Adopt Love | Skillshare Projects

Lauren Walsh

Designer | DIYer | Dog Lover



Adopt Love

For my project, I chose the quote "You can't buy love, but you can adopt it." I regularly volunteer for an animal rescue, so I'm very fond of this quote!

My plan is to design something that could be printed on a t-shirt and used for the rescue.


March 23, 2014

Inspiration and Brainstorming

I want my project to be happy and easy-to-read, while still being interesting to look at. I'm inspired by fun typographic t-shirts, "chalkboard art" quotes, and designs using basic shapes and silhouettes.

Words: hearts, romantic, feminine, fancy, swirls, soft, colorful, flowers, happiness, excitement, joy, cats, dogs, paw prints


Lettering Warm-Ups

I spent a decent amount of time on these warm-ups. This class is my first real attempt at calligraphy, so I really wanted to get a feel for a variety of ideas and styles. I struggled drawing some of these!


Thumbnail Sketches

I decided I wanted the most emphasis to be on the words "Love" and "Adopt." I originally planned on a few thumbnails that would use the silhouette of a dog or cat as the design's containing shape, but I didn't want to limit the design to one particular type of animal (the rescue I volunteer for takes in both cats and dogs).

Unlike the lettering warm-ups, I didn't spend a lot of time on the thumbnails. I wanted to get a lot of ideas out quickly.

Within my initial thumbnails, I was drawn to the last one in the middle row and the last one in the last row. After exploring each, I decided I really liked the compact, symmetrical feeling of the last thumbnail.

I'm not loving the font I chose for "ADOPT," so I will be pursuing some other options there, and I need to adjust the thick/thin sections of the swirl below "Love." It would also be nice to integrate an object like a paw print, but I haven't quite figured out how yet.


March 27, 2014

Refined Sketch

I kept the "ADOPT" font, but added some extra details to it. I also added a little more detail to the word "Love." I tried adding in a paw print in a few different ways, but I didn't like the outcome of those tests. So, I moved the first "You" down and added a small subtle paw print at top.

I'm pretty happy with this layout now. I could spend a lot more time on it, but I am ready to wrap this up. Next will be my final inking!


March 31, 2014

"Final" Inking

I was pretty happy with this, until...

The rescue I volunteer for plans to auction these t-shirts off at fundraising events; so, in order to keep t-shirt production costs low and profit high, I chose to do a single-color design. Based on one of my insipiration designs, I decided on a white design and a dark gray shirt.

Unfortunately, I'm really not liking this final look. It could be that I've spent way too much time obsessing about the "adopt" font, or it could be that it truly isn't the right fit for the rest of the design, but it just doesn't seem to be working. I'm leaning towards the latter option.

I think I'm going to try something a little softer, as suggested. I might also remove the drop shadow in favor of some more embellishment directly on top of the letters.

To be continued...


April 7, 2014


Wow, I really struggled with the final details! I re-drew the word "Adopt" over and over and over again. Most of my font choices made the word "Adopt" seem completely separate from the rest of my design. While I do want the word to stand out, I still want it to feel cohesive with the other design elements.

So, as suggested in a comment below, I chose a font that had a softer, curvier look. Then, I added some similar elements to "Love" and "Adopt" to tie them together.

I also moved the first "you" back up to the top, so that it balanced out the "it" at the bottom. It was also suggested that I add a small paw print inside of the "O" in "Adopt." I had a hard time with that as well, but I think it works now.

It's not perfect, but I have learned a lot by taking this class and working on this project. I'm looking forward to tackling another quote!


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