Posters

Ratatat Poster

It's always a good time participating in the TBD Fest Poster Series. I'm always glad to be a part of a group that represents so much Sacramento design talent. This year I got to do a poster for Ratatat. I've been doing a ton of digital work lately so I stepped away from the computer for this one. I don't want to get too much into the boring details, but some of my process is below, plus the finished poster. Click the Soundcloud link to hear the song that inspired the concept. If you're interested in reading more, there is an interview page featuring yours truly here.

Empire of the Sun

Finished gig poster for Empire of the Sun at TBD Fest in Sacramento this October. Description of concept from TBD page below. 

 "The concept behind this poster came out of researching ancient cultures that worshipped the Sun. During this process, I was really inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphics. I wanted to combine the aesthetic that is unique to Empire of the Sun’s work (lively rhythm and melodies, indie culture, exotic textures, and eclectic costumes) with ancient Egyptian art and culture. The result is an interesting pop-like modernization of forms and line-work that have existed for centuries. The poster is one that you can get “lost in” while trying to observe and decipher."

"The concept behind this poster came out of researching ancient cultures that worshipped the Sun. During this process, I was really inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphics. I wanted to combine the aesthetic that is unique to Empire of the Sun’s work (lively rhythm and melodies, indie culture, exotic textures, and eclectic costumes) with ancient Egyptian art and culture. The result is an interesting pop-like modernization of forms and line-work that have existed for centuries. The poster is one that you can get “lost in” while trying to observe and decipher."

Girl Talk Process

A lot of work and late nights went into this to get it where I wanted it, but in the end it was all worth it! The process was somewhat lengthy and strenuous, especially initial research for inspiration and image collection. However, other aspects that usually take me longer (such as the custom lettering) happened a lot faster and smoother than I expected. The type itself only went through minor revisions from the original sketch, as you can see below. The only other part of the process that was difficult was color choice. I didn't document the color selection process here, but this poster went through somewhere around 25 color revisions. The darker palette in the final version really seemed to reinforce what I was trying to do with the collage imagery without being too "girly" (I really felt the lettering was girly enough, so I veered away from pinks, reds, and purples). Highlights were applied last, which I think really pulled everything together, remixing the vintage hand drawn illustration with a digital element. Juxtaposition folks!

Final Poster design, illustration + custom lettering

 Initial lettering sketch

Initial lettering sketch

 I composed the collage in Illustrator with found vintage art and then re-drew the entire poster with a Tombow brush marker

I composed the collage in Illustrator with found vintage art and then re-drew the entire poster with a Tombow brush marker

 Ice Cream! Cameras!

Ice Cream! Cameras!

 Kittens!

Kittens!

 and Snakes! This was the last stretch of tracing the image

and Snakes! This was the last stretch of tracing the image

 And I got to go to the actual show this time. It was crazy fun!

And I got to go to the actual show this time. It was crazy fun!

Golden State Process

I recently had the opportunity to do a series of screenprints for a gallery exhibition here in Sacramento. I themed all of my prints around California, pulling historical references from early explorations of the state. Many of my type choices were pulled from forms and styles from the days of the Gold Rush, when settlers moved west with hopes of pursuing their dreams and opportunities that the land held. Various names of the state throughout the years were researched, but "Golden State" seemed to stick for the largest of my 7 prints (16x20"). I love California and have lived here all my life. My goal was that the series would be a celebration of all that California has to offer — including the real "gold" that is found in it's climate, diverse landscape, and culture. Super fun project to work on and definitely something that I want to continue to expand on.

Below is my process for one of the pieces in the series. The show will be up at Bows & Arrows in Sacramento for the month of May and features screenprinted work from 3 other graphic designers.

 I found this really amazing map of "Old California" during my research. This became the textural foundation of the background layer.

I found this really amazing map of "Old California" during my research. This became the textural foundation of the background layer.

 One of the early sketches of the lettering. I wanted it to look elegant but still have a hand drawn feel.

One of the early sketches of the lettering. I wanted it to look elegant but still have a hand drawn feel.

Setting up screens to print. This is usually the longest part of the process outside of design and initial research.

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 Color 1 laid down!

Color 1 laid down!

The final product, ready to frame for our show.!

Rope type Process

My latest published project was a fun hand-drawn illustration for a Rope Climbing Challenge at Sac State. I wanted to share a glimpse into my process in creating this for anyone who is interested. I'm also working on developing a workshop on hand-lettering with a colleague of mine, so please let me know what you think by commenting below. Enjoy and hope this helps you out in some way or another. 

The first step was the write out the words in cursive and play with spacial relationships and how the individual letters could interact with one another. This is by far the most creative part of the hand-lettering process, in my opinion. There is room for editing past initial sketches, but I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to produce from this step. After writing out the words into something that I thought would work, I outlined the letters to have a thicker rope look. 

The next step was to refine the sketches. If you look closely, you can see that I increased the space between the two words and cleaned up the curves in the letters. 

Next I drew in the rope texture and outlined the entire drawing in ink. This is the most tedious part of any hand-lettering project. Of course, any minor mistakes made can usually be fixed in photoshop. This is the scanned image (600 dpi) of my final drawing. After this I scaled the scanned image up by 300% and did a live trace in Illustrator. Next I did some minor tweaks to the image, which resulted in separating the type into three parts (seen below) so that I would have more freedom in playing with color in the next step.

Next I applied color and texture. This is when the illustration really comes alive to me. I finally begin to get excited about finishing. This is the part of the process that probably takes the most amount of time, and a good knowledge of the software really helps to achieve the look you are going for.

Finally, I put the illustration into it's final context — a poster advertising The Rope Climb Challenge. My goal was to apply color, texture, and type in a way that would give the poster somewhat of a nostalgic/retro feel since the content is referencing a "gym class classic."