Cimarron Roasters experiment | Skillshare Projects

Rachel Oftedahl




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!


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


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.


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.


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.




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.


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...


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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