The Future is Soon

Lately, I have been working on composing pieces with more ornamentation and flourishes. My goal has been to get a better understanding of how to create lettering pieces that aren’t based solely on the letter forms and the shapes of the words. Doing a daily doodle has given me some nice time to focus on exploring different options, and so for this week’s piece, I’ve used one of my daily designs.

The Future is Soon

“The Future is Soon.” I’m pretty excited about the future, and thankfully, it’s coming pretty soon. At times, the future has been much further away, but at the moment, the future is the closest it has ever been. That is to say that in the past, things didn’t change much for a really long time. Nowadays, however, things are changing much more. Change is, if nothing else, interesting, and though “may you live in interesting times” is often said to be a curse, I can’t help but feel excited.

The phrase “may you live in interesting times” is said to come from Chinese, though no source has been found. The nearest related expression translates to “better to live as a dog in an era of peace than a man in times of war.” And speaking of the future, it’s likely to have the least amount of war since pretty much forever. People often say that the world is going downhill, but in fact, we live in a time of peace and prosperity greater than any other. It seems like the future will be a pretty good time to live; that said, no day is better than today.

Here are some of the daily doodles I’ve done this week:

The Future is Soon

“The Future is Soon.” The sketch I made into an inked piece today.


“Winter.” A piece I made yesterday, the last day of November, in an effort to be a little seasonal.

Do Your Best

“Do Your Best.” A little piece to motivate myself to do well, but also to know that doing your best is always something you can do if you put in the time.


“Golden.” A single word piece to practice some flourishes and some tall letters in a circular design.

In other news, I got through the first of the nice A5 Rhodia pads of paper I bought a while ago. I started on just for daily doodles and the drop caps I did in Inktober. The “Golden” sketch was the last piece in this one, with “Do Your Best” being the first of a new pad. Here’s a picture of all the pieces I made with this pad:

Notebook 1

There are 57 designs here, and the pads come with 80 pages, which means I used 23 pages for sketching, tracing, ideas and as guard sheets.


Days! Weeks! Days of the week! I started off idly sketching the word Monday and had the idea for the series. Well, 7 weeks later and it’s finished. Here’s the last one:


Over the course of the weeks, (or the week,) we’ve had brush style, Gothic, typography, flourishes, graffiti, stippling, even an ambigram. My challenge was to create 7 pieces that were as different from each other as possible. The goal was to expand my horizons, learn how to do new things, and explore styles that weren’t just replicas of what I had done in the past. It was tough finding a style for each piece that set it apart from the others, especially towards the end. With this piece, I had exhausted the styles that I was used to doing, which eventually gave me the idea to make something that looked more like a poster. The main difference is that this piece has a lot more non-lettering elements to it. I could have had it with the word just as it is, but seeing as so many lettering pieces are simply the words sitting stark and bare, I wanted to embrace the challenge of deviation from things that are too familiar.

One of the results of having such a detailed piece is that I under estimated the amount of time it took to complete it, meaning I’m a little late in posting it, as it’s just past midnight. Next week, I have some client projects to get working on, so I will either upload some progress, or finished shots of them, or I will get back to doing some pieces that aren’t just single words, like this series has been. Come back and check it out!

Just in case you missed any of the other Days of the Week, here are the rest:










Hooray, everyone, it’s Saturday! That doesn’t mean it’s the weekend, of course, seeing as it’s Monday today (or at least it was at the time I started writing). What I mean is that this week’s piece is number six in my Days of the Week series, so it’s Saturday.


Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, my goal with the Days of the Week series is for each piece to turn out as differently from the previous ones as possible. This, of course, means that each week gets to be more of a challenge as I force myself out of options for styles that I have used in previous weeks. With this piece, I was aiming for something with a graffiti aspect to it, which is a style that I have seen around a lot, but have never experimented with myself. The main elements of what I was aiming for were a slightly organic take on type (rather than script) and the strong outline and background. It took me a long time to find something that satisfied the first element, so I ended up with about half a sketchbook of ideas aiming for something organic seeming that wasn’t based around a script rather than typography. In the end, it all lead here, with curled and disjointed intersections, using vine and drop like shapes to make up some parts of the letters.

Each letter is surrounded with a thick black outline, and behind that is what you could call a drop shadow, and though many would, it’s not quite the right word. Instead, it’s a 3D effect that is used on many pieces by many lettering artists, but filled in a solid black, which gives it a much more graffiti-esque feeling. The piece has a single point perspective, meaning that each letter’s backdrop points towards the centre of the image, somewhere just under the R. It’s for this reason that you can’t really call it a drop shadow, as there is no possible light source that could throw shadows in such a way.


Happy Monday! Or as I like to call it, Friday!


I don’t really call Monday Friday, and I do, in fact, have a solid grasp of what day of the week it is. The thing is, however, that this is the 5th instalment of my Days of the Week project, meaning that today’s piece is Friday! This week I was having an interesting time playing around with a new brush pen of mine, which you can see in the picture. I experimented with a lot of different styles and found that it’s a very versatile thing, but it’s also not as easy as it looks. The brush pen is great for a couple of uses. First, it’s much faster at hashing out an idea than it is with a pencil, meaning you can chase the ever elusive image in your mind that bit quicker, hopefully capturing more of its essence as you go. Second, it can be used to fill in block areas of shading much faster. Both of these uses were a great help to me this week, and the piece draws inspiration from brush lettering styles and makes use of the brush pen’s speed at filling in. Unfortunately, however, it seems to me that the ink has a different quality to it than that of the fine liners I use to outline the piece, resulting in a slight difference between the inside and the outlines of the letters. You can’t really see it here in the picture, and it’s only really noticeable upon close examination of the piece in person, but it’s interesting to note.

Another thing to note about the piece is the decoration around the letters. There are several artists that I admire who do similar things, their lettering pieces adorned with much ornamentation in addition to the letters that make up the piece. I had a great time experimenting with that idea last week, and it’s something that I’m going to keep in mind in the future for all pieces, too. The form of the piece is not necessarily bound by the letters that make it up, and as I’m starting to learn more about it, it will be something that I’m going to start to consider more in the planning of each piece.

I’m afraid I didn’t take any progress pictures this time, because with all time I took experimenting with my brush pen, the execution of this piece was left a little bit to the last minute! As I’m sure you can guess, the piece to follow this one will be Saturday, but, as usual, it will be out on Monday next week.


Good news! Today I got a dribbble invite! If you don’t know what dribbble is, head over to and take a look! It’s a place for designers to share their work and network with other designers. The other good news is that today (at least for another half an hour or so) is Monday. So here’s the new thing:


That’s because Mondays are going to be update days from now on until the end of ever, meaning you can always come and check on a Monday (well, on Tuesday, really, because I will update in the evening) to see the next piece. This week’s piece is the 4th in the series of the Days of the Week project I’m currently doing. The goal with this piece was to create something with a filigree feeling to it. I liked the idea of doing something in a filigree style, but I also felt that the piece would benefit more from having the letters be clean and clear, which is what made me settle on letter-spaced sans serif all caps. In doing so, I found that I really haven’t ever produced many works using sans serif letters, and I tend to lean towards script and serif. The piece really called for something strong in contrast to the detailed filigree ornamentation behind it, but standard Roman style all caps just weren’t cutting it. The advantage that I ended up with by using this style is that through even stroke width, it not only creates a great juxtaposition of bold shapes over detail, but also helps out greatly with legibility, which is something that would suffer if the thickness of the letters varied more.

I had originally planned to go with slab serif, but, and not to bash slab serif at all, it feels to me that it’s just sans serif pretending to be serif. I’m sure it has its uses, my original choice to use it was just based on my preference for serif over sans serif, when in fact, what the piece really needed was the simplicity of sans serif. Over all, this piece is mainly an exploration of contrasts. The contrast between strength and fragility, between simplicity and complexity, and between black and white.

If you’re interested in the process of making this piece, here are a few progress shots:


Having measured out and sketched in the letters, next is to start planning out the detail behind them.


Fleshing out the detail.


Detail all planned out. From then on, it’s just a story of ink.

See you at the beginning of next week with Friday’s piece.