Illustrator Alec Doherty was approached by iZettle in the run-up to the London Craft Beer Festival, which the tech brand is sponsoring, to depict the surroundings and its ambiance in his own unique way. Asked to create an artwork that “represents the togetherness of people in a festival scenario,” and given freedom to define the visual concept, the London-based creative chose to explore a new technique he’s been working on recently.
“I’ve been developing a new way of creating characters where I’ll make a mark, usually in paint or pastel, and let that mark dictate the body shape of the character,” Alec explains. “It’s a way of working I really enjoy; it’s spontaneous and the results are always unique. I thought it would be a good way to express some of the movement and energy you get at a festival, and adding colour to the process really worked well. It’s great to be able to experiment on a project like this, it makes the whole process much more interesting and I think that shows in the work.”
Caroline Barbour, part of the iZettle team who came up with the campaign, says that giving Alec freedom was in the spirit of the indie beer label revolution. “The creativity coming out of the independent brewing community is so inspiring, from the flavours to the artwork on their labels. Nowadays your average IPA can be a masterpiece." To highlight its connection with that community and The London Craft Beer Festival, iZettle wanted to pay homage to the creative people behind that label art. As the illustrator for Partizan, Alec was the ideal collaborator to help bring this idea to life, applying his distinctive aesthetic to the company’s story of collaboration, inspiration and togetherness.
“We wanted Alec to develop something that he felt was right for the brand and audience but also true to his style. He naturally made iZettle feel a part of his work and injected a great amount of energy and flair into his illustrations.”
While Alec has been trialling this new mark-making approach for a while, he’s only worked on individual characters. The iZettle collaboration, however, required him to show how their technology is a catalyst for social interactions – hence there had to be lots of characters interacting on the page. “Creating a whole composition was interesting… figuring out how the everything would slot together, and then break back apart, so iZettle could use the characters in vignette for different pieces of print.”
The final illustrations show a snapshot of the interactions you’d see at a festival, Alec continues. “Folks sharing a beer and food, good conversation, having a dance and enjoying themselves. The colours are iZettle’s brand colours they really help to lift the illustrations, they’re light and approachable. I think my favourite characters are the guy with the tray of food and drinks above his head, it feels like he’s walking through the crowd towards you.”
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