< 2020 Capstone Gallery

Bird and Bear Root Brewery

Bird and Bear Root Brewery helps bear the burdens of busy parents with an interactive family night in.

Bird And Bear Main 2
Bird And Bear Ad 2


I’m getting to the age where all of my friends and family members are having kids. As wonderful as their little ones are, I kept noticing the recurring problem of parents finding quality one-on-one time together after adding kids to the mix. My favorite aspect of the design is using empathy to solve complex problems and that’s exactly what I sought to do for this project.

Nothing says cool better than drinking root beer out of a glass bottle. My original idea for this project was a sort of a 50s soda fountain, brewpub restaurant with an Ikea style drop your kids off at the door. But I wanted to test my intuition with research to find out the best way to solve the problem of parents finding quality one-on-one time after adding kids to the mix. I began by conducting a series of interviews with young families.

Then did the laborious task of field studies at some of their favorite restaurants–I still can’t get rid of the taste of burgers and fries. The overwhelmingly number one response that I got from every parent I interviewed was that one of their biggest hurdles to finding time together was childcare.

Bird And Bear Ad2 1


I realized that my restaurant idea wasn’t realistic for young parents to do on a regular basis. Going out to dinner for a whole family can get expensive especially if the restaurant is having to pay for child care workers on top of everything else.

What parents needed was to bring this fun, peaceful, and friendly environment into the comfort of their living rooms. Bird and Bear root brewery is primarily a digital platform that facilitates a family night in.

Bird And Bear Mobile 2


The website provides quick recipe tutorials designed to be easy enough for the whole family to do with recipes like sheet pan nachos and peanut butter, Nutella, and fruit sandwiches. All of the recipes are easy to adapt according to family preferences and food restrictions. This demonstrates not merely how to make one specific meal but the important life skill of cooking. Root Beer and other brand swag can be found on the shop page of the site.

The second main portion of the site provides fun kids activities including printable coloring pages and my favorite–an interactive poster maker made up of modular square illustration that can be configured into an infinite amount of arrangements. The activity encourages creativity and constructively occupies kids for long enough for their parents to catch up and have quality one-on-one time together – and most importantly on a regular basis.

Michael Nolan Portrait

Michael Nolan

Hi, I’m Michael! I believe my best work is centered around making robust design systems. Whether that be a brand identity, event campaign, or a website. I focus on creating systems that bring cohesion and an enjoyable user experience. When I’m not designing I love exploring new places with my wife Heather, eating good food, music, and skateboarding.

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