If you’re anywhere near Chicago, we hope you’re ready for a serious dose of culture and fun, because that’s what the Windy City has in store for this week. August 1-3 brings back the epic music festival that is Lollapalooza, with acts including Outkast, Lorde, Childish Gambino, and a slew of others. And, as if that wasn’t enough extra creative energy for the city of deep-dish pizza and blues, Pixels of Fury also lands in Chicago tomorrow, July 29.

In the spirit of Lollapalooza, the theme of this particular design battle is music-festival posters. Contestants facing off at VenueOne on Randolph Street will have the opportunity to employ their favorite design techniques and show off creative flair while creating hypothetical music-festival posters — all in 20 minutes in front of a live audience.

To provide a creative boost, we’ve compiled an assortment of our some of our favorite festival posters from music history. Check out the progression of styles and designs throughout the years, then take a look at our contestants, who have also thrown in some of their favorite Chicago city spots for good measure — and if you’ll be in town, RSVP to attend the party for free!

Check out the posters below:

Pixels of Fury Chicago: The Contestants


Glenn Phenicie

Born in Jordan and raised in Lebanon, Glenn made his way to Chicago, where he’s a senior art director at Arc Worldwide and an Adobe Creative Suite instructor at the Chicago Portfolio School’s Digital Bootcamp program. When not strapped to a computer with stylus in hand, there’s a good chance you’ll find him on a Chicago rooftop or patio enjoying a good beer with friends.

Favorite Chicago Spots:

491 N Milwaukee Ave
Easily one of the best dive bars in Chicago. Walking into Richard’s throws you straight into a scene from Goodfellas, from the old-school bartenders to the clientele to the 1940s decor. No better place to have a Schlitz and a hard-boiled egg.

1850 N Damen Ave
A dark and cozy bar with awesome bartenders and a very well-curated rotating draft beer selection.


Luke Felton

A Chicago-born and raised creative, Luke is an associate creative director at tris3ct and an instructor at the Chicago Portfolio School. He has a passion for photography, print, motion, and canvas mixed-media artwork, as well as Red Bull and music, ranging from classical to black metal. Aka “The Machine.”


Favorite Chicago Spots:

Counter Coffee
7324 W. madison
Awesome little coffee shop I frequent on the weekends to wake up, be creative and relax.

Hobby Lobby
My go to place to get art supplies and other stuff to build canvas art.


Sarah Sears

Sarah is a Chicago-based art director, painter, and illustrator. She delivers compelling visual messages by combining type and imagery into successful design solutions. She brings four years of professional experience, nine years of creative involvement, and (since she can remember) a love for fine arts. Let’s be honest though: all she wants to do is have a good time.


Favorite Chicago Spots:

Rotofugi Art Gallery
2780 N Lincoln Ave

Chicago Bagel Authority
953 W Armitage

Jake’s Pub
2932 N Clark St


Kyle Fletcher

Kyle is a freelance graphic designer and artist always up for a good adventure. His tendencies include abstraction, letterform, and post-capitalistic expression, while narratives range from literal-thematic to dissociative, but often generate a friendly midwestern aesthetic. Outputs yielded include paintings, neon signage, roomba racing, custom-molded chocolate bars, screen-prints, blogs, films, bad films, magazines, brands, packaging, dreams, websites, pencil drawings, mistakes, and the occasional left-handed ink drawing of a kitten.

Favorite Chicago Spots:

220 E Chicago Ave

Cultural Center
78 E Washington St

Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N State St


Stephen Merlo

Originally from the suburbs of Detroit, Stephen moved to the city to seek inspiration and insight from the streets and people of Chicago. He currently works as a senior designer at a Chicago-based design firm that specializes in print, packaging, and branding. Aesthetically, Stephen’s work incorporates an organic approach, paired with a hand-touched quality. In his free time, he enjoys hobbies such as woodworking, bicycling, drinking beer, and bird watching with his adorable cat Alaska.

Favorite Chicago Spots:

Monsignor Murphy’s
3019 N Broadway St

The Shamrock Club
210 W Kinzie St

Wooly Mammoth
1513 W Foster Ave


Jacob Watts

Jacob resides in Logan Square, Chicago, where he works as a freelance re-toucher, photo-illustrator, and full-time hot-dog connoisseur. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2012 with a degree in photography — a degree that is mostly used to photograph his cat.



Favorite Chicago Spots:

1846 N Damen & 2236 N Sacremento

There’s no better way to finish the day with a refreshing cup of Italian ice from Miko’s in Logan Square. It really is a hole-in-the-wall kind of place with great people that run it, and even better Italian ice. I recommend the passion fruit.

Flub a Dub Chubs
3021 N Broadway

One of my top-dog hot-dog places to go in Lakeview. A great place to get a Chicago-style dog, draw some funny hot-dog pictures, and maybe win some hockey tickets. Fantastic service accompanied with quality dogs.

The Host/MC

Brendan Shanley

Chicago native Brendan Shanley is an art director at McGuffin Creative Group, a photographer at Lost in Print, and the music junkie behind Lost in Concert. He’s a Pixels of Fury champion, prior AIGA Chicago Board Member, an Eagle Scout, and a wannabe sommelier, looking for the next story to tell.