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Love Beyond Reason

I never thought choosing the "perfect" quote would be so entirely mind-boggling. Because I didn't have a clear vision of what I wanted to use this project for when I started watching the first lesson, I reeeaaally struggled with coming up with a concept. I probably wrote down 10-15 possible quotes and none of them seemed right.

Finally I asked myself, "What is my mantra? What do I try and live by?" and this quote popped into my head. I've looked to this quote for a long time in reference to loving our city, loving the people around us, even when it doesn't make sense. It comes from the idea of that "Men didn't love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her..." - a great quote by G. K. Chesterton. Also, the idea is contained in the words of Jeremiah the prophet, "Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have called you." We don't always get plopped down in a place that we love - but if we love it anyway and work hard to make it better... eventually it will be something worth loving.

So, "Love Beyond Reason" it is. And I want to use imagery that's relevant to what this quote means to me. That means a lot of city imagery, a grunge feel without being cliche, marquee signs, vintage painted billboards, and references to Richmond, VA, the city I love. Here is my list of adjectives to help me come up with a mood board:

And then my mood board, so far.

I am really excited about some of the old marquee images that I found and think I will base my project off of these. I also really love the vintage stamps I found because they are so detailed and beautiful, and just use one color, which I find amazing and I'm going to challenge myself to do.

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Alright, so I also found time to "warm up" today by doing six different versions of easily the simplest and most complex word in my phrase. Love. I had fun pushing myself to try new styles - for example, I have NEVER tried doing a blackletter font before, and even though it doesn't really fit into my moodboard I created, I loved Mary Kate's version, and I think it turned out to my favorite on the page as well. But I will refrain and try to remember to expirament more with blackletter for another project.

My "on a curve" example is probably my least favorite... I didn't have a protractor handy, so I just winged it. The letters are too far apart, but I kind of like the heart detail in the O. I might find a way to use that.

My san serif was super boring (I was copying the RVA logo, but it wasn't quite what i wanted) so I decided to add a script within the chunky letters, and I love the effect. Still not sure it's right for this project though.

I had fun copying the marquee style for the final version, paying more attention to ornamentation than the font itself, honestly. But I think it's a super fun way to display the word and make it stand out.

I would love (love love love love love?) some feedback - What do you think works best? What can I do with the Fancy Serif style to balance out the top?

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UPDATE: October 30th, 2013

Okay guys, I was feeling pretty good about my sketch until I came back on here and saw how AMAZING everyone's work is. Now I want to redo the entire thing. So I desperately need some help and advice, lol.

I did some thumbnails and really fell for the circular format pretty quickly, and I think it will look cool on the t-shirt application I've chosen for this project.

You can see I got a bit carried away with my thumbnails and probably went into more detail than was necessary, but I really wanted to see how the fonts fit together. I ended up getting really excited about the marquee/vintage radio micraphone of the last sketch and just went for it on a larger scale:

So this is where I'm stuck right now:

1) How do I add more interest to "Beyond"? It just seems boring. I tried a couple different things and just ended up erasing them all.

2) I'm about ready to start over again on "Reason" - any suggestions? I am not excited about this font anymore.

3) Should I add some electrical voltage on the outside to add to the "Radio City" vibe?

4) Should I bring down the "stand" to the micraphone stand or let the shape just suggest that it continues?

I'm at that point where the more I stare at it, the less I understand it - ha! Thinking about starting over from scratch.

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Update February 7th, 2014

So, after a crazy long absense, I decided to finally ink this project. I just wanted to finish it because I just wasn't finding the time or energy to start over again. I may revisit this particular project later on, but I'm glad to have a semi-finished product I can potentially use for now. So, after a couple hours with my pens and some tea, this is where we've currently ended up:

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