Screw Ballz Packaging Art

Recently I was hired by Alex Brands to illustrate the packaging of a new line of toys called Screw Ballz. Basically they are springy foam rubber creatures that can be wound up and combined together into interlocking balls. They asked me to illustrate each animal in an active “springing out” pose. The product hasn’t hit stores yet so I can’t post photos but the client did give me permission to share the artwork I submitted:

Big Wheels

Recently I was hired by Alex Brands to help with the launch of a new line of Big Wheels bikes. They were considering using illustrations for the packaging and asked me to whip up a couple of preliminary concepts of what that might look like (one boy, one girl). Here’s what I submitted (posted with client permission):


Trifecta BBQ Sauce

A few months ago I was hired by the Trifecta BBQ sauce company to create an illustration for their new brand of BBQ sauce. It was a fun project which I blogged about showing the steps from intial concept to final artwork.

I’m an illustrator, not a graphic designer, so I did not do the full label design. I just created the artwork and then the Trifecta people hired someone else to design a label around it.

Here’s the final artwork I submitted:


The preliminary bottling has now begun, and earlier this week I received six bottles showcasing the new label design, hot off the assembly line. I’m told this is not the final design—they are going to make some minor changes—but I thought I’d post a quick photo anyway:

I can’t wait to slap some steaks on the grill and give this sauce a try! This is the perfect time of year for it too. Here in Minnesota the snow has only been gone for about a month, the leaves are sprouting on the trees, and there are no bugs….yet.

There’s also a Trifecta website in the works at As of this writing its not live yet but it should be going live soon. If you enjoy a good BBQ it would be worth giving Trifecta a try.

Packaging Art: Bags On Board

Recently I was hired by Launch, an ad agency in the Dallas area, to create some artwork for a new packaging project. They were developing a new logo and packaging for “Bags On Board”, line of pet waste disposal products. They came to me with some concepts already fleshed out and hired me to do the final packaging illustration across the top. I wound up doing I think six different variations on this illustration, one for each product that was being showcased.

Poppycock Packaging Art for Orville Redenbacher

Earlier this year I was hired my the good folks at RPM Connect in Minneapolis to illustrate some Christmas canisters for Orville Reddenbacher’s “Poppycock” brand. The snacks are now available in stores. I picked up my first few canisters in Target but I’m sure other stores will be carrying them as well.

The folks at RPM Connect were great to work with. By the time I was brought onto the project the general concept had already been decided on but the exact style of illustration was still under discussion. They wanted a series of vignettes around the bottom of the can. Something flat, graphic, not very cartoony, and probably monochromatic.  Also, the client had incorporated some snowflakes-and-trees clip art into the mockup and I was asked to try to incorporate those elements into my final illustration. Whatever I did couldn’t deviate too far from that “look”.

Given those parameters, I worked up a few samples to try and nail down a possible style for the illustration:

Normally my work is very cartoony so it was a lot of fun to push myself in another direction and play around with styles and colors I wouldn’t normally use. Ultimately the client chose Option #2 (the one in the upper right) and that’s the style I went with. Here’s the final illustration:

From there the agency added in the logo and other graphic elements. The final result is now available in stores:

“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.