Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The "Contain Us" Stop Motion Video

(For best results, click on the "Vimeo" logo to watch in HD)

In celebration of the Devin Townsend Project's Contain Us deluxe package being released just in time for the holidays, I created a stop motion video for both my archives and for promotional use by the record label. I shot it on-site in the photography section of PCA&D and had a blast doing it.

Over 3,400 views in just 2 days and another 1,600 over the next week for 5,000+ in the first 10 days out there. It's a lot of fun to share something I did on my own one afternoon with Devin's fans around the world. When this was posted on Blabbermouth on December 22nd, the first comment made me smile: "awesome... reminds me of classic Sesame Street." Indeed.

During the actual shooting, I came up with a few impromptu ideas while, in hindsight, I have several more I wish I integrated as well. Not surprising, of course, seeing as how this was my first-ever attempt at stop motion. Oh well, life and design are always works in progress, right? Right.

(click images to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I [Heart] Communication Arts!

(click to enlarge)

While I pass around criticism occasionally, most of what I do on this blog (besides post my own work, mind you) is highlight or praise the art and design world's successes; both contemporary and historic. Today's a praise day, if you will…

Year round, I preach to my students to be an all-around artist and not simply a designer. For example, within my plans for our yearly New York trips, it's never enough to simply line up a studio visit, head to the AIGA, and call it a day. In my eyes, that's a failure.

For me, both the viewing-of and experimenting-in hand-made art, photography, fine art and beyond are essential in one's evolution in the arts. In order for us to see things beyond our monitors, even if more often than not that's where we find ourselves, we need to see beyond our profession's cold, digital realm and once-again discover the textures, the smells, and the unpredictably exciting ways of other art forms.

You know who also gets this concept? Communication Arts. This year I've received six issues, all "annuals" of one sort of another. Namely Illustration, Photography, Design, Advertising, Interactive, and Typography. I don't care if it's simply the smell of the freshly-inked pages of their latest Typography Annual that has me all happy about CA right now. The bottom line is that this past year's issues have been inspiring. And when you consider that…

There was once a time when I viewed CA as the boring, stiff, secondary subscription. That time is long gone, of course. If anything, they've proven to me that they're the essential magazine in the industry for those of us always looking for more. And that's worth writing about.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Modern Vintage (Banners)

(click image to enlarge)

Every 18 months or so, Jennifer asks my assistance in designing new banners and buttons for her Sally Jane Vintage blog and Etsy shop. For the 2012 (and beyond) version, the only request I received was to have the imagery complete itself while going to white around the edges. Thus giving the graphic a free-floating feeling, as opposed to a cropped look.

I wanted to create something that didn't look like any other vintage fashion site. There are many stylish blogs out there and after checking out a few of them, I dove back into my world. In the end, I'm only ever successful at what I do if I'm doing what feels right to me. With that said, Jennifer loved it and went live with it on January 1st.

Notes: I used the same beautiful font I used for the look book that I both shot and designed for Sally Jane Vintage late in 2011. That brought some consistency along with fresh new colors that can work year round.

(the 2012 color palette, including typography [l, r])

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Science Of Color (In 2012)

(Fig. 1; what color looks like to designers)

Hot on the heels of 2011's Honeysuckle, Tangerine Tango (a.k.a. PMS 17-1463) is Pantone's 2012 Color of the Year. From the official Pantone website:
"Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy."
Um, yeah, what she said. Regardless of the art speak, this color is very much in vogue right now. In fact, the it's strikingly similar to that of PCA&D's official color – which I designed a color scheme around earlier this year for the school's 2011-12 Admissions Department materials.

(Fig. 2; the 2011-12 color scheme for PCA&D's Admissions Dept.)

So while I never endorse the forcing of a color into a design equation, it does seem to be an excellent choice of warmth with an understated sense of positivity in these tough economic times. And who can't use that right about now?

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