Rockford Artist Becomes A Qualifier In Beer Can Design Competition

Feb 4, 2021

A Rockford resident is one of 25 finalists in a beer can design contest.

Illustrator and graphic designer Joe Tallman said he grew up looking at imagery for Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. 

“My grandpa, he had a little bar -- I want to say he had like some glassware and coasters and stuff like that,” Tallman said. “So even before I probably knew what exactly it was, I remember like seeing the logo.” 

Tallman said he normally doesn’t participate in design contests.

“I've just kind of been a fan of a lot of the art I've seen from PBR. And I had the time,” he explained. “And I actually caught the deadline this year.” 

His graphic designs include sci-fi and retro comic book imagery. He said this is apparent in his sketch for the contest.

Tallman is an alumnus of Northern Illinois University. He credits the instructors at the School of Art and Design for being key to his career development.  

The first place winner will receive $10,000 and have their work featured on millions of cans this fall. You can view all of the finalists at the company's website.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at