Top of the Hill Microbrewery Graphic Design

Case Study

January 19, 2018

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Before launching Parson Lane full-time in the spring of 2019, I worked as the Director of Sales & Marketing for The Great Room at Top of the Hill. Top of the Hill is a downtown Chapel Hill staple, beloved by UNC students and fans alike since 1996. Top of the Hill (TOPO for short) has evolved as a business in many ways over the years. No longer just a microbrewery, the TOPO brand encompasses four distinct businesses:

  • Top of the Hill, the iconic restaurant & microbrewery;
  • The Great Room, a wedding & private events venue;
  • Back Bar, the restaurant’s laid-back little sister; and
  • TOPO Distillery, the South’s first USDA-certified organic distillery.

In my role as Director of Sales & Marketing, I was responsible primarily for the Great Room. However, as any small business owner can attest, running a multi-faceted organization requires you to wear many hats! Thus, I was also responsible for much of the marketing for Top of the Hill & Back Bar, as well. During my years at TOPO, I produced a wide array of designs, from restaurant menus to websites to crowler packaging and more.

Microbrewery Graphic Design

Working not just as a designer for Top of the Hill, but as an integral part of the management team, I was able to learn first-hand what the exact design needs of a microbrewery and restaurant were. From identifying the need to better communicate the brand’s products to customers, to conceptualizing the design, to creating and implementing new marketing content, I was responsible for maintaining Top of the Hill’s brand identity.

Restaurant & Brewery Web Design

I completely re-designed the Top of the Hill website using Squarespace, after directing a photoshoot for all-new imagery. The site highlights TOPO’s award-winning craft brews and its reputation as a Chapel Hill staple. Improvements included better UX design on the homepage, updated SEO-friendly content, and easier navigation to direct users across the brand’s many offerings.

Business Card Design

Each set of business cards was designed with a different texture, representing each department – brushed copper for the brewery mash tun, smooth concrete for the flooring of the restaurant’s famed patio, wood grain for the built-in bar, hammered metal for the distilling columns – so that the cards gave a nod to the customer’s experience inside the establishment.

Restaurant Menu Design

In addition to lunch & dinner menus, Top of the Hill required an array of other menus for brunch, bar food, drink specials, and more.

Event Promotional Design

TOPO was a frequent host to events and specials related to holidays, seasonal brews, UNC happenings, and promoting the distillery. I created in-house advertisements, social media graphics, posters, and more for many of our promotions and events.

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