We use the usual design tools, photoshop, illustrator, indesign and a lot of prototyping.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
AM : The people always smile when they see it.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
AM : We had important collaborators from the design area, some brew masters, beer sommeliers.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
AM : Technology had a important role in Beertone, without the spectrophotometer we won't be able to habe accuration in our color analysis as we wanted.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
AM : The Beertone is completely based on data, research, analysis. We tested each beeer using a spectrophotometer, to measure the absorbance and with this information we got the EBC and SRM color values.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
AM : First of all, getting all 202 Beers together, some breweries didn't send them and we had to buy a lot of beer. The Beer Color information was a challenge too, we build a small Beer Laboratory to run all the tests.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
AM : We received an email about the competition for 2 or 3 months but we had so much work to do with the data collect process, measurements, that we thought that we had to wait next year to submit the design, but we are very happy and proud that it worked.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
AM : The design award and the process to get the design ready to be judged is a great experience, you need to work focused and always looking to get the subscription information better.