Abrasive Technology

Abrasive Technology produces many products including custom solutions that improve productivity and cost-effectiveness in manufacturing. I was fortunate enough to work with them on many projects, one being updating their company branding. I worked on digital and print applications, including literature used for their vendors and clients.

BACKGROUND

I was asked by a local author, Lynnette Manuse, to illustrate a 30 page book for children 7 years and up. The book follows a sock monkey that becomes a jockey at Saratoga Race Track in Upstate New York. His journey teaches him the power of friendship and to always try your best. The author and I were on the same page (no pun intended) right from the beginning as far as how the book should look and feel.

Being completely honest, I actually had no idea what a sock monkey was exactly. She was nice enough to supply pictures of her collection so I was able to have a good understanding of the anatomy of a sock monkey.

 

INITIAL IDEATION & COLOR

PROCESS

To get the wimsical, colorful, yet washed out effect I was going for, I would scan my sketches onto my computer; then proceed to outline them in Illustrator.

Then I would go on to add color to the shapes I just created. After this, I dropped the file into Photoshop to erase any hard edges leftover from the initial coloring in Illustrator. This creates a soft outer glow that allows the illustrations to fade into their pages.

CONCEPT & IDEATION

I had the opportunity to submit a book cover for the release of Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-on-Crime Era by Michael O’Hear. Having spent a great amount of time in Wisconsin and multiple family members working in the criminal justice system, it was a fitting project to be involved with.

I was sent the outline along with the author’s marketing questionnaire, both of which helped give me a feel for the content, topic, and tone of the book. Due to the length of the title, the outline stated a text only design might be the best approach for the cover. The title, along with a lengthy subtitle of How Judges Retained Power and Why Mass Incarceration Came Anyway, I couldn’t have agreed more. So I chose to go along with the heavy emphasis on the text along with some type of physical imagery that conveys prison life, such as the bars of a jail cell.

Once I was satisfied with one of my concepts, I ran with it and developed it further digitally in Illustrator. I started by outlining and tightening up the composition, then proceeding to color using gradients and hues of blue. Afterwards I took the file into Photoshop and applied a blurred bokeh effect to further drop the imagery into the background as to not take away from the text going over top.

I explored different fonts, but ultimately decided on a tall and narrow font, Tungsten, to mirror the overall vertical trim of the book of 6 x 9.