This was one of those projects that I did solely because I wanted it to exist. A while back I thought I might try and make my own pomade. I still haven't gotten around to figuring out the recipe, but if and when I do I though it might be cool to have my own labels. This was one of those projects that was nearly completed in my head before I even got a chance to start designing it. I tried a different approach in the design process. Rather than doing a ton of sketches, which is what I normally do, I just did a few little thumbnails and then jumped right into Illustrator. At each change I made a copy of the artboard I was working, so that if I needed it, I would still have a live version of everything, as well as a chronological record of my progress.
In these first four versions I was really just weeding out the crap.
Before I started I had the color scheme in mind: black, olive green and white. I also knew that I wanted to make a few variations at the end for different styles of pomade.
The one in the top left corner was a strong contender even with the text and nautical stars being off balance, and it would have been a perfectly acceptable solution with some adjustments and tweaks, but in the end I went back to the checkerboard pattern.
More adjustments and experimenting, and I actually thought that the bottom right corner version might be the one, but after setting on it for a week or so, I decided it was too cramped and too busy.
Out with the checkerboard pattern again, and with a little more experimenting and some minor tweaks I got to these two cleaner versions for the finalists. They are very similar, but I finally chose the one on the right as the final winner.