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.
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.
- category: lettering
- Milk Studio, summer 2015