I had been working on a "Tactical Beard" icon/logo and this seemed like a great opportunity to talk about tools and process. I like to conceptualize in a natural way, but through digital tools.


The final version is visible to the left. Here's how I got there...


I posted about AutoDesk Sketchbook on Facebook. I love this tool for exactly these reasons. I use it on my PC with a Wacom Cintique Stylus/Screen, and I'm using it more and more on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (which has an awesome stylus).


To begin the process, I decided on some basic themes:


1.) Beard

2.) Tactical - that's vague, but I boiled it down to ear protection and hat for firearms users.

3.) Tough, Cool, Mean - I wanted to show strength and ferocity through a large beard and stern appearance.


Below is a progression I came up with on my Note 4 with Autodesk Sketchook. I sketched out the basic concepts first, re-sketched to refine the idea, then re-sketched it again as its more basic shapes.



Below are some process examples, demonstrating workflow and concept progression.

Design Progression from Phone Sketch to Final Adobe Illustrator Artwork

After sketching simplifying the design to simple shapes, I imported it to Adobe Illustrator and began tracing the basic outlines. The result at this stage was very blocky and unrefined.


After the basic shapes were established, I went back through and adjusted each shape individually, adding details and curves that resulted in the final version, above.


I changed the text around and developed the concept for a car window decal. I ran the design by several people from different backgrounds and identified some confusion about the eyebrow, so that had to go.


The final version turned out great. I'm very happy with it and plan to spin up some merchandise from it. No ETA for that yet.


The "Bad Moon" concept comes from the classic Credence Clearwater Revival song.


"I see a bad moon arising.

I see trouble on the way.

I see earthquakes and lightning.

I see bad times today."


In the CCR song, the "bad moon" is sort of a nondescript omen of eminent, ill, fate, but I started thinking about it as an emblem. What if the real protagonist of the song isn't John Fogerty? What if it's the moon?


I've played around with this concept for a while, and I hope to eventually design and produce some military-style morale patches with it, and maybe a host of other merchandise. I guess we'll see where it goes. Like my Facebook page for updates.

See them full-size on Behance.