Friday, September 7, 2012


Happy Friday Everyone!  I wanted to give you a brief look into the design process for my final project for my Illustrator 101 class.

First, I have to say (again) that I learned so much during this class. I thought I had a pretty good foundation from the combination of my own poking around and the YouTube videos I found online.  Boy, was I missing out!  I learned more in the 4 weeks of this class than I did in the 4 months of poking around.  If you have any interest at all in learning this graphic design software, Nicole's Classes is for you!  Don't forget, you can download a free 30 day trial of Adobe Illustrator from the Adobe site so you can test the waters economically.

Ok, back to the process.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm a big fan of Jess Lively's (formally Constable) blog. In her blog she really focuses on living your life with intention.  Up until this project, when approaching a project or homework assignment I would do the following:

  1. I would sit down at my computer to design, let's say, a thank you card (occasionally with a faint idea of what I wanted to do beyond that but more often than not, no clue)
  2. Pull up a blank page
  3. Stare at said blank page for a while waiting for inspiration to strike
  4. Fiddle around until an idea came forward
  5. Implement this idea
  6. Choose fonts randomly because I happened to like them at the time
  7. As an afterthought, I would pick colors 
I took a page from Jess's book and decided to approach this project differently and do it with intention.

I knew what I wanted to do at the jump.  I wanted to create a beer poster introducing a new style of beer for a brewery.  The love of beer in my family does not stop with me, my brother also shares the love.  To spread this love, he started brewing his own beer about a year ago.  He also has a beautiful little shelty dog named Angus.  Angus is the brewery's namesake and his name is typically found in each the individual brews my brother concocts.   

With my idea in hand, I began to mentally sketch out my plan.  I knew I wanted to have Angus prominently featured.  That meant a lot of browns, whites, and tans.  I decided I needed to round out my color story with intention.  

I recently purchased one of the best design tools I have in my toolkit to date.  A color book.  Specifically, Color Inspitations: More than 3,000 Innovative Palettes from the Community.  I was really struggling with my color choices and frequently ended up using the default color palate.  What a waste.  This book opened my eyes to all the possibilities.  I was literally giddy when it arrived.  Book in hand, I went to the brown section and viola!  You'll see the colors I choose for my color story for this project in the screen shot below (just to the left of the design).

Next, it was time to nail down the fonts.  I knew I wanted to have a Scottish look for name of the beer and Hill House always reminds me of one of the Arts & Crafts movement's greatest designers Charles Rennie MacKintosh (being from Chicago, you thought I was going to say Frank Lloyd Wright, didn't you J). With that choice sorted, I choose my other two (Wisdom Script and Birch Caps). 

Here's a look at my art board which showcases all my design elements.  Cute dog, no?  I love that pen tool!

Oops - please ignore the extra 'e' in Hill House!
What is normally is a bit of a challenging process became enjoyable now that I was doing it with intention. I've never had a design come together so easily and I have to say, it is definitely one of my favorites so far.
I'd love to hear about choices you've made with intention and how that worked out for you.  Happy weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Your project is going on well and your effort is awesome. I am glad to see your work to prepare this nice Dog poster.

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