Hand Lettering

Richard Chavez 10x10 Project

I recently discovered this really nice personal project by Richard Chavez. I love custom type combined with music, and these are so well executed that I would actually prefer some of these to the actual album art for these records. I think the Kanye one is perfect — so much energy and chaos to "visually describe" the album using type instead of obscene imagery. Take a look at all of them; they are great! Really makes me want to do something like this.

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Chromatic

Interval Press recently had a gallery exhibition with 100% fresh pulled ink at Bows & Arrows, a boutique/cafe located in Midtown Sacramento. We went back to our roots with this show, naming it after the zine that Ben and I started and ended back in 2008. The concept was awesome and weird and exciting, playing off of the Chromatic music scale, which includes all "half-steps" between whole notes. To represent this in a magazine layout, we formed "half-pages" with content that you had could only get to if you literally ripped open folded "whole-pages." Annoying? Maybe. But we liked the idea and were excited about a design that mimicked the concept so closely. After finishing one issue focusing on the local music scene, we quickly realized that it was just too much of an undertaking for us to continue producing issues as a two-man team, even if the zine was issued quarterly as we has originally planned. We abandoned the project and started screen-printing gig posters.  

Fast forward 5 years and we are still designing and printing gig posters for local bands. When approached by the curator of the gallery at Bows, we decided to create an entirely new collection of art prints for a show. This was an ambitious task (even for 4 graphic designers) but the end result is something that we are all proud of: 28 framed prints that play off of the Chromatic color palette. And so, Chromatic lives on, this time translated to the color wheel rather than the musical scale. We divided up the color wheel into 4 equal parts and used this parameter as a major component in our individual processes. 

Chromatic (the show) showed us how truly diverse the 4 of us at Interval Press are as designers. We all vary in our interests regarding style and subject matter, yet at the same time, we discovered a consistency in the process and the method that each of us approach the medium. It is an honor to work along side these 3 guys, and the journey has pushed me to become a better designer in the long-run.

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.!

California Dreamin' Process

I recently enrolled in a class with Joel Felix and Hans Bennewitz on Skillshare called "Lettering: Learn to Draw Illustrative words." The main class project was to pick a phrase that you like and engage in the design process to come up with a unique lettering treatment of your phrase. I decided to represent California with high hopes that I will be able to use it for a gallery exhibition that is happening with Interval Press this Summer. Check out some of my process below. This one evolved quite a bit as I took into consideration feedback from friends, other students, and the instructor of the course. I always love looking back in hindsight and seeing how much a project changed. I struggled with it until that moment came where the letters "came alive" and really felt like they were right. 

My initial sketch. After receiving initial feedback, I determined that this was looking too formal and elegant for the phrase that I chose. Time to revise my style choice. 

I started to do several monowidth-line sketches, playing filling up the space of the circle. My goal was to achieve a sense of balance in form and negative space. 

More variations. After this, I made a key decision to switch up the style, thicken up all of the strokes, and simplify the flourishes to look like a coastal wave.

This is the revised sketch with a revamped style. Definitely feeling more fun and "California" to me. Time to take it into Illustrator for vectorizing and cleaning up the curves.

Almost there. Still have to clean up the curves and some of the spacial relationships between the letters.

I added texture to the lettering and placed it over one of my infrared images from Yosemite. 

The silkscreened version! 13x19 2-color print on French Speckletone paper. 

Create in California

I created this California inspired print for a community event that Interval Press was a part of. It was a really successful event, and I am pretty excited about the aesthetic of this piece. I'm thinking about turning this into a series of larger prints in the near future. Got a lot in store for the blog and online portfolio! 

1-color application on wood