Brew Strong and Prosper

UPDATE 10/29/2015:

I edited the design to work better on a shirt.  The final, reworked design is below.

It features a downward triangle to artfully mirror the shape of the “Live Long and Prosper” hand gesture and I put the Coffee at Lola’s logo in a circle below it, giving the whole thing sort of an exclamatory effect that should pop out when the eye meets it.  I also simplified the shading on the ship.  I think this design works so much better than the original prototype.


Sweet little Noodles, the coffee shop pup.

ORIGINAL POST 10/27/2015:

This past Sunday, I was walking down west 3rd street to get some photos of a mural in the alley next to the Enquirer when I noticed a coffee shop called Coffee at Lola’s under the Blind Pig.  I remembered seeing it before, but never had a chance to stop and go in.  I made a mental note and went on with my business with the intention of coming back later in the afternoon to check it out.  When I finally did go, I was met with a little white pup named Noodles at the door who greeted me with a wagging tail and big, black eyes.  Any coffee shop with a dog in it already has my approval, especially one as adorable as Noodles.  I spoke a little with Pete, the owner, and ordered a cup of his Buddha’s Belly medium roast and sat down to do some work.

But I honestly couldn’t sit still in there because I wanted to engage with the space and the people more (weird, I know).  There was only one other patron in there besides me, so I felt emboldened to talk to her and Pete about the shop and offer my photography services since I liked the place so much, hoping dearly that my self-promotion came off as enthusiastic fandom and not obnoxious; networking sometimes feels a bit gross that way if not handled with tact.  They were both super friendly and we had a nice chat about a variety of things.  It felt very hometown and warm.  Later on, I was speaking to Pete again and he talked about his wine and beer selection, as well as his previous coffee endeavor in the MainStrasse Village in Covington.  I ended up staying a full 3 hours there because it was so nice and the shop itself was comfortable with a variety of seating options and ample outlets for laptops.

But there was one thing Pete said that stuck with me.  He casually described a design featuring an Enterprise-like ship with the words “brew strong and prosper” since that’s the way he prefers to brew his own coffee.  He likened the design to vintage iron on tshirts from the 70’s.  I thought this was a pretty amusing idea, frankly, and secretly planned to attempt to make it myself.  It’d be a fun exercise and a departure from the stuff I normally do if anything else.  Last night, I sat down and started sketching out a ship that resembled the Enterprise and took measures to differentiate it so the entire thing wasn’t exactly the same as the original pop culture icon.  The engines were lowered and tightened around the hull of the middle portion (warp drive?) and the front bit was intentionally made into the shape of a coffee cup.  I drew it out on paper, digitized it, cleaned up the lines and tweaked the whole thing in Photoshop, and added text, stars, red accent lines, and the Coffee at Lola’s logo at the bottom.  Still feeling like there was something missing, I decided to add stylized steam trails emanating from the top of the cup to balance out the upper right corner of the image.  After adding some glow effects to the ship, steam and stars, I’d finished the design.

I highly recommend checking out Coffee at Lola’s for both good drinks and a pleasant atmosphere.  It’s located at 24 W 3rd Street, between Vine and Race, under the Blind Pig.  Get the Buddha’s Belly (it’s a very good cup of coffee) and say hello to Pete and Noodles while you’re there.