Logo Design Informing Sticker Designs with Alan Peters of Jupiter Visual
In this episode of the Stickers on the Mic Podcast we sat down with Alan Peters of Jupiter Visual. Tune in to hear about how logo design can influence sticker artwork and more.
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[00:00:22] Announcer: Welcome to the Stickers on the Mic Podcast brought to you by stickergiant.com. If you're joining us for the first time, welcome. If you're a regular listener, thanks for tuning in. In our podcast we interview our customers to hear their founder stories, we talk business, marketing, growth and of course stickers and labels.
[00:00:42] Host: This month we sat down with Alan Peters of Jupiter Visual and talked about illustration, working with clients and how design can inform marketing. Alan, thank you so much for joining us today. It's great to have you here to ask you some questions for a change.
[00:00:55] Alan: Thanks for having me today.
[00:00:59] Host: Awesome. Well, I guess let's just dive right into it. What type of style of graphic design do you specialize in?
[00:01:07] Alan: I do all types of graphic design but I tend to specialize in illustration, vector artwork, print design, and screen printed work. Jupiter Visual is primarily divided into four areas. That's commercial work, digital education, art and creative products, screen printing and print work.
[00:01:31] Host: That's quite a bit you've got going on there. Is there anything that you like the most about it? Designing promotional stickers, the education, or is it the balance of it all that you love the most?
[00:01:46] Alan: I think it's the balance of it all. I'm lucky that I get to do a lot of different things, work with a lot of different people and just having that newness to each project and getting to try different things is the exciting part for me.
[00:02:02] Host: Fantastic. What tips would you have as a graphic designer for a client coming into your space for the first time with a request for something to be designed for them?
[00:02:15] Alan: I'm a big proponent of starting with a creative brief. I think that eliminates a number of problems that can happen and address them head-on, early on with clients. A creative brief allows a client to become a stakeholder in the project and it lets them be invested in the ideas and gives them the opportunity to look at the project themselves and know what they're coming to a designer with.
[00:02:47] Host: A chance to be involved in the process.
[00:02:49] Alan: Absolutely, yes. It also helps in setting expectations and it helps on the designers and it helps narrow down on the scope of the work and the cost. Really heads off a number things. It also creates rules and boundaries between the client and the designer. Then the client can have input on the front end but still allow the designer to do the design work. That's generally how I start when working with a client, getting them to get the vision, nail down writing in a brief.
[00:03:28] Host: It sounds like encouraging creativity on both sides of the relationship between you and the client.
[00:03:34] Alan: Definitely, yes. It's good to have the client involved as much as possible and also have boundaries in that as well.
[00:03:46] Host: Your artistic style and skills come out because after all it's probably why they’re seeking out a graphic designer.
[00:03:52] Alan: Sure, yes.
[00:03:55] Host: We know you also design stickers and not just for us but for your business as well and for your customers and clients. When it comes to that area of print design, what recommendations do you have for choosing the right size of sticker in relation to some of the design aspects you might be requested to include?
[00:04:15] Alan: There's a number of considerations with any printed product. If a sticker or label is designed to fit a certain space or to serve a function like sealing a bag or fit on a particular product then you're actually solving a design problem with the sticker and the size is as important as any other physical attribute of that sticker. With stickers in general there's an economy of design and space and so you're working with a limited amount of space and you really want that message to come across clearly.
A good sticker communicates its message in a purposeful way without excess. Which is generally true of a good logo design as well. Good logos do make good stickers and vice-versa, well not vice-versa but bad logos make bad stickers as well.
Actually working with stickers generally and having so many stickers in front of me over the years. Sticker design actually informs logo design in my world where a logo that makes a successful sticker is actually a successful logo across the board.
[00:05:42] Host: Do you think ahead a little bit when looking at designing a logo and envision how it would look as a sticker?
[00:05:50] Alan: Exactly, yes.
[00:05:50] Host: - to help that process?
[00:05:53] Alan: Yes, and then with things like StickerGiant’s die cuts, you can push that even further and use custom shapes to hone the messaging even more or to make a cool looking sticker based on just the dieline.
[00:06:09] Host: To add an additional element into your creative process. Wonderful, how about fonts? Are there some font groups that you tend to fall back on more than others such San serif or Serif fonts? Or is that pretty much dependent on what project you're working on?
[00:06:32] Alan: It is good to have the full range of fonts at your disposal. Typography is a huge piece of graphic design.
[00:06:43] Host: Of course.
[00:06:43] Alan: In my Jupiter Visual style, I lean heavily towards Bold Condensed Sans Serif Font. I tend to have bold messaging in my work and can have very type-heavy design work. With that, this Condensed Sans Serif Font tends to have a good balance of boldness and space efficiency. You can run larger type in smaller areas. That kind of thing, also my design work has a retro quality to it and these types of condensed fonts tend to work well with that type of imagery.
[00:07:32] Host: Keeps it kind of clean too I imagine. When you're getting ready to do a new design project, what are your big steps in your design and creative process? Will it all be on that creative brief when you really get to dive into it?
[00:07:51] Alan: Right, I'll definitely start with that creative brief and try and download as much information as possible from the client to get them invested like I mentioned. Each project is really custom depending on the needs of that job. My projects tend to be illustration based, so starting on the actual drawing board & it isn't uncommon for me to do a sketch or to put pencil to paper to start to nail that down.
My workflow is primarily vector with most work ending up in adobe illustrator. Then with that, the workflow is modular and so I can pull pieces from one design and move them to another project or prepare artwork for stickers or screen printing or offset printing or any other type of output that comes along. It's very versatile and having that art work be adaptable to different forms of print.
[00:08:59] Host: Yes, so you can get a lot more from one design, or a few design projects, than if you had to redo it for each one.
[00:09:09] Alan: Yes, I'm a big fan of up-cycling of assets that have been created. You might see a robot or bicycle from one project that ends up in another project. Some of these little cameos can happen throughout the work.
[00:09:25] Host: Keeps your artwork living on. In all the things that you've done, what's one of the most memorable design projects you've ever done or been asked to do by a client?
[00:09:38] Alan: I've been very fortunate to work on a lot of great projects and I get to work with a lot of my friends and great companies like StickerGiant. I started Jupiter Visual 11 years ago working with bands and creating screen printing gig posters. I've been lucky that I've gotten to work with a lot of my favorite musicians and do artistic creative work for them.
One project that stands out is doing the band identity and beer labels for J Wells Brewery in Boulder. That's just a fun project where you got to see design work distributed on bottles and merchandise. See signage, products and all types of different parts for that. One that stands out in the last couple of weeks is that I was asked to do custom portrait of a guy riding a polar bear while tasting a beer with a bulldog. Everyone in that drawing was wearing hockey jerseys. We get some unusual requests as well.
[00:10:53] Host: Straight from his imagination, I'm guessing.
[00:10:54] Alan: It was a beer label for a special event and I actually went ahead and did that one.
[00:11:03] Host: Wonderful, so if it's a beer label you might see it out in the wild with that?
[00:11:08] Alan: I'm not sure about that one but [laughs]. It was a good request.
[00:11:15] Host: Yes, I could see where that one would stick in your memory for sure. Over the years, it sounds like you've done a lot of different things. Is there anything that has been a bigger influence on your design style or the direction that you've gone with your business as far as integrating the education and the different types of printing styles that you work with?
[00:11:46] Alan: In the last several years I'm definitely primarily influenced by retro visual styles. I like old typography, vintage color pallets, old badge logos, old toys, old bicycles. I love old product catalogs. These are things that inform my design a lot. Like I mentioned production influences my design a lot. Even here at StickerGiant working with the die cuts or working with different finishes. That goes as well for a screen printing and laser cutting, embroidery, web design. Each of these outputs has different design challenges and affects the way I design for those different things.
[00:12:43] Host: Quite the varied group of media that you're printing on there..
[00:12:46] Alan: Absolutely.
[00:12:48] Alan: There's so many different types of things out there still that I would like to explore.
[00:12:57] Host: Wonderful, world of creativity.
[00:13:01] Alan: The educational piece has been something I've worked on in the last couple of years which is working primarily with a couple of local places. One being Madelife in Boulder which is a creative accelerator for young adults. I work there as a mentor helping young people who want to become graphic designers through a 12-week program of rapid development. Then as well I help run Adobe trainings with a company called Digital Workshop Center at Fort Collins. Teaching Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and then In Design to their students.
[00:13:47] Host: Nice, I'm sure they appreciate the creative expertise.
Wonderful, I think we've got all the questions. Is there anything else that you'd love our audience to know?
[00:14:04] Alan: I think that about covers it. Happy to-- thanks for having me here today and it's always nice to be here at StickerGiant.
[00:14:19] Host: Thank you so much for joining us today. We love the opportunity to get the chance to ask you questions. As our graphic designer, you're always asking us questions.
[00:14:29] Alan: Thank you.
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