Matt, over at 14er Cards.com, asked if I would be interested in working on a few graphic designs for a t-shirt. Matt’s an avid hiker and wanted the text “Seek the Next Cairn” in the design, along with a couple cairns. A cairn is pile of rocks that is used as a landmark to help you stay on the trail and not get lost. I could relate to this, as I’ve also hiked several Colorado trails and have ‘sought the next cairn’.
This graphic design project started as most of mine do – after we agree upon a price, the details, and I get an idea of what my client wants, I dive in with rough sketches with pencil and paper. My pencil sketches are really for me, but it’s also a quick way for me to convey to my client what I have in mind. Often times, I’ll jump to the computer after a sketch or two, then present a rough computer version to my client. I did the same with this project.
Right off the bat, I had a great idea of what I thought would make a great design – a large cairn in the foreground off to the right, and a smaller one in the distance, with a trail winding through to mountains in the background. There are many shapes of rocks – smooth, rough, short, fat, etc. I designed a few cairns before I got just the right one Matt was looking for – lots of rocks, big and small, some smooth and some rough. “That cairn is awesome! The first time I saw it, it just felt real and authentic.” – Matt
I also researched several fonts for Matt to choose from. I looked for only commercial-free fonts. The font style needed to match the overall concept of the design – a rough style, maybe looks like it’s handwritten, probably san-serif.
The simple t-shirt design slowly turned into a more detailed postcard design, which allowed for more colors and shadows and gradients. One mountain ridge became two, trees were introduced, then another row of trees, darker, to add depth.
This has been a fun project to work on. I thank Matt for letting me work on it.
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