May 30, 2014


At Shopi­fy every few months we have some­thing called Hack­days. On hack­days, you get to work on projects that are spe­cial to you, and I decid­ed that I’d work on a month for a design­er cal­en­dar. I decid­ed to focus on Octo­ber, as it’s the peak of when all the fall colours are chang­ing and the leaves are falling. The cal­en­dar didn’t end up pan­ning out, but I was hap­py with how the let­ter­ing turned out.

I start­ed off get­ting an idea of styles, and how the char­ac­ters could fit togeth­er. After doing a few rough sketch­es, I made a cou­ple tweaks in pen. These ear­ly sketch­es work to inform the high­er fideli­ty let­ter­ing. After nail­ing down the style, I moved on to a larg­er size.

At this stage, I prob­a­bly should know what the details for the piece are going to look like. But usu­al­ly I don’t. At this point, I know the basic let­ter­forms. I play around with sketch­ing out the char­ac­ter out­lines until the shape seems about right. Then, the next step is to trace it all in pen, so that it can be traced on a piece of paper above. You can see here that the paper is pret­ty roughed up. I decid­ed to tape it to the table, to keep it in one place, but the tape worked a bit too well. You can see here that the 3D have been added, but at this point I still wasn’t sure what to do with them.

After get­ting down the final shape, I moved on to adding the details. I decid­ed to go with a falling leaf pat­tern, and 3D perspective.

Pro tip: The trick to mak­ing real­is­tic 3D depth, is to make sure that the line length is always the same. If you can get that right, and make sure that lines are all par­al­lel, or con­verge to one point, it’ll look right.

I didn’t quite pol­ish this up and get it com­plete, but I kind of like that it still has the per­spec­tive lines. You can see a bit of the process in it.