A Brief Look: The Beer Labels of Illustrator Ken Taylor

By Chris Jalufka | 01.17.2014

 

There’s a certain perfection to a Ken Taylor illustration.

However stylized — however romantic, heroic. Epic. Taylor’s work always has a great deal of weight and reality to it.

His work is full of minor miracles — the withered fur of the rabbit in ‘Usagi,’ the hidden planet layered into ‘Aliens.’ He can bring out the brilliance of a single color and its limited tone palette. Ken Taylor’s work is a high water mark of modern illustration.

 

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'Aliens' by Ken Taylor

‘Aliens’ by Ken Taylor

 

'Usagi' by Ken Taylor

‘Usagi’ by Ken Taylor

 

'Haru' by Ken Taylor

‘Haru’ by Ken Taylor

 

 

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Taylor is one of those artists who’s work gets bought up the minute it becomes available. He’s coveted (rightly so) by collectors, but those of us who aren’t quick enough to catch his work before it sells out still have one more option, and it’s not the secondary market.

Like all illustrators, Ken Taylor’s skills are used for advertising and marketing from time to time, and one of his most visible works is only about $10 at your local supermarket.

 

 

Narhwal Stout from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

Narhwal Stout from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

 

Ruthless Rye from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

Ruthless Rye from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

 

 

Taylor has created three (so far) beer labels for Sierra Nevada, the brewery based out of Chico, California. There’s a contemporary sophistication to his designs and if I didn’t already drink Sierra Nevada his labels would definitely get me to start.

 

 

Narwhal Stout from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

Narwhal Stout from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

 

Ruthless Rye from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

Ruthless Rye from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

 

Flipside Red IPA from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

Flipside Red IPA from Sierra Nevada, label designed by Ken Taylor

 

 

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It’s always to refreshing to see an artist I admire and respect have work exist in the real world. A t-shirt. A book cover. A magazine story art.

A beer label.

It proves a simple point — great art can be anywhere.

 

For more of Ken Taylor’s work —

Ken Taylor Dot Com Dot AU

Ken Taylor on Facebook

 

 

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