29 June 2008

Woodblock for Commercial Client

Click here to see larger version

In April I was contacted by Jessica Yu, the graphics director for Wall Street Journal Asia, to work on a map of Hong Kong for their monthly "City Walks" column. Jessica gave me a written itinerary of the walk and a number of photographs of landmarks that would be visited along the way. Jessica was drawn to the woodblock work I have displayed on my web site, so although we agreed that I wouldn't have the time to do the entire map in woodblock I promised to use moku hanga at least for the background.

First I made a tight sketch and got it approved. Then I scanned my sketch and cut a block for the streets.


I printed the block in a color close to the color I thought I would want on the final, knowing that I could adjust the color later when I composed the illustration on the computer.


The map would also have small icons marking the locations of various tourist sites, so I decided to try doing a white line woodcut for those small illustrations. I carved the simple lines and then printed the block all in one color. This way I would have the lines and the woodblock texture and I could adjust the colors digitally.


And here's a closeup of the icons after I changed the colors with Photoshop. To finish the piece I scanned and added hand lettering and the walking route. All in all, I liked how it turned out, and I especially like the hint of wood texture that's visible in the background.



d. moll, l.ac. said...

very cool, what a great way to interface between computer and woodblock and retain a wood feel.

Anita Thomhave Simonsen said...

very interesting to read and that you mix the woodblockmethod with the computerwork thrills me too......love the woodblockeffect and wood at any time prefer the woodblock, but being creative is what you are and it´s a very good result.....thanks for showing the process....

Kris Shanks said...

I know you've mused about the difficulty of using printmaking in your commercial work before. What a nice balance you've struck!