This is one of those projects that unexpectedly takes on a life of its own. I wanted to create a label for a region on a map, an area that would have a West Coast feel to it.
The font in the first design felt too modern.
As I reworked the typeface I saw the potential to make it more of a carving, a collection of finely polished stones.
I wanted sharp hook-like points, giving a feral, hunting feel. The "H" was a problem until I decided on an older letter form. The "ER" pair added a strong face, giving the region a people.
Having decided on the final letter shapes I sketched these into the words. I wasn't concerned with kerning as I knew I would need to balance this when I saw the weight of the 3D letters. After drawing each letter using bezier curves, I added the polygons. Each letter has about 500 polies.
I spent some time deciding on a backdrop. I didn't want to do a "drop shadow" - they have become so cliche. I wanted to evoke a feeling of value, that someone had collected these and kept them carefully wrapped in a piece of velvet. I tried them embedded in the background but the letters became impossible to scan into words. I opted to have them magically floating up from the background.