BRAIN STORMING: I really struggled coming up with solid ideas for this project. I heard the word nostalgic and just ran with UofM all over the place. After speaking with my group and Angie, I hit upon an idea that had been in the back of my mind. It came from the “Are you looking for a better way to show your pride?” sketch (A). The concept was to show someone showing their pride in an extreme way – a closet filled with only maroon and gold, a guy in a UofM tie etc. Then I said, “what about a crazy tattoo?” And it went off from there (C).
ROUND ONE: Pretty much right away I knew I wanted to go with a neutral, understated palette. No matter which college’s logo appeared in the return address spot, the accent color of that logo would stand out on the envelope. I think my concept works because of the unusual juxtaposition of the readers college and a guy with a silly tattoo. At this stage I was using all stand in elements. My text was still type and the model was pulled from online sources. The image on the right shows the materials I brought with for my critic with the Foundation. The feedback was that they thought it was clever, but it may put some people off. Regardless, I felt the concept was strong so I continued in this direct and focused on hand lettering and finding a strong model.
LETTERING: Lettering turned out to be the most challenging part of my design. In my first attempt, my lettering was too clean and lost the effect (and point) of hand lettering altogether. This can be seen in B and D, and to some extent C. I jumped to other side of the spectrum with E. People said it looked like Harry Potter/Halloween. I scrapped that approach as well and moved the “tagline” for the design onto the letter. This left the outside more ambiguous and places more focus on the model and heart tattoo. For the new interior graphic, I just sketched out the letter forms in pencil and then over again in ink. I think it has the right balance of character and legibility.
THE TATTOO: The next step was to find myself a strong guy… but I don’t know many. Fortunately my sister’s fiancé was semi-willing to pose for me. Thanks Kyle! I worked in Photoshop to combine the tattoo illustration with the photo of Kyle’s back. I transformed/skewed the design and worked with a skin brush tool to create a realistic looking tattoo.