I was approached by Jon Archer, Head Brewer at Boot Beer Brewery, to create and print some merchandise for an upcoming event. Jon had quite a clear idea what he wanted and the brief combined two objectives: a t-shirt design promoting their bestselling Valhalla Helles Lager and a character development that could potentially become the brewery "mascot". Since the brewery is located in Repton, an English village with a rich Viking heritage, Jon wanted to emphasise this historical connection by including Ivar the Bootless, a fictional Viking warrior character. Another link to Repton in the design was an inclusion of the tower of St Wystan's Church in the background.
Jon's idea for the main character was a "modern viking", a kind of fusion of a traditional viking warrior with a modern hipster look, a character that the younger brewery customers could find easily relatable.
The final design depicts desperate Ivar, who, after a long journey and upon his arrival to England, finds out that the pub run out of his favourite Valhalla Lager. The character is rendered by hand in pen and ink and the illustration also includes hand-drawn norse decorative elements, a stylised ribbon banner and a Boot Beer logo, which design I was commissioned prior to the t-shirt project.
The design was screen printed by hand at London's Print Club using water based inks onto eco-friendly bamboo t-shirts.