1. Design & Illustration
  2. Theory

Creative Illustrative Lettering Challenge - Part 1


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 1 of this challenge, we'll look at Wojciech Pijecki's solution and how he combines expressive and abstract concepts, with lots of colorful elements, transforming this brief into a vibrant work of art.

This Post is Day 10 of our Illustrative Lettering Session. Creative Sessions

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.

Let's take a closer look at the brief and then look at the solution from Wojciech Pijecki here on Psdtuts+. In part two we'll look at how Jacob Bian solved the same brief with a more 3D feel over 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."

Wojciech Pijecki's Solution


Wojciech's Description of His Creative Solution

I wanted to create expressive abstraction, combining simple type treatment with lots of various elements. The first step to solve the brief was proper preparation. Before anything started, I took the theme and searched for the best resources. As it says "lettering," I decided that the font must be pretty neat and mixable with some abstract elements. Also, as the topic says "illustrative," there must be something eye-catching besides the lettering. So here was the preparation solved: good brushes, textures and font.

It's worth remembering, when speaking about a creative solution, one thing is sure: the design has to be noticeable, eye-catching and spectacular.

It's never easy to get the idea "how should it look like." Sometimes it just hits your head right after reading the brief and design theme. But anyway, everything goes around experimenting with different elements, shapes, positions, etc. until you get the right feeling that it is it. In this particular project I started by typing the name "tuts+," positioning it and discovering a good background. It's way easier in the first stages of creating a project, when you at least can create your background halfway, as then you can see how the letters are working in the illustration.

As said, in the beginning I set my direction that this design will be something expressive and abstract, so this means lots of elements and some vibrant colors. It's very hard to maintain mass elements without hurting the lettering. So either you make the letters filled with abstraction and the rest of design remains calm, or you leave the lettering very simple and the rest of design is massive.

I've gone a little beyond this, as I created a mass of swirly shapes, combined them with letters and gave the text also a little bit of a swirly touch. For this particular case I mixed lettering with drawing and some photo manipulation. And to make the lettering stand out just a little bit, I gave it a "lighter" feeling than all the abstract surrounding elements, using less colors, less shapes and less saturation. So, though the lettering is nicely blended with the swirls, it's still visible, and everything remains massive.

Beside text and swirls I spread lots of small elements all over the project illustration for more balance. It's very important not to overload your project, so this should be a careful process. All the elements including lettering were positioned obliquely to make it feel more dynamic. I also used a non-centered composition (the lettering moved more to the side) to give some variety to the composition.

So this way the brief was solved and executed. It's worth remembering, when speaking about a creative solution, one thing is sure: the design has to be noticeable, eye-catching and spectacular.

This Post is Day 10 of our Illustrative Lettering Session. Creative Sessions
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.