Behind the Design: Message in a Bottle

We love sharing cool stuff that goes on here at Republic and this behind the scenes look is all about design basics. We took a slightly different graphic approach for the Moto G (3rd Gen.) launch and, to be completely honest, we’re really diggin’ it!

The “Message in a Bottle” graphic for the Moto G (3rd Gen.) announcement is one of my favorite designs I’ve done since joining the team. I traded my computer screen (for a little while at least) in favor scissors and construction paper, to create a handmade beach scene. 

Now, this awesome idea did not come instantly, and I can’t even really take credit for it. After struggling with cheesy “message in a bottle” themed stock photos, a few of us on the marketing team brainstormed ways we could make this graphic believable and memorable. And then, the breakthrough. What if we made it intentionally fake? Cue the arts and crafts.

Setting up the shot:

I drew the sun, waves and a bottle on construction paper and cut out the shapes using an X-ACTO knife. Next, I layered the paper to make the scene and then it was time for the photo-shoot. We angled the lighting to make sure we captured all those shadows between the layers of paper.

Layers of construction paper ready for their close-up.
Arranging the paper cut-outs for the second image.

Bringing the “message” to life:

Then, it was time to open up Photoshop editor and make some magic happen. Using the pen tool, I traced over every paper layer and added a color overlay effect. So, basically the adult version of coloring inside the lines.

Using the pen tool to trace the layers in Photoshop.
Adding a color overlay in Photoshop works just like magic!
After tracing over all the shapes, I used a color overlay effect to add color to each layer
Up-close pen tool and color overlay of the sun.


The transformation is complete!

We went from mono-toned image to colorful design all in an afternoon. I love this graphic style because it encompasses so many great things about Republic: It’s fun and unique with a personal, hand-crafted quality. Look out for more of this style from the Republic design team!

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