Back in 2009 I designed graphics for a pen and business card set for a company named Acme Studios based in Hawaii. I called the design “QWERTY” because I based it on old typewriter keys and the QWERTY keyboard (which is still in use today on everyone’s computers and phones).
Last year Acme contacted me to see if I’d be interested in designing a logo for “Dracula” a limited edition pen set created with the Bram Stoker estate to celebrate the 100th Anniversary 0f Bram Stoker’s death. Somehow with this project I knew from the start what I wanted to do. I decided that I wanted to start out with a sort of black-letter, gothic form as a base, and then transform it into something that would communicate what I thought of as a sort of “decayed elegance”. So I just started drawing:
For some reason I stopped before completing the word (guess I knew what another “a” would look like). But I liked a lot of what I was seeing and expanded it into my next rough. This was a lot more fluid, and I really liked where it was going:
I really liked where this was going. What had started out with gothic, black-letter form, was turning into something else—but I’m not sure what!
Then, using that pencil rough as a base, I started inking over it on an overlay to start to work out and refine the weights and forms:
Then, after scanning the inked version, I placed it in Adobe Illustrator as a template, and started creating the final art. As you can see, I ended up deviating from my inking in several places:
Finally I was pleased with what I had done . . . I felt it had that feeling of “decayed elegance” that I had been striving for. I rendered it in blood-red against a black background.