Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ruston Tunnel Playing Card: The Card went beep beep.

I picked The Ruston Tunnel because it was a fun place in Tacoma, a place you could sound your horn like crazy, because you were supposed too! Driving thru a tiny dark tunnel! What could be more fun? I wanted to make sure the card illustrations worked like playing card illustrations, that you could view/read them  from both sides. No top no bottom.  The Tunnel having two identical ends really lent itself to that. …"beep, beep"

My driving idea was a car, back lit, coming into the dark tunnel sounding it's horn. The light being the center and the words/sounds, "beep, beep",  readable both ways.  I tried adding oncoming headlights. A close runner up was to show both ends of  the tunnel with the road curving  from the dark into the light opening. I thought that was an intriguing idea but a little to gimmicky, forced, "beep, beep".

I went for simplicity in my next rough. Working digitally upsized. I had a lit tunnel entrance with the words readable both ways, "beep, beep(… the car went , beep, beep")
I felt this was on the right track, but somehow lacked the kind of mystery and fun of the tunnel.

I continued on, playing with the tunnel, the light and the words, "beep, beep". Maybe more of a straight ahead signage feel? Naaah. "beep, beep"
This last rough had some of the feel I wanted, the car, backlit with headlights on coming into the dark.

In the end I decided to strip everything away, giving up what I thought would be fun stuff to draw. I think it was Alex Toth that said something about reducing elements to just what is needed to tell the story, then drawing the hell out what is left.

Originally the words were set as type, but they didn't fit with the drawn headlights. So the set type was drawn, then flipped and rotated to make the card work like a card. Both ways, coming and going thru the tunnel…"beep, beep".

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