Honouring an iconic Canadian brand

Almost every wall in the new Molson Coors brewery has been covered with graphics, creating a visual representation of the company’s past, present and future. Image courtesy Motive Media

By Holly Douglass

In the fall of 2021, Molson Coors Beverage Company moved out of their Rue Notre Dame brewery in Montreal and into their new, more modern home across the St. Lawrence River in Longueuil, Que. Molson was founded in 1786 by John Molson. In 2005, Molson merged with American giant MillerCoors to become Molson Coors.

With the interior of their new location, Molson Coors was looking to make a huge visual impact while maintaining a deep connection with the past. 

To help them with this task, the company enlisted the help of Motive Media, a large-format digital imaging company based in Bolton, Ont., whose work with Molson Coors has spanned decades. After many hours of consultations and planning, Motive Media designed and produced over 650 m2 (7000 sf) of vinyl cut lettering, glass privacy film, and digital imaging using all 3M premium films. Then, in October, three months after receiving the original scope of work, Motive Media sent a team to Montreal to install the graphics and oversee the project over a three-day period.   

Together, Molson Coors and Motive Media were able to use large-format digital imaging and other visual graphics to create an inspiring workplace—a brewery that honours the heritage of the iconic Canadian brand, and the three founders, while embracing the present and future of the company. 

The lobby contains images of years past, while incorporating the shape of the new Molson Coors Beverage Company logo. Photos courtesy Motive Media

Getting started: The concept, design, and production

Molson Coors knew their new space must reflect the company’s rich history and its founders: John Molson, Frederick J. Miller, and Adolph Coors. Moving from a location that had been inhabited for over 200 years was a big task. In July 2021, Molson Coors reached out to Motive Media and provided the scope of the project with a deadline of Oct. 29, 2021. A budget was established, and Motive Media immediately got to work gathering the information to get started with the design. Motive Media’s president and creative director, Kathy Cartan, flew to Montreal to go through the stacks and boxes of archives at the brewer’s headquarters. This provided a lot of the inspiration and images that were ultimately used throughout the space. Scanned photos from the archives, high-resolution files provided by Molson Coors, and some purchased images from stock websites were sorted and compiled as assets for the design work. After approximately 150 hours of design time, the designs were approved, and production began.

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Utilizing all 3M premium films, Motive Media printed, laminated, and vinyl cut all elements of the project in their production facility in Bolton. Printing was done on HP Latex printers, onto 3M IJ180MC and laminated with Matte 8520. This laminate reduces glare, which is ideal for interior corporate spaces, and it is also wipeable and extremely durable. Motive Media utilized 3M stock vinyl colours for various computer-cut portions, as well as products from 3M’s Fasara line for glass surfaces. 

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