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The 2024 Darkness Artist Search

The search for Surly’s 2024 Featured Darkness Artist is underway!

Every year, we select one artist to create label art for our Darkness line of imperial stouts–the original, the barrel-aged, and all variants. This designer will be creating, narrating, and defining Darkness for an entire year. The art will be featured on boxes, cans, posters, shirts, and more.

Basically, we’re letting you tell the next chapter in the story of one of our brewery’s most beloved, legendary brands. No pressure!

We’re looking for unique work that integrates your own creative style with the Surly brand, like the art created by our previous artists: Brandon HoltErica Williams, Josh “JAWSH” Lemke, Brent Schoonover, Michael Berglund, Aesthetic Apparatus, DWITT, Nic Skrade, Adam Martin, Adam Turman, Adam Sward, Michael Iver Jacobsen, Tim Chapman, Barbara Guttman, Justin Bergo, Eddie Wolfe, and Justin Boehne.

Lest we forget, this is a paying gig: $3,000. We expect the artist to work through concepts and designs with the crew at Surly and deliver on a specific timeline. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Submit three (3) art files in .jpeg or .pdf format for review. These should be working examples that represent your design aesthetic. We’re not asking you to design anything new for this project. IMPORTANT: Please title your three submissions in this format: FirstNameLastName_Darkness2024_Sub1, etc.
  • Yes, the art needs to look fantastic on a package, but it also needs to look great on a t-shirt, in a social media post, on a custom mug, in print ads, beer hall advertisements, website banners, etc. Your design should be translatable across all these mediums.
  • The ideal candidate should be able to design, render, prepare and export print-ready EPS or AI files. Hand drawn files are great for entry, but we also need you to be able to convert them for print.

Being from the Upper Midwest is not a requirement but it doesn’t hurt. We’ll tag you in our social media efforts to promote your work, so if you have a personal shop, Instagram account, etc., let us know!

If you have what it takes, the form is below. Deadline for submissions is February 11, 2024. We hope to select an artist shortly thereafter, with the assignment lasting roughly four weeks per project (Darkness, Variants, Barrel-Aged).

Please note that we’re taking design submissions under consideration for other beer projects throughout the year. If you’re not chosen for this year’s Darkness slot, there are other opportunities available in 2024! Good luck!

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