Last year, my friend Allison and I were talking about what to name my letterpress machine. I wanted to try to have some separation between the rest of the artwork I was creating and the specific letterpress prints. She came up with the name “Off the Beaten Press.” It was perfect. I loved the impression it left on me — the quirky edge to it and the play on words.
However it was really hard to start a “new brand” as well as maintain my ilovenataliekay side of things. So I have decided to use it for the name for my trailer and the letterpress work that comes from it – while still being under the umbrella of ilovenataliekay. I created a twitter account for it but that is also hard to maintain a bit. We shall see where that lands, but for the time being, I have a nice little logo to use on my trailer when it is done, as well as on some future prints that come out of it!
I struggled with what to do for this. I use my signature for all my branding so I knew I wanted some handwritten element to it. I looked around at what a lot of other people are doing with fancy calligraphy, but that didn’t represent me in the right way. I get compliments often on my own handwritting and decided instead of trying to ‘copy’ the popular style that was everywhere else, I would use what is MINE anyway.
First I drew out a few versions on paper. I kept writing and rewriting parts of words until I had a bunch to work with. Here is a shot from one of those pages:
After I sorted the ones I liked out, I began tracing out the letters in illustrator. I always write with the same brand of pen, so I made sure to use one I was comfortable with. I start tracing with single simple lines and increase the point of line to match the width of the pen I had used. Then I outline the line stroke and mess with each letter to get it to the ideal shape. I also change the kerning of the letters to fit within each other. So many little vector paths!
Once I finished that I threw it in with the circle that I had thought about using and got the final result.
I have my signature locked up in the same fashion now to use on some coordinating pieces. But most often my true ilovenataliekay logo will stick with my plain signature. I also have some plans in the future to sell some digital downloads and want to lock up a logo so it all feels cohesive.