New Signalnoise identity

Signalnoise control room

I have been using this new icon for a little while now, which began as a style experiment, was applied to a wallpaper design for Smashing Magazine, used as a variant Varo logo, animated for my MTV Engine Room submission video, and eventually I started using it as a Signalnoise icon for my newer works. I have been tossing around the idea of a Signalnoise re-brand for a little while now as I feel my work and website has outgrown my winged skull design.

So after a lot of pondering and a lot of advice from friends, I will be working on phasing out my current Signalnoise logo to replace it with this new colorful identity.

New Signalnoise identity

The new identity was greatly influenced by colorful television broadcast graphics from the 1970s (namely NBC’s peacock). I wanted something simple that might lend itself to some nice animated sequences yet hold it’s own on the corner of my poster designs. I do have a soft spot for my winged skull, but I felt the time was right to evolve my personal identity to something a bit more appropriate.

Organic Forge sketch 2

Forge by James White

Here is another sketch image using the Forge engine. This is a very organic process when I start building the image using the shape combinations the engine generates, so I really don’t know how the image will transpire until it’s close to completion.

I’m a very meticulous artist, so the main reason I built Forge was to have a loss of control over where elements land.

The Signalnoise logos: 1999 – 2008

Signalnoise logo

Signalnoise logo

Signalnoise logo

Signalnoise logo

A logo should be simple enough to be easily remembered and recognized, yet be unique enough to distinguish itself and convey its message. That being said, the hardest task I have ever taken on as a designer was developing my own logo for Signalnoise. I would like a design one day, then dislike it the next.

So here is a look back at my different Signalnoise logos, the first of which was designed in 1999 when I was 22 years old. As I learned different tools and techniques, while being influenced by the new and exciting art I was being exposed to, the style of my logo was swinging wildly all over the place.

It was obvious that I was unwilling to let the skull design drop, so seen here is the symbol in a number of incarnations until I eventually landed on the winged skull that I have been using for the past few years.

A number of these logos can be seen in use throughout my various website designs found in the Signalnoise Graveyard.

Organic Forge sketch

Forge by James White

I started playing with my Forge engine again recently, using some shapes I had plugged into it over a year ago. I had mentioned it before, but Forge is a simple Flash application I developed about 3 years ago to help me generate random assortments of shapes and patterns. As simple and clunky as the program is, Forge has helped me create quite a lot of useful vector assets I use in a lot of my art.

I want to start using more of it’s organic tendancies in my work, and give the program a bit more freedom to do what it wants. The piece above is just a sketch of it’s capabilities, with effects and colors added in Photoshop.

Inspiration: Abrams, Davis and Fairey

I am having some technical troubles with my home computer at the moment, which unfortunately limits me to using my Wii for internet access. This being the case, I’ve been watching a lot of videos on Youtube to keep me inspired and I felt compelled to post three of my favorites. These three videos showcase some of my favorite artists talking about their craft, showing examples of their work, and note many reasons to pursue your personal creative goals and make them a reality.

J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams is the creator of Alias, Lost and producer of Cloverfield. Not only do I enjoy J.J.’s unique methods of telling stories, but I enjoy seeing him passionately talk about his inspirations and why he does what he does. The Mystery Box is a talk he did at Ted in March of 2007.

Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis has been an inspiration for a decade. I’ve talked about his work before, and he is seen here doing a presentation for QBN Sessions in September 2007. Josh talks about some of his inspirations, his work methods, and a wonderful piece about working your ass off to achieve your goals. I had the pleasure to see him speak at the FlashForward conference in New York way back in 2000, and aside from being very inspired I remember thinking “Man, this dude is hilarious.”

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey is the mighty Obey Giant. What I like most about Fairey other then his work is his story about how he discovered, or stumbled upon, the Obey idea. Not only did he develop a wonderful and striking brand with the Andre image, but he was sharp enough to realize the phenomenon it had become, and ultimately use that to inject more power into his concept through recognition. He is proof that you need to keep creating what you love to create. Fairey was also a part of the QBN Sessions in September 2007.

MTV Engine Room submission

MTV Engine Room submission

I decided to enter the MTV Engine Room competition after reading about it over at Abduzeedo about a month ago. I’m not usually one to enter online competitions, but this one caught my attention after I read the part about submitting a video to introduce yourself. I have no video or editing experience, I’ve never written anything to be shot, nor do I even own a camera capable of shooting video. I was up for the challenge and I have always wanted to experiment with motion, so off I went to piece something together.

And after a lot of goofing around with friends, here is my submission to the MTV Engine Room competition. Beware, this is full of low-fi nerdiness :)

My friends are the most supportive/hilarious people I know and I leap at any opportunity to work with them. This video should be a testiment to that. Special thanks to Chris Toms for co-starring and lending his camera to shoot everything, Ian “Jerko” Cann for rocking out, Ben Jeddrie for lending me his hotdog man, Joel Lelièvre and Jonny Mitchell for helping me out with the editing and technical side of things.

Now the crazy part…

Last Saturday I was about 30 minutes away from completing the editing and sending the video off to MTV when the unthinkable happened: a virus seemed to appear out of thin air and crippled my poor home computer. I’m extremely careful with my machine and try to keep it as maintained as I can, but this bug managed to get by all of my safeguards. So, one external hard drive purchase later I managed to get everything to my office where I completed the work just under the deadline.

My computer is a champ putting up with all of the crazy processor-heavy stuff I inflict on it, but the poor guy is still down as a result of this bug. As a result, I might be slightly delayed in returning emails and other correspondence as I work on getting my system live again.