I had a great opportunity to design some merch for Zumiez private label line called EMPYRE. The style guides sent always have specific parameters so it’s a “play around but in this specific space” so to speak. None the less it was a fun project. This snake vector illustration is one of several pieces for the line I recently did.
I had several choices to make when I was asked to do a custom letter for The Type Fight. There was the amount of time to invest, digital or traditional, coloring and the list goes on and on. One thing was for certain though, it would be just a logical progression of everything I am learning. I often choose a stylistic path not just to take a few steps and decide if I like it. I go as far as the path will take me! I had been exploring some concrete / distressed feels in my last couple pieces of custom lettering but didn’t feel like I had worked out all the pieces. This obviously meant that I would start out traditional hand lettering and then move to texturize further in the computer. The result was a little over four hours of good times. In the end I still doesn’t feel like I’ve “arrived” at my destination but definitely learned a few things I can apply forward to the next piece.
I always like a challenge when it comes to custom lettering. Bossen Apparel presented just such a challenge in asking me to produce thirty custom type pieces for the brand. In addition to the type pieces I also created some custom tags and patches. Here is just a sample of the custom type pieces I created. If you head over to the typography section HERE you can see some additional pieces.
I’ve been getting more and more emails asking me my process and techniques when it comes to custom type pieces and the truth is… There is no one way! Over the years I’ve learned a couple things when it comes to custom lettering. #1. Be a student at ALL times! I see art all the time that blows me away. Other artists, other approaches and styles but the very next thought I have is “how did they do that”. Aside from their obvious giftedness what tricks, approaches, tools etc. do they know or are using that I am not? And then I go at it! #2. Try new things ALL THE TIME! My desk is littered with new tools, different paper, books and on and on. I am always playing around with things to keep it challenging and interesting. #3. Lettering, type, typography, hand lettering, custom lettering… whatever you want to name it just know it’s an art form and as such it should have no boundaries. Yes, each has some basic rules you need to know but I say break the rules, step over the lines and venture out in to unknown territory. You can’t discover new land if you never get off the shore! #4. HAVE FUN! If you don’t approach each piece or project without a sense of excitement and eagerness then you’re working against yourself from the start! Stay positive, have fun and never take yourself or the work too serious!
I often post a ton of images on custom type or custom lettering, hand lettering etc etc but rarely a bunch of merch. Heres just a few pieces I have developed for Harley Davidson that they’ve picked up. To see some additional custom lettering pieces you can check my typography feed HERE or my apparel section HERE!
I’ve worked with Harley Davidson for some time now creating custom lettering, hand lettering and all other sorts of merch pieces for the company. I love that they have a very established look but are always willing to venture out a bit and push the image of the brand and the merchandise. This custom lettering piece was just one of several pieces they picked up. To see some additional type pieces check HERE!
I had the pleasure of working with West Coast Customs on their apparel line WRENCH. This was obviously gonna stretch my skills on custom lettering considering the brand is known for some highly creative type pieces! My approach this round was to keep the overall letters clean and legible but focus on the interior detailing. I wanted a 3-D stone effect on the letters and pitched this piece as my front runner. This along with another custom type piece were picked up!
I always make it a point to switch it up when doing custom lettering. At times it’s all digital and others it’s all hand lettering. I wanted the look and feel of concrete letters and the only way to do this was to start with a sketch. From that point the lettering was scanned and I began the vector process. In the process of creating custom lettering you need to know what result you want before you start.
I’m often asked what my process is when doing type or custom lettering. Some will see customers letters that have a digital feel and respond “is this all computer” while other see a type treatment and ask “do you start with a sketch first”. My process varies each time and it all depends on two main factors #1. What the clients expectations are mixed with their established brands style and #2. The feeling I get right before I sit down to work on the project. It’s important for me not to have a rigid approach as well as a standard style. Once I feel my lettering is becoming “expected” I immediately switch it up. Above is a small sampling of hand lettering I’ve done over the last couple months. To see more samples of typography or custom lettering check my type section HERE or my INSTAGRAM feed to see more of the process.