Rachel Oftedahl

Stubborn dreamer.

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Cimarron Roasters experiment

In the beginning, I designed a logo for my cousin's coffee shop out in SW Colorado. And it's fine, and being used quite a bit as he has expanded the business to roasting his own coffee. But I decided for this project to do a fancy little type thing, something to surprise him with that he can use (or not use) at will. Mostly... I wanted to have some fun.

This being southwest Colorado, I always think old-timey or hippie, although neither is exclusive to the place. I did research both vintage and modern (including one image straight from Vector Lab's Pinterest page.) And yes, this is several styles. I just wanted to explore!

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I did fall a little in love with these, but somehow they didn't make the original cut.

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And yet, even with that bevy, I didn't want to be subconsciously using it, ripping it clean off, so I left it off the mood board when I printed it out for reference. And then... the sketching. As a brief aside, I went to art school, drew like crazy, and well, and landed in a world so digital I forgot how to put pen to paper, so this is all part of my effort to regain my hands. And have fun and push myself into realms heretofor not explored.

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So old timey started to win out. And I started to realize exactly how many letters there were in Cimarron Roasters. Oh my...

I tried going manual at first. Partially because I just couldn't find the right font, partially because I'm stubborn as hell and insisted on trying for fully manual. But it was lacking in some of what I loved about the wee thumbnail.

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I decided to soldier on with my completely handdrawn font, no starting from a digital typeface. I found some that were almost but not quite there, so I decided to keep plowing on and embrace imperfection. After much sketching, tweaking, and tracing, I finally came to this.

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I sort of like that it still feels a bit hand-drawn, which I know some would view as imperfections. I added some shading, tried some 3D, and dorked a bit with colors.

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In the end, I pulled back to being a little more monochromatic, with a bit of a swirl in teh background. I abandoned the shading, since it didn't quite work for these particular letters, but I did experiment with another slight internal outline. I feel like I could play around with variations forever, but I decided to settle on this one for now, because it is closest to the original logo colorway (which is in the maroon area,) and when squinting at it, I thought the most clear. Granted, I'm crazy myopic and haven't tested it by looking at it without my glasses yet...

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Now I'm going to stop looking at it for a while, otherwise I'll just go and tweak a letter here, a letter there... but rest assured, I am totally going to keep working on hand lettering. This is just WAY too much fun! Swearing and all.

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