Shuku Kusanagi-Li

Noir Dame with an Arts Flair

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Initiative: Lithium Flower

*** Most recent updates at top of page for easier reference ***

15th May, 2014

Concept Sketch #3

Third attempt at concept sketch, after a lot of brain-storming. Inspiration showed up in the form of a Glock in a story I was writing; I was curious to see if I could make the words 'Lithium Flower' into a gun-like shape. 

So far I think this is the one I like best. I still need to tweak 'bloom' because I'm still not quite satisfied with the lettering style, but otherwise, this might very well be a keeper. I'll experiment around a little more first though and if nothing else looks decent, I'll come back to this one for sure. 

I might tweak the 'A' as well. The tentacles were courtesy of an HP Lovecraft story; I caught myself doodling the little round suckers on, and realised it was time for bed.

9th May, 2014

Concept Sketch #2

Second attempt at concept sketch, based around the idea of a composed typographic 'face' although it didn't turn out quite like that. The 'bloom' as a mouth was what started off the whole train of thought. I still don't quite like it, as I think the entire thing is a bit too disjointed to be a cohesive whole; there's got to be something to unite the entire thing together and that element, whatever it is, is still proving elusive.

I'm vastly happier with this attempt than the last one though. The 'flower' needs some width adjustment, now that I look at it. (Ok, so the whole thing does, but it's still better than the first by far.)

5th May, 2014

Concept Sketch #1

Pretty crap, and I really dislike it, but at least it's something. I like how 'Lithium' turned out, but that's about it. Still trying to figure out how to cohesively get the whole thing together without looking like a piece of disjointed lettering elements.

It needs about 90% simplification, so it's back to the drawing board (pun intentional).

3rd May, 2014

Lettering Warm Up #2

Second round of lettering, this time using the word 'Lithium'. My scanner malfunctioned so I had to use the iPad instead and the quality's not fantastic but it works. It's taken a while to get this one finished, mostly because I had four done and wanted a fifth, but work suddenly ate me alive.

I really do like the script, even though I'm not sure if the lettering style will fit in with the Lithium Flower concept.

Next up: More Lettering

8th April, 2014

Lettering Warm Up #1

I was originally going to use the word 'Lithium' or 'Flower' for my warm up, but I changed my mind after an afternoon of Nero Wolfe novels and wanting to cheer up a friend.


Those being two of Nero Wolfe's favourite phrases (and me being a huge Nero Wolfe fan), they felt appropriate for a warm up. I only realised AFTER the scanning that I'd made a spelling mistake in 'Satisfatory', but I'm going to put that down to 'to err is human'. I did learn that pen size matters depending on what sort of lettering you want to do, and that I work a lot better with smaller letters. Also, I need to learn to use a ruler and a compass better, since everything was mostly done by the eyeball method, except for the really straight Pfui and Satisfactory. It was a good challenge though.

Next up: Lettering Warm Up #2

3rd April, 2014

Style Research and Reference Gathering

As much as I've vowed never to start a Pinterest board, for the sake of my sanity and easier creation of a mood board, I decided oh what the heck, and created one. I've only just started on gathering references, and will add more as I come across them. I must say I'm very taken with the Futuracha font I discovered!

http://www.pinterest.com/NoirMajor/mood-board-lithium-flower-lettering-1/

2nd April, 2014

Beginning the Project: Phrase Choice and Word List

It was a little difficult to choose a quote to letter, as I had 8 listed out. You can see all 8 phrases in red in the picture!

I finally settled on #2, 'A Waking Lithium Flower just about to Bloom'. It's taken from the sound track for the Ghost in the Shell spin-off series, Stand Alone Complex (SAC) - a song called Lithium Flower by Yoko Kanno. I've always loved SAC; as a matter of fact, my friends nicknamed me The Major, a reference to Major Motoko Kusanagi, the android protagonist. I'm told that I'm enough like her, both in attitude and occasionally appearance, and it's true that I do identify with her a great deal, so this was a good choice in terms of personal meaning.

The list of words came next - as I realised right after I scanned the page, they're all pretty geared towards science, destructive capabilities, power, and hard edges. What I didn't realise until my research on Lithium was that the chemical symbol is Li, which happens to be the pronunciation of my Chinese surname. Absolutely more perfect than I expected! 


Concept and Application

The feel of the whole thing seems to lean more towards a very futuristic, sleek, design, or one in the cyberpunk genre in keeping with the genre of the SAC series itself. 

This feels like it needs to be a poster, a tie-in to the series. Or even a cover / centrefold for an SAC role-play splat book. I'm thinking more poster though, with a very specific, limited colour palette. That may change as the research continues.


Next up: Style research and reference gathering.

*** Updates will occur as the project progresses ***



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