Ricardo Gonzalez

Graphic Designer & Lettering Artist



Durango, Mexico

I'm lucky to be surrounded by a ton of inspiration from living in New York, and traveling to places like Barcelona, Berlin and Toronto, but for this project I wanted to create an ode to my hometown: Durango, Mexico. This is the place that pushed me to get creative with whatever tools were at my disposal. 

First, I always like to do some warm-up exercises to get a nice feel for the marker. Here's the alphabet I used for lettering "Durango" (feel free to inspire your project off this, or create your own alphabet).



Next, I started sketching up some different possible layouts for the composition. I didn't want to overthink the exact letterforms at this stage — it's important to just get a loose feel of what form your wordmark will take. 


I also added "EST. 1563" (the year Durango, Mexico was established) to create almost a logo or T-shirt design. 

I really liked option #1 from the sketches, so I took that idea and started refining it (still with pencil first) and a ruler. Then I went over some of the lines with a marker. You can use a sharpie, brush pen, Krink, whatever tool you enjoy using the most — just make sure it has a rounded tip so you can get uniform thickness in every stroke.


Finally, I photographed the work (don't scan!), pulled it into Photoshop, and started adjusting the sharpness and experimenting with different digital tools to really bring out the depth in the lettering.

After touching up some of the letters and applying custom shading to each, here is my final piece:



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