100 Cross-Sections of a Tree Hand-Drawn and Then Photographed Into a Stunning Stop-Motion


In 1986 a bar opened up in the heart of Tokyo. It was called Heartland and it quickly became the local favorite watering hole in its Roppongi neighborhood. It flourished in the 90s and early 2000s and, in collaboration with major brewery Kirin, even developed their own Heartland Beer. The minimalistic emerald-green bottle bared almost no packaging; only a large tree and roots embossed in glass on the side of the bottle.

The bar has since closed down but the beer lives on, and is offered at 100 restaurants around Japan. To commemorate the beer’s heritage a group of designers took on a painstakingly meticulous art project.


first a 3D replica of the tree was created and it was sliced into 100 cross-sections

“We knew that drawing 100 different posters would be incredibly difficult and very inefficient”


draft sketches of each cross-section were then made


Finally, 100 hand-drawn posters of the cross sections were created

Led by art director Arata Kubota, the team first began be creating a 3D replica of the famous tree logo originally designed by Ray Yoshimura. The tree was then sliced into 100 cross-sections, which, in turn, became the basis for 100 hand-drawn posters. Once the posters were complete they were framed and gifted to the 100 bars and restaurants across Japan that carry Heartland Beer, establishing an elegant connection that preserves the beer’s heritage.

Appropriately titled “Slice of Heartland,” the art project took a year and a half to complete.


But that doesn’t conclude the project. Once the frames were installed they were then photographed and stitched together to create an stunning stop-motion animation that shows the tree being assembled, 1 cross-section at a time. “We knew that drawing 100 different posters would be incredibly difficult and very inefficient,” says the Kubota in an interview. “But we felt that doing something no one had ever done, and challenging ourselves, was an embodiment of the craftsmanship that went into developing the Heartland brand.”

Now that’s love and dedication. There’s a special website where you can see all the artwork and all the pubs where the poster is installed. You can watch the full video clip below.

heartland tree (gif)


1 Comment

  1. Love the project!

    I wondered if it’s really true that Heartland is sold in only 100 bars. I’ve seen it in many; and it wouldn’t make economical sense. I worry about the availability of one of my favorite beers now.

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