barbara gundl

By Design

bottle with lettering

Have you ever heard of By Design Conference? It’s an awesome design conference hosted annually in Bratislava, Slovakia and it’s really worth going there! Last year, I got an internship at Milk Studio, the event host, so I had the pleasure of not only attending the conference but also being part of the design team. :)

Apart from designing facebook banners, newspaper ads, goodie-bags and all sorts of stuff I was also put in charge of designing the bottle labels for a limited edition of “Jablčnô”, a delicious apple cider. These were to be given out at the afterparty, should be fun and different from the overall conference branding. After thinking a lot about how to create fun labels, we decided to go for a reference to the internationality of the conference that also serves as a starting point for conversations. Finally we chose the statement “[Speaker X] would say [‘cheers’ in his/her mother tongue]”, which naturally meant that we needed eight different label designs. To underline the conversational function and also create visual coherence between all designs, hand lettering was the perfect style.

lettering 1 lettering 2

I started sketching with a big marker, but it didn’t quite have the effect we desired. My boss then gave me some ink and brushes and, seeing that I had been working on average copy paper, assured me that I could use all the nice sketching paper they had (which I did – in the end there was a really huge pile of sketches on my desk). It took me some time to get used to writing with a brush and make the text look legible and fancy at the same time, but in the end I had come up with a few styles to work with.

When I had finally managed to design adequate letterings, I scanned the results and started to refine them digitally. To preserve the original apperance, I used only Illustrator’s tracing tool and didn’t retrace anything manually, but I still had to make some corrections: I had been rather generous with the spacing because I wanted the elements to be editable seperately, so now I compressed the whitespace again, changed some proportions and finalised the details.

In the end I never got to see all of the actual bottles because people emptied them too fast, but I really enjoyed working on this project: It gave me the opportunity to experiment a lot, elaborate my hand-lettering skills and just have a lot of fun.

lettering 3 lettering 4