Creative Illustrative Lettering Challenge – Part 2

This session we proposed a challenge to two illustrators. We asked each of them to take our own “tuts+” brand name and illustrate it with a creative lettering solution. Learn how each of them went about solving this, and the concepts they worked with to bring about the final work. In this Part 2 of this challenge, we’ll look at Jacob Bian’s solution and how he uses figures, motion and depth within a 3D scene, to transform this brief into a creative work of art.

About this Challenge

Inspiration for doing this challenge came from the awesome “tuts+” solution presented in the post PsdTuts+ Presents: Exclusive Wallpapers By Tim and Bram Vanhaeren. We decided to give two illustrators a creative illustrative lettering challenge that involved illustrating the “tuts+” name.

In part one we looked at how Wojciech Pijecki solved the same brief over on Psdtuts+. Now let’s take a closer look at the brief and then look at the solution from Jacob Bian here on Cgtuts+.

Creative Brief for this Challenge

For this challenge, we kept the brief simple, which would allow for the illustrators to really go in a creative direction that inspires them:

Take the name “tuts+” and illustrate it creatively with an illustrative lettering solution. For the theme we’d like to show creativity being released or realized.

We also sent along some basic formatting requirements as well: “For format it should be made reasonably large scale, but display well at 600px wide. We’ll then link to the larger version for viewers to see. Also, please include a written description of how you solved the creative brief and present your solution.”

Jacob Bian’s Solution


Jacob’s Description of His Creative Solution

The goal of the piece is to illustrate the abstract concept of releasing creativity. My focus is to portray “release” and “creativity” not as objects or actions, but as moods and themes of the piece.

Instead of illustrating the concept based on an original font, I decided to use the Tuts+ logo and to add meanings to the shape of the logo, extending these meanings to develop an entire theme that uses straight, defined edges, yet together forms a strong composition.

To achieve that purpose, I have intentionally created interaction between elements. This creates a theme of community in the piece, which visualizes the purpose of the Tuts+ network.

I began with creating the 3D text; I assured that the elements were sharp edged yet smooth and precise. Then I began setting up the scene, I intentionally created a scene with closed/limited space to create a contrast between the unleashing/exploding text and the closed space, strengthening the concept of release.

The human figures were then added in. This created a contrast between the sharp edges of the text and the smooth curves of the human figures. Now the image strongly reflects the theme of creativity. I believe I have achieved the purpose, no objects or action portrayals were used specifically representing the themes – yet the piece screams the themes and moods of release and creativity.

I experimented with a unique color scheme in this piece. Using three adjacent colors was a great risk to take. If one color does not appear properly due to lighting and reflection, the scheme will completely lose its meaning. To avoid that, before I started developing the materials, I developed a color palette that shows the color I’m about to use. This allows me to confirm that all colors rendered agree with my initial vision for the piece. Then I started developing a variety of different materials according to the scheme and applied them to the objects where they would best show their texture and color.

Post production was done in Photoshop, to ensure that the details of the piece are visible, I rendered three images with slightly different settings, hiding some objects to eliminate unneeded shadows.

The brief for a typography project can always be analyzed beyond what is written. In this case, the piece would benefit from a connection to its client, the Tuts + network itself. To achieve that purpose, I have intentionally created interaction between elements. This creates a theme of community in the piece, which visualizes the purpose of the Tuts+ network.

This piece uses simple techniques to create motion and depth, painting an active scene. I believe I have achieved every requirement in the creative brief while giving the piece artistic value through the application of my own style.

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