In an effort to make me workout more consistently and perhaps even more effectively, I decided to craft a sign for the Soule Designs home gym! While some may say creating a sign is just procrastination when I should be lifting weights and watching my diet, I choose not to listen because haters gonna… hate? Yes. So let’s delve into the creation of this awesome sign and burn some calories with a little heavy reading! Get sum, get sum, get sum...


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The installed Soule Gym sign in all its glory!

Like most design projects, the Soule Gym sign started with an idea. And like most great ideas, it was stolen from someone else. That someone else is Gold's Gym, and here is their classic logo:

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A little inspiration.

But clearly the Gold's Gym dude doesn't convey my maniacal, almost deranged, workout style, so some updates had to be made. My first design was a bit crude, interspersed with She Hulk and Sir Edward Grey sketches (yes, that's what I do in my spare time):

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Humble beginnings

From here, I copied the rough sketch into a new file and cleaned it up substantially. This involved redrawing the head using my awesome Anatomy Tools skull as reference and elongating the legs, etc. All of this drawing, like pretty much all my digital sketching, was done in Clip Studio.

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Finished digital pencils

At this point I started the typography and circle layout in Illustrator and started fiddling with the image tracing feature. After some back and forth cleaning up my digital pencils in Photoshop and trying out tracing in Illustrator I would up with the following traced results - which is all vector so I knew it would scale well for the final signage:

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A traced Skeletor/Ghost Rider gym dude!

And finally here is the traced artwork along with the background elements and color fills from Illustrator:

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The final step in creating my sign was uploading the artwork to www.signs.com and waiting like Ralphie for a Little Orphan Annie decoder by the mailbox for seven long days (and nights).

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Why u take so long FedEx??

And as you saw at the beginning of this intense workout, the beautiful Soule Gym sign installed on my basement cinder block wall is the result. Feel the burn!

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