Friday, October 29, 2010

Esprit Typographic Playing Cards!

This the most intensive, time-consuming project I have EVER had in my 3 years at SCAD.

A full deck of cards, all 52 cards, plus 2 jokers, PLUS a box to put them in AND a poster to advertise them... All made entirely out of letterforms! So all you see below here is absolutely all letters, nothing else.

I chose Esprit because I wanted a Transitional typeface that wouldn't be too stiff (since I had stiff, mechanical Bodoni last project) and Esprit was absolutely perfect. It's straight and serious enough but still has little flourishes.

Here is a sample of the cards I made:

Sorry for the nasty watermarks. Also, blogger seems to mute down the colours a bit.

I printed them out, cut them all, and clipped the corners, took forever!

And this is the backside of the cards:

I actually have two versions of the cards. The other version is based on the traditional playing card approach (you still get the corresponding number of the suit's symbol in each card, but they're all the same size.)  I used this approach you see above since every individual card becomes more immediately intense that way, as if each card were an individual poster. Basically, with the traditional approach, they all blend in like a crowd, this way they come out as individuals.

When choosing the colours, I was thinking of chocolate and what combination of colours made me hungry. I even dismissed certain combinations simply because they made me nauseous. Gladly a girl in my class picked up on the "hungry" colours. She said they were all chocolate with blueberry, mint, raspberry and orange.

The beauty of working with Illustrator is nothing is set in stone, so I have also planned another version of the colours that is somewhat lighter than these; they'll be even more candy-like then!

All images and designs ©Tatiana Dengo 2010. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bodoni - Typeface Poster

This was our first typography project, with Professor Jorge Montero.

I love typography because I’m a bookworm and have spent a great part of my life endlessly sifting through all sorts of letters and it is wonderful to finally sit down and see what’s behind their designs. 

Also, since illustration and typography cross over so often, I might as well learn both disciplines so I can do it myself in the future.

Anyway, we were given a typeface at random. I got Bodoni. Elegant, vertical, high contrast Bodoni.

We had to pretend this was a new typeface that we designed and are revealing to the world by means of a double-sided poster. 

Aaand here is the front:

(Click to view larger.)

And the back:

(Click to view larger.)
I chose purple since Bodoni is a very elegant typeface and purple is a regal colour. White so that the letters would enhance the natural contrast of Bodoni’s letterform and orange to stand out against the purple (instead of using the expected complimentary, blinding yellow.)  I also inverted the colours to stylistically relate the two sides.

This is the only graphic design class I've ever taken, so it felt really bizarre at first. Everybody went straight to designing on the computers and they were immediately consumed in this never-ending rhythm of clicks while I basically felt pretty castrated until I grabbed some pencil and paper and started sketching out my design by hand.

This may be because I'm an illustrator, but I feel that computers, while fast and efficient, highly limit the way you think about the design. Designing on a computer is a step removed from your senses. It is infinitely more intuitive to manipulate the letters with your bare hands instead of pressing keys and clicking on a mouse. Currently, I feel like computers are more of a tool that allow you to reproduce these designs cleanly and efficiently after the initial planning on paper.

Both front and back poster designs © Tatiana Dengo 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Million Dollar Quartet - Poster

This was our second project for Advertising illustration with Prof. Ryan Sanchez. Broadway Musical Posters!

We were given a list of about 8 musicals and I chose Million Dollar Quartet. I was torn between this and La Cage Aux Folles.

Million Dollar Quartet is basically about one night in musical history. December 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis had an impromptu jam session at Sun Records in Memphis. The session was recorded, reporters were called, and now it's a musical!

I chose the Quartet since I've recently been listening to a lot of Elvis music. I listened to the other guys' stuff and loved it as well. Plus, all of this music also reminds me of my dad's music library, which is full of these oldies and hits from around the same time period (I think.)

So I came up with 18 ideas, chose 3 of those, made 9 comps (3 for each idea) and we finally rounded it down to this comp:
 I honestly can't say I was too excited about this idea. My favourite ideas all had old-timey microphones in them as the main focus but these heads were more appealing to everyone.

That's a very important part of the process of illustration. You definitely need to have other people look at your stuff because after a while, you can't see the forest for the trees. Basically it's easy to make stupid mistakes that become invisible to the artist but others can spot them immediately. And even though you might love a certain concept, others might feel that another concept will work better for the message.

The type was completely handmade and wasn't based on any pre-existing typeface. It was actually the first element I drew in my comps. After my unsatisfying experience with typography on the Restless CD cover, I decided to work with the type from the very beginning instead of the very end, that way I could continuously adjust the image's look to the text and vice versa. Basically the type and the image are based off each other simultaneously.

I then drew each element of the illustration by hand and scanned it in, for instance:

Added colour and texture in Photoshop and voila:
(Click to view larger.)
 From top to bottom: Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash. 
Still managed to keep the old-timey mic in there too! :)

I'm still thinking of making some colour adjustments to the image in the future but it shall stay like this for now.