Jason Castillo: Illustration + Design

Arcade Brewery "Odyssey Hive" Label Design

Jason CastilloComment

Every few months Arcade Brewery (Chicago, IL) holds a "Public Brew" event. A cool concept in which they ask their fans to name a new beer and follow it up with a label design contest. The beer that was up for naming this time was an American Pale Ale brewed with honey and the name that won the popular vote was "Odyssey Hive". 

I love the crazy awesome art that is on a lot of beer labels and felt compelled to give it a shot this time.  Well, I have to say I'm pretty happy I tried because I won! That means sometime in June 2015 you will be able to drink a delicious collaboration beer from Arcade Brewery and Maplewood Brewery! Below is an outline of how the winning design was created:

As with most projects I started with some rough sketches.

Not really finding a theme yet. Just exploring honeycomb shapes, hop cones and random bees.

Not really finding a theme yet. Just exploring honeycomb shapes, hop cones and random bees.

Still exploring ideas... skulls are cool. Starting to discover the angular, honeycomb-based typography.

Still exploring ideas... skulls are cool. Starting to discover the angular, honeycomb-based typography.

Some very rough composition sketches. Kind of liking the idea of incorporating a bear somehow.

Some very rough composition sketches. Kind of liking the idea of incorporating a bear somehow.

After spending some time exploring bees, bears and honeycombs I didn't feel like I had a strong concept just yet. I started thinking more about the name and the meaning of the individual words. There were a couple directions I was interested in exploring; 2001: Space Odyssey or Homer's Odyssey. I'm definitely more interested in the Sci-Fi realm so I started checking out some of the imagery from the film.

I love the trippy image of the "starchild" and different ships. I had a flash of a bee floating in space watching a honeycomb planet in the distance. I went back to the drawing table and this came out:

Once I hit on the Spacebee idea the final design started to take shape pretty quickly. You can see a couple typography explorations in this animated gif.

Once I hit on the Spacebee idea the final design started to take shape pretty quickly. You can see a couple typography explorations in this animated gif.

I was pretty excited by this concept and showed it to some peers who gave me a thumbs up and some good advice about adjusting the composition slightly. Here is the final drawing that I scanned and painted in Photoshop. Check out my process video below as well to see more!

The final design:

Look for Odyssey Hive at your favorite Chicagoland craft beer store soon!

Ireland

Jason CastilloComment

In April 2014, my wife and I took a trip to Ireland. Up to this point, the farthest I'd been from the US was Costa Rica circa 2008. So, I was long overdue for an international trip.

Ireland is an absolutely beautiful country with amazing sights, cities and people. We were able to spend quality time with some good friends of ours as well as take several tours of famous cities and sites including Dublin, the Guinness factory, Galway, Inishmore (the largest of the Aran Islands), the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, and Killarney National Park.

We met tons of great, interesting people from Ireland and all over the world. The family of one of our friends invited us to a BBQ one evening and cooked amazing food and shared amazing whiskey.

Music was everywhere. Nearly every pub we walked into had live musicians performing traditional music. In Galway, we met a traveling folk band named Squawkabout who performed in the lounge of our hostel. They played a killer cover of No One Knows by Queens of the Stone Age.

I took hundreds of photos on the trip and below is a few of my favorites as well as a short video. You can see more at my Flickr page.

The Cliffs of Moher and Obrien's Tower

The Cliffs of Moher and Obrien's Tower

A thatched roof home on the island of Inishmore - the largest of the Aran Islands.

A thatched roof home on the island of Inishmore - the largest of the Aran Islands.

More ruins on Inishmore

More ruins on Inishmore

Muchross Abbey in Killarney.

Muchross Abbey in Killarney.