One of my favorite "extra" parts of Get To Work Book™ (learn more here!) are the tear out calendar pages. There are 12, one for each month, and while you could totally leave them in the book, they are a bit thicker paper stock and perforated to be torn out and hung on the wall as a small calendar. When the month is over, you can chop off the calendar portion and you're left with a square print. (The book is 7x9 inches and spiral bound for those that have asked.)
Each features a unique piece of illustrated text made from my words (mostly pulled from old blog posts!) and the artwork of Jolby & Friends designers. Today I want to share a peek at some of the designs and talk about the process for how these came together.
First, I should say that the book design process took weeks. Probably eight? Ten? I'm not sure. It was a very intense process to create what we all thought would be the "best" planner possible. The illustration process, by comparison, took just a few days. I had a decent idea of what I wanted and J+F executed perfectly.
To start, I combed the Internet for text design that I loved that I felt like fit the style. I pulled these images together on a private Pinterest board with specific notes for what I loved or liked about how the letters looked together. We knew that we would just be printing in black (and shades of gray) and so I played close attention to images that worked because of the form, not the color.
Then I sent over my 12 phrases and J+F broke them up amongst the designers.
And then they sent me back two or three hand-drawn sketches that represented different type layouts. I looked through them, picked my favorites and made any notes if I had them and sent them back. After a day or so (!!) they sent back a finished rendering. If I had any changes, they were made and then TA-DA! Complete artwork.
Seeing the sketches and then picking my favorite of the two was one of the most fun parts of this whole project. I was always impressed with both designs, but usually it was easy to make a gut decision about what would be "better." Since it was all going in the same book, I wanted the art to fit together, but I also wanted the designs to be different enough that it looked interesting. Like with any calendar, I want you (and me!) to be excited to turn the page and get to that next month's inspiration.
This graphic in particular has become the main "face" of the book and it's featured on the soon to be debuted website and is on the front of the GTWB business cards. This is one of the main concepts behind why I created the book and I REALLY love how this design came together.
I was able to chat with the designers from Jolby & Friends who worked on my illustrations and they gave me a peek into their design process. Some of my favorite quotes :
"The process for lettering starts with what it says. Is there a way to draw inspiration from what the words you are drawing have to say? How can the words inform the visual and conceptual route you go down? Type, in my opinion, is the most successful when it feels like what it says."
I love this and I see it most in play with the final illustration. It also fits into which words have to be highlighted in each phrase. We highlighted WORK and PLAY in illustration two instead of STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES because "work" and "play" are the action words and should draw the most attention. Likewise, we emphasized WHOLENESS and COMPLETENESS over "perfection" in illustration one because...duh.
After thinking about how the letters need to look, Brett, one of the illustrators, told me that he starts to...
"Sketch over and over, usually really loose – mostly to discover compositions and establish some sort of lockup concept that I can work within. After doing this sort of thing pretty continuously for the past few years, a lot of little rules and interesting nuances come through your hands with ease – and a special “style” develops in you based on what you have learned. Trying different techniques only expands your toolbox of ideas and approaches, so if you want to try calligraphy, brush lettering, woodcut, cut paper, etc., it will expand your horizons and inspire new ideas."
And obviously I love this. Practice, practice, practice. I love that these designs started with pencil and paper and came from many different trials. I love how the letters work together in a way that often handwriting can accomplish first better than a computer.
Cool, right?! It has been amazing for me to go through this process and learn a bit here and there about how design can come together. There are millions of different processes, but this is a bit of what mine has looked like. We've worked hard to make this Get To Work Book™ the best it can be and I'm excited to share more in the coming weeks before opening pre-order for the first version (July 2015-June 2016) in early April.
Thank you so much for following along.
All final images on this page are copyright Elise Blaha Cripe. Sketches not used in the final book are copyright Jolby + Friends.