The Jewish Zodiac™

November 14, 2008 on 3:25 pm | By | In Gigs, Notes | 6 Comments

About a year ago I was contacted by comedy screenwriter Seth Front who pitched me his idea for “The Jewish Zodiac™”: a parody of “The Chinese Zodiac” but with deli foods instead of animals. Each of the 12 signs (based on birth year) would, in a light-hearted way, personify the food’s characteristics as well as explore compatability with the other 11 signs. It seemed like a good idea, and I could design them all as vintage deli food labels with the potential of becoming a mini portfolio of 12 related but distinctly different designs.

One problem I needed to solve was that Seth had already done food photography, and was intent on using it in the designs. Initially I wasn’t hot on using his photography because I thought it would be difficult to integrate into my graphics. But then I figured out a way of using Photoshop and Illustrator to translate the photos into simplified graphics using limited color. The results looking deceptively simple and easily achieved—but figuring it out and translating each photo was in actuality a very labor intensive process. I was then able to extrapolate the label designs using the limited color palettes derived from the processed photographs. Below is a section of one of the photos and the corresponding section of its simplified graphic counterpart I created, reducing it to 6 flat colors:


It took many months to get all 12 done, but I’m very pleased with the group as a whole. Below are two of them—if you’d like to see all twelve in more detail follow this link to the PROJECTS page on my website. To purchase T-shirts, mugs or magnets please visit Seth’s “The Jewish Zodiac™” website.

6 Comments

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  1. [...] of my favorite projects of late has been designing the 12 signs of the Jewish Zodiac™. Seth Front, who is the mastermind behind this project recently alerted me to the fact that the [...]

    Pingback by Alphabet Soup Blog » Blog Archive » Come for the Music—Go Home with a T-Shirt — December 13, 2012 #

  2. [...] to gain the look I was trying to achieve. I used a similar process when I did the graphics for the Jewish Zodiac [...]

    Pingback by Alphabet Soup » Blog Archive » The Return of . . . KISS (#3) — August 18, 2009 #

  3. [...] of my favorite projects of late has been designing the 12 signs of the Jewish Zodiac™. Seth Front, who is the mastermind behind this project recently alerted me to the fact that the [...]

    Pingback by Alphabet Soup » Blog Archive » Come for the Music—Go Home with a T-Shirt — June 17, 2009 #

  4. [...] a paltry sum for my efforts, this was a great ongoing project for me. Much like my recent “Jewish Zodiac” project, I saw this assignment as an opportunity to create a portfolio of distinct yet [...]

    Pingback by Alphabet Soup » Blog Archive » Set the Wayback Machine: “Viva” Astrology — January 5, 2009 #

  5. The unparalleled artwork of Michael Doret, with its flavor from a gentler era, does much more than just revisit the past, I think. In the line of the greatest American illustrators, from Joseph Leyendecker to Norman Rockwell or Andy Warhol, Michael Doret is an amazing ambassador of the America the whole world loves and admires. Each and every one of his designs, with an incredibly imaginative and flawless combination of colors that are his only, keeps alive the great tradition of excellence about American pop-culture. In short, Michael Doret’s unique talent is an absolute reference. Like French say “Chapeau bas…!” (Hats Off !)

    Comment by Stefan — December 9, 2008 #

  6. Food for Thought as they say! Love these and especially the lettering style on the Blintz! I like how you handled those photos. They could have been a problem if left in actual full color! Your limited color palette was simplistic and just right for each one.

    Comment by José Cruz — November 18, 2008 #

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