The red star on Heineken’s logo is a very recognisable part of their brand; that star features prominently in all their advertising.

But even Heineken concedes it’s not sure how the red star exactly originated, and offers a few possible explanations. One referred to the red star as a symbol of European brewers in the Middle Ages, who believed it had some strange mystical powers that protected them and their brews, and so was usually mounted conspicuously on the main entrance to the brewery. Another explanation is that four of the points on the star represented the elements of earth, fire, water and air, with the last point being an unknown element that brewers in the Middle Ages had no control over (fans of the vintage animated cartoon Captain Planet may say it’s heart, but we think it’s more likely yeast).

The star meant so much that even during the Cold War Heineken decided to keep the star, although it got tweaked with the red star turning into a white one with a red outline to disassociate itself from Communism.

Heineken has been looking to revamp the look of their cans for a while, with the redesign being worked over by packaging design firm DBOD since early 2012. The new design was supposed to be rolled out in global markets throughout this year, and it’s finally out here in Singapore in time for the festive season. Called the new “Star Cans”, the new look places a lot more emphasis on that important red star.

“We gather a lot of consumer feedback and insights for every Heineken redesign,” Mark van Iterson, manager of Heineken global design and concept, had said. “The red star is one of Heineken’s most important visual symbols and has always been part of the brand identity.”

Heineken New Star Can design

So much so the new can gets a huge red star emblazoned across one side of it now – in fact it’s big and red and shiny enough that you can mount the can on top of your Christmas tree. If nothing else, it’s big enough someone can tell you’re drinking from a Heineken even from across the road.

Heineken will be celebrating the festive season with its new look as the Star Can makes its debut in a special 20-can reflective foil pack, perfect for gifting this festive season. Retailing between $56 and $59, the special packs are available at all leading supermarkets from now till December 2014, while stocks last.