Yeah yeah I know, another car show t-shirt. But hey, it’s summer, and that is the Official American Car Show Season, didn’t you know?
A couple months ago I was contacted by Justin at BearDesignz.com in Temecula, California. They were looking for an artist to create the new 2011 Temecula Rod Run shirts. Well wouldn’t ya know it, I just so happen to do car t-shirts! And lucky me, Justin’s got a 14 color press, so I could get really creative with my design. The only request was to include a certain car, which the Rod Run organizers supplied a scan of.
I did a few thumbnails to get my idea sorted out, and then fired up Photoshop and did a tighter comp using my trusty Wacom tablet. This time I tried something new by sketching out the main title as well – something I usually don’t do, or accomplish using modified fonts in Illustrator. Here is my initial comp.
You might be thinking now – what’s up with the grape vines? Well Temecula is Southern California’s ‘wine country’. (although there are some very old Zin vines in Rancho Cucamonga that still produce great wines). While Temecula isn’t as large as Paso Robles Wine Country, it still does quite a bit of traffic due to it’s proximity to SoCal, and thanks to the increased popularity of wine tasting. Being appreciative of both good wine and hot rods, the first idea that culminated in this blonde brain of mine was ‘wine grapes and flames’! Makes a perfect pairing, in my opinion.
Ok, onto the line art. My next step is to bring my comp and the photo of the supplied vehicle into Illustrator for some vector-lovin’. Here’s where I tweak the layout, play with line weights, and get things arranged in layers for the selection process when I do the spot color separations in Photoshop. The original comp was approved, with the exception of the ‘Rod Run’ font, which I changed.
This design ended up being 10 colors total, which is a refreshing change of pace for me. Usually I have to figure out how to make 6 or 8 colors work, so when Justin said ‘oh you can do 10, 12 colors’ I almost fainted. This meant I could use two greens. Not one, but TWO! Heck sometimes I even have to make a sort of ‘green’ with yellow and process blue. Being able to use two greens really made the grape vines pop the way I wanted to. I don’t have any ‘work in progress’ images, but here’s a closeup of some grapes (yes, you wine snobs, I know that these are way too large to be wine grapes, but don’t go ruinin’ it for me).
Nothing sets off a lush landscape like a bright purple roadster with flames on it, don’t you think? Well I think so!
I’m going to go pour myself a glass of wine!