From our Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice, California, comes Welcome to LA–a laid-back West Coast lager that pays homage to our neighborhood and the Los Angeles way of life.
The distinctive look of Welcome to LA was created by renowned typographer and illustrator Gemma O’Brien, who captured what it means to us to brew and live in LA.
Based in Australia, Gemma is known for her bold super-graphics, illustrative lettering and hand-painted murals. We caught up with Gemma to learn more about how she created the artwork that does justice to the name Welcome to LA.
FW: Can you tell us about the media, methods, and ideas you used?
Gemma: The method of creating the Welcome to LA artwork followed my usual process: I started by gathering inspiration and reference images, then I created pencil sketches, and finally I colored and finessed the vector artwork digitally for production.
Inspiration-wise, Los Angeles is one of my favorite and most-visited cities in the world, so I have a slew of photos and memories from past trips to draw upon. I also used the beer’s taste profile of citrus and fresh notes to start building out visuals. With the type as the focus, I explored a few different directions and worked with the creative team at Firestone Walker to help shape the final piece.
FW: What vibes and emotions were you aiming for?
Gemma: The goal was to create an artwork that felt warm, bold, energetic, and optimistic.
FW: There are a lot of cool LA-isms in the scene you created, some that one might expect, others that are more quirky and hyperlocal. How would you summarize your portrayal of LA?
Gemma: I wanted to hide as many LA references in there as possible: palm trees, traffic lights, cameras, California poppies, a big sun, and a helicopter. Some earlier sketches also included the Hollywood sign, cacti, basketball, motorbikes, and a 99-cent store sign, but creatively we opted for more flavor references instead: the citrus, orange blossom, and hops.