You know that overwhelmingly joyful feeling you get when you walk by a beautiful mural on the side of a city building, and you almost feel as if you discovered it yourself? That’s the feeling you get when you look at any of the Uniquely J coffee packaging. That’s also the feeling you get when you look at any of Iain Macarthur’s work — like you stumbled upon something truly special and memorable.
Inspired by cartoons and comic books growing up (and today), Iain uses pencils, watercolors, and pigment pens to “create portraits of ordinary people but create them in unusual ways. The result is an image that offers something new and exciting every time you look at it. He has worked with brands and projects like Nike, MTV Playground, Game of Thrones, Ride Snowboards, Allsaints clothing, and more.
Imagine having a piece of Iain’s vision on your kitchen counter. You’ll want to keep it there forever. But you should also drink the coffee. We sat down with Iain to learn a little about him, his process, and why he chose to work with Jet on Uniquely J.
Describe your background.
Im a illustrator/artist based in London. I’ve worked on many commissions such as Nike, Game of Thrones, The Telegraph, Landyatchz longboards, and Derwent pencils. My art is very detailed and also elegant with elements of patterns and geometry.
What kinds of things do you draw inspiration from?
I taking inspiration from native patterns from across the world, animals, and surrealism. I also love art nouveau which can be noticed in some of my artwork as well.
Describe your aesthetic in 3 words.
Intricate, decorative, hypnotic.
What are your favorite snacks to eat while (or after) you work?
This is probably my favorite question by far. I love cashew nuts, bourbon biscuits, and pears while working, definitely inspiration fuel for me.
What drew you to draw for Jet?
I love collaborating with creative companies and coming up with cool ideas that’ll catch peoples attention with something eye catching. Jet gave me the opportunity to design some decorative packaging and to have each package have a meaning behind them.
What was your favorite part about this project?
The part I loved about the project is drawing the different types of subjects on each of the packages, especially the animal designs and making them look decorative, which is something that I enjoy doing in my artwork.
If you could create your own product, what would it be and what would it look like?
Thats a tough question. I’d say maybe a fruity gum that doesn’t loses its taste in a Pez dispenser (probably already invented, but cant think of anything clever), I think everyone would love that!
What was the process like, creating these designs for our coffee in particular?
At first it was a little challenging trying to figure out for to creative the background patterns into each packaging without it clashing with the foreground, but once I started sketching them out it slowly started to come together. I did some research for each coffee bean product to give me some inspiration, this helped a lot for planning out the designs and make them easy to identify such as Native patterns and an Andean bear for the Colombian coffee beans and a renaissance style with a French Bulldog for the french roast coffee beans.
Where can we find you online?
Find out more about Jet’s new brand Uniquely J here!