St. Johnsbury Academy Senior Earns Top 25 Honors for Label Design

December 15, 2021

Package design is an essential part of every marketing class. It challenges students to focus their designs in ways that catch the consumer’s eye while offering important information about the product. Typically, students lean towards a rigid box shape with square corners. But one student in Mr. Shea’s Digital Design II class decided to think outside the box. She created a label for the Schilling Beer Company, located in Littleton, New Hampshire, that landed her on’s top 25 beer labels of 2021 list.


Senior Franny Cozzens’ father is a co-owner of Shilling, and her mom is the primary designer for the company, so it seemed only natural Franny would turn her talents towards creating a label for one of the company’s new products, Indikator.


After learning about the ingredients and the history of the beer, Franny began by drawing goats by hand and then scanned them into the computer, to edit them with Adobe Illustrator. That included adding the floral components of the design. These were done in Illustrator and then duplicated and mirrored so that each side was the same.


Once Franny and her mom agreed on a color palette, the graphic was sent to a company that added type to the design and transferred the completed design to a beer label. From sketching preliminary designs to the final draft, the whole process took between two and three weeks.


Mr. Shea says he was impressed with the process throughout, “Franny had a clear vision of what she wanted to do and the elements that she wanted to include on the can, and the fact that her design lent itself to a wrap design made it that much better.”


Franny returns the praise, saying, “Mr. Shea was definitely a huuuuge help on the Illustrator side of things and has always been super supportive.”


As for how she feels about making such a prestigious list that includes labels from across the country, Franny is still trying to figure that out. “I don’t honestly know how to feel about this. I’m super proud of the design, and people tell me that it’s a big deal; I guess it just kind of feels very surreal. Like, ‘I’m a teenager, how can this possibly be something that I did?’ Overall though, it’s an honor because Hop Culture is such a big magazine in the brewing world, and it spotlights a ton of unique breweries and cans across the US.”


Headmaster Dr. Sharon Howell said, “Congratulations to Franny, and kudos to Mr. Shea for making his class a supportive environment for students to conceive and create award-winning, professional level individual work. The talent of our teachers and students amazes me.”

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