Christina Lembo

Designer, doodler, hand-letterer, collagist

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Lioi family crest

I really loved this class and it sparked a lot in me about simple design, geometric shapes, and workflow because I have a tendency to overcompensate things. 

I chose to focus on my mom's side of the family, the Liois. They're Italian -- my grandfather was born there, and so was my great-grandmother (my grandma's mother). They both grew up in Chicago, as did my mom. I closely associate Chicago with family because, my dad working for the airlines, I flew there constantly with my mom to visit. 

While doing some brainstorming on my family "keys" I came up with a ton of things, and narrowed it down to four that really come to mind first when thinking about my grandparents:

- Chicago, and the iconic Sears... er, Willis tower

- Meatballs, since my grandmother made notoroiously amazing ones that nobody, not even my mother, could even come close to replicating

- A fava bean, since my grandmother kept a dried on in her coin purse and rubbed it during card games for good luck. She was such a card sharp and my mother and aunt used to try to steal that fava bean all the time. That damn fava bean.

- The cornicello, the Italian good luck charm shaped like a horn. My mother had a golden one on her necklace that she never took off, as did my grandmother. I clearly remember trips to Chicago to the Egg Store in Berwyn and just seeing tons and tons of cornicello merchandise all over the place. Some of them have a little crown on top, so I added that to give it some more recognition.

The motto, Zun a Ti, was something my grandmother said CONSTANTLY as an Italian curse! She'd put hexes on all of us, especially when playing cards. She had a little mano cornuto (horned hand) on her chain around her neck and used to point it at us and say, zun, zun zun zun. It was only later that I found out the charm was supposed to WARD OFF the evil eye, not sic it on somebody!

For colors, I went with the classic red white and green for Italy. I played around with other colors, but this felt more "Lioi," and also, my grandmother was so lovably quick-tempered, that red just felt like a good dominant choice. I added yellow for the laurel to give it some contrast.

I don't have a ton of process shots because I'm lazy, but thank you for this class!!

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