The Strong Rise Up From Failure

A custom hand-lettered commission for a special Twitch raffle winner.

Every few months on Twitch we offer a raffle so one lucky winner can win a custom commission of their choice. This summer the winner was Michael LaPlante a fellow designer and alumist from Full Sail University. Michael was a new fan on Twitch after we met this year at our alma mater for their 7th annual Hall of Fame week where we were both presenters. On the last week of the raffle Mike purchased five $6 dollar tickets and ended up wining!

Then after a few emails back and forth Mike decided that he wanted a strong message for him to feel insired and encouraged for both a poster and a t-shirt. The poster was going to be front and center in his living room but the shirt would be something he would sport in order to be a motivational billboard for others.

Below is a short 3 min time-lapse showcasing my entire process from start to finish.

June 2016

Twitch Raffle Winner

Michael LaPlante


Time Spent: 18 hrs
Admin: 9hrs
Drawing: 4hrs
Digitalization: 5hrs

Project Duties:
Hand Lettering
Art Direction

Case Study

Below is an outline of my process from start to finish. Here you will be able to dig deeper into my design decisions and see for yourself how I ended up with the final result.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 12.08.36 PM

Mood Board/ Art Direction

We started this piece by creating a Pinterest Mood Board that had various type styles and lettering samples for me and Mike to select an art direction from. We ended up deciding on a mostly script solution where I would play with different ways to connect the letters to make this piece really pop off the page. The style would be vintage with a large thin to thick ratio with a supporting typeface similar to Gin from our Mood Board. Then I would create some background lines creating an upward movement around the letters. This piece would be in black and white only in a chalkboard like style with subtle texture.



This particular piece was to be printed on an 18×24 poster as well a shirt, so I knew immediately that this design needed to be in a portrait format. So when I started on initial sketches, I first drew out the aspect ratio of my artboard to make sure my lettering could fit in the space I needed. Then I began to draw the skeleton of my letters to help visualize different ways to write out the phrase. It was important that “Strong” would have the most visual weight of the piece to futher emplasize the phrase.

Second Draft


After experiemnting with different styles I decided to use all caps in a sharp script for my keywords with a hard thick serif for my supporting type since Mike wanted something bold and masculine. Then I decided to add some fire illustrations to help illustrate the rising from failure, ultimately making “failure” the source of the flame.

The Strong Rise Up


For this piece, it was important to have the focus remain on the letters themselves by keeping it just black and white. Then for a more organic hand drawn look I inverted my sketch in Photoshop to give it more of a chalkboard look so it would have a high contrast against a black shirt and poster.