Illustration, Inspiration, Typography

Typography Illustration: Do Your Best

Hand-Lettering is a BIIIG part of my life. It seems like every day I have a new lettering project that I am working on. Some projects are client-driven, while others are ones that I take on myself. This illustration was an exercise in not only doing the work, but documenting it and photographing the steps.

I chose the phrase “do your best” for this illustration because I want to encourage others to strive to do the best they can do with their art.

I wanted to show my followers on Instagram the steps I take in completing the inking of a typographic piece. I always start with a pencil sketch. I generally use mechanical pencils for their precise line and easy erasing.

Once the lines are finalized, I go over them with ink. I use a variety of pen sizes and types.do_ur_best1

Start to finish: counter-clockwise from top left.

I wait a short while for the ink to dry and then use a soft, white eraser to erase the pencil lines. This is sometimes the hardest part! Be careful to let the ink dry, though, as it can smear and ruin your drawing!

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I added stippling after adding the bold ink outline.

After the ink has dried, you can add other embellishments like hatching, cross hatching, or stippling to add contrast. I think I will color this piece, but I will leave that for another time!

 

Illustration, Typography

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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I was so fortunate to be able to surprise my family by driving to see them! Work let me swap a few of my days off this week and take an extra day to travel through to surprise them!

My parents were none-too-happy that I was ignoring their Christmas calls (while I was simultaneously driving through Canada to see them!). My little brother and I had a good laugh, though. He knew I was coming,but kept it a secret.

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I hope that you are able to spend time with your family, friends, and loved ones. Today  quick lettering sketch, then back to spending time with family. Happy holidays!

Graphic Design, handmade artwork, Typography

Chalkboard A-Frame Artwork: Anniversary

One of the most fun parts of my job is that I get to create hand-painted signs using chalk, paint, and other traditional materials. I think that classic look A-FRAME signs are on of my favorite things to make.

 

They are a fun, quick(ish), easy(ish) way to let customers know about events and activities. This A-Frame was created to celebrate our anniversary party.aframe_anniversary

Come celebrate with us!

The A-Frames we use measure 2 x 3 feet. They are sturdy, durable, and reusable. I generally use mostly white chalk and white chalk pens to do the lettering and, depending on the board, add additional colors to highlight aspects of the design.

Typography

Typography in the Wild: Vintage Board Game

I am always on the lookout for great typography. Today’s edition of Typography in the Wild is brought to you by the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village History Museum . I went there this weekend for the Scottish Festival, which was loads of fun!

After I basked in the warm sounds of bagpipes and fiddle, we checked out the history museum on the grounds. And I discovered theses gems!

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Round the World with Nellie Bly board game.

I absolutely love the typography and illustrations here! A great deal of craftsmanship went into making this board game. It appears as though some of the lettering was outlined in gold that has faded over time.

 

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Detail shot of the different locations visited on her 72 day trip.

If you aren’t familiar with Nellie Bly, PBS has a nice write-up of the events that inspired the game! The NY Historical Society has a thorough write-up of the game itself. If you want a copy for yourself, Good luck finding one. Due to their age, they appear to be few and far between. If you are in Buffalo, stop by the museum to enjoy looking at this one.

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I love the ornate boarder on the cover to this game.

This game appears to be one of the first versions of the game “Mad Libs”, which is pretty cute. The card pictured in front is a sample card from the game. It would appear that the rules state that the person who laughs the loudest at the fabricated stories, is the winner.

Drawings, Step-By-Step, Typography

The Cold Never Bothered Me

The Cold Never Bothered MEOriginal poster artwork.

Winter seems to be in it for the long-haul. I’m in the last leg middle of my second winter after my move from Los Angeles and it doesn’t seem like the cold will be letting up any time soon. Fortunately the last few days have been warm sunny.

I hear this winter has broken all sorts of records: Snow (it would seem) every other day. Several days with -26 degree wind-chills (today is a balmy -13 degree with the wind-chill). Snowvember! The list goes on and on. Good thing the “cold never bothered me anyway” or so I tell myself.

This wintry piece was inspired by the lyrics from ever-popular Let it Go song from Disney’s Frozen. I created it using several programs and started off with a sketch on paper. I’ve included some of the steps below:

The Cold Never...sketchThe original sketch with pen and paper.

Once the sketch was finalized, I took it into the computer where I used several programs to get the lettering “just right”. Manga Studio by Smith Micro is a fantastic program for sketching or inking AND it can work in vector and pixels. The program seems to be under-appreciated and under-used in the art community. My artistic best buddy uses the program all the time and puts out amazing work. It’s a GREAT program and version 5 is a huge leap from version 4.  I used Manga Studio for most of the original hand lettering and sketching.

The Cold Never...WIPLettering almost finalized and color swatches are in the corner.

I then took the file into Adobe Illustrator to clean up the letters and curves. I wanted to leave some of the hand-lettered feel, so not every curve and flourish is 100% perfect. Once the lettering was finished, I took the file into Photoshop where I added the colors and final touches. Here is the finished piece again:

The Cold Never Bothered MELook for prints in my Etsy Shop soon.

What do you think?

3-D, Artwork, Graphic Design, Greeting Cards, New Artwork

Newest Greeting Card Design

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A sneak peek of my newest greeting card designs! I’ve got more in the works but this is the first design that is completed. Hand-cut lettering on recycled, acid-free card stock with colored card stock insert. The perfect card for your David Bowie loving girlfriend (or boyfriend)! Awesome!

Find More information available at Pink Toe Press’ Facebook Page about some of my new projects! NOW available at Rocket Fizz and in my Etsy Shop!