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Dan Kuhlen & Nathan Goldman on Almanac Beer Company Designs

Today we are featuring the work of Dan Kuhlen and Nathan Goldman who work under the design studio name of DKNG Studios. They focus primarily on clients in the entertainment industry. Clients range from bands, promoters, to independent and corporate clients. They have been working together at DKNG since 2005. If you want to show them some love on social make sure to follow their Twitter, Dribbble, Facebook, or Instagram (almost 50k followers!).

1.How would you describe your design style?

We have a few different design styles we try to pursue in our work. At one end of the spectrum is our geometric, iconic style of design where we try to distil our work down to its simplest forms. At the other end, we create highly rendered designs that try to emulate a photo-realistic style and are printed using halftone patterns.

Dachshund Sketch    Dachshund Illustration

2.How long have you been a designer for?

I’ve been designing as a hobby since I was a little kid, but professionally since 2002.

Ram Trucks Ad Campaign

3.Where are you from?

Originally I’m from Norwalk, Connecticut, but Dan and I both grew up in San Diego, California.

A stylistic illustration of lungs


4. The Almanac Beer Company Seasonal Bottle Designs

In our conversation, the Almanac Beer Company seasonal bottle designs were one of the projects DKNG was proud of. Founded in 2010 the beer company operates out of Northern California. Below you can see the designs of the bottles. Tthe level of detail on each bottle is really incredible.

Almanac's+Valencia+Gold+bottle+design+by+DKNG Almanac+Beer+Co


5.What is the best design book you have read?

It’s more of a business book, but Rework is a great book about managing your own small business, and one that gave me the encouragement needed to take the leap into managing my own design business.

Siberian Husky Illustration

6.What work are you most proud of?

One of our proudest moments was producing our first solo gallery show of original work. ICON opened a couple years ago at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, and has led to many other similar projects.

DKNG Icon 5 Illustration

7.How does color influence your work?

We often work with a limited color palette because much of our work is screen printed. To that end, a lot of our projects are between 3-5 colors and in some cases, we use transparent inks and overprinting to create the appearance of additional colors.

English Bulldog Illustration

8.What techniques and software tools do you use to keep yourself organized?

Our organizational tools are fairly simple, we have a shared dropbox account for all of our projects, and we share an email thread of our current projects in progress. We also use a shared calendar to keep track of deadlines, events, and vendor availability. Beyond that, I like to keep my to do list up to date on a notecard so I always have a hard copy as well.

The Black Keys Poster

9. Describe your typical day?

My day is fairly evenly divided between creative tasks and business tasks. I’ll often spend the morning answering emails and communicating with clients and vendors. Later in the day I prefer to work on creative projects and do most of my design work, but that can vary depending on our priorities.

Tron Poster by DKNGO

10.What do you see as the next big trend in design?

Design trends seem to be cyclical and we’re currently seeing a shift towards flat, simplistic designs. Perhaps we’ll return to a highly rendered style in the future after the flat, minimal style becomes more commonplace.

27 Club Illustration by DKNG


11. Is there anything else I missed or you would like to mention?

We share a lot of our specific design process in our online classes on Skillshare.

Written by Mervyn

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