Twenty days since I started this blog. I can’t quite believe that time has gone so quickly, or that I have managed to post on each one of those days, often more than once! Today also marks day 7 of my daily creative challenge to create a decorative numeral from 1 through 7 and I have to say that I have enjoyed this challenge so much. In fact I am going to continue to create numbers 8, 9 and 0 to complete the set. Back on day 13 I devised a time saving plan to have a weekly, rather than daily theme and to post the results once the week was over. The time saving part didn’t quite go to plan! On average I probably spent around an hour and a half per numeral which is an hour more than I had initially anticipated. Normally I would see such a discrepancy as being an issue but I enjoyed every second so it was a conscious decision to ignore the rigorous 30 minute time limit and create something worthwhile.
I began each day by researching. Jessica Hische’s website http://www.dailydropcap.com/ was an incredibly inspirational source and I scoured the site, daily, for ideas and inspiration. I also made great use of instagram. The page https://instagram.com/36daysoftype had so many wonderful examples of handcrafted and digital lettering and this pointed me in the right direction on more than one occasion. This page also led me to discover even more talented and inspirational designers, typographers and letterers, becoming a very valuable resource for this project. There were many uploads that were not to my taste but in general the level was high and the majority of posts were, what I would consider, to be a highly professional standard.
I would usually spend around 15 to 20 minutes researching and then I’d begin to sketch. Using my moleskin and a 2B pencil, my weapons of choice! and I would create around 8 to 10 different ideas for the number of the day. With the exceptions of day 1 where I simply created one option. The idea generation would typically take around half an hour after which I’d photograph the spread and choose the best design to take to the next stage. This was a process of elimination, with some days being more difficult to narrow down than others. Generally, there seemed to be one stand-out idea that I wanted to progress. After determining the piece I wanted to work with, I’d begin the process of digitizing the artwork using Adobe Illustrator. This was where most of my time was spent; I could have chosen to leave the designs as hand-drawn sketches but I was so pleased with the results and was enjoying the experience that I decided that it was time well spent. It is also my intention to potentially utilise these numerals within my 2 books, ergo the time spent here was far from wasted.
I am so pleased with the results of this exercise. I believe some numbers are better than others with numbers 1 and 3 being particularly strong and number 5 being the weakest. I think I had better ideas for number 5 in my sketch book but I had already invested too much in illustrator to change my mind and start afresh. All the numbers were uploaded to my instagram account and I used this as a method to evaluate the success of each piece by gauging the amount of likes per post. Number 3 came out on top with 89 likes overall, closely followed by number 1 with 85 likes. The least popular was number 7 with 47 but this may be due to the fact that it has only been uploaded today so is at a disadvantage. I’m not sure how accurate a method of evaluation this is but simply by viewing the ‘likers’ I was able to conclude that they were mostly from the design community which would indicate that my contemporary peers approve!
Below are the numbers 1 through 7 with their supporting sketches. I’ll continue this challenge on for 3 more days and post the results on the third day. In summation this has been an enjoyable and valuable experience. I have challenged myself creatively and gained an insight into online channels of new inspiration. I am very pleased that I set this task and believe that it has given me the confidence to pick up creatively where I left off in practice 1 module. Almost like a warm up before the main event!
All images below: Winstanley. L. (2015) Daily Drop Cap Numerals 1 though 7