Red Bulletin magazine cover

Red Bulletin magazine by James White

I was asked by the UK-based Red Bulletin magazine to design the cover for their issue featuring the GP Belgium 2008 event, held over the September 6 weekend.

The Bulletin really wanted to push the design for this issue in an unconventional direction, based on my retro-light works. It was a challenge and ultimately a lot of fun to create the Formula-1 cars in a cubist style, mingled with the abstract shapes and an overall art deco design. I couldn’t help adding a bit of Saul Bass flavour when creating the type treatment.

Smashing Magazine 2nd Anniversary poster

Smashing Magazine by James White

I was approached by Vitaly and Sven, the guys behind the mighty Smashing Magazine, to design the poster celebrating the design blog’s second anniversary. I was thrilled to be presented with the opportunity to give something back to the guys who offer constant inspiration to countless designers all over the world.

They are holding a contest to give away 8 hand-signed posters, all you have to do is comment on the 2nd anniversary post.

When I started to jam out some ideas for the Smashing Magazine anniversary poster, I already knew I wanted to do something with a stylized ‘2’ in an effort to keep the concept simple. Before stepping to the computer I always rough things out in sketch form to get a general idea of where I want the elements to land. So, I’ll spend hours on my couch surrounded by art books, video games and CDs as I doodle.

Smashing Magazine by James White

I’ve been researching a lot of retro toy designs recently, and while doodling this little guy popped into my head:

Smashing Magazine by James White

I came across this Fisher Price Little People toy when I was around 8 years old and remember thinking “Hey, his eyebrow and nose looks like a 2.” Not only was the concept personally nostalgic but it also represented part of a face, specifically an eye. Given that Smashing Magazine prides itself on offering visual stimulae to artists worldwide, the concept seemed appropriate. I couldn’t find the actual toy on the web so I recreated it here as closely as I could.

After settling on a basic sketch I moved to Illustrator where I made many color and composition studies as I tried to find an appropriate palette and layout for the poster. I make many of these for every work I do and always keep them on file for future use or reference. Here are a few examples of working with the 2 concept:

Smashing Magazine by James White

Once I have a good idea of the direction the poster is heading in terms of color and composition, I will them move to Photoshop where I bring all of my vector pieces, effects and textures together and build the poster. I opted for a more close-up version of the ‘2’ in an attempt to make the eye and nose more prominent, but not overkill. After things snap into place I’ll add any lighting, color hotspots, flares, highlights, shadows, patterns, etc until I feel things reach a suitable balance.

So with that, happy anniversary Smashing Magazine!

Inspiration: Print & Pattern

Print and Pattern

I have been a bit slow for posting over the past little while as I continue to finish up some freelance work, but things will pick up soon enough.

In the meantime, I came across Print and Pattern a few weeks ago and the blog has become one of my current favorites.  In the words of the writer, “this is a website that celebrates the world of surface pattern design” and it does not disappoint. Print and Pattern is full of inspiring images taken from the web and photographs that showcase bright and colorful pattern design. It is broken up into different genres, such as ceramic, fabric, wallpaper, etc.

Check out Print and Pattern for some wonderful examples of modern and beautiful surface design.