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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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 I themed all of my prints around California, pulling historical references from early explorations of the state.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.!

Hand Lettering Spotlight no. 1: Erik Marinovich

So I've decided to do a short series of blog entries based off of hand-lettering geniuses who have inspired me in a lot of my more recent work. If "Typography is what language looks like," then these designers/illustrators are giving her the amazing personality to go along with the looks. It is the unique voice that hand-lettering gives to typography that I find so attractive. It seems to me to be the perfect balance between design and illustration and the fine art of craftsmanship that is very much still alive and valued in design. And so, (queue drumroll) I'd like to start this thing off with a bang by introducing...Erik Marinovich! (Loud applause now). 

Erik works alongside illustration/lettering superstar Jessica Hische at TitleCase in San Francisco. I first became aware of his work a few years ago via the Friends of Type blog, which he cofounded with a few other type enthusiasts and is updated regularly with some really amazing custom lettering samples and several guest appearances. Erik's work is really beautiful, clean, and loaded with type experimentation, a commendable sense of craft, and diversity. His control of any given medium to create type just blows my mind. I have selected a few images to showcase below, but his online portfolio is definitely worth more attention if you are into that kind of thing. 

Script Wedding Invites

I recently got asked to do another wedding invitation for two good friends of mine. This time I wanted to approach it differently than the last, but I wasn't sure how. I have been getting a lot of practice in hand-lettering lately, so I wanted to do something for them that would be completely original and customized to the content they gave me. I really felt that the content was so beautifully written that it lent itself to become somewhat of a "mini poster" covered in bronze hand-drawn script. Below is the finished product, and the process to go along with it.

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