Lay the Wood – 2012 Game 1 August 27, 2012

Recently a friend of mine (a software developer) was talking to his 11 year-old son about working on an iPad app together. My friend said to his son, “You know what skills you’re going to need to learn if we do this, don’t you?” To which his son replied, “Arts & crafts like Mr. Jeremy?” We had a good laugh about it but the truth is that I do find myself chasing arts & crafts projects as a changeup to the day-to-day work in my design & software business. So joke’s on you, 11 year-old kid, I take that as a compliment!

I’ve been working for a few years on a Michigan football-related craft project: a wooden puzzle where the laser-cut pieces are hand painted to represent each B10 team and can be arranged in the order of the current league standings. I designed the helmets to match the two-bar face mask style from my 80’s sticker books (and used by Steve Largent forever) because they are rad looking and because they will not be mistaken for a youth hockey helmet or space explorer headgear (unlike some contemporary football helmet styles). I’ll probably never finish the puzzle project so I was happy to find a use for my original helmet and field illustrations. I added the stadium and Allen screws to lend structure, depth and detail to the image.

How it was made

The artwork was created in Illustrator (vector graphics) and Cinema 4d (3D extrusions, layout) with some help from Photoshop (wood textures, blur effects, color correction).

Michigan Football Wallpaper 2012 - Alabama

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Michigan Football Wallpaper 2012 - Alabama


  1. These have exclusively decorated my laptop the last several months! Thank you!

  • I wish there were already a bunch of comments about how grateful we all are for you doing these, I’d seem like less of a tool for saying this, but the Michigan helmet stripes look a little off. Too small compared to the wings perhaps? I only say this because your work is normally breathtaking and when I saw this installment, that was the first thing that my eye focused on.
    That said, I really do appreciate and admire your work on these. Maybe if you put up a donate link, some of us could make it worth your time to put a new one together every week like a couple years back. I had a slideshow of them running as my wallpaper and every person that walked by my desk would stop and watch them cycle through at least once. I’d love to be able to remember Team 133 as vividly as your art reminds me of RichRod’s last year. Let’s rally the troops and get you some loot! This is Michigan Art!

  • The season is here. Thanks Mr. Jeremy!!!!!

  • You’re welcome Alex. I can’t believe the season is here already.

  • Cory, thanks for your kind words and for noticing the details. You’re right, the stripes are thinner than on the real Michigan helmets but there’s good reason for my choice to go thinner (or at least I think it was a good reason but my choices are always up for debate). When I produced the original illustrations for my puzzle project I made some rules: use the same thickness for all primary helmet stripes use the smallest number of colors possible to represent each team. I did this to keep visual clutter to a minimum and to give everything a modular feel. In the context of the wallpaper I like how it feels as if the craftsman behind the imaginary wood scene used the same tools and templates over and over. Thanks for the thoughts about donations – besides getting me into legal trouble (see my Denard Action Figure post) I love the idea of sharing my artwork with fellow Michigan fans for free. Thanks again for your kind words and attention to detail. Go Blue!

  • Jeremy!!! i’m with Cory on the PLEASE KEEP THE ART GOING this season! i, too put my Michigan pride on display courtesy your art. Everyone who sees your magic is taken away by the brilliance of it.
    You’re a rockstar!!!

  • Beautiful illustrations/ creative backgrounds. I will use these on my desktop at work and iPad at home! Please keep them coming, I just discovered your artistic genius and I’m amazed by the archive collection.

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