In early November 2015, Cyclades Microbrewery at Tinos island contacted me to continue our collaboration in the development of a special and unique box design. After two successful project for the company (Seven Beaufort and All Day), the company requested I deliver an illustration design for the flag ship beer, Nissos Pilsner. The idea was taken from their liking of my new venture in caricature illustration and the older series of Animal Behaviour illustrations. The aim was to make their existing package design a more flexible and satisfying product to entice customers to buy 10 packs instead of single beers.
The brief was to design a full illustration to cover the entire box, that would represent the wildlife of Tinos island. This was to take the form of a set of animals listed by the client to be presented as if they were in a party environment. The design had to include two bottle representations at actual size (on either side) and the necessary text to aid in the package distinctive selling point. The animals were to be rendered in the style liked by the client of my new digital painting format. This was also a key factor in the timescale.
Client: Cyclades Microbrewery at Tinos Island
Illustration Application: Photoshop CC
File size: 838.9Mbs/2.07Gbs (open)
Layers: 173 uncompressed
Dimensions: 17456px x 5000px @ 300dpi
Hours (Pencil): 49hrs
Digital rendering: 169hrs
The aim was to take the standard shipping box, used by Nissos in their transportation requirements, and make the decoration suit in-store advertising and promotion needs. Below can be seen a mock-up of the typical box shape and schematic I have been given to work with.
The final box was designed around the template for the original beer cartoon. The plan was to have it printed on better quality card to give it a more luxurious feel. At the start of the process I wasn’t given access to the template, and the photoshop file had to be set-up using measurements based on the fact that this was a box to house 5 x 2 500ml bottles. In the end, my calculations worked out fine, and the subsequent render was an exact fit to the template.
You will also notice that when I skecth out the render candidates for the animals I avoid doing the hair. This is done more spontaneously and direct.
The lizard was asked to be added late on in the project to add more creatures. And as the time scale was placed a point where i was ready to render, I simply manipulated a real photo into a more dynamic sketch, but not doing too much more to caricaturise the animal. I gave more of a curve to the spine.
This started out in the project as an owl. I tried and tried to get an owl face to work in the space I was given, but at the end of the day, the whole look was too elongated. Luckily, as the list of usable animals was trimmed some time in the project I found that there was an option for a hawk. So, I redrew the head and rendered the image out as a hawk. This also involved some extension to the wing.
The gull was a simple backstage character, but as I drew it on the back of the donkey and started to render. I realised that the characteristics of a seagul (the white next to grey plummage) was gone as we see the bird from the front. Never the less I continued and it still plays an important part in the composition.
The goat was another one of the fun caricatures that was designed for the box cover. It was pieced together from 3 source files and colour sampled from one. I added a smile and played with the horns more than the original.
The frog character was the one that was changed the most. There were no really good reference imags of the frog, so most of the image was generated by draw and redraw. I started it off leaping from the rear legs, but later decided that this approach fitted the space and composition better. The feet under soles were never sourced as an image, so this was all constructed from guessing.
The dove was another late addition and was again, like the lizard redered from a photo, with some changes to the proportions. The only additions you will see are the adding of a smile. The only change made during rendering was the swapping of the feet, which better suited the gripping of the octopus arm.
The dolphin had to be an Aegean dolphin, which has special side markings, so apart from this one requirement I thought it good to ahve it rising from the water. A bottle was placed on the nose to give it a party feel as well. The only changes made was pre-render when I realised that the two flippers were too big and too far down.
The bee was to be a small addition to the design and played an essential aspect to fill in parts of the design that had no interest. In all 5 bees were added to strategic parts of the design. It was rendered once from a couple of photos and then sized and flipped accordingly.
You will notice that the rabbit and cat arms are not yet complete, as I was deciding whether to have them together or apart.
The third stage was taking each of the animals, and pencil rendering them in a clean and final form. Many of them were already to go from the first stage. Only the owl was replaced with a hawk. The only other change was a slight taming of the seal face and the arms of the rabbit and cat are now placed.