Today’s source is Little Friends of Printmaking, from Madison Wisconsin. Their work, at least in the book tends to be cartoonish in an almost deliberately grotesque kind of way – more tongues and nostrils than I tend to like in a character anyway. They use busy layouts and unusual, desaturated color palettes. Two things they’re known for are chunky typography and what they refer to as “black figures.”
I tend to make things too cutesy and symmetrical and I knew that working in Illustrator would only exacerbate this. To get around this, I drew small. In fact, I drew on an old pizza receipt. Adobe has a great phone app called Capture, that lets you bring anything into vector format.
There are some aspects of the capture that I don’t have full grasp of, but I got a pretty good scan. I was able to clean things up and arrange things to my liking once I was in Illustrator. For the logo, I traced a copy with Smart Guides turned off, and added a variable-width stroke. I think it adds just enough imperfection to keep it from standing out. The rest of the text is digital. Not how they’d have done in Madison, but I’m ok with the compromise.
My colors are a coffee-with-cream brown, and vivid magenta and chartreuse. But bringing them all to low opacity and stacking them gave me the sort of color palette I was looking for. As always, I left a quarter-inch printing border – my work ends up laser printed, and bleed is not an option – but the barista figure overlaps. On screen at least.