Because I’m always making that time excuse.
Because I’m always making that time excuse.
We finalized the new Hello Yellow branding last night, and I couldn’t wait to share! If you remember from only a few short weeks ago, this logo is based off the first moodboard in this post. We went through a process of creating three very different hand-lettered logo options, and settled on the one above. Working with a brand that’s name incorporates ‘Yellow’ had me thinking all sorts of bright and cheery thoughts. This logo hints at sunshine without going over-the-top and it also references many vintage logos made for home-oriented products that used scripts as their main mark. Bright, cheerful, hand-made, clean, updated, and female were all key words that signify this brand’s aesthetic.
Now we’re on to placing this brand look into the website, and fingers crossed we will get to share the complete project soon!
I always love a good look in to artists and designers’ sketchbooks. There’s just something about seeing the begginings of a design and seeing how A got to B — and the windy road that lead it there. I did a deep clean of my desk yesterday, and was inspired to share a few unedited sketches from things I have been working on lately. Most of these are just for fun, and it’s in sketches like these that I learn a lot about new forms when lettering. Sometimes I’ll read a quote on a blog post and just have to letter it, and other times I’m practicing new ways to hold my pen and just writing out what day it is. No end goal, just practice and lots of fun.
Is this something you like to see around here? I’d love to keep sharing lettering sketches if you find it beneficial. I know I always learn more from others when I can see some behind-the-scenes work.
In other news, I’m heading to Omaha for a wedding this weekend. I’m a little worried that all this snow decided to hit, but glad that Todd will be on the plane with me. I have been traveling by plane alone since I was about 15, so it will be a nice change to have a travel buddy. Hope you all have had a great week, and are doing something fun this weekend!
Happy fall, cough, winter.
After one month with my computer being out of commission, I’m happy to say that I’m back! So strange how weird I felt without it for that long. I’m spending this week getting caught up on projects and emails and getting my technology life back in order.
You know how for the past couple months I’ve been fighting that perfectionism battle? A pretty cool realization came to me this past week. As I was away from my computer, it actually gave me more time to start the printing process for the shop. This whole shop process has been a little absurd. I don’t really have a plan — I’m acting off sheer gut feelings with this one. God-centered gut feelings I suppose. Just following that happiness thing. Anyways. While I’ve had conversations with my creatively-minded friends about this along the way, each one has told me that I should get this all professionally printed, and call it a day. Make the process easy. That just didn’t feel right. I don’t know why, but I had the feeling that I needed to think a little harder about this, and create a process that felt more sound.
Over the past five years or so, I’ve been searching for what’s missing in most situations. Throughout all that I do I make a little ‘feels wrong, feels right’ mental checklist. When new opportunities come along, I go back to this and decide on them based on how previous experiences made me feel. Right now, what’s been missing for me most has been making. I sit on the computer all day at work. There is so much screen time. Occasionally I’ll throw some hand-lettering in there, but I’m never spending a day, or hours just working with my hands on a regular basis. Working tangibly has always been in my nature — my second nature. I most often try to bring in tangible objects that I style and then photograph before adding into web design. To me, working with my hands as a basis for creative endeavors just makes sense, even when they themselves are not the end product. Without even noticing it, I started creating this new shop around two processes that were new to me: block printing and hand-stamping. I’m sure I’ve seen videos or had chats with classmates over the years about both of these processes, but this time around I took the urge to physically make and just ran with it. It’s what I was missing, and creatively called to experiment with. No questions asked. As I started the process, I felt myself getting frustrated with how imperfect each of the prints were turning out. Why were they all looking so different from eachother? Why didn’t I keep still enough while stamping this one? Where did that extra splotch of ink come from? As I printed, I started to doubt myself, my ability, and how people would react to something so imperfect. But I kept printing. I figured out certain ways to roll on the ink, ways to press in to the acrylic sheets, how long and where to push into the stamp. In each print, I started to find the beauty in this imperfect process. There was my lesson in perfectionism. I truly believe that with each print I make, the more I start to understand how imperfect occurrences are what makes life special. Unique. Perfect in it’s own way. And that’s what makes these prints special. They are created from my imperfect hands, to yours.
These prints are each lettered with words that have resonated with me along my creative journey, and are thoughts that I often need reminding of. It’s my hope that they might be able to be a little reminder to find beauty in the differences, and to give you a little jolt of motivation to go forth on your own creative path.
I’m looking forward to tying up the loose ends and getting this live. Crossing my fingers things are still on track for an early November launch. Until then…
A good friend of mine sent this copy along to me last week, and I giggled out loud reading it. I bet I’m not the only one who’s creative process resembles this. Here’s to more awesome days, and less of number fours.
When it comes down to it, that happiness thing, it’s really all in your control. I know I need this reminder more often than not.
Happy monday friends.
Because sometimes you have twenty minutes left in your lunch break and you decide to make yourself letter.
In all seriousness, since I’ve been missing around here one of the biggest battles I’ve been trying to fight is the one on perfectionism. I’ve been making great strides, but also letting things slide. For now, I’m trying to realize that most of all, this is healthy.
Wishing you all a very happy, and non-perfect, Monday.
You didn’t think we’d leave out the Fathers after Mother’s Day now did you?
Just stopping in quickly to let you know that the newest Obaby pack is up and ready to adorn all those photos of your pop. Just in time to celebrate on Sunday.
As we head in to Mother’s Day weekend, I thought I’d share another little something that I’ve been up to!
Our friends at Obaby had me help them with a little something to celebrate all the mothers in our lives. There is now a special pack of 22 mother’s day illustrations that have been added to the app, designed by yours truly and sponsored by Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets. Want to hear the real kicker? The regular Obaby app is now available for free, and Obaby+ is now just $9.99. If you’ve been waiting to get a hold of this special little app, now is certainly the time my friends. Happy Mother’s day!
In the spirit of transparency, and opening up more about my process, I wanted to let you in to how I went about the development of these illustrations. Both for the first round of illustrations, and for this pack. I meant to share this info when the app was released, but with all the excitement that was bubbling up in my head it completely slipped my mind! Yeah, I’m giving myself a little wrist slap as I type here. Hah.
When I was first contacted by Obaby, we did a test run to make sure that my illustrating and lettering style was something that they thought would work well for the app. I was pretty nervous about this. My style? Did I have a lettering style? Throughout my design studies and professional work, I truly feel like my work has kind of been all over the place as far as style goes. It’s always been my mission to let the concepts and the problems at hand direct the design direction. This is where personal style becomes an intuitive move rather than the main attraction. I wanted this project to be no different, so I started with particular guidelines that design decisions would have a foothold in, rather than my own style leading the way. Here is what I kept in mind while making design decisions:
+ The app was created for soon-to-be parents, and current parents.
+ Users are in to social media, and love capturing and sharing memories.
+ Users are on top of the current technology.
+ Users are trend-oriented but timeless.
To tap in to the trend-oriented but timeless design style, the lettering referenced calligraphy and calligraphy tools. I looked in to traditional baby design and used a lot of polka dots, checkers, simple shapes and swirls so that it still was baby-centric at it’s core. Keeping the imperfections visible and trying out more modern layouts of lettering helped bring these more traditional approaches into something that parents today would resonate with. After trying out what seemed one million tools, I landed on using the 05 micron pen exclusively. It was just bold enough when making single strokes, but detailed enough to build up on the illustrations. I also loved that at this weight, it automatically created a rounded tip at the end each stroke. This rounded off and soft quality was something that I was definitely looking for when dealing with baby-centric design!
After doodling around for each phrase, the illustrations were narrowed down so that each phrase had a unique illustration associated with it, but still felt united as a pack. This is where using one tool consistently can really help solidify different designs that have to live together in the same space. Each one was imported in to photoshop where I had custom layers for curves and levels to change the scan to pure black and white images. From there, I used a black and white brush tool to refine the illustrations and make sure they were jusssst right. Then they were popped in to illustrator to be vectorized and off they went to the team at Obaby.
It was a pretty neat experience to create a custom process for this project. I love the details and the reasons behind the details of design, but making sure that the details were quiet was important. You want whoever is using these illustrations to have a general feeling that these are ‘exactly what they were looking for’ without them thinking too hard about the reasons why. To me, that’s the real beauty in design.
I was so happy to work with the Obaby team again for this Mother’s Day illustration pack. Please go download and play around if you haven’t already — and let’s celebrate all those lovely ladies in our lives. They sure deserve some extra love this week, and always, duh.
This was a pretty spread out process. My dad came to me last spring asking me to create business cards for their new neighbor.
For those of you who don’t know, a couple of years ago my parents made a big dream of theirs come true. They moved out to a farm in a town of about fifty people in the middle of South Dakota. I give my parents huge kudos for living out their version of the good life, and they’ve set a great example for me to live out my own version. Thanks guys :)
Annnyways. The business cards. Yes. When my dad gives me a project without a deadline, it almost always takes a year to complete. No joke! Hah. We finally made these a reality before Christmas, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Their neighbor Paul is a hay farmer, and he goes by “Hey Man.” You know the best part about this project? Type nerds, get ready—I was able to use the typeface haymaker for an actual hay farmer. Kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, yes? It made me giddy.
For the cards, I experimented with a couple different type and image layouts on dribbble and went with some of your suggestions. This is the first time I was able to integrate dribbble comments in to my process, and that was a really neat experience! I’m definitely going to try and be more diligent about posting progress shots there. I had my dad go out to Paul’s farm and sneak some shots on his iPhone for the photo portion of this card. While I would have loved to shoot it myself, the natural beauty of the landscape there was hard to mess up (sorry dad!) so I was fine using an iPhone photo on such a small printed surface area. The back features a barbed wire detail, and a Hey Man monogram with space for notes. We used Stationery HQ for printing. They are amazing for both prices and quality — I use them for all my personal digital printing.
So in all, this was a pretty new experience for me. I feel like the clients I usually work with end up being a lot like me. They are usually females, and usually have a similar aesthetic. With this project, I definitely had to stretch myself and make a card that a farmer would love to use while still staying true to the Pinegate Road design aesthetic. Have any of you run in to this growth opportunity? What kinds of things helped you stretch past what you would ‘normally’ do? I’d love to hear!