Saturday, October 16, 2010

Luke Lucas

Luke Lucas is a graphic designer and art director from Melbourne, Australia. He specializes in different type faces like the one shown. To me the lettering looked gel-like and sculpted. The dripping effect makes it look wet. It was described on the Grafik Museum site as "oozing" which I would agree with. The style caught my attention and the typeface seems appropriate for use when subject matter is something fun or not to serious. It also reminded of a neon light like you would see in a window of a store or bar.

Saul Bass

Saul Bass was a graphic designer know for his movie posters and title sequences in films. In most of his posters the letters spelling out the film's name are actually part of the artwork itself. For example the cracked or broken lettering in "Psycho" or the face showing in the word "The" in the shining poster. The title is part of the design rather than just words under or over some artwork. Bass also created the opening title sequence in one of my favorite movies "Goodfellas" which I thought worked well for setting the stage for the story that follows it. Also another interesting fact he designed the original AT&T globe logo (interesting to me because I now work for AT&T).

book cover

I had just started reading this book "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" so I decided to take a shot at the cover. The dragon on the front I found while searching tattoo artwork and immediately liked it so chose it for the front cover I used a gradient so the text would show up better over the image. For the back I originally wanted to depict "The Girl" because she is more important to the story than the dragon tattoo however it was difficult finding an image that was appropriate so I stuck with the dragon theme.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Last One! Burak Canpolat

One thing I really like about Burak Canpolat is that he is self taught and that his ideas are very unique. He was born in Olten, Switzerland in 1985 and is currently working in Sydney, Australia. He spent much of his time studying in Instanbul, Turkey. His creative talents include working with textures, shapes, colors, brushes, lighting effects, and others.

Burak has worked with many well known companies including Pepsi, Audi, Ruffles, Durritos, 3M, among others. He has received many awards from various magazines that he has worked for.

Mark Mawson

There wasn't a whole lot of information that I could find on Mark Mawson. However, his photo's are too breathtaking not to mention. He likes to take a lot of water pictures. The Museum Of Graphic Design showcases many of his works called "Aqueous" where he drops paint in the water and captures the different formations.

On his own website, he includes many different styles of photographs. Some of my favorites are the under water pictures featuring various people.

On his blog,, he claims he specializes in underwater fashion, portraits and nudes.

Book Cover

I can't believe it's the end of the mod. I think it kind of snuck up on me! I started to read Uncle Tom's Cabin and decided it might be interesting to see what I could come up with for a cover. Unfortunately, I'm not an overly creative person but I decided to use more color this time. Most of the font and the background browns are samples right from the front picture.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CD Cover 2

Here is the backside of my CD. I wanted to do something different from simply putting a picture of the group on the back. Their website had a lot of personal pictures of the band's tour. I liked the technical look of the tv with the band in the center. It still fit my black and white theme.

Last Weekly Review

Koala Poster by Studio Pip and Co

For my final review I chose these two works from Optimism: Icograda Design Week Brisbane 2010. What I like most about them is that they're composites. Since I lack any illustration skills it's nice to know that you can rely on images from other sources to convey your story as a graphic designer. That's not to say that there isn't tremendous talent showcased in both pieces, because the artists are obviously highly skilled. I'm also not suggesting that I am capable of achieving such a level of work, but this style puts it in the realm of the possible. There is still the aspects of concept, color, composition, photo manipulation, and text layout to master, but at least it removes my biggest handicap.

‘Why Return To Your Roots…’ - Image: Studio Racket for The Australia Project

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CD Cover 1

Every project makes me appreciate graphic design artists more and more. Lately, I've really been into Lady Antebellum and love the pictures that they have online. For some reason, I'm drawn to very little color and a lot of black and white with them. I also had a good time trying to make them look like they were floating.

Gap - Just an interesting tid bit

I found a story on Yahoo news, not sure if any of you have seen it, but it sort of relates and I couldn't help but share...GAP (clothing store) tried changing their logo...definitely a graphic design issue...and I went to google the "new" logo (they actually scrapped it due to poor feedback):
Just wanted to know if anyone else had an opinion from a Graphic Design point of view, because honestly, the attempt at a new logo looks painful and not aesthetic at all.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Cover

Figured I'd try my best to get a good copy done early in the week in case I need to touch up anything. I hope not cause this was hard, and I think I reviewed it over before this post to make sure it's up to standard. I did a different rendition of a book cover for The Shack by William Paul Young. I'm not sure I'm absolutely in love, or that I'd pick my cover over their original. But I used an image that a friend of mine took while we were apple picking in New Hampshire. Played with lighting effects after making it a black and white, struggled with the bar code, then learned there is a "Bring to Front" option on the Layer menu.
Here is my cover:
And here is the original front cover from google images:

With my cover, my goal was to not be "grim" which I think I missed out on by making the black and white...but when I read this book, I was shocked at how sad the main story was, which I think now really is why I wanted to do black and white. I chose the lighting effect to be "Omni" and centered it almost where a bright sun might set, as symbolic of the hope that is found in the story by the main character's experience. I would hope that the bright light in the middle there would draw someone to look for that same light in the story and draw them to read it. I definitely disliked this project, as it was really hard to get all the aspects I wanted, and figure out all the image/font/making it legible/etc, but I think this is my favorite personally of the works I've posted.

Weekly Review: The Melbourne Logo

Logos are unique identifiers of a company. But like the products or services the company provides, the logo is also subject to changing styles and trends. If the logo starts to look out dated and old fashioned what does that say about the company? So they often need to be tweaked and sometimes completely redesigned. The example above is for the City of Melbourne (old on the left, new on the right). The old logo looks like it might be for a library... it's not very exciting. This is definitely not the image you would want your logo to project for you city. However, with the new logo on the right, the city seems suddenly more vibrant... and we've only seen the logo. This logo if complex, bold, modern, interesting, with surprising depth... you want to continue to explore it. This is what you want people to think when considering your City. It's a very successful redesign.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

CD Part 2

This is the rear insert for my Van HAlen "Best of " CD. I kept with the signature red, white and black design but I thought it needed another focal point on the back so I layered an image of Edawrd Van Halen's guitar which is easily recognizable to most fans . I experimented with the opacity to once again have the images blend together. The one thing I had diffivulty with was the placement of the upc bar code, no matter where I put it it seemed awkward.

Event Poster - Lady Antebellum

Using Photoshop is starting to get a little bit easier now that I'm somewhat familiar with it. Here's my event poster featuring Lady Antebellum at the Chevrolet Theatre in Wallingford. I had a lot of fun messing with the color and skewing the picture. One of the biggest challenges I have is finding the right font because there are so many to choose from. I did copy an idea off of the Lady Antebellum blog where they skewed the letters in their name. It really seemed to fit their style so I kept with the idea.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Poster Copy

Ok, here's my poster copy. Again, it's a little late but I'm working to catch up. I chose this Swiss poster because I thought it would be relatively simple yet still give me a bit of a challenge. I was right on the challenge part! I went through every font to see if I could find the same one that Peter Erni used but I could not find it. I used the closest that I could find. The top picture is the original and the bottom is my version.

Book Project

Steve has taken the lead and has done a great job with his book project.

There is no need to create a new video as the process is the same as the CD... Start by measuring a real book and include the spine... 6"X9" is a good round number... Assuming you have a 1" spine the overall dimensions are 9"X13" (6": front, 6" back, 1" spine) by 9" tall.... Find all of the elements that go into a book jacket as Steve has such as the logo of the book publisher, the price/bar code, etc....

Have fun....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Redo, clean-up of CD project

I cleaned up the text a bit by relying more heavily on guides and including margins all around. I also changed the font and use of the font color for clarity. I noticed that with certain fonts, the numbers never looked to line up and that bothered me so I picked based on that. I also thing the font fit in better with the overall theme of the cover. I think this looks more organized than my first attempt.

CD cover-part 1

For my CD cover project, I chose Doris Day's Greatest Hits album. This was a staple in my childhood as my mother (a product of the "baby boomer" generation) is a HUGE fan of Doris Day's. These hits were played over and over again in my house throughout my childhood. I chose this picture to use as my album cover because it is reminiscent of the old retro vinyl album covers from the 1960's. I added the flower accent myself to further enhance the title of the album and to create that 60's look--which was all about "flower power." I copied and pasted the song titles from, though I know them all by heart...

My Book Cover: Geek Love

I know the tutorial for the book cover project wasn't posted yet, but since this is due next week, and I have two other classes with finals to study for (and research papers to complete), I figured I'd get a head start on it. If I need to make any adjustments after viewing the tutorial, I will.

I used one of my favorite books for inspiration; Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. This books is a crazy good read. I found some great images on the Internet that suited the subject matter perfectly. I was also lucky to find this great weathered stripe pattern that is reminiscent of a circus tent. I used the exact measurements from the existing book cover and also used the actual review quotes. I tried to make the cover a little more bold than the original which seemed very subdued considering it's outrageous subject matter.

Also, one of the problems I was having with this project was finding a font that I liked for the word "Geek". I didn't like any of the available options so I wound up installing new mac fonts to find something I could live with.

Original Cover

Quick synopsis in case you're interested: "Geek love is the story of a carnival family, the Binewskis, who save their traveling "Carnival Fabulon" from bankruptcy by giving birth to fabulous freaks --- the children born to Lil Binewski after she ingests drugs, insecticides, arsenic, radioisotopes, and anything to make her babies more "special." The result is a world readers have never encountered before, a place of horror and humor, where vengeance and love are realized in unimaginable ways. And where some unforgettable "Ripley's Believe It or Not" characters are both exotically unique --- and hauntingly, chillingly, like us."

Don't let the subject scare you off. The first chapters is a little rough, but once you get past it, it's impossible to put down.

Catching up on Graphic Designer

At the most perfect time, as I was logging into a program to approve my hours for the week, I saw an article about someone at Yale winning the McArther Fellowship. Matthew Carter, a senior art critic, won this fellowship primarily for his work with creating typefaces. Here is his original creation:

Here is a link to the Yale article:
I couldn't find an official website of his works, but apparently he's done quite a bit in creation of types. He created the typeface that Yale uses.

Graphic Designer

Chip Kidd: In the spirit of the upcoming book cover project, I found Chip Kidd. He does a lot of different work but his book covers were amazing to me! Here is my favorite:

A Wolf at the Table
I realy liked this one too! I thought the coloring and distortion, the font and spacing, realy just work.

Ada, or Ardor
While I do not think it's the most aesthetic looking thing, I just love how it really looks like you can reach your entire arm into the image, almost to pick up the letters and pull them up to see what they say.

Back Tray Card

I had a hard time fitting text into the side bars, I'm pretty sure I sized this right, but it all seemed small. I could not find the record label tha tmy friend uses on his cd's that are on his websites. I would have used an actual cd, but I keep my cds in a book without the inserts, not in actual cases. I also took the bar code from a google image search. My friend's cds usually don't even have them to my knowledge. I realize that in making these song titles up myself, I had two similar names, but I just used things that came to mind when thinking of my trip to Haiti.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

CD Cover Part 1

I had a hard time at first so I just took my time figuring it out, but once I did, I decided to make a sequel album (it's made up completely). A friend of mine who was the founder of the Mission to Haiti that I'm involved in ( if your interested, put out one CD for fundraising for the mission, and now having been there, and with the efforts to begin raising funds to build our school there, I figured I'd think up a good idea for his next fundraising CD project. (My friend has no idea I did this...but another friend of mine took this photo while at the beach in Haiti...the Haitians we work with love showing off the most beautiful place on "their" island by taking groups to the beach.) Most can't believe that this too, is actually part of the poverty stricken, crumbled, Haiti you see on TV.

The only thing I did to edit the image was resize it, clone tool to get rid of some legs of people under the tree, and darken the image under the white lettering under Sean's name. I liked the bright blue of the sky too much to alter it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My CD: Back

For the back of the CD I kept with the theme, and brought just a few of the design elements from the cover fold and used them more sparingly. I colored the guides so you can see the separations between the back panel and the side folds, so obviously they are not part of the design.

Front Cover

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mark Gowing

Mark Gowing is a graphic designer from Aydney, Australia. The example of his work I posted was a movie poster for a film about Mike Tyson. What I liked about this poster was how the letters spelling "Tyson" were cut into the image of Tysons face. at first look I didn't realize it spelled Tyson because the symmetry and proportion of the face was still there. Although the names Tyson has an odd amount of letters the title and other information about the film fit in the lower part of the poster so it balances with letters. The coloring used for the title blends well with the 5 letter sections. It looks serious and dramatic,I think its perfect for the type of film its representing.

Kenneth King

While looking through the catalog of artists in the Museum of Graphic Design I came across these works by Kenneth King. I love the illustration above, it's real art. I love how it is both modern and classic at the same time. I also included a sample of his book cover design (since that's our next project) to show the more graphic side of his work. Again, look at how great his illustration is on the logo. The depiction of Vivienne Westwood shows just how talented he his. I love how the two profiles come together to form the capital letter "V" in her name. He seems to have the perfect combination of graphic design and illustration skills.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

cd cover

For the cd cover I used Van Halen and I tried to merge two items that they are know for, the red, white and black striped design and the winged VH. For a "Best of " compilation I wanted to use symbols that were easily recognizable to fans of the band. I used the red and white design as the background for both sides. I blended both layers so the VH looks melded into the background and went over it with the plastic wrap filter to give it a textured look. On the back I used a classic photo and rxperimented with the opacity so some of the red and white showed through. I did not include a track listing because on most of the cds I have looked the songs are listed inside the booklet and on the back of the jewel case. The back of the booklet in most cases had an artist photo or more artwork.

Upcoming Event Poster

Here I chose the "Light the Night" walk event in New Haven. This is an event I am familiar with and have participated in, and therefore felt I could convey the message of the event well in my poster. The lettering was difficult to make stand out against the background, but the colors are well-matched and are the colors used in the event. The "Light the Night" walk is a great march against cancer and I hope my poster is simple enough to understand, yet bright enough to really propel their message.

Poster Copy--Re-Do

Here is my re-do of the poster copy....I chose to try to replicate the colors and print to the original poster, but took a different take on the shoe reflection. It came out ok. I also did my own take on the shoe reflection by trying to paint one myself...this could have been polished more, but again, I am still a photoshop novice and I'm not good at the fine-tuning yet.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Part Two of CD Jewel Case

After finishing the front 2 pages, now it's time to design the back, tray card...

Here is a link to the specifications to size your project:

You can use mm instead of inches in the file>new>image size menu.  Lay out your guidelines at 6.35mm or 1/4" and ignore the bleed of 1/8" as we aren't actually sending this to a printer.

Include the playlist on the back again, a bar code, the record company logo, the compact disk digital audio logo (all searchable in google images), any advisories and in very small type record company legal language.  Look at a CD to see what I mean.  In fact, get out a CD and just add each of the elements you see there...

Each spine gets the title, artist and record label logo as well as the music number code (similar to a book ISBN number)

Let me know if you are having any issues...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My CD Cover

For the CD project I wanted to try and create an original composition. I used for my inspiration the band Gossip. The band's music is edgy, raw and playful. The female lead singer, Beth Ditto is an explosive personality, outspoken and outrageous. I tried to infuse these qualities into the design while also expressing the thought behind the album's title. I cut and pasted images I found in the internet against a sky blue background (using a mirror image of the sky for the inside fold) to try and create a surreal landscape. I then added roses and ink blots from the brush tool. The roses seem beautiful and explosive at the same time. The ink blots also replicate possible bullet holes or mortar explosions. The end result hopefully is a battle between beauty and violence, the masculine and the feminine, control and chaos.

No teddy bears were harmed in the making of this project.

Also... the text is very clear and sharp on my computer, but seems much harder to read in this posting. If you click on the image and are able to view it full size the text is much more readable.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What's Due This Week?

Hi Folks,

It's time to begin the CD jewel case project.    I created a new video today to get you started....

I have added additional links and information to the syllabus on this project as well....  Choose your favorite musical artist and have fun!

We need to get this project and the next project completed by October 15th.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Red, White & Black

In my search to find an album cover for the weekly designer review, I kept coming across this color scheme. So I thought it would be interesting to review these four works together based on their shared palette to illustrate how colors can convey a message as well as a mood. Black & white is about as simple of a color scheme as you can have. When used in text, it's stark, it's no non-sense, it's clear and straightforward. When used in photography, it urges contemplation in a way a color photograph can fail to do. Black and white are bold, but something happens when you add red. All four of the works above are trying to instill a sense of rebellion, and that's what the red color does. These artists are rebelling from social and sexual norms, from governing bodies, parental figures and a cookie-cutter mentality. They are not just selling music, they are selling a revolution. The red elements of the design are are so jarring amidst the black & white that it perfectly communicates the message that "we won't be controlled, oppressed or pacified". It is no surprise then that red, white & black are often used in the punk genre, and has great appeal to teenagers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stamp Project Finally Done!

Better late than never! I had a very difficult time getting my images set on a scalloped edge. I chose Vivien Leigh who was the star of many classic movies such as "Gone With the Wind" and "A Streetcar Named Desire." She was a vivacious actress who brought to life the movies she acted in. I chose to stick with the all black and white theme instead of color because it fit the era and worked well with her image.

Justin Maller

Justin Maller is a freelance illustrator and art director that takes graphic design to a whole new level. He is based out of Melbourne, Australia but has worked internationally with some of the most prestigious international design studio. He has been in this industry for the past eight years and is currently represented by Jeremy Wortsman of the Jacky Winter Group.

His designs are unique and and like to trick the eye. I love how his pictures are full of color are very detailed.
Each piece of the detail is unique in itself but it somehow seems to fit the whole. For more images, please visit