Fit For A King

Download the full spread here.

The art director at Beer West approached me to create an illustration for a story about imperial IPA. After some research, we found that the origin of imperial beer was in 18th-century Russia. We brainstormed and decided to incorporate Russian iconography, such as Russian dolls and historical clothing. Additionally, I found a scientific illustration of hops, which I thought would be nice to apply as a craft style to the illustration. I presented to the art director the idea of creating a nesting doll in the imperial style of Nicholas II. Since it’s a story about beer, I also wanted to show a bottle of imperial IPA.

The final illustration is a combination of digital art and photography, which is my work as well. We both loved the idea of turning the Russian doll into a Russian czar doll and decided to put the bottle in the doll to represent the headline, fit for a king. The hops on the doll give it a crafted and organic look and feel. I also worked with another designer on the layout. I suggested adding some graphical elements throughout the spread, such as St. Basil’s Cathedral. These graphics help to tie in the story and illustration, keeping the style is consistent.