The Szechaun Sauce artist talks McDonald's and Buttermilk Crispy Nugs
When we heard McDonald's was having a day dedicated to their new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders and 10 different sauces, we knew we had to talk to the dude behind the promotional posters that would be handed out to customers. We talk our favorite sauce, what it took to get the designs on paper and obviously, Szechuan Sauce and Rick & Morty .
Let’s start with the basics: who are you?
What do you do:
I’m an illustrator and cartoonist.
I live in Chicago but I grew up in Ann Arbor, Mich.
What’s in your fridge right now?
I’ve been on the road a lot over the last month, so not a ton. Some Miller High Life, freezer pizzas, and assorted condiments.
Last time you had Mickey D’s:
Last week before I headed in to the studio to work. I’m a big fan of the McGriddle.
How were you approached by McDonald’s to work on the posters for Buttermilk Crispy Tenders?
McDonald’s partnered with Delicious Design League to make all these great posters for the project and Billy Baumann at DDL thought I’d be a good fit for it. I was excited for the opportunity to make something fun.
What was the inspiration behind making a promo poster for all the sauces? Did you have notes from McDonald’s with what they wanted or was the creative freedom in your court?
I think it was just a fun way to promote the new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders. McDonald's gave us some good notes on what the sauces are and what they mean to people, and we took all that in and found fun ways to interpret them in to exciting images.
How did you and the team sit down and brainstorm what the posters were going to look like?
We had a big list of all the sauces and Billy asked if I had any strong connection to any of them. So the first one I worked on was the Sweet ‘n Sour. I mocked up a couple ideas and we ended up with the dragons, then someone else on the team executed the final image. It was really fun to see where they took the image.
Are you a Rick & Morty fan and was that taken into consideration when working on the Szechuan sauce poster?
I’m a big fan of the show and the popularity of that episode was totally a huge influence on the design. The guys at DDL did a really cool sketch to get me started and I designed fun little characters to populate the poster. I wanted to make sure it reminded you of the show. I always try to design characters that make me laugh and I laughed a lot making this one.
How would you even describe the Szechuan sauce?
Sadly I’ve never gotten to try it, hopefully I’ll get a chance with everyone else on Saturday.
If you were stranded alone on a deserted island and you could only have one sauce for your buttermilk crispy tenders, what would you pick?
Honey all the way. I love saltiness of the chicken with the sweetness of honey, great combo.
What can people expect on Saturday, and will you be waiting in line?
I’ll be set up at New York ComicCon for the weekend, but may try to get away to be part of it all.
How can people who missed the big day get their hands on a poster?
They are very limited editions, so I encourage people to try to get them at the participating restaurants on Saturday if they can.
Last question: what's your favorite poster and why?
Szechuan Sauce is totally the best! But if I had to pick, I really dig the signature sauce and tangy barbecue poster. Both are really fun images with cool colors.