You may not know the name, but there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Brandon Breaux’s work.
The Chicago artist and designer created the album art for all three Chance the Rapper albums, bringing a distinctive visual flair now synonymous with the artist. He has also led design on websites for artists Leon Bridges and Rachel Platten, as well as working with Alka Seltzer and Chicago shoe brand Bucketfeet.
Bud Light turned to Breaux to design a Chicago-themed, limited edition aluminum bottle, which rolls out tomorrow ahead of this year’s Lollapalooza festival (which Chance is headlining), celebrating summer in the city while showcasing some of its distinctive cultural landmarks. Adweek caught up with Breaux via email to discuss the project and how Chicago has influenced his career as an artist and designer. (For more on marketing in the Windy City, check out our City Spotlight on Chicago.)
When did Bud Light first approach you about working on this project?
Bud Light approached me earlier this year about this project. They were looking for an artist to help them celebrate summertime in Chicago—my hometown and current residence. I thought back to all the things that make my city great and all the fun times I had with friends during the summer and that served as my inspiration. I remembered the bottles from Lollapalooza last year, so I was really excited to work with Bud Light to get my artwork out there in a new way.
What were your thoughts on working with the brand to represent Chicago ahead of this year’s Lollapalooza festival? How do you view the project in relation to the rest of your work?
Music has always been a part of my life, so this project was really special for me because summer in the city is one of my favorite times of year. It has been a huge honor to be able to have my art on the bottle that will be in the hands of so many people this summer. They’re also going to put my designs in a few other places around the city which is really cool. I love the fact that Bud Light has taken this bottle one step further and will also have a presence at Lollapalooza this year again. The hybrid of music and art has always been something I have been drawn to.
How did you go about deciding which images would represent Chicago on the limited-edition Bud Light bottles? What defines the city to you?
I initially felt a lot of pressure to design something that would live up to the energy of my hometown. I wanted to be sure I incorporated really bright, vibrant colors—summer in Chicago is so much fun, and there is always so much to do. Whether you’re taking in a baseball game or walking around some of our most famous landmarks, the city is alive with an energy that is contagious. Bud Light is all about celebrating friendship, so you’ll see friends walking around the city throughout the design—these figures were really fun to incorporate and represent the friendships I’ve established living in Chicago.
How has the city of Chicago impacted your work as a designer and artist?
The city of Chicago has taught me so much, and has really influenced my life as an artist. Chicago is a really hard working town and you have to really show and prove. In addition to that there is just so much raw, authentic talent in the city that you can’t help but to be inspired in a place like this. Also summertime is really inspiring, I live for summer time in Chicago. That’s why I’m so grateful Bud Light tapped me to design this aluminum bottle. I remembered it from Lollapalooza last year, and was really inspired by a brand creating something custom for my hometown.
Have your album cover designs influenced your other work?
My work is always evolving, but I’m also really inspired by other artists. I try to push boundaries with every design, so having had the opportunity to work on all three of Chance’s album covers has been a blessing. For the Bud Light design, I reflected on what Chicago means to me—celebrating family, friends and all of the opportunity the city has to offer, I created a design that captures that energy that everyone in the city feels during the summer.
If you had to choose one career highlight, what would it be and why?
Different moments in my career have meant different things for me, all of which I am grateful for. But any point during my career that I can support, give back and celebrate my hometown of Chicago, are golden moments. I’m happy to be working with Bud Light to create one of these moments.
What can you tell us about your upcoming neon installation in Chicago this summer?
In Chicago, a neon sign serves as our beacon to a shared experience—for me and my friends, the signs mean we were going out to drink Bud Light and enjoy just hanging out with each other. I felt really inspired by the fact that iconic Bud Light neon signs can be found throughout bars all over the city, so my exhibit uses neon signs to express the energy of enjoying a night out with friends.
Any other future projects you can tell us about?
I’m excited to continue this summer partnership with Bud Light, as well as taking advantage or additional opportunities to showcase my work throughout Chicago.