Fresh off a victory in the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship, our goal with this cover was to rally the troops for a season of Ohio State football with lofty expectations. After sifting through some photos, we settled on moving forward with a shot of linebacker Darron Lee.
Fellow designer Alix Ayoub began working on an illustration of the photo, while I worked on some options using the actual photo as the primary image. I was having trouble getting anywhere designing with the photo, so I went over to Alix’s desk to see how her illustration was coming along. It was in the early stages, but I saw the potential to incorporate elements of her illustration with some stylized versions of the photo I had started working on. I took the grey blocks of shading from her illustration as well as the red elements on the jersey and helmet, and merged it with my posterized version of the photo.
One detail I take pride in is the layering of black ink on top of red ink that created subtle, layered details on the figure that become more pronounced when the cover is viewed at certain angles and in different light. This can be seen in the last detail shot above.