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"The project with a
challenge and a goal"
In this project, I take you through my work process and show you how I combine graphic design and illustration into a complex result. I also challenge myself by starting without a concrete plan.
Instead of first sketching a design, I start by sketching the illustration that will come on the product. I don't know yet what kind of product I'm going to make from this, but that's the fun thing about it. I would like to illustrate an octopus because I have had this animal on my 'to illustrate list' for a while. Depth is also important in my illustrations (especially with the arms of the octopus) so I leave the head of the octopus in the background so that the arms are forward and towards you. I don't want to illustrate an ordinary octopus so I gave it a role.
"This octopus is a businessman who is hard at work in the office, doing all kinds of things at the same time."
I give him a roll of paper with work that he's figuring out, a stopwatch to keep track of time, a phone to call his customers, and a top hat and pipe to show he's a true gentleman. Despite looking so chaotic, he is calm because he has 8 arms, so he has everything under control. To create a nice proportion, I use the golden ratio (natural spiral) that you can see in this sketch.
Below you can see an accelerated video of how I trace the sketch with smooth lines. This video contains only the thicker lines of the illustration. The thinner lines, which give structure to the illustration, I will add later to create a vintage style. I choose this style because I get the idea of using this illustration on a liqueur label. I am going to keep this vintage style for this project.
Now that I have realized the illustration, I start working on the sketch for the label.
My first idea is to make a regular rectangular label so that it can be stuck on a standard round liqueur bottle.
I am not satisfied with this idea ... 💤
I'm going to make my own 3D liqueur bottle.
As you can see in the picture on the left, I make this in Photoshop. I give the shape of the bottle eight sides because the octopus in my illustration is eight-armed.
I finish this 3D liqueur bottle with a long neck and a cork cap.
I choose three sides of the bottle where the label is attached. I unfold these three sides into a flat shape and mark the two corners. This is useful for outlining the label so I know where the label is going around the corner.
While sketching the label, I think about many things.
What kind of liqueur bottle do I want to design? What name do I give this product? How will the illustration play into the design?
Suddenly I get an idea!
"Octopuses live in the sea. Which people also live at sea and drink a lot of liqueur? Pirates!"
Pirates drank a lot of rum because this was their favorite liqueur so I choose to use this liqueur for this project.
Now I have to come up with a name. The octopus in my illustration is doing all kinds of things at once. So he is multitasking. I therefore call this rum MultiTask.
Eventually I arrive at this semi-comic story:
'You are at work, you are busy and have a lot of things to do. You take a glass of this rum. You suddenly feel super smooth! As if you can do everything at once, just like the MultiTask octopus. You get back to work without stress and everything works out! '
(Only drink under the supervision of your employer.)
I don't sketch the MultiTask logo separately but in the label itself so that it is easier to see if the logo fits the whole.
I make the logo typographically correct so that it matches the vintage style I want to keep for the label. I also make sure the letters of the logo match the illustration by adding fin-like ornaments to the letters.
I also make a gold coin with an octopus icon on it. This icon is a minimalist version of the illustrated octopus. I make this because it is useful to have a signature for this rum. This feature can also be used as an icon logo on smaller surfaces such as on the cap.
The name of this rum is written around the icon. At the top it says 'original' so you know that this is the original MultiTask rum. (I also secretly include my initials.)
This label will be a complex design with many small ideas and reasons that I will now indicate.
I keep the style of this label vintage but with a pirate twist. I choose this because rum is a real pirate liqueur. The pirate period started around the year 1650 so I put this year (since MultiTask started making rum, so-called) between the logo. There are also two clock hands between the logo that point to the year 1650. The shape of this elongated label resembles the shape of the back of a pirate ship. There is a pirate belt around this shape. Behind this shape you can see two flaps of a jacket that captains wore in the year 1650. At the top of the label is a shape that resembles a Bi-Corne hat that captains also wore in the past, on this shape is the well-known pirate symbol (the skull). At the bottom of this label there are different coins (pirates used to hang different kinds of coins on their clothes).
In the center is the large coin with the octopus icon on it. The bottom of this label is also the same shape as the bottom of the pirate ships. Below the logo is a railing from a balcony that they used to have at the back of their ships (the illustrated octopus hides under this railing). I also add ornaments here and there to make the entire design consistent.
Pirates also had phrases such as:
Drink this rum t 'ease yer stress',
'Work like a cap'n, play like a pirate',
'If rum can't fix it, ye ain't usin' enough o 'it'.
These expressions are perfect for this rum, so I use them in the design.
All these small additions and connections with the illustration have given this label a high quality.
I keep the typography in line with the MultiTask logo and the letters in the illustration.
I use 'Linux Libertine Capitals' for larger texts.
I use 'Gloucester Extra Condensed' for the smaller texts such as the pirate phrases.
I would like to make two rum versions of MultiTask, a white rum, and a black rum. I want to do this because I want to show that I can make multiple versions of a product.
The white and black rum flavors are very different so they have a lot of contrast with each other. I want to demonstrate this through the use of color.
I found a painting from 1920 made by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. This painting features a battle scene of pirate Blackbeard and Lieutenant Maynard. Maynard is wearing a blue coat and Blackbeard is wearing a red coat. These colors are perfect for the contrasting MultiTask rum varieties.
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