After trying his hand at logo design for a while, Filipino designer Kenneth Olympia (aka MANTSA®) decided that the way to get his awesome illustration skills noticed would be to design for the world’s burgeoning craft beer industry. We chatted with him about how he got his bottles in a row.


Name: Kenneth Olympia
99designs handle: MANTSA®
Location: Philippines

Clearly you have really found a niche for yourself in beer label design. What brought you there?

I have actually no idea what brought me to beer label design. It’s like a light bulb that suddenly lit up, and from then on I appreciated the beautiful combination of well-crafted, tasty and aromatic beer, and artwork that likewise was painstakingly made by an artist.

I do share my last name with a nicely designed beer (Olympia beer).

Maybe it was destiny.

I will say that before I ventured into beer labels, I was doing logo and t-shirt designs, and I eventually realized that I needed my works need to stand out and be showcased more. It seemed that designing beer labels would be ideal way to accomplish that.

Can you walk us through the design process for one of your favorite projects?

It’s really hard to pick one favorite, since for every design I gave my best and did the job with all my heart. But one that pops out in my mind is the Talisman Brewing Company’s Bel’s Fury label design. That one was really awesome.

As soon as I read the design brief, the basic idea was there. I did some research, then started drawing on paper and rendered it on the computer, hoping my design would stand out. Clearly it did, since the client picked my design.

I assume you are a beer drinker yourself. Got any favorites?

Yes! I do drink local beers here in the Philippines. I am particularly fond of the unique crisp taste of the San Miguel Pale Pilsen.

beer label design by MANTSA
West City Brewing
Sounds great. What else do you have going on in your day to day life?

The Philippines is a country that is rich in culture and arts, so there has always been a lot to inspire me, even when I was growing up in the countryside, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. These days, in addition to design I paint and do tattoo art, and try to play basketball whenever I can.

My everyday routine includes my “daddy duties” in the morning, then the rest of the day is typically just hanging out in my office checking emails and doing my work, which I very much like since it is a home-based job. I’m always looking to raise my professional profile and take on more projects and clients.

Craft beer is such a rapidly evolving industry. How do you stay inspired and up to date with trends in your field?

There are a multitude of ideas out there within easy reach for designers, mainly through the Internet, but my main sources are books. I find that the ideas I get from published material never expires, whereas trends on the web come and go.

Also, the design world isn’t the only thing that keeps me going. I stay inspired because of my family. They are the reason why I strive to become the best at what I do, and they give me the strength to fulfill my job. They build my confidence and most of all they are my number one fans.

beer label design by MANTSA
Marina Cerveza
Do you have any words of wisdom for other freelancers on 99designs?

Just put your heart into your work and have passion for what you are doing. Create a masterpiece for every job. Strive to improve and give your 101% on something you are good at.

Love MANTSA®'s work?
See his full portfolio or hire him for your next project.