Process: Llew Mejia

Today we have the talented Llew Mejia joining us on the Ten Paces blog to walk us through the process for his July Desktop for The Fox is Black.

STEP ONE: I started this project by drawing out all the different summer sayings with different utensils, that range from single weight markers to sable brushes. Lettering was the most fun in this project so this is really what I spent the most time on. I used a bunch of different tools because I think it’s good to have multiple weights when working with a typographic pattern, it’s just more interesting.

I then scanned all the lettering in as a bitmap tiff so that I could just get the really clean black linework and no pencil lines. It also lets you keep some of the texture from the markers which is nice.

STEP TWO: Next I would bring all the different lettering into Photoshop and get rid of all the white, so that I just have my linework. I then just start messing with the sizing and spacing of all of the lettering and putting them into little clusters so that I can prepare some of the work for the toss pattern I will make. I throw in a few stars and other wingdings to act as filler so the pattern will be more balanced in between the lettering. So now you have a solid grouping or cluster of things to toss.

STEP THREE: Sometimes it’s easier to just use guides and to make the transform outlines visible so you can see where to place the clusters. This can be done by dragging a guide and snapping it to the middle transform control in order to get it really accurate.The clusters I made before get copied and placed in the four corners of the repeat so I can fill the space in between them in order to make a toss pattern. And just as before I will take different lettering and filler to fill up the middle until it is completely balanced. At this point I define the pattern and mess with the color until I get a good one, in this case a minty blue.

STEP FOUR: It’s always good to just check before you go any further if your pattern works on a larger scale and inspect all the edges of your repeat so that it lines up. A lot of the time you can just eye-ball it and nudge a piece this way or that way to make it line up.

STEP FIVE: Now I drew the July part with a brush and just scanned it in so that I could trace it in Illustrator to give it a cleaner look but to still have some of my hand in it. I just traced around it with the pen tool, filled it in, and dropped it into Photoshop, where I could add textures and change the color of it to a nice saturated red.

STEP SIX: Finally I filled in a new document with my pattern as the background, and centered the July icon, and wah- lah you have my summery desktop wallpaper.

To check out more of Llew’s work you can visit his website, or follow him on twitter, flickr, and dribble. Llew and Lindsay Nohl of Paper Bicycle are also collaborating in a new pattern project called 101 Florals – check that out here.

Comments are closed.