Celebrating what would be John Gilroy’s 120th birth anniversary, Guinness launches a limited-edition series of Gilroy-illustrated cans, which include some of his most iconic and vibrant designs – the flying toucan and lobster.
Jim Gilroy, Gilroy Estate, explains: “Not only was John Gilroy a gifted artist, he was an advertising revolutionary and ahead of his time. We are very proud that his work is being commemorated in this way – how fitting that his toucan and lobster designs should now feature on the Guinness can itself.”
Gilroy was a polymath of the art world, bringing exclusive illustrations to life for Guinness from 1928 to the 1960s. These drawings remain as distinctive now as they were back then. One of the most memorable ad illustration was born of his creative interpretation of a performing sea lion that caught his eye at the zoo.
The artist is renowned for his vibrant and humorous designs, which not only put Guinness on the map as an iconic brand advertiser but also revolutionised the global face of advertising as a whole.
“My Goodness, MY GUINNESS!” – one of the world’s longest running campaigns in history, features a hapless zoo keeper character – a caricature of Gilroy himself. Gilroy’s toucan design, which features on one of the cans, appears in posters, press adverts and promotional materials for the brand since 1935. The other limited-edition can features Gilroy’s lobster illustration.