Recent Work: Peggy Jean's Pies

It's been quiet around the blog lately since I had family visiting (yay!) and several projects to work on after my 9-5 (yay again!). I'm excited to share one of those projects with you today! Here in Columbia, MO lives Peggy Jean's Pies, a top-notch pie shop run by a fun and authentic mother/daughter duo. Rebecca, one half of the PJP team, writes the blog on their website where she shares the day-to-day happenings of running a business with a great sense of humor and documents her and her mom's journey toward #WorldPieDomination. These ladies recently celebrated one year of business, which is a very exciting milestone! To properly celebrate this accomplishment and the beginning of their second year, I worked with Jeanne and Rebecca to create a symbol that embodies the #WorldPieDomination movement. It was certainly a privilege to partner with such a fun business and celebrate their success! If you want to read about their 365+ days of pie-filled adventures, give their blog a read here! Also, you should know that their pie is amazing, and they ship their adorable jelly jar pies all around the country. Join the #WorldPieDomination movement!

I absolutely loved every minute of working on the #WorldPieDomination logo for Peggy Jean's Pies! After reading this blog post, my heart got a big hug from the kind words. Thanks for being so great to work with, Jeanne and Rebecca!

An amazing local designer, Gillian Tracey, sketched up this image up for us not long ago and immediately, Jeanne and I became smitten kittens…like seriously and completely IN LOVE. It grabs everything I think about when I think of PJP V. 2.0 Year Two. I feel like I need a solid paragraph or two here that tells you what it means and why I love it so very much, but it is completely self-explanatory. This picture is, actually, worth a thousand PJP-related words…and I couldn’t be happier.
— Rebecca Miller, Peggy Jean's Pies

Behind the Design

When I started on this on this project, there were a few things to take into consideration:

First and foremost, I wanted to make sure that whatever I designed fit in with the existing Peggy Jean's Pies brand, suited the personalities of Jeanne and Rebecca, and embodied the vision of #WorldPieDomination. I landed on an illustration style that was clean and straightforward, but still fun with a hand-crafted feel. I also wanted to keep the design very concise and self-contained, which is why I nestled #WorldPieDomination around the globe in the negative space that was naturally provided by the axis of the globe. That being said, I also wanted the ladies at PJP to have the option of using the pie globe without the #WorldPieDomination text, which means that the design would need to be able to speak for itself with or without the hashtag accompanying it. 

One of the few design notes I had was a request from Jeanne that I not use the color red since it's over-used as far as pie images go. With that to take into consideration, I thought of what other colors would make a realistic-looking pie, but still be able to stand out from the tan pie crust. Pumpkin and apple pie were out of the running since they wouldn't create enough contrast. I ended up using a wine/plum color since it paired well with the tan color of the crust while still looking like a flavor of pie you could order at PJP. I also took into consideration that this design piece was going to be used on a variety of things, from apparel to print ads. I wanted to be sure that the colors I used would stand out on various colored backgrounds, whether black or white. With that in mind, I used a dark charcoal instead of black for the globe stand so that if the design was printed on a black shirt, for example, it would still be readable.

Jeanne and Rebecca have plans to put this on A LOT of different things. There's talk of a giant window cling, bumper stickers, t-shirts, magazine ads, you name it. Realizing that this would be used on a variety of print items as well as on the web, I wanted to be sure that this design would be able to be scaled up or down and still maintain readability. Though the design has small details in the cross-hatching and texture, it still reads well at a smaller size since the shape stays recognizable and the colors create a nice contrast. Plus, since this design is a vector, it can easily be enlarged without any loss of quality. 

How It's Made

The first step I take with any project is putting pencil to paper, so I did a few quick sketches to get my ideas flowing. The sketching and brainstorming portion of this project went fairly quickly since I already had a pretty solid vision in mind. I popped into Peggy Jean's Pies to briefly discuss the sketches with Jeanne and Rebecca and to get a clearer idea of what they had in mind for the end product. They loved the pie on the globe stand, so with that selected, I went ahead and moved forward to digitizing the sketch.

Once the final design was selected and approved, I went ahead and redrew the sketch as a basic line drawing with a Faber-Castell PITT fine-tip black artist pen. I did this so that I could include all the details and cross-hatching, plus the slight irregularity of the line quality helps give the finished piece a hand-drawn look. Once the line drawing was complete, I scanned it, opened it in Adobe Illustrator and did a Live Trace to turn my drawing into a vector image.

In my Illustrator document, I created several different layers, one for each part of the pie including one for the line drawing, the crust, the filling, the globe stand, and the text. Once I had selected my color palette, I used my Wacom Intuos Pro tablet to fill in color to each of the different parts of the pie with the Blob tool. After the initial layer of color was placed in, I went back and added some highlights and shadows using different shades and tints (the Color Guide comes in handy!). The final step was adding a slight texture to the piece for some extra interest and depth. 

If you have any questions about how this piece was produced, feel free to leave a comment below! Also, if you're a small business owner looking to build a brand from scratch or design some new pieces to freshen up your existing brand, I'd love to hear from you! You can get in touch with me here.