Art in the eye of the beer-holder

A Tyler School of Art alumna is one of CMYK’s Top 100 Creatives for her work, Hard Times Beer.

A Tyler School of Art alumna is one of CMYK’s Top 100 Creatives for her work, Hard Times Beer.

Entering the real world during one of the worst economic times America has seen in decades, Brittany Coyle, a Tyler School of Art graphic and interactive design alumna, turned to college students’ drink of choice for inspiration.

“Every day, all I heard was how tight the job market was and the climbing unemployment rate, which is not what you want to hear when you’re about to graduate, unemployed and living in your parents’ house,” Coyle said. “So I took the humorous approach and poked fun at it.”

Courtesy Brittany Coyle Hard Times Beer features a cheaper four-pack of bottle labels for the thirsty but thrifty.

A four-pack of beer highlights this creative designer’s portfolio. Coyle created Hard Times Beer as her senior project and thesis, which demonstrates skills to future employers, rounds out an artist’s portfolio and reflects the area of design a student is interested in. Holding a passion for packaging and advertising, especially for the beer, wine and spirits industry, Coyle pursued a project where she could show off her skills and be incredibly creative. After all, the labels help sell the product.

Coyle wanted to create a piece that was timely, demonstrated her copywriting abilities and incorporated her personality and humor. She was inspired by the economy and the average college student’s weekend getaway.

Hard Times Beer is featured in the latest issue of CMYK Magazine, Vol. 46, where Coyle was named to the magazine’s Top 100 New Creatives.

Coyle was born in Houston, Texas, but moved to the Philly suburbs when she was two years old. After graduating from Tyler, she became the in-house graphic designer for the software/technology company Proscape Technologies in the Philadelphia area. She one day aspires to work for a company like Nickelodeon or Disney.

Looking out for the wallet of the consumer, Hard Times Beer comes in a cheaper four-pack. Each of the four beers contain a custom label and back story, written by Coyle, to drink your problems away during this recession:

Home Sweet Homeless Pilsner

Knock Knock. Who’s there? The Sheriff. You can’t avoid it any longer – you got served and your house will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. At least you still have your car – and haven’t you always wanted a double wide? Why not wallow away with lots of brew. Make a purchase that will stimulate you and the economy! Just make sure your car is in park. The last thing you need to do is drink and drive.

Kiss Your Assets Goodbye Lager
The stock markets have plummeted, banks have gone bust, companies disappear every day, and every penny you saved is gone. Don’t they always say you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone? The only thing left to do is chase away your misery with lots of brew. Take comfort knowing your purchase will help stimulate the economy! So crack one open while you’re waiting in line for your dinner at the soup kitchen.

Getting Laid… Off Pale Ale
Your work week ended by receiving a pink slip and your desk has been cleared out by a human resources rep. To top it all off your severance won’t even cover a month’s worth of living expenses. At least now you’ll have time to take up that fly fishing hobby you’ve always dreamed of. Why not blow most of that severance on some brew? Turn on some trashy daytime television and drink the day away – it’s not like you have anywhere to go.

Till Debt Do Us Part Stout
Ah, married bliss. A union of two people doubling the amount of credit debt. Double the interest rates, double the creditor phone calls, double the bills. Perhaps you should have written your own vows because it seems debt will tear you apart before death. Take a time out from arguing to enjoy some brew together. Just don’t put this purchase on your credit card.

Bridget Nolan can be reached at


  1. Congratulations, Brittany! Your wittiness and sense of humor really show in this work. So where can I pick up a four pack?

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