Design and Alchemy Meet at an Auckland Creative Jam

By Charles Purdy

This spring, at an Adobe Creative Jam in Auckland, New Zealand, five designers competed to design a label that would be used on a new beer from New Zealand craft beer brewer Outlier Cartel—a beer called Kekulé’s Dream. We spoke to the Creative Jam winner, designer Sam Bunny, who says that his Creative Jam design inspired him to explore a new style in his work.

This is the winning label design by Sam Bunny—the label explains the beer’s inspiration: “According to the legend, August Kekulé had a vision while daydreaming by a hearthfire. He saw atoms dance around and form into strings. The strings transformed into snakes that consumed their own tails. From that intuition, he solved the answer to a scientific riddle.”

After closely reading the brief—and enjoying some of the beer, which Outlier Cartel supplied to inform and encourage the designers—Bunny made a bulleted list of words that jumped out from it—one of which was alchemy. (The beer is named for Friedrich August Kekulé, a 19th-century chemist prominent in the area of theoretical chemistry.)  

Watch a brief video showing the Auckland Creative Jam experience.

“I kind of latched onto the idea of alchemy and imagery related to alchemy, and these sort of sacred-looking lines,” Bunny says.

He started sketching and came up with a rough layout and text placement before taking his ideas to Adobe Illustrator CC.

The beer (which is currently available in a limited release in some bars and stores in New Zealand), says Bunny, is good. And his label creation has led to new areas of exploration in his creative work, such as the design shown here (check out his Instagram page for more.)

Are you interested in participating in an Adobe Creative Jam? See when one is coming to your area.