I realize I haven’t written a recap post on my Typography I class from Quarter numero uno. Part of me doesn’t want to haul all of my work out of the (newly organized and very neat) guest room closet slash craft storage area to reflect, and the other part of me wants to move onto bigger and better typographical solutions! I’ll get around to it though. I’ve learned a lot about typography in the past few months. I’ve always thought of myself as a lover of fonts, and a rather picky one at that. I turned down a party invitation because the host used Comic Sans. I know, I know, a COMIC SANS jab! Original! But seriously. That was most irresponsible of the host. Sorry, I shall not attend the fête. Side note: I thought I was a semi-font snob until I met classmate Eric Doctor, a friend who has a few words of greeking tattooed on his right shoulder blade in perfectly kerned Garamond. This is not a joke.
While we covered the very basics in Type I, I was really looking forward to a deep dive into the nitty gritty in the second helping of typography classes. Only time will tell if we’re fed such fuel, but I have enjoyed the first assignment of the quarter. I’d like to raise my hand again here and say that having so much creative freedom with projects still feels like a massive gift. Like your mom gave you $20 instead of $10 at the mall just to see what you’ll do with it. Will you be the responsible kiddo, making a sensible purchase before returning with the change because you know it’s what you should do? Or will you go blow all of it on candy and end up with the highest of sugar highs? And maybe cavities and premature belly flab?
Our assignment was this: make a poster for a band. Consider the band, the people, the sound. Make a name, a look and feel and a poster. I thought a lot about the direction for this and thought that going the angry, raging, head-thumpin’ route was going to make me the kid who went back to their mama with eight extra dollars. Just a little bit too expected. And also a complete mismatch from my personal taste in music, which is of the cute-boy-with-guitar-and-white-teeth variety. Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz, John Mayer and the like. You understand. So I didn’t really consider creating a jock rock band or a Fall Out Boy-type called Integer, and instead landed on a more folksy group. Kinda like The Weepies, whose music, might I add, is outrageously delicious. Meet Arches + Elliot. Band of three. There’s Elliot, of course. Also a petite brunette and a pretty sandy blonde whose name is most likely Grace. Grace, Elliot and…Miller. Yep, I think that’ll do it!
I also wanted to return to my roots, if you can call it that. We’re talking fine art. No Illustrator pen tool or fancy fancy. I’ve actually never done a complete watercolor painting (I’ve always used too much water and made a mess), but I felt strongly that a watercolor look would best suit my band. It was definitely an experiment, but now I’m having a moment with the medium and I want to make a million watercolor things. Stationery and recipe cards and notepads! And a Christmas card! In January!
I wanted to publicize a concert for the band’s new album I named The Owl and The Orchard. I know I should have an elaborate story for why I chose this name, but here’s the thing: I just really wanted to paint an owl. And I liked thinking about Mr. Owl and his solo life in an exotic orchard of branches whose fruit hangs low to the ground. And of course I needed a venue, so I figured The Orange Peel in my real hometown would fit the bill.
Since it is a typography course, that was an important part of the composition. I briefly played around with existing typefaces before realizing that they just wouldn’t do. It only seemed appropriate to use hand-painted type for this project, and hey! Lucky me! My in-laws gifted me a book on hand-drawn typography for Christmas! It’s called Hand Job. Yes, in-laws and yes, Hand Job. I KNOW! My brothers-in-law will never let me live it down. I got to work on my hand-painted type, drafting a bunch of different versions before settling on a rather simple and somewhat inconsistent sans serif.
Which also kind of look like playing cards if you arrange them the right way…which got me thinking about designing a deck of cards. Later, later.
And there she blows. Arches + Elliot, The Owl and The Orchard. What a fun project.