When I first started planning to change my lifestyle and become a digital nomad, the first thing I thought about was to create this project. But as per usual, we tend to doubt that something on this level on amazingness can really happen to us – until it REALLY starts happening. The Lisbon lettering took a while to get ready and I ended up delivering the print to the host 3 weeks after leaving the city. These things happen, specially since we were only there for a week.

But it doesn’t matter how late you are with your personal projects – finish them. ALWAYS FINISH THEM. This is the most important thing, isn’t it? I believe so.

For the reference research, I initially thought of going to the city center and searching for Lisbon pictures on Pinterest. I know that doesn’t make much sense, because the city was all around me, waiting to be used as a reference – so why would I be looking at Pinterest?

As soon as I got to town, the things that called my attention the most were the abundance ornaments (obviously), decorative tiles on everything, and the titles below:

In a way, I knew that the “Cabelleireiro” title represented what I was seeing from the city, but I believe you should never accept the first option without knowing what else is out there, right? Right.

Afterwards, lettering inspirations only made me believe more on what I already had in mind.

n a way, I knew that the “Cabelleireiro” title represented what I was seeing from the city, but I believe you should never accept the first option without knowing what else is out there, right? Right.

Afterwards, lettering inspirations only made me believe more on what I already had in mind.

With the exception of the last two pictures, the others are from the “Cidade Gráfica” exposition, showcasing many amazing works from the XXth century. I don’t believe in coincidences so the feeling of making a bifurcated title was starting to come into shape.

The initial sketch:

(Initially the drawing itself was so poor on information that neither the picture I fixed on Photoshop worked.)

Now it was time to play with ornaments and Lisbon leaves nothing behind when it comes to balcony ornaments and decorative tiles.

Look at these:

I’m not kidding when I say that THAT was the sketch I used in the vector initially, and all the rest was improvised from my last minute research. After this experience I can say with certainty, don’t do that. It’s not healthy. It’s chaotic.

Basically, after defining the title, I tried to put as many ornaments as possible without overdoing it. This is what Lisbon represents to me – curves and ornaments. But as ornaments are secondary, I thought it would be interesting to add two ornament layers, in order to accomplish the Portuguese culture’s feeling and give focus on what really needs attention: words.

Something that I think is very important on the vector process is to avoid using colors when you’re still dealing with the design shape itself – colors can really affect your point of view, not allowing you to focus on what truly matters at that moment.

Below the work in black and white:

Only vector, without Photoshop adjustments.

It’s interesting how testing dark backgrounds can give so much more attention to a white lettering. I tested light backgrounds with the famous white and blue combination – most common in portuguese tiles – but nothing was as shocking as the blue background.

And here is the final art:

I hope this article gave you some inspiration or taught something new. If you’d like to get ask me any questions or talk about something that I may not have mentioned, you can get it touch with me via email or any of the social media links below!

You can see the entire project here!

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