When we left off, I had just done some vectors of the main visual components of the series.Â I can’t remember how long I tweaked the castle and the U/N but it was done when I had very spotty internet access so I was able to focus very tightly and didn’t really notice time passing apart from my legs falling asleep and vines growing over my chair.
4.Â Developing the Concept
I played around with lineweights and fonts for a while.Â I wanted something that wouldn’t be super-serious looking in terms of font but not too cartoony in order to balance the castle a bit.Â I ended up using something called Hit The Road that I found at dafont.com, a really useful compendium of free fonts.Â I have something like 200 fonts installed in my Windows partition right now which is really quite rediculous.Â I matched the lineweight of the U/N to the outline of the font with moderate success.Â The p and d overlap in kind of an odd way due to how they look with colours.
I mucked around with having the arrows in the U/N be totally vertical and canting the text at about a 10 degree angle but decided upon consultation with Luke that it would look better straight across.Â I moved into the realm of colour next.
Colours are always a challenge for me.Â I am starting to suspect that I am suffering from mild green/grey colourblindness so I generally stay away from those ones, just in case.Â I tend to be partial to blues and tans.Â I’ve used Adobe’s Kuler site to good effect in the past so I turned there this time.Â I searched for “castle” and it gave me this, conveniently called “castle”:
I felt that this looked a little bit plain (still in discussion with Luke.Â As a bit of a sidebar, I find that creative work often benefits from having multiple inputs.Â I was very pleased to have him working with me on this) so I decided to try gradients as they are all the rage.
While I liked the lighting effect within the gateway, I decided that this was far, far too shiny and metallic.Â Luke suggested something a bit more cartoonish, perhaps with some bricks.Â A little bit more back and forth and we had settled on the final version.
I wanted to have the text be a little bit punchy and noticeable.Â Having mentioned that I don’t deal well with greens, this first picture may surprise you.Â I think one of the earlier colour selections I considered had green as some kind of accent colour.Â It was unwise as I’m sure you’ll agree.
I quickly settled on using the same tan colour as on the castle towers as the central colour for that gradient.
6.Â Putting the Pieces in Place
Still riding the gradient train, the background was pretty easy to come up with.Â I moved it around some but eventually pushed this out.Â I used the GIMP to do this stuff because it’s much better for the kind of stretching and altering that I needed to to to make the shadows from the castle.Â I used a quick mask to blur the shadow to give a bit of depth but was never fully happy with how it turned out.
Still with the green text there.Â I also spun this one out with a gradient castle and a shadow behind the words.Â It did not fill me with feelings of unmixed delight to say the least.Â There also isn’t much contrast between the letters and the background and the one with shadows behind the worlds looks mucky apart form not having shadows behind “The” and “Kingdom”.Â These are all from the discards file.
I decided to significantly simplify the shadows and try to make it look like the picture and words were just hovering in front of a blue field.Â This is what went up the first Sunday of the new series.
I forgot to take into account that the screen at the church building changes the whole look of things so I did a slightly lighter version. I may do a third “final” where the contrast is slightly higher because I’m still not 100% happy with it on the big screen.Â The bricks also don’t read quite right anymore so I will almost certainly make some adjustments.
Thanks again to Luke for providing very, very helpful feedback.