Paula Chan

Designer, Photographer, Baker, Rock Climber!



Bloom Where You're Planted (Part I)

July 2015 Lettering Challenge

Just in time, as I was just about to start this class! Very excited to get going on it! The added incentive of completing the challenge and both courses helps a lot. Plus I will have a nice finished piece at the end!

My Phrase:

I collected so many good phrases, it was hard to choose! I also considered some French phrases, as sometimes, things sound so much more romantic in French! But when I thought of "Bloom Where You're Planted," I immediately started seeing pictures.

The phrase also brought to mind one of my favorite letterer/illustrators, Mary Engelbreit, with whom this phrase is very much associated. I have purposely not looked up her version, even though I have several books about her work, so I will not be unduly influenced, and will come up with my own version.

10 July, 2015





I love the vintage look and feel of these old posters and hope to replicate the cream background, adding some texture in Mary Kate's next class, Lettering II.

Here's a closer look and more inspo:






Left: Script, Ornate, Fancy Serif, Sans Serif.

Right: Serif on a curve, Representational, Black Letter.

13 July, 2015


First one that popped into my head:


Next few plus some ornament experimentation:


First large sketch:

You can see how I am experimenting with ornamentation and embelishments. I've very lightly started to sketch the sunflower. Will need to fix spacing and size issues.


First refinement:

Experimenting with swashes. "Planted" wound up too close to "You're." I tried making the "a" and the "n" a bit bigger. I don't think it's working. I also made the "H" narrower.


I noticed the second "O" for "Bloom" didn't work when drawn the same size as the first, so I shortened it, in keeping with my initial sketch where I had done this intuitively. 


It's very subtle, but the curve over the top of the word from the first O to the M is now much smoother and looks like is fits with the second O shorter.

Similarly, the second "E" in "WHERE" needed to be larger to fill the space next to the "R." Again, something I had done intuitively. You can see where I erased the smaller E and how the larger E looks more balanced underneath.


Initial sunflower drawing:


Sketch composite:

I moved "Planted" over to the right and the "d" over to the left a bit. The leaf on the left will need to be enlarged to fill the space better. The petals need a bit more work as well.


Still needs work, but I like where it's going! I'm trying to decide if I have too many fonts. Thoughts?

17 July, 2015

Sunflower size comparison.


Left: Original.  Right: Smaller Center.

I decided to keep the larger center. At first I was concerned that when filled in, a large dark center would be too distracting for the lettering. Upon further research, the center can be more yellow.

19 July, 2015

Final Inked drawing.


I'm still deciding on embellishments  for the sides and corners. I will try different things in the computer. I tried "You're" without the line shadows and it did not have enough "heft" so I kept them in. This still needs more clean up, but I will be doing that in the next course. Join me to see the finished product at "The Final Steps of Hand-Lettering: Color & Texture (Lettering II)"


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