Mark Riedy + Zach Hicks Talk Horses


Project: Budweiser Clydesdales Brand Icon

Creative Firm: Switch Illustrative Designer: Mark Riedy Creative/Art Director: Zach Hicks

Mark: Whenever you are asked to work on a long-standing iconic image such as the Budweiser Clydesdales, the biggest challenge is striking a creative balance. The art already has a name for itself. You want to add your own personal point of view while always considering the equity of the images that came before me.

Zach: Creatively, our goal was to update the Clydesdale logo, but keep it timeless; closely align with the Budweiser brand and communicate strength and power versus heritage and tradition.

Mark: The Budweiser Clydesdales are a symbol that is recognizable and loved by all ages. The goal was to update the logo so that it would be more relevant and appealing to current Budweiser consumers.

Zach: By the end of this project, Mark was master of the miniscule. Details, details, details. One major thing Mark had to live up to was his extreme attention to detail. With the Budweiser Clydesdales being such a well-known brand, a lot of care goes along with how they are portrayed, leaving little room for artistic interpretation. Mark was a trooper. With tweaks and requests like: dial down the musculature, the eyes are too close, skew closer to the original illustration, the brass color is off and on and on and on.

Mark: Technically speaking, the gradient mesh became my best friend for a few weeks. Creatively, it was very important to listen, listen, listen to all the input from the customer side and turn that into actionable directives.

Zach: We chose to use vector instead of PhotoShop. There were two reasons vector was important for this project: First, this logo had to be able to be multiple different sizes in a hi-res format (ex. Clothing price tags, rear of the trailer). Second, doing the logo in vector, we were able convert it to a 1C, 2C and 4C embroidery logo quite easily.

Mark: To create a traditional "painting" in vector art was a stretch and a challenge. We took vector to a new level in that respect. And as Zach said, vector provides the flexibility to use the art at any size. No bitmap worries here.

Zach: The ultimate goal was for the final illustrations to be used on all updated Budweiser Clydesdale communication, vehicles (including their haulers) and promotional materials.

Working with Mark gave us all of this and more. He is understanding and extremely talented. There were times I wanted to let Mark flex his artistic muscles and go rogue, but we couldn’t. We often had to pull back the reigns on each other. He is definitely someone I would work with again, no doubt about it.

Mark: Zach and the crew at Switch were pros. The rapport made me feel like part of the team rather than a hired gun. It was a great time.

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