Serge Seidlitz & Radio Celebrate 420 With Lyft
As the cannabis industry continues to grow, pun intended, more brands are emerging to show support for the business sector valued to reach $20 billion by next year. Lyft is one company that is using cannabis’ newfound mainstream popularity as a marketing tactic. Lyft hired B&A artists to create a humorous campaign for 4/20, a well-known cannabis holiday in the United States that has spread internationally. In their most recent collaboration, Illustrator Serge Seidlitz and animation studio, Radio, came together to create an animation that speaks directly to Lyft’s audience.
While certain cannabis brands have been working to elevate the industry’s image, others are embracing the roots of the culture with cartoons, ice cream, pizza, and internet sensations such as psychedelic cats. When Serge received the brief to personify each letter of the Lyft logo with a cannabis theme, he chose the latter route. “I thought of my sixteen-year-old self and how pleased I would be that I would be this far into my career as an artist and drawing stuff that I was pretty much drawing when I was fifteen or sixteen years old,” he said on the process.
For Serge, this project was also the result of a more contemporary aspiration–to illustrate for Lyft. Serge cites a visit to New York in October of last year as the introduction to his admiration for the brand’s use of typography in their advertisement. “I saw these Lyft ads everywhere back then, all over the subway, and I thought that’s the kind of thing I would have liked to have done.”
Aside from the research into the subject he did as a teenager, Serge drew inspiration for the characters from the shapes of the letters in the Lyft logo and the brief to create a narrative of people getting high. The L, for example, lent itself perfectly to a bong illustration whereas in the Y he saw a mouth. But usually, for his process, he says “I just start drawing and see what happens.”
Once Serge had created his sketch, Made by Radio stepped in to do the animation, a process which Serge loves. “Animation takes a special skill,” he said. “I’m not an animator so it’s nice to see something that I’ve drawn come to life. Radio does a really great job. They’re amazing guys, so I was looking forward to seeing how they did it. They made it look like that’s exactly how it should move.”