#49 I RAISED THE BAR (AND TOOK A BITE)

Tillabars 3BTillabars 3A

Working with ice cream, chocolate and caramel can challenge any diet.

Working with ice cream, chocolate and caramel can challenge any diet.

I love puns and did raise the bar up to take a bite! For this post, I share what went into creating my illustrations of ice cream bars (Tillabars) for Tillamook Dairy Company. I’ll add to my story with lots of pictures and comments, too.

Sometimes my layout template is for another flavor, but my client still gets the idea. This photo-comp obviously was not Salted Caramel.

Sometimes my layout template is for another flavor, but my client still gets the idea. This photo-comp obviously was not Salted Caramel.

Here is my layout for Salted Caramel!

Here is my layout for Salted Caramel!

On my assignment for the Tillamook Tillabars, I created two illustrations per flavor just as I did for the Tillamookies. The front illustration had ingredients and on the back illustration the bar was upright. And both of them had a bite removed.

This bar already has white frost on it.

This bar already has white frost on it.

I already knew I had to take photos quickly. When the Art Director said the bars were grayish, I didn’t realize the impact frost had upon the chocolate coating. So on my later photos I experimented and discovered that wiping the bar off with a wet paper towel worked well. It took courage, especially because making one with a “good bite” was an art. Sometimes I went through a dozen bars before I made one my “hero.” Wiping it off could destroy everything.Vanilla Tillabar photo and comp

Taking a bite off might seem simple, but it was a little more complicated than that!

This shows how using a knife just wasn’t convincing. But I did wipe off the frost!

This shows how using a knife just wasn’t convincing. But I did wipe off the frost! (It’s even starting to come back)

I had thought that taking a nice bite out of a bar would be easy. But every time I chomped down, the chocolate coating splintered in many directions and the bar wasn’t very attractive that way. And because I was dealing with ice cream, the bite had to be done quickly. A knife didn’t work either because I lost that “teeth mark” feeling. But big teeth marks weren’t attractive either!

This one had nice jagged edges, but those teeth marks on the ice cream are too pronounced.

This one had nice jagged edges, but those teeth marks on the ice cream are too pronounced.

This was a good bite, but the chocolate is too rounded from my sculpting. It does need a few more jagged edges to look like a real bite.

This was a good bite, but the chocolate is too rounded from my sculpting. It does need a few more jagged edges to look like a real bite.

At this point, I have to give my daughter a little credit. She heard me cursing out loud because it wasn’t going too well. I had already gone through a dozen ice cream bars and only had a few more bars left. 

She came into the kitchen and watched me for a moment. (Yes, she did snack on a few of those “extra” pieces, but there weren’t too many left). Her suggestion that I use an exacto knife was brilliant. She suggested I use it not to remove the bite, only to gently “score” where I wanted the chocolate to break off.

I did that and it worked! The chocolate separated nicely and the ice cream showed the bite well.

This bite wasn’t bad; filling in the missing part on the back was easy to do.

This bite wasn’t bad; filling in the missing part on the back with Photoshop was easy to do.

White chocolate posed it’s own challenges. On a side note, I cannot believe how ugly the color is on that lemon slice.

White chocolate posed it’s own challenges. On a side note, I cannot believe how ugly the color is on that lemon slice.

Poof! I can make my milk chocolate reference into dark chocolate with the magic of Photoshop.

Poof! I can make my milk chocolate reference into dark chocolate with the magic of Photoshop.

My first Tillabar illustration was for the Salted Carmel flavor. At that time, the bar was still in development and did not yet exist. I was able to use other ice creams bars as temporary reference until I’d receive specific guidance later on. The Tillamook ice cream bar had a bulge at the top and was more oval. I creatively figured out how to digitally insert the caramel ripples. 

I received this excellent information from the art director to get started.

I received this excellent information from the art director to get started. Clicking on this makes it larger.

I started with the illustration on the front of the package; my art direction listed the ingredients. I wanted to give Tillamook many options for those ingredients with my photo-comp layouts. 

Trying to figure out how to show the chocolate and caramel was kind of fun. With the chocolate (which was actually eliminated later on), it meant breaking chocolate bars, chiseling chocolate chunks and delicately peeling chocolate curls. I also never realized how many shapes caramel came in!

Tillabar Salted Caramel First Layout

When I submit a photo-comp, I like to show two versions: one has a white background and the other is inserted into a label template showing how it fits. I spent a week creating those first layouts, and that included gathering ingredients and taking photos. 

Once again, I learned an important life lesson that less is more. I did all of those versions only to be told that my client wanted a significantly higher perspective. This meant I had to reshoot all of my photos and start again. 

I was happy to satisfy my client and it didn’t take me very long to create the new versions. The art direction was terrific, as always. I share some of the helpful feedback I received.

Tillabar reshoot Salted Caramel front feedback

These are my revised layouts with the higher perspective. I also added salt to the caramel.

These are my revised layouts with the higher perspective. I also added salt to the caramel.

Below is my final layout after the chocolate pieces were taken out.

This is my final photo-comp layout in position, not the final illustration.

This is my final photo-comp layout in position, not the final illustration.

Working digitally has so many advantages. I was able to send a scan of my illustration in progress. The client wanted the caramel to be brighter so I had to print a new version (for my colored pencil process) in order to make that change.

This is the final art.

This is the final art.

Once the Salted Caramel flavor was completed, it cleared the way for later flavors that I illustrated. Now I could follow the same ice cream bar angle and balance of accompanying ingredients.

Soon to follow is another post, which will explain more details about my digital process on another Tillabar flavor. “I raised the bar” and transformed it!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Gelato Layouts Tillabar Raspberry Front Art Lemonlilla layouts Tillabar Lemonilla front artDirection for Lemonilla Moochalatte layouts Tillabar Mocha front artDirection for Mocha Latte Vanilla Tillabar Layouts Tillabar Vanilla front artDirection for Vanilla

© Judy Unger and http://www.foodartist@wordpress.com 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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3 Responses to #49 I RAISED THE BAR (AND TOOK A BITE)

  1. Judy, the illustrations are beautiful. I’ll have one of each! Thanks for posting. Very instructive for the design majors in my life.

    Like

    • Judy says:

      Thank you, Linda! It’s hard to believe that I can still remember us in Kindergarten – and I live so close to Monlux Elementary School now. The memories are very clear. I appreciate you compliments and support. It’s so much fun reconnecting later in life.

      Like

  2. jmgoyder says:

    This is a brand new world for me – absolutely fascinating, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

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