Tuesday, June 30, 2009

LINK Taking Design From Good To Great With Gradients

I have always noticed that adding a gradient makes a design pop a little bit more than just one color. The one color may look nice, but it can also make the design seem flat. I believe even using a blue gradient in my website makes it look a bit better. The link I'm posting, shows different designs that make good use of gradients. There is even a quick, small, and practical tutorial within the article. Just like everything too much of anything can hurt the design or one gradient should do the trick to make the design look sexy.


10 Common Mistakes In Logo Design

This article was posted on the Smashing Magazine website and it is very useful. When you're starting out you tend to break one of these rules. I've broken number 5, which was designing for yourself and not the client. You always have to stick to the brief and not sidetrack. Even if you've been designing for years, it's always good to refresh yourself or maybe you can comment on how you disagree or would like to add a suggestion. Either way it's an interesting article.

Mistake #5 from the website:
"5. Designing For Yourself Rather Than The Client

Never impose your own personality onto a client’s work.
You can often spot this logo design sin a mile away; the cause is usually a designer’s enormous ego. If you have found a cool new font that you can’t wait to use in a design, well… don’t. Ask yourself if that font is truly appropriate for the business you’re designing for? For example, a great modern typographic font that you just love is not likely suited to a serious business such as a lawyer’s office.
Some designers also make the mistake of including a “trademark” in their work. While you should be proud of your work, imposing your personality onto a logo is wrong. Stay focused on the client’s requirements by sticking to the brief."


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tutorial Links on creating HDR Images

High Dynamic Range (HDR) images always looks really impressive and adds a good element to your work. Here are two links that I came across and would like to share with you. I believe if you can use a HDR picture to enhance a design or make the composition in your photography look twenty times better than do it.

High Dynamic Range-Photoshop Tutorial This is a very simple and useful tutorial.

HDR Style Results Using Layers in Photoshop This is a very well written article and worth checking out.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Spot the Fake Logo-Online Quiz

Here is a fun quiz you can take when you have time. It's a fun game of trying to figure out what company logo was never used before. You'll see throwback logos for Pepsi, BMW, and other companies, but can you tell which option was never used? See how well you can do WITHOUT Googling the answers. Have fun.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Burger King Goes X-rated With New Ad

Here is an interesting look for Burger King. When creating an advertisement you want to have a good concept and follow the idea with a great execution. This Freudian slip, well all right it's not, is definitely eye catching. It surely will have people talking about it and may have some people writing angry letters to Burger King. The best advertisements are ones that will have you remember and talk about. They can be funny or they be very serious, but as long as the company is on your mind then that's one success in the advertisement. The other choice is purchasing the product or donating to charity or whatever the ad is trying to sell. Since I'm talking about it, I'm giving them free advertising. It's all a marketing strategy. With Quiznos going dirty in their commercials with the worker being told to put "it" in the oven, it seems like it was only right for Burger King to jump on the bandwagon and make their own twist. With sexual images being a large part of American society it seemed like it a matter of time when food ads would be apart of it. Burger King did release a "sexy" commercial with Paris Hilton before.
Do you think the ad is very suggestive or would you not think twice about it?

Also, here is a short article on the Burger King ad. CLICK HERE TO READ

Friday, June 19, 2009

Good Article By Layers Magazine On Twitter

Layers Magazine is a good design publication that I enjoy reading through every month. It has some interesting design tips, good ads that are useful for designers, and interesting articles. I recommend picking it up or subscribing it. It's always good to learn a few new tricks or see where other people are coming from in the industry. They recently released and article on Twitter and how to use it wisely for yourself. I went through their website and found the link to the article.. Layers Magazine

To read the article CLICK HERE

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Carousel (Short Film) Very Interesting

Directed by Adam Berg, Carousel is a 2 minute 19 second short film sponsored by Philips. The film offers an exploration into one single frozen moment of time in a robbery gone wrong in one Hard Boiled-inspired continuous tracking shot. The story line is obviously taking a cue from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, featuring a swat team who has moved in to a decimated hospital, entering into a shootout with a bunch of robbers wearing sinister clown masks. Around 90 per cent of the footage and stunts were captured in camera.

Created entirely by Stink Digital, this new interactive campaign promotes Philips’ latest entrant into the television market, the CINEMA 21:9. Berg conceived it to work as an endless loop. Visitors to the microsite therefore have the option to ‘spin’ through the film’s single take shot repeatedly, to stop on a specific frame, or to watch it at the preordained speed. The film also contains embedded hotspots, which, when triggered, transport the viewer seamlessly from the heavily posted film to a behind-the-scenes version of the same shot.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Freelance Freedom #43 Comic Strip

Click on image to view the entire image.
Freelance Freedom is a comic strip by N.C. Winters
He definitely discusses many topics that go on with freelance graphic designers or designers in general. There's usually a new one every week at Freelance Switch's blog. I think he's up to #108, but either way this one particular strip has a very important message. People, I'm not even going to say clients or potential clients, would like want things free and think they could take advantage of a designer. It is important to know that designers deserve respect and are worth proper payment. Occasionally it is good to do some pro bono work like if it's for charity, but it doesn't mean a designer should be taken advantage of. I do not understand why a company would not put the right effort t make everything look good. Yes, there will be designers that do work for dirt cheap and they should know that they're hurting the field by fooling people into thinking low prices are what designs cost. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money and companies know that. Why do something half ass? Why bust your ass creating a design only to be paid in peanuts? I don't know and the shaky economy is only making more people be very frugal. Designers should step their game up with their designs and it's only natural for companies to look through different designer portfolios searching for the right look for them. It'll all work out, but designers don't take on clients because they promise you with exposure. Sometimes if it's too good to be true, it is.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Mac's Artwork

I'm a fan of graffiti and graff writers taking their spraypaint abilities to the next level. Here is some works from the artist known as "The Mac." His compositions are very well done and some of his paintings have a nice design element. His work caught by eye, so maybe it'll catch yours as well.

Here is information taken from his website ( http://www.elmac.net/)

"This is an online portfolio for the paintings, murals, sketches & other artworks of Mac. Since having started painting graffiti as "The Mac" in the mid 90s, he has been commissioned to produce murals around the world, he has exhibited in museums, and his work has graced the cover of numerous publications. Mac has gained increasing notoriety for his almost photorealistic depictions of both ordinary people and ethereal women, in a style that is uniquely his own. Mac's intricate brushwork styles have also gained attention, while some of his murals have become mini-landmarks. Elements, themes and techniques of classic art are often incorporated into a modern context in Mac's artwork, usually with an emphasis on the human face and figure. His work is the result of a life devoted to art."

Superbad Digital Painting Tutorial Link

I cam across this tutorial on how to create a digital painting and thought I should share this link. It's good to know how other people approach creating their own digital paintings. Digital painting is an interesting medium, since it's not traditional oil or acrylic paintings. Mastering both digital and traditional painting may not be an easy task, but the end result is worth pursuing.

Click here for "Making of Superbad Tutorial"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hydro74 Megatron Illustration

Since the sequel to Transformers is coming up, I figured this would be great to show an illustration I came across. I thought this was a cool composition of Megatron created by Joshua M. Smith aka Hydro74. According to what he told me on twitter, it is a personal illustration, but he is working with a company on some Transformer t-shirt designs.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Graphic Design & Illustration Inspiration

Here is some images that I found through out that you can use for your own inspiration. I even have a folder on my desktop titled "inspiration" for me and I'll turn to it if I'm feeling like a creative block is near or I want to experiment with how someone else has done a technique. The designers range from Kyle of Electric Zombie, Monaux, and others. Some I do not know, but would love to give credit. You have to give credit where credit's due. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ShirtFight.com 10 Tips To Winning T-shirt Design Contest Sites!

I'm a fan of many t-shirt contest sites like Designbyhumans.com, Shirtfight.com, and Threadless. Each site has a nice cash prize and credit to purchase many of their designs. I like how it's a good way to test your skills, gain some popularity, and get some feedback. Shirtfight.com posted 10 tips on how to win and I believe they did a very good job.

Here is some info from the blog:
1. Survey your surroundings

Before you even begin drawing or brainstorming ideas, take a close look at the website you are going to submit to. What's the overal "vibe" of the site? Are the tees for sale focused around being funny, witty, or ironic? Are they full of fun bright colorful designs, or are things more dark and subtle? Look at what's being offered and try to fill the blank in this sentence: "This site pretty much specializes in selling _____ style t-shirts". Now of course variety is the spice of life, but you want to make sure that whatever you are about to design is going to at the very least be a good fit style-wise with the rest of the site's offerings.

2. Think outside the box

Ugh, don't you just hate that phrase? But it's so true...everyone likes a refreshing new idea, especially when it comes to cool t-shirts. It takes more than slapping a funny movie quote on a tshirt nowadays, and with the ever growing popularity of unique t-shirts, you really have to up your game to make something new and interesting. Does your idea have a twist that differentiates it from the others, something special that would make people take notice and say "oh man what a great idea, I *need* that!"

3. Think like a customer

This is a tough one, because naturally you only consider your own tastes...but you have to put yourself into the mind of the customer. Human nature is a funny thing...in general, we all want to express our individuality, yet we constantly seek approval from others to validate ourselves. There's a very specific "comfort zone" that the majority of people try to reach, and this zone applies to fashion probably more than anything else! T-shirts themselves are widely accepted by the general population...we all know how they look and fit and feel when you wear them. People then choose how to express their individuality through what is printed on the tee itself. But here again you have to keep this "comfort zone" in mind...if the design is too bright or too crazy/controversial, the general masses won't feel comfortable wearing it, and therefore they won't buy it.

I know what you're thinking..."Well gee, what's the fun in creating "safe" shirts? That seems so boring!" Keep in mind that the comfort zone varies between different groups of people. Graphic t-shirts are *typically* purchased and worn by the younger generation, so they may be more comfortable wearing brighter colors and wilder designs. Just remember than even younger folks have the desire to stand out, yet fit in with the crowd.

Also it's a good idea that the design can be self explanatory. They need to tell the story themselves...it helps the customer understand the design, and therefore gives them more comfort that this is the right shirt for them. When other people see the shirt, they too will be able to understand the design...instant peer approval! Isn't it nutty how that works?

Click to read the rest of the article.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Printshop Derisory Designs June Printing Special!

If you're looking for a printer to screen print some mailers for your business, well then you should be happy I came across this deal. Philadelphia, PA print shop, Derisory Designs, are offering a special for printing mailers. They do quality work, which is very important and it definitely adds a nice touch to your company, when most people are expecting a regular boring envelope.
A representative also mentioned that they will plan on having a new special each month. What a treat?

-Joe Baron

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Herring & Herring

Photography is very interesting and having the proper art direction can make an ad campaign stand out rather than just making the photos look "good". The work that Dimitri Scheblanov and Jesp Carlsen at Herring & Herring have done in editorial and commercial fashion photography is very well done and inspiring. They have worked with many clients from Debeers to Kouture magazine. Their portfolio is one I like very much. I'm not sure if I like their editorial or advertising work better. http://www.herringandherring.com/