Cognition Brewing Company

The Logo

“Cognition: the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.”

Cognition Brewing Company was born from the idea that beer shouldn’t just be a beverage, but an art form that captures your palette and challenges you to understand what makes each ale so different and great. The thought process as a brewer and as a consumer is at the core of Cognition’s mission. The cog shape, as both a play on words and a reference to the though process, was the perfect starting point for their image.


We used many variations of the cog in the development of the logo. We needed to find a way to portray both the image of a brewery as whole without losing the idea of the thought process. Ultimately we found that capturing beer’s core ingredients (barley and hops) inside the cog wheel best represented Cognition Brewing Company. The Mather Inn, where the brewery is located, is a historic landmark in Ishpeming. In an effort to carry on the legacy of the Mather Inn and preserve its history, we decided to use a typeface that captured its essence.

We then started experimenting with the best way to integrate the type, making the logo a very readable, yet cohesive design. The Cognition Brewing Company logo has since been used for stickers, growlers, drink-ware, apparel, and more. Using the identity we created with the logo, we went on to create Read more about that here.

The Website

One main focus in creating, was ease of use. This focus was two-fold: for the brewery and the customer. While the site is completely custom, we built it around the WordPress framework in such a way that Cognition can keep the website up-to-date quickly and easily with no knowledge of coding or specialized computer training.

“What’s on tap?” That’s always the question isn’t it? Not only did we create a place to learn about every beer that Cognition brews, but also a section on the homepage that lists what’s available in the taproom. Since there’s always something different on tap, we made sure that updating that list only takes the brewery a couple of clicks to change.

Not only does Cognition want to spark your interest in beer, but they also want to be able to answer those questions. We made sure to integrate the learning experience in the website. There are pages dedicated to teaching about the brewing process and ingredients, as well a blog for more in-depth articles and news updates.

Easy access to important information wasn’t the only important factor: it needed to be mobile-friendly. The site was built using re:sponse, our responsive framework. This allows the site to display correctly on all screen sizes. No separate mobile version. One site does it all.

Cognition Website

We were able to work with Cognition Brewing Company to build their visual identity from the ground up. This allowed for a cohesive visual style beginning with their logo, and extending into their website, photography, and branded merchandise that matched their vision, mission, and their personality. Working with them has been a blast, and we look forward to working with them again. If you haven’t heard about them yet, check them out here, or wait for their grand opening in the Mather Inn in Ishpeming, MI.


  1. Was there in 1976 and visited the bar. Did you change the barroom much from then?
    What is going on with the rest of the building?
    Best of luck to you all.

    Comment by Bob Thompson on February 18, 2015 at 8:19 pm
  2. Hi Bob. Cognition has done a great job of developing the space, but the taproom remains largely unchanged as far as we know. They have more information on their website here:

    Comment by Walter on March 4, 2015 at 11:10 am

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