A friend ask me to lay out a locator card for providers to carry in their pockets to give to patients so they could transition from one facility to another. He sent me a scan of a handwritten page describing what he wanted:
I love these kinds of jobs. Tell me what you want to accomplish and let me come up with a way to do it. He sent me a style guide so I had access to vector logos and accurate colors. He also gave me the link to a web based map that I ended up basing the map side of the card on. After some back and forth and a few edits we are both happy with the final product:
The thing about a project like this is that it is not cutting edge design, not even very original from a concept standpoint. However, it is the kind of design that is executed millions of times a day. Doing this kind of thing well makes everything a little better, doing it poorly makes the world a less beautiful place. I hope I did it well.
One of the great things about having lots of kids (we have 6) is that at least one of them is always coming up with something. In this case, my second son (17 yrs old) decided to start a “gang”, but was quick to explain that they weren’t a “bad” gang, they were a “good” gang that promoted manly virtues and conduct.
So began the “NorthSide Ruckus”.
He asked me to help him with a logo and said he wanted a snake that was mean looking but not evil. After a couple of days, and about a dozen iterations, he decided he liked this:
If you ask my dad, ALL snakes are evil. I think the snake in this design has some evil in him.
This is a project that was a long time coming. I did the original design work for the Crossings Christian School Logo and Marks. As the school has grown, and more students and parents are involved in more activities, the need to manage the logo and typography has grown too. So a style guide was a good place to start.
We are working on a tech startup, and needed a “name” to use for the project until we actually named it. Looking over a list of code words for WWII missions we found Anvil, which was the code word for the invasion of southern France. Cool. So we started using that. When it came time to name the company we are starting we had grown to love Anvil. We added Red and Group and “Red Anvil Group” was born. The group is part of the official name but won’t be used when speaking about the company and we might even drop the red at times and just say “Anvil”. So the logo needed to say that, be strong, and be boldly graphic.
I created the anvil first. I started with a more complex design, but the simpler I made it, the better it looked. The word mark was in a font that had a rounded edge to it originally and the anvil was solid red. One of the principles in the start up is dating a designer, Kimberly Witchey, so we asked her to come up with some biz card ideas. She suggested changing the red to a deeper color and making it a gradient to add some depth and intensity. She also switched the word mark to Cool Grey 7 and on her suggestion I changed the font too. She came up with the card design, which we think rocks!
Here is the progression from first draft to final logo:
|VCT Tile Floor||Pixelated||Foam Craft||Barcode|
I started a list of ways I could render the T3 Design logo. After I did the first few I started turning them into wallpapers for my computer:
LiteBrite - Everyone had one of these as a kid I think. They were a lot of fun and presented an interesting challenge since the pegs were in a hex pattern. I also remember that when you screwed up and put a peg in the wrong place you had a hole that light came through that you couldn’t fix! This is not a real picture, it is photoshoped from a website I found: LiteBrite
Stained Glass - This is another completely photoshoped image. I found stock images of glass and then created the “lead” frame and the landscape outside. This one was challenging, but fun.
Sand - Again, totally photoshoped. I found a stock image of the beach and then used filters to create the impression in the sand.
Embroidery - This one is real. I got a friend was has a monogramming business (You Name It) who offered to sew my logo out for me. I snapped a pic and cleaned it up a bit and there it is.
VCT Tile Floor - Another complete photoshop job. I used sample tile images from a web site selling tile and then created the pattern and outline. The chair is from an entry in a digital design contest.
Pixelated - I have always enjoyed pointelism and the associated art. I have played around with photoshop and several online resources to create lots of interesting effects. This is just one version.
Foam Craft - Long story short, we have advent at our house on Sunday (during the 4 weeks of advent of course) and invite several families over. Each Sunday a different family is in charge of a craft for the kids to do. This was one of the crafts. Everyone else made angels and “joy” and crosses, I made T3Design!
Barcode - Simple concept. I used an online barcode generator to create a barcode that actually is “T3DESIGN” and then fit it into a template of my logo. Kind of cool I think.
Skyscraper - Stock photo that I stretched and then photoshopped the lights in the windows.
Space Invaders - I’m a huge 80’s arcade fan. I took a screen shot of space invaders, hand pixelated the various elements, then laid them out to fit my T3Design logo. The scores are by birth year, my wedding year (high score for me!) and waiting for my year of death.
Neon - After doing the artwork for the Cowboy Arcade Project I used the same photoshop effects and layers to recreate the T3 in orange neon.
Sketchbook - I’ve probably drawn the T3 logo in my sketchbooks dozen’s of times. This time I took the extra effort to shoot a pic and size it to match my wallpaper template.
Other Ideas waiting to be done:
- brand on a cow (or even better, a zebra)
- bottle caps (like a pixelated image)
- torch cut metal
- sketch on a napkin
- mowed into grass, or a crop circle thing
- icing on a cake / cake cut and eaten
- ice sculpture
- indie concert poster
- tread pattern in the bottom of a shoe
- pavement, pavestones, etc.
- cars in a parking lot
- architectural plan
- painted on a barn
- painted on a brick wall
- hooked rug
- needle point or cross stitched (or both)
- seats in a stadium
- post-it notes
- shaved into hair on head
- christmas lights
- craters on the moon
- “grand canyon”
- mustard on a hamburger
- pin art / replicator
- highway sign
- sewer grate or manhole cover
My eldest son (18) has been picking up odd jobs here and there and is getting pretty good at landscape and general handyman work. He is wanting to promote himself a little more and came to me to see if I would help him with a biz card. He is the fourth in our name line, so playing off that I came up with the idea to play off the fourth dimension….
The biz card has a QRCode on the back that is a VCard of the info on the card.
I’m involved in the development of an iPhone app and one of the things we needed was the icon for the app on the phone. The name of the app is “Check Six”. I tried several different approaches before I hit on the idea to literalize the name and came up with this:
Well, not bad in the “not good” sense, but bad in the “I’m gonna kick your keester” sense.
Mojo would like an arcade machine too. We may or may not ever get around to actually building it, but we did have some fun talking about it and I went ahead and did the design work for the cab.
I based the machine off an old Taito cab which has fantastic old school lines. Sticking with the Mojo theme I settled on ninja stuff and even went so far as to make him joy stick handles that look like Katana sword handles. The option to make the right side red (player two) and the left side black (player one) could go either way. I think is we do ever build this I would want to render the art with textures and layers to make it look like the art from an old Kung Fu movie.
I frequently keep up with the going’s on at the BYOAC forum (Build Your Own Arcade Controls). People use the forum to talk about, get help for and document every imaginable issue related to the collecting, restoration and rebuilding of arcade games. This includes something called MAME (Multiple Machine Arcade Emulator) which allows someone to build a custom arcade cabinet and then play any arcade game ever produced like it was a real arcade machine. Every once in a while someone posts something that catches my interest from an artwork standpoint. A guy I will only ever know as “eds1275″ started a project to build a cabinet for his nephews and their theme was “Limeaid”. He posted his idea for a marquee and kind of ask what everyone thought. Foe some reason I had an idea, so I created a marquee design for him and posted it back. He liked it and after cleaning it up a little I uploaded it for him.
You can view the forum thread about this arcade cabinet here.
I ended up needing to change the layout of my Cowboy Arcade Control Panel and therefore had to redo the Control Panel Overlay Art. Just to remind you, my Arcade Cabinet is patterned after a Tempest game. I got rid of the numbers for player 1 and player 2 and instead rendered the little Atari guys in neon.
Here is the finished Control Panel Overlay with the various buttons and controls mocked up:
The process of creating the neon tube effect is fairly complicated and took me a long time to get right. When I was done I had a process that involved more than a dozen steps and created 9 separate layers in PhotoShop. The whole thing starts with a vector drawing of the neon in Freehand…
To keep the Tempest theme as much as possible I converted the original Tempest Cab artwork to black and white and then turned it into a halftone. This forms the background of the Cowboy Arcade art with the intention that it will look like the Tempest artwork was there and the neon was put on top of it…
Next the Freehand neon outline (outline) is imported and filled with PMS 152 given a gaussian blur of 1…
Then the outline is filled with PMS 172 the selection is contracted 10 and feathered 5 before deleting and then blurring 1. This creates a denser color toward the edge of the tube…
Next a 3 pixel border inside the outline is filled with black, blurred a very small amount and set to 15% transparency. This creates the illusion of there being thickness to the actual tubing…
Now that we have a neon tube with some variation between the internal color and the color at the edges and a hint of the glass, we need this thing to glow. First glow is internal and is the outline filled with PMS 172, blurred 10 and set to screen.
To help our minds complete the illusion that the neon is actually above the background art we need to simulate the holes the neon would come through in a real application. These holes are cut out of the background and also kept as a separate layer to allow for some darkening of the hols after the external glow happens…
To make the neon look like it is lit I expanded the outline by 30, filled with PMS 172 then blurred it 100 and set it to 75%…
Still needed a little more umph, so another outline expanded 30, filled with PMS 172 and blurred 25 then set to 25% and screen…
Finally, we need to darken the background where the neon is not close to it. The easiest way to do this was to select the big blur from two step ago, select the inverse and fill it black then set to 80%…
Also, those holes we cut out of the background are on their own layer and set to 75% and placed above the big blur layer. The PMS 172 and 150 are Oklahoma State University colors.