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obaby mother’s day illustrations

Mother's Day Obaby Illustration Pack | by Pinegate Road

As we head in to Mother’s Day weekend, I thought I’d share another little something that I’ve been up to!

Our friends at Obaby had me help them with a little something to celebrate all the mothers in our lives. There is now a special pack of 22 mother’s day illustrations that have been added to the app, designed by yours truly and sponsored by Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets. Want to hear the real kicker? The regular Obaby app is now available for free, and Obaby+ is now just $9.99. If you’ve been waiting to get a hold of this special little app, now is certainly the time my friends. Happy Mother’s day!

In the spirit of transparency, and opening up more about my process, I wanted to let you in to how I went about the development of these illustrations. Both for the first round of illustrations, and for this pack. I meant to share this info when the app was released, but with all the excitement that was bubbling up in my head it completely slipped my mind! Yeah, I’m giving myself a little wrist slap as I type here. Hah.

Mother's Day Obaby Illustration Pack | sketches | by Pinegate Road

When I was first contacted by Obaby, we did a test run to make sure that my illustrating and lettering style was something that they thought would work well for the app. I was pretty nervous about this. My style? Did I have a lettering style? Throughout my design studies and professional work, I truly feel like my work has kind of been all over the place as far as style goes. It’s always been my mission to let the concepts and the problems at hand direct the design direction. This is where personal style becomes an intuitive move rather than the main attraction. I wanted this project to be no different, so I started with particular guidelines that design decisions would have a foothold in, rather than my own style leading the way. Here is what I kept in mind while making design decisions:

+ The app was created for soon-to-be parents, and current parents. 

+ Users are in to social media, and love capturing and sharing memories.

+ Users are on top of the current technology.

+ Users are trend-oriented but timeless.

To tap in to the trend-oriented but timeless design style, the lettering referenced calligraphy and calligraphy tools. I looked in to traditional baby design and used a lot of polka dots, checkers, simple shapes and swirls so that it still was baby-centric at it’s core. Keeping the imperfections visible and trying out more modern layouts of lettering helped bring these more traditional approaches into something that parents today would resonate with. After trying out what seemed one million tools, I landed on using the 05 micron pen exclusively. It was just bold enough when making single strokes, but detailed enough to build up on the illustrations. I also loved that at this weight, it automatically created a rounded tip at the end each stroke. This rounded off and soft quality was something that I was definitely looking for when dealing with baby-centric design!

After doodling around for each phrase, the illustrations were narrowed down so that each phrase had a unique illustration associated with it, but still felt united as a pack. This is where using one tool consistently can really help solidify different designs that have to live together in the same space. Each one was imported in to photoshop where I had custom layers for curves and levels to change the scan to pure black and white images. From there, I used a black and white brush tool to refine the illustrations and make sure they were jusssst right. Then they were popped in to illustrator to be vectorized and off they went to the team at Obaby.

Mother's Day Obaby Illustration Pack | illustrations | by Pinegate Road

It was a pretty neat experience to create a custom process for this project. I love the details and the reasons behind the details of design, but making sure that the details were quiet was important. You want whoever is using these illustrations to have a general feeling that these are ‘exactly what they were looking for’ without them thinking too hard about the reasons why. To me, that’s the real beauty in design.

I was so happy to work with the Obaby team again for this Mother’s Day illustration pack. Please go download and play around if you haven’t already — and let’s celebrate all those lovely ladies in our lives. They sure deserve some extra love this week, and always, duh.

Leave a Reply

  1. Loretta

    May 8th, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Fabulous lady. They look amazing. I love your write up about your process.

    Side note: HOW in the heck did you get the interest based ad on your side bar? the Adroll thing? I’d like to add something like that on my blog. Did you have to pay for it or are you being paid?

  2. Kelsey

    May 8th, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    @ Loretta — Thank you lady! Federated Media sets up my ads. They gave me a code, and I earn a small (seriously small, hah) amount through having them up there. I’m honestly not even sure how much. I put the codes there, and then honestly forgot I had them. #badblogger

  3. EM-K | Rethink Design Studio

    May 14th, 2014 at 8:03 AM

    Thanks for sharing your process! They turned out great!

  4. Ciara

    May 15th, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    You are so great at lettering, Kelsey! I love these so much! <3

  5. Kate

    May 15th, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Beautiful lettering, I love your style. And I always appreciate a little insight into other designers’ creative process. Thanks for sharing!

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