After what seems like an eternity, the second round of the GTS has gone live and is up for public vote! 50 lucky semifinalists, of which I am extremely fortunate to be a part of, worked on a brief to design a fall tote bag. The topic was completely open ended, as well as the targeted audience. The only parameters were that it pertain to nature in some way and it was suggested that we include people and hand lettering. I don't regard suggestions like that from Lilla Rogers as optional, so I began my thinking on those lines.
I knew from the get go, that I wanted to have some sort of an apple theme. You see, I grew up in a tiny town in north central Pennsylvania. My dad ran a small family owned sawmill and had a love for trees in general. Rather late in life, he took up a new hobby... apple trees! Before too long we had an orchard of around 100 trees in our downtown backyard. Some hobby! Dad was a natural born salesman and loved to sell them to neighbors and folks passing by (alongside his own cider) in our front yard on main street. No, I am not kidding...main street USA! Talk about all American apple pie stuff! "Mighty good" is a phrase he would typically use when describing something he really liked. If you look closely, you can see a little ranch house off in the distance. This is pretty much how the house looked and yes, it even had a pink gable and window box! Dad liked to call it a little bungalow. This was kind of a therapeutic project for me as my brothers and sister and I are in the process of emptying out the house after my mom passed away in April. So many happy memories as it was the only home we ever knew! We were all blessed with happy childhoods and the best parents any kids could ever hope for.
|Here is dad out in front of the house on the 4th of July |
watching the parade go by! I'm not much of a caricature artist,
but you get the idea ;)
Anyway, once I had the orchard idea, I also wanted to incorporate a vintage fruit crate label feel, hence the lettering and the little apple mascot dude. I had thoughts of trying to put a Pennsylvania dutch folk art vibe to it, but really, there is only so much you can put in one piece. The little border treatment on the bottom was an ode to that look with the intention of it being a strap design for the bag.
Below, you can take a peek at my super rough sketching style...thank goodness for the computer! I tend to rough things out in a thumbnail sketch and proceed to refine the individual elements and lettering further in pencil. I then scan it and basically redraw everything in illustrator. Not too glamorous, but it's what works for me. If I were doing this for a client other than myself, I would have done a clean finished pencil layoutfor approval purposes, of course.