Signs of the Times - November 2013 - (Page 42)

DESIGN MATTERS By Jeff Russ Jeff Russ is ST’s Sr. Art Director and a freelance designer and illustrator. A Horse of a Different Color Dusting off the cobwebs and relearning a few lessons If you are reading this paint a sheet column, you already know how to of plywood. Even though a project like this school mascot seems simple, countless decisions and revisions must be made at every step. Let’s just say this mustang took me twice as long to create as I had anticipated. Grinding out this project definitely strengthened my admiration for the creative work signmakers do every day. I created the 8-ft.-tall, plywood mascot for Ruth Moyer Elementary in Ft. Thomas, KY, home to the Moyer Mustangs and also the school my children attend. As an illustrator and designer, I've made hundreds of signs over the years, but I haven’t hand-painted anything on this scale in a while. I considered this project a way to give back to the school, while giving myself a chance to design with something other than a computer. ■ Even at this relatively humble scale, the perspective issues that plague muralists came into play. Are the shoes too large? Is the head too small? With perspective playing its tricks, I trusted my grid and kept sketching. Priming, and painting, both sides ensured that warping would remain minimal, and it gave the piece a nice finished look. On the completed piece, the back and edges are painted gloss black. Talented woodworker Gil Russ (my dad) cut, then routed, the edges from my sketch. He also constructed the French cleat I used to hang the heavy 8-ft-tall mascot. We both thought the other did the “hard” part. 42 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / NOVEMBER 2013 / With the sketch and woodwork complete, the painting began. Here, the endless adjustment really takes place. Color choices and subtle facial expressions can make or break the piece; I must have revised the hoof shape a dozen times.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - November 2013

Signs of the Times - November 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review - Caldera Flow+ 2.0 software and its Version 9.20 RIP
Technology Review - KeyedIn™ Sign Edition software
New Products
Design Matters
Enter the ST Intl. Sign Contest!
Deep Thoughts
Temporary Vanity
LEDs: The Omnipresent Illuminators
Accessible Training
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - November 2013