Apart from being "Good Friday" last Friday was also Earth Day and to mark the occasion, I was commissioned to do the cover for the Green Issue of Where Magazine. Where magazine is a guidebook style publication found in hotels and tourist centres around the globe.
With potentially 43 different markets in mind, I was briefed to create a typographic cover and was given a list of 'green' words and phrases to get me started. I was asked to incorporate this into a tree shaped design and to leave space for two photos which would change depending on the city edition.
I find it a bit tricky to sympathetically incorporate illustration with photographs in cases where you don't know what the final photos will be so for the initial rough I went with some basic (if albeit obvious) wooden frames for the photos to sit inside...
This is only the rough sketch so the lettering all looks a bit messy - this stage is usually more about me getting a feel for the overall layout. I'll go back and tidy up (and in with some cases, completely re-do) the lettering later.
I quite liked the woody DIY quality here and liked having the WHERE logo sit amongst the tree top but alas it was not to be.
After discussion amongst the editors, I was asked to go a slightly different way and make the tree out of letters, rather than have the lettering sitting within the tree. It was suggested that all of the tree could be made out of phrases but I experimented a bit and felt that that looked a little forced and came up with a design that just saw the words sitting on top of an illustrated tree trunk. I was a wee bit happy to hear that there wasn't going to be any photos so didn't need to worry about leaving space for that now.
I tweaked the roughs to show two versions with contrasting backgrounds...
It had been my thought that any headlines could be added in the gap below the tree, but at this stage we got into a bit of discussion on whether or not I would be available to create some custom lettering. This would mean removing some of the phrases and replacing it with custom text for different editions.
Although this would mean more work and probably a quick turnaround, I did like idea as (totally big-headily) I don't always feel standard fonts sit so well along side hand-lettering. Maybe I just feel that perfectly scaled, kerned and leaded lettering really shows my work up :-)
The darker of the two was approved and I proceeded to final art. I was also asked to emphasise "The Green Issue" wording a bit more. The tree looks a bit egg-shaped but this is to allow the WHERE logo to sit at the top...
In the end I heard back that it wasn't going to be possible for me to create custom lettering. I'm not sure if this was a budget issue or just the logistics of it all.
I was asked to remove some of the text to make space for editorial text and to introduce some more blue shades into the mix...
Here is the final cover, shown here on the San Francisco version.
I was a little sad that we weren't able to make the custom lettering work as I do think it would have looked good, but I'm also realistic about the practicalities of doing so. My own other tiny gripe was that I'd have liked the lettering of the tree not to have overlapped the WHERE logo so much. This is purely because I had it in mind for the lettering pop against a largely dark background and not white but perhaps that's me just being a too picky.
Overall, it was still a good experience and fun assignment to work on!