Creating a strong brand character

Developing illustrative character brand icons can be quite challenging, however given the benefit of early line sketches, the development process from early exploration to final artwork can be very rewarding. JKR commissioned Chris Mitchell to create a vintage style strong man icon to feature central to their brand refresh project, namely the famous fizzy drink brand IRN-BRU. The new look is to convey 'strength' and an industrial feel to link with IRN-BRU's historic heritage.

Given the small reproduction size for cans the illustration was crafted with specified line tolerances in order for the illustration to read with clarity. The bold simple line style of the illustration was critical in this respect. A number of early poses were first sketch down so the merit of each pose could be judged. A kneeling pose was then developed into a digital vector line.

The previous IRN-BRU character brand icon was also crafted by Chris Mitchell.

IRN BRU Brand logo
Developed icon. For larger repoduction size
2323 Line Sketches IRN BRU 1200x 2400 pix
Stage 1. Loose exploration sketches.
2323 IRN BRU 2400 pix
Two artwork versions were required, in order to provide clarity at all reproduction sizes.

Appreciation of print line tolerances at small scale is rather critical, especially with regard to can printing.

Chris Mitchell

Dramatic packaging design by JKR.

Inspired by the brand's original slogan " Made in Scotland from Girders".

Although initially featuring at a small scale on the cans, the strong man icon was used extensively at a larger sale across many IRN- BRU marketing platforms.

IRN BRU can label
Image and packaging design by JKR Ltd. © All rights reserved