If you take a look at my by-the-numbers gallery, you'll notice I get assignments because people keep track of the year. Sometimes there's a specific theme that feeds the context of the illustration, but often, it's just pretty numbers, which allows me to choose from among the many styles I like to emulate. I threw out a bunch of options in rough sketches for this cover and, just my luck, they chose one of my favorite themes: Art Deco book binding. Despite my clumsy use of commas, and without further ado, Wealth Management's Guide to the 2018 Industry Awards Initiatives and Profiles.
I'll usually create a handful of different styles in rough sketches but, the design is always driven by the shapes of the words.
Starting with the chosen rough as a template in Illustrator, I created the art in line and gradually moved towards tone and contrast, eventually arriving at a weird green/yellow combination that I couldn't get out of my head from the beginning of the job.
While obsessing over the art during a last minute, late night session, I adjusted it to a slightly more mellow palette, including "leather grain" and "metallic foil embossing."