ProjectsSticker Design

Sticker Design: Fox with a retro disk

Overview

A client reached out to me in search of a sticker design featuring their personal mascot, a silver fox, holding a 3.5″ floppy disk in its mouth. The design would include exclusive printing rights for them to produce their own run of stickers. I went through several concept sketches until we settled on an eye-catching design that would work well for a sticker. Although the mascot’s colors were simple, I was able to bring out a splash of color in the grays by contrasting their cool color against a bright red floppy disk. I also added some subtle and simple shading and fur details to add some more depth to an otherwise simple design.

Research

The prompt, a fox holding a 3.5″ floppy disk, was simple enough to execute. I gathered some creative commons photos of foxes to get their facial anatomy down and to find good pose suggestions. The end result was a mixture of reference and imagination.

The client provided another image of their fox mascot design, as well as a doodle of how they imagined the sticker might look. They noted that instead of a speech bubble there would be the disk in the fox’s mouth.

For the floppy disk, I was able to use a Wikimedia commons image of a floppy disk directly into the art.

Concepts

Using photo references, I worked on several concepts. While the client was happy with nearly every one, I didn’t feel they captured the style represented in the provided artwork, nor would they be ideal for an eye-catching sticker design; The expression felt too passive and unexcited. Client feedback helped me to know I was on the right track in terms of executing their vision.

The client agreed with the fourth version and gave me the go-ahead to continue with lines and coloring.

Art Process

With the concept sketch approved, I proceeded with inking and filling in colors.

For the floppy disk, I used a Wikimedia commons image and inserted it directly into the art. I then adjusted the perspective to fit in the fox’s mouth, with a bit of exaggeration to add to the style. I then traced over the signature parts of the disk to add to my own line art.

A works-in-progress image of a fox holding a floppy disk, the crop focuses on the floppy disk

After filling in the fox’s colors, I asked the client if the disk should be any particular color. We both recalled that the “default” disk color was often an ugly beige, however it was also possible to buy and collect a whole rainbow of colors. Given the neutral colors of the fox, I felt a bold and contrasting color would really bring out the design as a fun sticker. I tinted the fox’s grays to a more blue hue, then used a contrasting, bright red for the disk color. I repeated this color in the fox’s nose, mouth and ears for continuity.

A work-in-progress screen capture of a fox holding a floppy disk, the crop emphasizes the disk has been colored bright red

With the colors in place, all that was left was to adding shading and other details. Given how simple the fox’s design was, I felt that my usual, basic shading wouldn’t do much to help the design. I added some additional fur effects in slightly brighter and darker colors just to add a bit more detail to the overall image.

A work-in-progress screen capture of a fox, the crop focuses on how fur details have been added in slightly different colors

Final Result

I created a flat .jpg with a solid background color for both myself and the client to share around online.

I also prepared a hi-res, transparent .PNG version for them to bring to any printer of their choice in order to get the sticker completed.

The client shared a few photos of their sticker in action, both on their laptop and out in the world:

The client had the following to say about this project:

Ooooooo man I love it! Man I love the perspective on it. And awesome choice on the colors!
I still can’t stop smiling at this — it is way too awesome. […] It is seriously awesome.

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