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The Basics: Sketching

June 29th, 2011 by Larry


Georgios and I constantly harp on the importance of sketching. It’s an essential step in the creative process, yet we encounter situations on a daily basis where people decide to skip the sketching step and jump right into the computer. What results from that horrible decision is usually garbage. I have no qualms about telling you to your face that you wasted everyone’s time by trying to save your own time by NOT SKETCHING IN THE FIRST PLACE. Ya dig?

Lots of “designers” just hack together novelty fonts and other crappy low-resolution images they find on Google for flyers and mixtapes. I can’t name many people I know that actually take the time to draw custom typefaces, illustrate, and take their own photos for their projects. The sad part is, I know even less people that recognize the power of hand done type!

For our recent work on Speakerfoxxx‘s Dope Boy Anthems mixtape, I was tasked with coming up with a unique script to be knocked out of a photo of a dub cruiser. As you can see, I took pencil to paper first!

I’ve put together some before and after juxtapositions of some recent work after the jump. Fun stuff! Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Design, The Basics Comments: 4 Comments »

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The Process of Sketching

May 28th, 2011 by Georgios

Zombie Jordan

Sketching is a big part of the creative process. We go through numerous revisions before getting to the final product. Sometimes it takes 3 days, sometimes it takes 3 weeks but we always enjoy the process of creating a new graphic. Here are a few of my sketches and a sneak peek of a new graphic coming this summer.

More pics after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 26th, 2010 by Larry


If you’ve never eaten at Woody’s Famous Philadelphia Cheesesteaks in Midtown, you are missing out on one of Atlanta’s most unique dine-in spots. Not only are the cheesesteaks possibly the best in town, but I get a huge kick out of all the hand-painted signs and tabletops in this unassuming restaurant. More often than not, great looking typography is rendered by hand and brought into the computer afterwards (if necessary). Sometimes it is difficult to convince my students at Portfolio Center to stay out of the computer until their ideas have been realized with pencil and paper first. Damn y’all, stay off your MacBooks for a few minutes!

Archives Posts


July 7th, 2010 by Larry


It doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re a creative, it makes sense to sketch as much as possible. Even our resident photographer, Jorge Menes, sketches all the time. As much as this looks like chicken-scratch, it actually means something to him!

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The Basics: Grids

March 10th, 2010 by Larry


I tell my students this all the time: If you don’t start your designs with a grid, then you’ve already screwed up. I don’t care what you’re trying to accomplish, you need a grid. Sure, you don’t want that grid to “own your ass”, so you can always intentionally “break” that grid after establishing it. But opening Photoshop / Illustrator / InDesign / Fireworks / etc. without any idea of how you’re going to lay something out is going to kill you in the end (and your designs will most likely be crappppie).

Category: Design, The Basics Comments: 1 Comment »

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The Basics: Inspiration

August 3rd, 2009 by Larry


Good creatives draw inspirations from personal experiences. Many mentors of my own have emphasized the importance of putting myself and my own experiences into my creative efforts. Sometimes, it is very easy to struggle with the issue of What the Client Wants vs. What You Want to Do. When faced with a situation like this, it is best to pull back and search for new inspirations. Otherwise you put yourself in a miserable hole and you end up hating the work. Even worse, you give up and do “exactly-what-the-client-wants-and-you-want-to-jump-off-a-bridge-because-you-hate-yourself-for-being-such-a-pushover”. This leads to you delivering a P.O.S. that no one is happy with. And guess what? It’s your fault!

I’ve been lucky enough to travel over the last 10 days, and over the weekend I found this little nugget in Austin, Texas. It speaks volumes to me about some of the design decisions our creative team has made with our line, PROCESS, and where we are headed in the coming seasons. A bad designer would re-render this exact imagery and drop it on a tee or bag or whatever… For me, finding this gem is more about the “ah-ha” moment I had when I picked this up. This is truly the inspiration I needed for a thousand new ideas. Time to jam!

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The Basics: Sketching

July 27th, 2009 by Larry


The past few days, I’ve been working for Franco from XTM Online as he gears up for his big event, Exposure, on August 7th. Our line, We Are The Process, will be featured in his fashion show, as well as some of our favorite designers from Atlanta. This post isn’t really about the fashion show, per se. It’s more about one of the fundamental skills I learned while in design school that I was reminded of today. It dawned on me that this could be the proper forum to drop some knowledge on (or at least remind) a few readers on the benefits of sketching.

All too often, designers will skip the essential step of sketching. Going straight to the computer to work through all of your good and bad ideas typically leads to a generic/cold result. People forget that a freakin’ Apple computer is really just a design tool, not a way of doing things.

Usually my sketches aren’t very detailed (I like to spend more time getting the ideas out as quickly as possible), yet I still take the time to put pen to paper. Whether it is a layout challenge or a logo, you have to commit to working things out by hand before going to the computer. Sketching actually saves time in the long run!

I apologize if this post has put-off anyone. However, if you guys are into this kind of post, I have a lot more where that came from… “Logo Basics” could be a 10 part series in itself!

Category: Design, The Basics Comments: 3 Comments »