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SKETCHEE IDEAS: A Creativity Blog


Entries in Art (45)

Thursday
Jun122008

Lending a Hand

I don't know if I'd call it a perk of my job, but I had my hand in the last cover photo of Maryland Family Magazine. It's a pretty odd task, but when the art director asked for my help, I thought why not. Is it wierd that they needed a child's hand and that mine is kinda convincing?


Cover photo from Maryland Family Magazine. Photo by Justin Kase Hand by Brian E. Young


Sorry if you looked at the magazine's website. I'm sure a redesign updating it from the 1991 look will come really soon.

I don't have a problem going outside of my job description. Let's see ... I've decorated for Christmas, designed birthday cards, saw the movie 300 and I can't even remember what else happens at work. I've seen coworkers have such great work tasks as filling a room with balloons (that didn't go over so well with the boss), babysitting and everyone loves a good museum trip. Have you ever had any strange odd jobs at work?
Wednesday
Jun112008

Tons of Great T-shirt Design Stuff

T-shirts are a pretty cool form of expression. They can look like anything. They can be inspiring. They can define you as a person. Sometimes they're a bit too casual , but they can have an upscale feel with the right design. Here's a look at some t-shirts, followed up with some links to t-shirt design tutorials and galleries so you can get more shirty goodness.


This is one of my favorites. I love the colors and asymmetrical design


Jenga fans? Or construction workers?


"A is for Apple" it says. It's a print of a hand painted ink art piece translated into a pretty interesting t-shirt.


Running with scissors


In the eye of the beholder. I don't know if I like the image itself, but I like the way its done.


Conezor? Just wierd. We all do scream for ice scream


Wasn't [[There Will Be Blood]] an odd movie?


As much as I love color, I couldn't resist this long sleeve shirt. It's just a cool high constrast design.


Paint by Numbers. For the artist in every nonartist. Or if you just remember paint by numbers stuff.


I'm not a weiner. Just a fun style and much like the others on here


A vintage woodstock poster on a shirt. Very cool image


Design your own


Here are a few pages about designing your own shirts that I found. I definitely want to do more shirt design, these things help inspire me to get started. Posting things here sure makes it easier for me to find things again when I need them...
Designing Ultra SceneXCore Apparel!
From Sketch to Vector Illustration

Intricate Patterns in Illustrator

Want to see more t-shirts?


Troundup. The T-shirt Lovers Blog.
Busted Tees
Ten Bills (T-shirts for only $10 or less)
A T-Shirt Reviewer Reviews T-Shirt Review Sites!
Tuesday
Jun102008

Remixing Radiohead on Old Tech

James Houston brings us Big Ideas. It's the Radiohead song, played on old computer equipment. It's great to see people think way outside of the box. The idea of this remix is to illustrate how something can be more than what they were designed for. That's an inspiring sentiment and makes for a nice art piece.


Big Ideas (don't get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.

Want more Radiohead? Read about my trip to their Nissan Pavilion Concert
Sunday
Jun012008

Defrag Your Designs

On some level you probably want your designs to be accessible and efficient. Even if you have a more complicated or detailed design, there should be a simpler structure supporting it. Inspired by a Lifehacker post on office organization as unlikely as it sounds, I've come up with a few ideas that might help in your self-critique:

Group related items together. A grouping of things becomes a single thing. If you have a choice—loften the client or whoever will want things a specific way—move things around. Can any two ideas be links together? This might mean putting some text together, but it could also mean grouping things into a single design. You may have a heading and a subheading which you've somehow connected into a single design element. Or in web design, the group of navigational items into a bar is a pretty common example. A logo is another thing that is usually a collection of design elements into a single thing. Several designs might have to exist on a single page. Ever notice how a page of newspaper editorial may have to deal with several stories, infoboxes and images on a single page? Some newspapers feel cluttered and others combine and simplify the elements to show just about the same amount of information without looking so overwhelming.


Newspapers often have to group several stories on one page. Notice how the colored blurb boxes are their own little designs, but function as a single element in the grand scheme of it. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Create a landing strip. The idea of a focal point seems like a no brainer, but many new designers miss it. Working in advertising design, it wasn't unusual to see an advertisement that didn't have a clear headline among the tons of starbursts, images, colors and boxes. If I got the chance to redesign, the first thing I did was to make something big (or use some other eye catching technique) for impact. Maybe every bit of information in your project is just as important and needs to be bolded, boxed and starbursted ... But just pick one if you want them to get to the rest. Blogs often do this with their attention grabbing headers, although you've probably seen all the variations of it.

You didn't forget white space, did you? In your final checks, don't overlook white space. We all obsess about it and then you go and fill it all up. You don't have room in your design for white space, you cry! Well, it's much better to make things smaller than to have everything looking overwhelmingly cramped in. Especially if it actually is cramped in there. In our newspaper example, leaving things out isn't much of an option so it's most important here to give things some room.
Saturday
May312008

Defining Graphic Design

I was reading [[Wikipedia]] on graphic design topics. Most of the articles aren't in great shape without basic information on the topics we all use everyday in our profession. The web is big enough that any of the missing information can be found pretty quickly just by a Google search. I don't think that many of us in the profession would turn there for these definitions anyway. We find more focused sites about design that are secluded from the public. Anyway, it's not so great to see the weak points in Wikipedia as a resource and not great that it's where we graphic designers sit.

It's not really a complete encyclopedia, so its probably a mistake that they've defined themselves that way. It's a collection of projects and its graphic design project is underdeveloped. The [[wiki]] concept seems to work great on the small scale. Take a look at the Battlestar Wiki for example.

I gave it a shot and dove in and did a small restructuring of the [[graphic design]] article. Like many graphic designers, I'd rather focus on my own projects than edit over there but I did my part. So here we are back on my site... Like I said, it's as easy as a Google search, but lets make it just a little easier. I've compiled a few resources and articles that give a nice overview of graphic design for further reading. What else should we see when we're giving an overview of graphic design past and present.

The Design from a German stamp.
The Design from a German stamp. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Definitions


What is graphic design from Design Talkboard. Here's five definitions of graphic design to start with.

What is graphic Design? from Veerle's Blog. Commenters from around the web weigh in to create their own definitions of graphic design.

Trying to explain graphic design to a hall full of ten year olds from Johnson Banks, a London design consultant agency. Michael Johnson talks about his experience with kids and design.

History


A Brief History of Type by Thomas W. Phinney. Type is summed up through four major eras: Gutenberg, the Industrial Revolution, Photocomposition and the Digital era.

A Historical Timeline of Computer Graphics and Animation by Wayne E. Carlson.

THe History of Graphic Design and Its Audiences from the AIGA. Michael J. Golec talks about the lack of educational programs that focus on graphic design history. Most education in the field is career or studio driven.

History of Graphic Design by Nancy Stock-Allen. This is an educational site produced to assist in lectures, but it's very visually compelling and touches upon more points than I've seen on other sites I've looked at.
XIXth century advertising poster for the hydrotherapic baths of Bagnoles de l\'Orne (France).
XIXth century advertising poster for the hydrotherapic baths of Bagnoles de l'Orne (France). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons