Whenever you are asked to work on a long-standing iconic image such as the Budweiser Clydesdales, the biggest challenge is striking a creative balance. You want to add your own personal point of view while always considering the equity of the images that came before it. The Budweiser Clydesdales are a symbol that is recognizable and loved by all ages. The goal was to update the logo so that it would be more relevant and appealing to current Budweiser consumers.
This project made me a master of the miniscule. Extreme attention was paid to the details. With the Budweiser Clydesdales being such a well-known brand, a lot of care goes into how they are portrayed. Tweaks and requests like dial down the musculature; the eyes are too close; skew closer to the original illustration; the brass color needs adjusting, were common occurrences throughout the process.
We chose to use vector instead of PhotoShop for two reasons:
First, this logo had to be reproduced in a hi-res format, in a wide range of sizes (ex. clothing price tags, rear of the trailer).
Second, creating the logo in vector allowed us to convert it to 1C, 2C and 4C embroidery logo quite easily.
To create a traditional “painting” in vector art was a stretch and a challenge. Technically speaking, the gradient mesh tool in Adobe Illustrator became my best friend. We took vector to a whole new level in that respect. Vector provides the flexibility to use the art at any size. No bitmap worries here.
Bud Light Splash
The refreshing splash of water droplets that adorn the Bud Light logo looked great on the packaging, but once they were enlarged to, say, the side of an 48 foot eighteen wheeler, the pixelated image simply didn’t hold up. “We could get by with the existing image if our trucks were only viewed from a long distance while traveling at 60 MPH,” stated Andy Dyer, Design Manager at Switch: Liberate Your Brand in St. Louis, “but these trucks are commonly seen at delivery points at distances of less than 20 feet away. We needed to upgrade the image to make it a nice high resolution image no matter what.”
Andy recalled a similar project where artist Mark Riedy created a brand refresh of the iconic Budweiser Clydesdale, all in scalable vector art, that they used to accommodate a wide variety of sizes in which the art needed to be reproduced. “Mark created an amazingly realistic rendering of the Clydesdale, all in digital vector format. We were able to enlarge the art to any size without any image degradation and retain crystal clear clarity. That is a crucial big plus for these large format applications,” stated Dyer. With that project in mind, Mark was the obvious choice for the Bud Light project.
“I had to keep in mind that these water droplets I was painting would print at the size of an ostrich egg,” said Riedy. “The advantage of vector for these large applications is that no matter what size we print, the art maintains its original integrity.”
Looks for Mark’s Bud Light splash on a road near you and don’t be afraid to take a closer look…perhaps after it has come to a complete stop! Far as Mark goes, Andy is convinced he still sees water droplets when he closes his eyes at night.