“Trifecta” Packaging Illustration

Recently I was hired by a client to develop a packaging illustration for a new brand of barbeque sauce called “Trifecta”. The illustration will be used on the label of the bottles as well as on t-shirts, posters, and other marketing materials.

In horse racing a “trifecta” is the first, second, and third place finish in a race. When it comes to barbeque sauce the client thought it could also stand for the three primary types of meat that people grill: beef, chicken, and pork. So I was asked to come up with a humorous illustration that would depict jockeys riding a cow, a pig, and a chicken. It was a fun idea with a great visual. I enjoyed playing around with it.

Here’s the rough thumbnail ideas I submitted:


The client chose sketch C and then I worked up a detailed sketch. I’m an illustrator, not a graphic designer, so my job was only to draw the picture. Someone else will be hired to design graphic layout around it.

While sketching it occurred to me that since people read from left to right it would look better visually if we flipped the image. Here’s the detail sketch I submitted:

Trifecta-Sketch1bWhen it came time to color the image I took a trip to the grocery store and purchased several brands of BBQ sauce so that I could study the color schemes that were used. I’m not an expert in the psychology of color but I’ve been told that certain colors tend to make certain types of food appear more appetizing. For instance, dairy products like yogurt and milk often use white and blue in their packaging. Barbeque sauce, I found out, is almost always packaged in some combination of five “dark and warm” colors: red, orange/brown, yellow, black, and white.


I figured there must be a good reason for this so I incorporated a similar color scheme into the final art:


The final illustration was created as vector art in Illustrator for three reasons: First, so that it could be enlarged indefinitely (i.e. on banners and posters) without any loss in quality. Second, I wanted to keep the art humorous but give it a more modern, streamlined look. And third, I just like working in Illustrator every now and again.

Trifecta barbeque sauce is not on the market yet but the client has given me permission to share the work that I did for him here on the blog. As soon as its available I’ll be sure to post a link to the Trifecta website as well as an image of the final packaging.