Make Meaning

Good Life Project is about building an extraordinary life, with deeper relationships and a more meaningful career. This hand lettered shirt was created to help inspire GLP’s world-shakers to live a life with purpose.

Mechanical Pencil
Micron 08
75lb CardStock
LED Artcraft Tracing Light Pad
Photoshop CC
Illustrator CC


Thumbnails Round 1

These were the first thumbnails I created that helped me discover different ways to present these two powerful words “Make Meaning” into something people would be proud to wear.

I knew I wanted to create something bold, fun and inviting. I quickly fell in love with the sharp feminity of the capital “M” and got started on more detailed compositions right away.


Concept One – REJECTED

I took the best of the best compositions and created a more detailed concept to present to the client. Although this first concept was beautifully crafted and harnessed the right emotion, my client mentioned she wanted something more illustrated and decorative.

Client feedback:
“Wondering if you can use a curvier, full-bodied style of lettering. I would also love to see some more embellishments/flourishes/accents around it.” So back to the drawing board I went.


Thumbnails Round 2

With the added art direction from the client, I was able to start experimenting with different ways to incorporate various swirls, ornamentation and movement into the design. I wanted this design to feel like a stamp of honor, an evergreen creed for GLP members that could help inspire them for years to come.


Pencil Drawing Round 2

After a few pages of thumbnails I noticed I kept drawing this same cloud-like shape over and over again. I loved how the swirls encased the design and perfectly decorated the phrase. Switching gears to better match with the client’s vision, after the initial composition was complete I jammed packed this design with illustrative marks and fun loving swirls.

At this early stage even with all of its roughness, buried within the messiness of the piece was a design with potential. Following my gut I sent this rough draft to the client, excitingly awaiting her response. Her exact words were “LOVE IT!!!! Thanks soooo much :)”. Nailed it!


Final Inked Drawing

This drawing although seemingly simple was very complicated when trying to create a balanced composition. With this kind of decoration, it took more than a few rounds to get even spacing for the outside curls while strategically placing the right lines and swirls on the inside of the drawing. After killing about two trees, I finally came up with a mirrored image that fit along the letters nicely without competing too much with the lettering.


Vector B&W

When bringing in my final inked drawing into Illustrator, I knew I wanted the final result to have the same roughness as my inked drawing while maintaining that same “Sharpied” look. I tweaked my Live Trace settings patiently trying to find the perfect harmony of sharp and smooth.


Phase 5: Illustrator Color

As per the client’s request, I created a colored version in addition to the one-color needed for printing. There is nothing quite like the addition of color to make a hand lettered design like this really pop off the page.

Sticking to the fun and playful theme I had originally designed into the body of the piece, I choose a color scheme to create a perfect marriage with the type. The cool colors give the piece a sense of freshness making this piece appear timeless and new.


 “It was such a pleasure working with Dina. She promised a certain delivery schedule and met every deadline. She was very responsive and open to input which allowed for a more collaborative process. We are absolutely thrilled with both hand lettered quotes Dina made for us.

– Stephanie Fields / Good Life Project

Hire me for your next hand lettered project

Contact me today to create a hand crafted illustration that’s custom made to attract and delight your audience. Fill out my Creative Brief Questionnaire to receive a free quote.