It’s an amazing feeling when you create a graphic that a company likes so much that they want to utilize it for their holiday card mailing. This is exactly what happened with ARTiculate: Real&Clear and the latest newsletter typographic illustration that I designed.
For the holiday card, I was asked to add in some festive flair to the already composed graphic. At first, I was totally blank. What would be universal and more related to the start of a new year, and less sectarian? The most prevalent subject was snow, so I started out by adding in snowflakes from a stock brush set. I wanted to really push myself on this project, however, so I started to play with creating my own graphics to add in to what was already there, including the candle (created in Photoshop). The next logical step was to make the face into a snowman (utilizing shapes and gradients and then warping them in Illustrator), creating a hat for the snowman in Photoshop using the same principles that I learned from making the candle, and then adding the scarf on the “o” by hand drawing paths, overlaying the plaid, and using Mesh Warp.
Something was still missing, however, and I struggled with what to do for the first word, “Voice”. I knew I wanted to add in fireworks, as they are so ingrained in the New Year’s tradition. I played with having the fireworks jump out of the “o” in “voice”, but that looked too different from the rest of the card. After version 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and probably 10, I finally started to play with the layer style of the fireworks, creating all these different effects with how the fireworks laid over the lettering. The result was exactly right- a soft overlay to hint at fireworks without distracting from the rest of the image.
What do you think of this holiday image? Does it work? Is there anything that you would do differently? What else could I have added to get the point across?