Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa: Danielle Davis

Andrew Littlefield By Andrew Littlefield June 22, 2017

Tabula Rasa—meaning “Blank Slate”—is a new series in which we dive into the planning stages of a creative project by showing the early sketches and outlines from creators, comparing those to the finished product, and hearing from the creators themselves on how the project came to life. Read past installments here.

Danielle Davis
Lettering Designer

“A friend of mine was doing a t-shirt line and needed some help with a few designs. I love history and Americana, so this was a great opportunity put that style to use.”

“I took this idea from a vintage stamp I found—it wasn’t an American one, I can’t quite remember the country, but it was from the 30s or 40s. It had this detailed interlocking circle pattern that I thought looked cool, and tried to emulate in this design.

“I find a lot of inspiration in vintage items. I’ve been on a bit of a 1920s and 30s kick lately—lots of Art Deco. I have an old house that was built in the 30s, so I find inspiration from that. There’s something about the handmade authentic quality of items around the house that I love and appreciate. I try to bring that aesthetic to my work.”

“The name of my friend’s company was “Bones and Ivy,” so the skull motif is a natural fit. The pen design was a play off the “dagger through the skull” image you see everywhere. We liked the idea of having some kind of tool that a designer uses to make marks intertwined with a skull.

“I find myself watching all sorts of random videos from creative people on YouTube. I watch a guy that does woodturning, I watch people that do jewelry making (I’m getting into etching metal), I watch people make furniture, do clay, people who make knives—anything that’s creative. Why not? I love creative people, in any type of field. Sometimes when you’re making stuff, you can get stuck in a “this is all I can do” box, but once I start watching other people make random, creative work—like candy or cake decorations—I see things I would love to try in my own work.”

See more of Danielle’s work on her website