Dan Lehman

cooler than a lima bean



QRS series word mark update with alternatives

initial sketches

01/27 — The logo I am working with for this project has appeared in various styles on the cover of my moleskine sketchbooks. This series is simply referred to as 'QRS,' which is not an acronym and doesn't acutally mean anything. Some of these lock ups are indicated in the upper left-hand section of the image below. As I scanned through the previous nine sketchbooks, I took note of any typographic sources I had saved or lettering I had experimented with. The entire left-hand page is renderings of content that appeared between 2007 and present. The right-hand page is my first exploration into a master version of the wordmark, with some alternative uses such as a studio name and version that includes the logo.

01/29 — Here is all the hand painted QRS volume covers. Volume 10 is still blank as I've just started drawing in it. 

01/29 — Here's a few more sketches I inked today so that I have all the parts needed for vectoring my alternative versions of the logo:

02/07 - I have turned my sketches into a vector version of the main wordmark. Even though I had tight sketches to work from, I chose the second method for vectoring so that I could start with a uniform and exact weight. The first image below shows the basic strokes I used to start off with. The second image shows shows the guides I was working from, and the third shows the white box trick in action.

After getting to the point where I felt good about the general position, stroke weight, and form, I converted to outline and used pathfinder to join the shapes and delete the white box areas. Because I am working on a tilt, these letters don't end up only having vertical and horizontal anchor handles, but I found that method tremendously helpful, especially for the complex 'S' shape. Another tricky thing was the 'Q' because it is a squared ellipse. I chose to use the shear tool to tilt it 10 degrees rather than manually editing it. Next I played with the thicks and thins, starting with exact measurements and finishing with what felt visually correct. Below you can see the final anchor handles and wordmark (minus the secondary type and imagery).

02/08 - After receiving feedback, I've added a few tweaks to the final mark. Thanks Simon!

01: before changes
02: added extension to tail for stronger 'Q' shape
03: enlarged 'Q' and shrunk 'RS' for more obvious scale shift, slightly more vertical leg on 'R', more padding to the thick part of 'S', narrowed the part of the tail that connects to 'Q'
04: rounded corners on tail of 'Q'
05: rounded all remaining corners, added stencil effect

in regards to the leg of the 'R' Simon, I always envisioned it being the same uniform thickness as the main vertical, not unlike this >

02/17 - First I added supplementary text and some decorative elements

Next, I watched the texture videos and chose to do most of the work in Photoshop as I've always thought vector textures are a bit unconvincing. I used the 'roughen' effect and was feeling fairly frustrated with how its default behavior handles anchor points. At the vertex of each corner it essentially just creates new handles and pushes them out at fixed distances(see below). I found it to be especially hard to find a combination of size and detail for smaller elements. Nevertheless I cleaned up all the points by hand.

Finally, I brought all the layers individually into photoshop and used a combination of clipping masks and layer masks to achieve the look I wanted. In regards to the method shown in your video Simon, I am curious why you delete the textures out of the actual artwork. I've always relied on layer masks for knocking out textures because they aren't destructive if you change your mind. I will likely tweak the logo a bit over the next few months, but am really happy with where it has gotten to at this point.

I'm really pleased with the work I got out of this Skillshare. I learned a lot, and felt like I was becoming much more comfortable using Illustrator. Thank you Simon for providing such a unique glimpse into your workflow! I've been following your work for several years on dribbble and felt like it was really a priviledge to learn from you.


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