Vintage Monaco Grand Prix posters

Monaco Grand Prix posters

Monaco Grand Prix posters

Monaco Grand Prix posters

Monaco Grand Prix posters

Monaco Grand Prix posters

Monaco Grand Prix posters

Thanks to Draplin, I ended up surfing around the Vintage Ad Browser this morning and came across some posters for the Monaco Grand Prix. The two topmost posters prompted me to investigate further and I managed to track down the rest. Sorry they are displayed so strangely, I didn’t have the heart to upsize the images and sacrifice quality.

Wonderful illustration at work here, and it’s refreshing to see the quality span over 5 decades. How badly do I want that poster from ’77? Beautiful.

Avatar and Roger Dean

Avatar’s floating islands compared to Roger Dean’s painting:

Avatar vs. Roger Dean

Avatar vs. Roger Dean

Avatar’s arched rock formations compared to Roger Dean’s work:

Avatar vs. Roger Dean

Avatar vs. Roger Dean

I went and saw Avatar last night for the first time and really enjoyed the film. Beautiful colors and lovely phosphorescent lighting were peppered throughout the film, and I liked the contrast between the nice jungles and cold steel of the military ships. I won’t go too deeply into a review of the film, because that’s not what this blog is about :)

I would, however, like to point out one element of the film which relates to one of my favorite artists, Roger Dean. I saw a promo poster which featured big floating islands which immediately reminded me of Dean’s work, so I got pretty excited when I saw them appear onscreen. One of my favorite paintings come to life, which is pretty cool. Then another scene featured huge arching rock formations, reminiscent of yet another Roger Dean piece. Awesome.

I enjoy it when filmmakers use traditional works from the past and recreate them “for real” onscreen, and what better artist to gain inspiration from when dealing with alien landscapes?

On a related note, Alex over at ISO50 wrote an article discussing some of the typography choices of Avatar. Check it out.

Design Discussion with James White

Design Informer

The kind crew over at Design Informer asked me to participate in their latest installment of Ask the Expert, where Jad Limcaco and I discussed all things art, design, inspiration and technique. The team really did a nice job laying things out and citing examples.

Swing on over to Ask the Expert – Design Discussion with James White to check it out!

The art of Shusei Nagaoka

Shusei Nagaoka

Shusei Nagaoka

Shusei Nagaoka

Shusei Nagaoka

Shusei Nagaoka

Shusei Nagaoka

Shusei Nagaoka

Here is some beautiful vintage sci-fi by Japanese illustrator Shusei Nagaoka. I had come across his Electric Light Orchestra work a few times but never looked into the artist behind that colorful spaceship.

Nagaoka’s work is electrifying, to say the least. The soft touch of the airbrush mixed with the hard mechanical precision of the ships and architecture is top-notch. Simply love his blown out colors and everything seems to be glowing. Really inspired by this guy’s work, makes me want to run to my sketchbook.

You can see more of Shusei Nagaoka’s work here and here, as well as his official site. Big thanks to Chris Nutt for the heads up on his work. You rock!

TutsPlus 2010 Commemorative poster

Tuts+ 2010 poster by James White

To kick off the new year in form, the kind folks over at the Tuts+ Network asked me to design a commemorative 2010 poster. I am always in support of those people and websites who help out designers and developers on all levels, and the team over at the Tuts+ camp constantly exhaust themselves. They run VectorTuts, NetTuts, AudioTuts, the mighty PsdTuts and a plethora of other art and tech sites. So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to help out such an admirable bunch.

Additionally, Tuts+ are having a giveaway on their site where you could win one of 10 copies of the 2010 poster. Swing over to the Tuts+ 2010 contest post to see all the information. I created a wallpaper set of the design to download for your computer or iPhone, all of which are available on their website.

2010 wallpaper by James White

I love having an open-ended ticket to create a design, which was exactly what the team requested of me so long as it said “2010” somewhere. After doing some research on sci-fi publications from the 70s and 80s I took some heavy inspiration from Omni magazine covers. Omni had a way of creating interesting yet vague imagery, something that left a lot to the imagination. I wanted to strike that vibe for the Tuts+ crew, I even modeled the type after Omni’s title treatment.

Omni magazine

Initially, the design didn’t come together as quickly as I thought it would and the original attempts had me on a completely different course of action. Check out these early type-based versions:

Tuts+ 2010 poster by James White

I decided to ditch the entire concept and start from scratch, I wanted to do something more striking than a stylized number. I went back to the sketch phase and started working out another concept, and one involved an ‘exploding astronaut’ which later became the Abduzeedo anniversary poster. A big thanks to Sean Hodge over at the Tuts+ Network for being so cool as I fumbled about with my concepts in my search for the right one. You rule, man!

Swing on over to the post on Tuts+ for your chance to win one of the 2010 commemorative posters, and why not grab some wallpapers while you’re at it. Happy New Year!