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Ain't An Ugly One in the Bunch

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Update 10/24

"Ain't an ugly one in the bunch" is a phrase my Great-Grandmother used to say all the time when talking about her family. When she passed away in October 2013 at the age of 100, it was the most oft-repeated phrase of the day, with a not-as often said second part "...but some of 'em married ugly ones."

In thinking about the design of this phrase, I wanted it to represent the woman who said it so often - a firecracker, born and raised in the dirt of Alabama. She was constantly surrounded by flowers, and my initial brainstorm for this poster ultimately centered around classic floral and Americana-folk elements, and loose, calligraphic lettering.

                                                                                                                                   

Update 10/25

Moving on to the references page. In keeping with the Floral/Americana theme, I want the text to have a both standard and script elements though besides the text, I haven't quite figured out how I'm planning to execute the rest of the design. I love the idea of incorporating a mason jar, though it might be too stereotypically southern, as it would help tie-in "bunch" to a "bunch of flowers" which is essentially where I'd like it to go. I'm hoping that once I sketch an outline of the phrase, the rest of the design will look more obvious.

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Update 10/28

This weekend, I tried a few explorations for the word "Bunch" -- which I imagined would have the biggest impact on my final project. I'm not great at this kind of thing, as you can tell, but the further along I got, the more I started to get an idea of how it might work out. I like pieces of each of them, but as you'll see in my first thumbnail to draft piece (below)- I didn't really go with anything I tried, and another round might be in the works.

LAYOUT EXPLORATION #1

Before I even started this project, I thought about the layout - but the actual execution changed all of that. Turns out, I had a lot of ideas and when put to paper it was a little cluttered and my phrase didn't stick out like I wanted it to. I know a final (especially color) will add a lot, but creating the thumbnails was very helpful in trying to narrow the ideas and pick a direction.

DRAFT EXPLORATION #1

This is a really rough draft based on one of the thumbnails. Overall - it's very simple and future iterations will hopefully break it up and make it seem fuller. I liked using "an ugly one" on a curve, though once I saw it all together, I think "ugly" should be more centered and potentially off-set from the other two words. I'm apprehensive about making "ugly" stand out and being that one thing you notice when you look at the poster. I'll definitely need to try additional explorations to change the design of those words in particular.

Despite the vines, which I like - I didn't incorporate as much of the floral or americana theme as I wanted. I like the ribbon with my Grandmother's name, but I think it should be lower on the page. I initially liked the thought of the ribbon being wrapped around a bouquet of flowers, but didn't want the flowers to overwhelm the words (as it looked like it might in the thumbnail section). Definitely a lot to work on in the next designs, but overall, I'm happy with how this first draft looks.

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Update 10/29

Tried a different layout option that surfaced in another round of thumbnails, this one with a more circular feel. Overall, I like the layout, but I'm struggling a little on the lettering. The "bunch" is what I've wanted to use from the start - but I'm still trying to figure out the others. More explorations this afternoon - but I'd love suggestions if you have any!

Update 10/30

Thank you all for the great feedback! This is the latest iteration - which I inked, but still has a lot of pencil marks -- so, it looks a little dirty, but I was curious how well the flowers and leaves would show up if I started to overlap the words and flowers. I think if I proceed with this, I need to focus on how to shade w/ ink.

The things I notice in this draft that I'm planning to change:

  • I love "ain't" in lowercase, and I think I'll keep it that way, but it looks stiff compared to "bunch" and I want them to have the same feel
  • I like "an" and "one" offset from "ugly" but I think the letters might need to be smaller and darker. Might need to add simple embellishments under or around those words too.
  • "In the" were the last words I sketched and they kind of look that way. I don't hate it, but I don't love it. I think "the" could move a little to the right, look a little less stiff and it might work.
  • I like "bunch" but I need to work on the serif embellishments on the B and H and maybe make the whole thing a little bigger to take up more space.

Update 10/31

I ditched the giant flowers in favor of smaller ones and filigree. There are some obvious things that need to be fixed - but, what do you guys think of this approach? Again, still playing with the name at the bottom - I think I'll ditch it in the end.

Update 11/1

Thank you again for the feedback - it's all been really helpful in creating this project. I feel like it's finally starting to look like what I envisioned at the beginning. Below is the latest go-round - I tried to keep the circular element because it looked better to me when it was contained in a "shape." I think I may have gone a bit overboard on the filigree but if they're lighter in the final, maybe it's not too much? What do you think?

Update 11/4

I changed a few of the elements in this one. There are some symmetrical issues I need to fix, specifically around the "in the" part - not sure about the flowers - initially, as you can see in the last few sketches, I wanted to make the circular containing shape be somewhat of a vine, but I'm not sure about it. 

I liked the idea of the filigree in the background - but in this scan, I'm thinking that if I use it at all, it might need to be smaller so it doesn't grab attention in a negative way.

Update 11/25

Nearing the end. Pretty set sketch most recently displayed (& updated below) - debating the usefulness of the containing shape. Any thoughts on a branch-like execution in drawing #3?

Update 12/6

Getting even closer to the end. Need to straighten a few things out + ink!

Any suggestions?

Update 12/6

Update 12/6

Inked. But, it needs a re-do.

Update 12/7

Inked another version.

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