Nancy Wu

I ♥ lettering, typography, logo design

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Inky Valentines DONE! + Tools of the trade: Brand Designer (WIP)

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INKY VALENTINES

Was one of the last additions to join up so LOTS of catchup to do! Had a blast looking through Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/nancywudesign/inky-valentines

And then started brainstorming...

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As I'm rapidly short on time with this, I'm going to keep it very simple, graphic with a single message. As in my notes, I want to incorporate handlettering, transparent colors and loose line work. See where it goes essentially.... With little time available, and the desire to be spontaneous without overthinking or overworking things, I'm gravitating to the idea of a fat kid loving cake. Trying to sketch that out of my head isn't as quick as I thought. Is that easy reference to Google? Apparently not, so I'll focus on getting the right emotive quality. Thanks to stock images....

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I got the cute-arms wrapping-around quality, which is where I want the energy of this to go. My early sketches without reference (top right from another page, and the 2 on the left) felt like a short adult posing with a large heart bouquet instead of a heart-shaped wedge of cake. Ugh. Starting again and looking at visual reference made me think about the difference between hugging than holding. I can't decide between the elbow bent (feels like holding a box?) or straight (bottom hero sketch) as I does simply the details and put more focus on the faces. Will continue to let this evolve, but I'm feeling good about this and can approach the color & line work in so many different ways!

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I also notice that the intimacy works better when the heads of the hugger and huggee are close together. Thus, I got what I wanted by sketching quick and loose. Thanks for the guidance Tom! Tomorrow, I'll start the ink work and block in the base illustration....

Home stretch! Did a bunch of ink work yesterday and started building it yesterday and more tonight. Lots done but wanting to refine it more tomorrow for the unveiling. Here's a sneak peek of last night's progress!

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February 13th, 6:50pm PST and I am DONE!

I'm really happy with how it turned out. Most importantly, I learned A TON about Alpha channels, about the power of Photoshop and realizing that some things are easier than I expected once I was taught how to do it properly. I also love the History feature to backtrack if necessary.

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Of course, there's always room for improvement. I would have loved some lighter/thinner lines for contrast, but I purposely wanted to go more graphic/chunky on this one. I originally made the heart full strength/darker color, but then it took away from the main focus of the illustration. I know I'm missing punctuation and have an exclamation point ready just in case. ;)

Thanks Tom so much for such a great class. I know that it would have been easier if I finished the Tools of the Trade project, but now that I know how to do this one, that should be less daunting!!

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE: BRAND DESIGNER

Started with ideas and speed thumbnails first...

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And then started some sketches. Fussed too much as I'm out of practice but it was fun! 

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Whatcha think so far? Like the Snickers bar? (haha!) I'm used to exploring a billion options but wanted to do something more spontaneous and not labor over this stage. Is it worth exploring a horizontal version or shall I dive right into the mark-making/textural stage? I notice some objects are too close in size and will try some variations when I go digital.... 

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Round 2. I watched the next stage videos and realized it would be better to go tighter. Did a few more quick thumbnails in horizontal that led me to this single tight sketch that I liked so much more. This took way less time than yesterday. Starting digital comp next....

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FEBRUARY update!  Meant to finish this over Christmas holidays but got busy with work and a nasty cold/flu bug. I did get all the shapes blocked into Photoshop and did a bunch of markmaking, textures and handwriting done the other day tho and scanned them in. See?

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