Your Love in Lights

Recently I had the fortune of working with Helen Kura, co-founder of Your Love in Lights, a wedding and event marquee light provider. Their work began in the UK, where these marquee lights are quite the hit! These bulbed beauties have been making their way to the US and are becoming more and more popular—and Your Love in Lights is at the forefront of the industry.

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Helen and her colleagues (aka her family!) have worked to establish a name brand in the wedding marquee industry… and I got to bring their brand to life with a new logo design!

Helen gave me free rein for starters, so I designed several logo concepts that I thought reflected her business and her family values. The first option drew inspiration from a retro era, reminiscent of marquee lights’ heiday. The colors and type choices lend a fun, modernized retro vibe to Your Love in Lights.

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Concept two took a more literal approach. Helen’s best seller is the quintessential “LOVE” set of marquee lights, so we adapted that look for her logo:

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And finally, Concept 3 highlighted both “love” and “lights” instead of only the iconic “love.” This version also offered an alternative secondary typeface for a different overall feel.

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Ultimately, Helen wanted to pursue Option 2, opting to push it toward an even more literal design that more exactly represented her product. We matched the number of lights and added her requested effects to come up with a final logo design that I hope will represent Your Love in Lights well!

YourLoveInLights_BrandBoard

Thanks to Helen for being a lovely client. I can’t wait to see how Your Love in Lights grows!

Menu Design

As if all the other crazy design happenings weren’t enough going on, I nearly forgot to post a menu design I worked on last week. Our assignment was to design the menu without changing any of the information we were given (in only black and white). It was a little tricky to find a nice way to present all the information on one page, but I’m pretty happy with the turnout of both pieces. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

For a classic/traditional take (picture a pretty table setting on an outdoor patio):

Sarah Ann Campbell Design Menu Design

For a more modern take (think trendy Trinity Groves lunching):

Sarah Ann Campbell Design Modern Menu Design

Short post today, but I’m running late for another hot date with Photoshop. Stay tuned for more work coming up soon (logical fallacy poster, You Love in Lights logo design, and more goodies)!

Literary Letterform Daily Dropcap: The Old Man and The Sea

Every once in awhile, a professor gives you a dream assignment. Today was that day. It was so much fun to work on a Literary Letterform project, based on Jessica Hische’s Daily Dropcap series, which you can find and enjoy here on Skillshare. P.S. If you haven’t heard of Jessica Hische, drop everything you’re doing right now and go read everything about her, because it’s safe to say she’s my number one design hero. She letters for a living!

Here was our class assignment: You will design a letter inspired by your favorite book, short story or poem. This is not merely picking a typeface that matches your story but rather it is designing a letterform that is a cross between typography and illustration. The letter you choose should be of significance to the author or story – the Penguin book series is the first letter of the author’s name but you may choose something else if you wish.

I selected The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. There was a time, I hate to admit, where I disliked this beautiful novella. I thought it was boring and unsubstantial… now I’m kicking myself for ever feeling anything but awe toward this literary masterpiece. As I’m sure most of you know, this story is outwardly about an old man named Santiago who goes out in search of a great catch—a giant marlin. He struggles with the fish for days, coming to appreciate it as an equal and admirable opponent. On a deeper level, Hemingway intimately details his struggle with writing and confronts his relationship with his past literary works. It is a story about patience and respect, and about a difficult challenge’s inherent value regardless of outcome.

So, that begs the question: how do you pack all of this into a single letterform? How do you picture tension between man and marlin, dichotomy between land and sea, and the apex of a novella in a singular letter H?

Safe to say I explored a few options:

I was inspired by everything from the marlin to Cuban 1950s ads, from barnacles on docks to vintage Cuban tile floors. As per usual, narrowing down a direction was the most difficult part. I started pushing digital options for two directions: 1) a letterform that used the man’s fishing line to create the h shape, showcasing the tension between the man and the fish; 2) a simpler rope/harpoon H, symbolizing the climax of the novella. Here are my works in progress:

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But ultimately, I felt like one symbol captured all of the things I wanted to say in one letterform. That’s why I choose the harpoon H as my final letterform piece. The harpoon signifies the height of the novel, the tension between man and fish, and the struggle it took to reach that moment between two equally worthy opponents. I went with an atypical Cuban-inspired color scheme to provide something different than a traditional nautical palette, and I layered texture to finish the look. Check out the final book cover!

Sarah Ann Campbell Design | Dropcap H Lettering

Sarah Ann Campbell Design | Daily Dropcap Letter H

Keep your fingers crossed for me that this prints out well (nothing like a last-minute trip to the printer, am I right?) and critique in the morning goes okay. Hope y’all love it as much as I do, and have a smooth-sailin’ end of the week!

Gold’s Gym

Finally, unveiling my final product for Gold’s Gym. You’ll remember a few weeks back when I was in the middle of cranking this piece out. Check back on my previous post for the story behind this project and how it got to be the whimsical craziness that it is. This was a labor of love, let me tell you. Between my maiden voyage into illustration, and harebrained attempts at copywriting (shout out to Tien for her assistance!), this one was way out of my comfort zone. Which is a good thing, sometimes.

Here are the final ads:

Sarah Ann Campbell Design | Gold's Gym Illustrations Sarah Ann Campbell Design | Gold's Gym Illustrations Sarah Ann Campbell Design | Gold's Gym Illustrations Sarah Ann Campbell Design | Gold's Gym Illustrations

To be totally honest, I’m not thrilled with how these ads turned out. I love the illustrations, but I feel like I was trying to fit them into a campaign in which they don’t belong. I wish I had stuck with my original project idea, a logo redesign. I think that would have been more fitting for Gold’s Gym, and more appropriate to the root of the problem. These quirky characters, fun as they may be, are too whimsical for Gold’s Gym  and probably too far removed from the original brand to work within the current Gold’s Gym context. Which is something I believed all along, but at least I branched out to try something new.

Sarah Ann Campbell Design Gold's Gym Illustrations

That being said, I do love the illustrations! This was a fun foray into the world of illustrating, and I learned a lot through the process. I’m planning on keeping the illustrations as part of my portfolio, as illustrations. I’m taking them out of the Gold’s Gym context they were forced into, and putting them in their own category as an illustration piece. I’m also happy with the tagline, Building Every Body. Copywriting may not be my forte, but I’m happy with how the tagline turned out.

Best part of this project? I made Wanda and Bobby into stickers! I’ve been slapping these little guys on every surface in sight because they’re just too fun. This project definitely took a different direction from my original vision, and that’s okay. For better (I got to learn something new and expand my skills) or worse (maybe this wasn’t quite a home run for Gold’s Gym), I’m glad I tried something outside my comfort zone. Who knows, maybe there’s more illustration work in my future!

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