Debbie Kendall




Dog Tag Art Print

I am a printmaker whose work is inspired by dogs. I had an idea for a new print that I was considering making in the form of a hang tag so I thought this course would be perfect to help me develop it.

The 'product' for which I am designing a label is a dog, or more accurately a specific dog breed... Imagine a dog in a pound/shelter with a tag around its neck. The purpose of the tag (product label) is to give a prospective owner some information about the dog breed in the hope that they will rescue/buy the dog. So it is really doing the same thing as a product label - trying to differentiate and 'sell' a product - in this case a dog, rather than a botte of beer!

There's a bit of Paddington Bear in this project too - the lost bear with a luggage label attached - entreating its finder to 'look after this bear'.

It has to be endearing and factual but not cutesy or sentimental... more of a naive/folk art vibe crossed with vintage ephemera (if that make any sense!)

Self imposed parameters are:

1 colour print & must be able to be reproduced with linocut/polymer plate printmaking process

So here is the mood board

I am wavering between 2 design routes at the mo... i like the actual grid layout - with drawn lines - eg on old bus tickets, lottery tickets, governmental ephemera and travel passes... but i also like the more freeform layout of old medicine bottle lables, hand written menus and some vintage packaging... not sure if these two routes are mutually exclusive or perhaps elements can be taken from each and combined?

I have quite a lot of info that i want to get on the label and it will be pretty typeface intensive so i will have to take some lessons from some of the visually busy packaging ephemera as to how to visually prioritize the information

I hate this bit - i have blank sketchbookitis!

Problem number 2 is that after sketching out some hangtags ideas I realize that my label is going to look exactly like Jon's Dogo Wine label as of course my label is about dogs and the most logical place to put the dog is in the top 3rd of the label and now that I have watched Jon's video I cant get it out of my head!

So plan B is to go with a different format of label i.e not a vertical rectangle! Might try a circle... Dog tag style...

Here's an updated mood board

Ok, so I decided to try a round and oblong shape dog tag that were more influenced by the second mood board... much of what i wanted to try involved white copy on a black background which was very difficult to draw by hand (and getting very frustrating) plus re-drawing the dog and the shape of the tag over and over to try new layouts was also very irritating... as, at this point, i just wanted to try and see how (and if) the thing was going to work visually, let alone the nitty gritty of the detail... so given these frustrations i turned to my old friend adobe illustrator to reproduce these elements so i could just get a speedy visual so i could tell if it was going to work (or not) as an idea and layout

here they are ...

...dont pay too much atention to the exact shape of the dog - this will be refined - and the type will be hand drawn.. but what do you guys think? round or oblong? black background or white? any comments on anything about the design/layout/lettering/general idea much appreciated...

although i like the above ideas i wondered if i hadnt explored some more other graphic options in a circular format after discounting the vertical oblong label format as being too close to Jon's Dogo wine label so I did some more sketches....

again dont pay too much attention to the shape of the dog or the actual words... just to reitereate this is not going to be an actual dog tag but a piece of wall art based on the idea of a dog tag, produced by printmaking techniques, for dog lovers to celebrate their particualr breed...

what do you guys think as i'm not sure which way to go or what to concentrate on developing...

following some great feedback from people i am trying to marry up the two above ideas... taking the hierarchy and some graphic elements fron the above circular sketches while still trying to retain the freehand style of the first visuals... i dont want the final result to look too 'perfect graphic design' but more freehand and to this end i have added some illustrative elements that i hope add character and interest and are relevant to the history of the breed, and make it visually more visually appealing

i also have tried to address the issue of hierarchy of information and have added more detailed information about the heritage of the breed (dont worry about the actual words for now!) plus i am still working on the balance between black test on white and white text out of black... i'm happier now about how it turning out and think i have enough to take it forward now... comments, as ever, much appreciated!

So now have spent some time with these in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop - they are only going to be one colour so I have just kept it to black and white for now...

 or this one....

what do you guys think????

just thought i'd try one in another colour, plus small change to the badge at the bottom....

have you spotted the spelling mistake?! ... michevious should be mischievous.... oops

now i have had a photopolymer plate made from the design

and here is the print from the plate

and some detail


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