Wednesday, July 27, 2011

tote bag design for art gallery

This is long, but I wanted to show you my entire process, please bear with me.

I'm writing (and showing the transformation of a design for a tote bag for a co-operative gallery/market). I chose to show you via this blog for the purpose of showing my fellow art co-op members and also to get comments from my blog readers if you would like to contribute to the conversation and let me know of your preferences. You can comment via this blog in the comment section or e-mail your preference. If you do comment in this blog, make sure your comment goes through! You can check to see if your comment went through by clicking on the headline after leaving your comment: you should find your comment underneath the story.

At a meeting at our co-op, someone suggested that I use the graphic from the current business card (some suggested I could transform it in some way). By the way, I have no idea who did the graphics for the card. I hope I don't step on any toes in my commentary! Here is the current business card:

Note: none of the actual biz card graphics have a copyright watermark : this is for on-line display only!

 Valley Artisans Market business card

As a business card, the graphics are fine because they are very small. I'm not crazy about the dots in the sky for a larger tote bag graphic. To some of our artists, it looks like sewing dots and the graphic in general has that quilt-like feeling. I like the quilt-like aspects, but not the sky. I come at it with a different perspective:  to me it is a bit of a cheap fast trick that graphic designers use to make the sky less stark (i.e. filling it in). You put in an invisible grid, put in some dots -- presto, it looks like it is daytime, done.

But I tried to make it work any way. 

Here it is with just the writing underneath:

Valley Artisans Market business card with just the artwork and type

Up closer, the sky is really looking like it has too much bubbly. It is not square enough for a tote bag design and the writing is a bit hard to decipher.

So, then I stretch it to make it square:
Valley Artisans Market business card with artwork and type, stretched to a square 

You can read it better, but boy those champagne bubbles are getting to me. Looks like they are in a synchronized take-off.

But, I like the writing because it isn't a type-face (you can tell in this stretched version by looking at the "T"s, especially the crossed part of them: they aren't alike: cool!). I'm just wondering if I should make the artwork square and put the lettering inside it in white. So I square up the picture:

Ooops, too mottled! So I dump in some solid red:

Before I go any further with this, I'm still not crazy about where this is going. The artwork is not entirely square, for one thing (you can see it in the left edge). The hills look less like hills and more like steep waterfalls. The trees are too bunched together. I'll have to get rid of those dots and replace them with something (and whatever I replace them with will probably not look right because it is someone else's art: they have their style; I have mine).

Okay, this is going to be more labor intensive than I thought.

I attempt to keep the same general idea, but make it my own. I replace the dots with birds (I know, I know, it looks like everything else I do... but, since it is one color and red is for the background, I can't put a white sky or clouds behind those trees without the trees getting lost...  and besides, birds go with trees, yes?).

You'll have to vote on one of these designs (there are also variables to consider, so I encourage reading through). All of these designs can have a thin border around the outside, like our business cards. Just let me know.

So, here are my first attempts in two colors (again, please note that the copyright watermark that runs diagonally is only for on-line purposes and will not appear in the design):

Valley Artisans Market tote bag #1 design in blue
(click on image to see a better, less blurry version)
Valley Artisans Market tote bag #1 design in red
(click on image to see a better, less blurry version)
You'll notice that the second one in red does not have the "celebrating 30 years" bit. I didn't know which way to go with it: without it, it is just about us, in any year, whereas with it, we are saying that we are a gallery co-operative that has been around a long time. Any message can be applied to either color bag.

I did use typeface even though I thought the biz card was pretty nice in a hand script (my hand script is not nearly so even and it also tends to lean over to the right, i.e. does not square up). Unlike our business card, the design also looks more like night time than day time. I also made the trees a little more transparent through the leaves and branches. Don't forget about what I mentioned just a moment ago: that I can also put a thin border around it like our business cards have on them.

So those were the first attempts.

For the second attempts, I wanted to put the type on the outside of the design. It probably looks closest to our business cards.

Here they are:

Valley Artisans Market tote bag #2 design in blue
(click on image to see a better, less blurry version)

Valley Artisans Market tote bag #2 design in red
(click on image to see a better, less blurry version)

The third attempt is not print-ready, but I wanted to show it just in case. I'm pretty busy, but could probably get it print-ready in a week or so if you are all crazy about it.

You'll notice that in the third attempts, I abandoned putting the type in the box with the art. I also eliminated the rows in front (opting for grass and flowers instead) and cut back on the birds:

 Valley Artisans Market tote bag #3 design in blue
(click on image to see a better, less blurry version)

Valley Artisans Market tote bag #3 design in red
(click on image to see a better, less blurry version)
They aren't masterpieces and I tried to keep to the original idea as the market/gallery is associated with the original business card graphic. I hope I have done it justice.

All of them are similar, so it is just a question of which one: #1, 2 or 3 in red or blue? I'll do what the majority wants. Again, leave a comment in the comments section of the blog or leave me an e-mail if you know it (or through my website by clicking here).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Diamond Trump, an insect Faerie with card game symbols

Diamond Trump, the Insect Faerie
© 2011


another detail:

Did you notice the play on the name?

This is one of the more bizarre art pieces I've made (ever). It is certainly one of the most bizarre faeries I have made! But, occassionally I am inspired to create something weird.

I presently have it for sale though this link in my Artfire shop. I also put it up in my Etsy shop (for at least 4 months) -- thought it might be fitting for their Keep It Weird series. 



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