French schoolbook covers by Dynamo

Dynamo

Dynamo

Dynamo

Dynamo

Dynamo

Some wonderful French school cover designs by Berlin’s Dynamo for Canton of Neuchâtel. Although these designs were unfortunately rejected according to their website, these designs are beautifully executed in simplicity and style. Certainly memorable creations, and I’m sure the use of bright primary colors was no accident.

Swing over to Dynamo’s website to see more work by Thibaud Tissot and Yassin Baggar.

Inspiration: Philip Castle

Philip Castle

Philip Castle

Philip Castle

Philip Castle

Philip Castle

Here are a few choices from illustration master Philip Castle. I’m not normally a fan of the smooth airbrush style, but Philip does it with ease and grace with an obvious design sensibility. I didn’t realize until recently that he was the man behind the Clockwork Orange movie poster. Awesome.

Castle’s work also has a slight hint of art deco stylings which can be seen in his framework and overlapping shades. Good stuff.

I’m at a loss to find an official website for him, but check out this Philip Castle page on Sci-F-O-Rama for more information.

Inspiration: Justin Maller

Justin Maller

Justin Maller

Justin Maller

Justin Maller

Justin Maller

Justin Maller

Justin Maller

I can’t say enough good things about the work of mighty Justin Maller. It’s been interesting to follow his career over the past few years as he forged so many great personal and client works, while participating with the crack team over at Depthcore. Maller’s digital influence is felt far and wide, with his abstract forms, sexy ladies, vector patterns and photography collages.

If you are unfamiliar with Justin Maller, now is the time to check him out. Swing by his official site for a full right-hook of awesome work, and why not drop him a line on Twitter.

Inspiration: Jasper Goodall

Jasper Goodall

Jasper Goodall

Jasper Goodall

Jasper Goodall

Jasper Goodall

I had a bit of downtime on the blog last week because I was on vacation down in Mexico, so it’s time to get cracking with some inspiration. I’ve been a fan of the work of Jasper Goodall for quite some time now. Simply love his female forms, multi-medium illustration work, and an obvious interest in exploring different techniques.

I can’t wait for that topmost piece to become available for purchase, simply stunning.

Swing by his official site to see more of his work. If you are unfamiliar with him, it’s well worth the look.

FITC Awards Party poster

FITC Awards Party poster: James White

Here is the poster design for the upcoming FITC Awards Party taking place on Monday, April 26 during the conference. My good pal Chris Toms and programming ninja Steven Sacks will be doing a DJ stint at the party, and we thought it would be fun to create a Signalnoise poster as a bit of fun promotion. As it turns out, this design will be landing in the official FITC program as well, so if you’re heading to the conference keep an eye out.

Like some of my recent designs, the inspiration for this one was taken from 80s metal. I wanted to develop a poster that was simply over the top, beat-up, maybe a little sun-bleached, something that might reside on the wall of a rocker kid in 1985 or a tour poster for Judas Priest. If you grew up in that era, you know what I’m talking about. After doing some research, I decided the evil knight was the way to go which was pieced together using a number of armor shots.

I will be doing a small print run of this design to be available at the conference via myself, Chris and Steven. I’ll nail down the details soon to see how we can get these into peoples’ hands.

The Haiti Poster Project

The Haiti Poster Project by James White

I was asked recently to participate in the The Haiti Poster Project, conceived by Moxie Sozo (organizer of the 2005 Hurricane Poster Project) and Josh Higgins (organizer of the 2007 So-Cal Fire Poster Project). The initiaive is put best straight from the source:

“The Haiti Poster Project seeks limited edition sets of posters from artists, designers and design firms from around the world. The donated posters will be sold online to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. As designers, we have the collective ability to do what we love, and to create a difference. The Haiti Poster Project has been conceived as a collective effort by the design community to unite and effect change through our work. In order for this project to be successful, we are counting on designer participation. Our goal is to raise at least $1,000,000 for Doctors Without Borders. PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD.”

I did my own fundraiser in support of Haiti earthquake relief back in January, but it is a pleasure to be involved on this level with a much larger group. The above poster is the one I created for the event and will be available to purchase in a limited run through The Haiti Poster Project. It is simply titled Help. More to come soon as I get the posters printed and shipped.

The art of Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Like most people, I grew up seeing the fun cartoon portrayals of the Beatles in their Yellow Submarine garb. We all know the addictive chorus to the lead track, and I’m sure you will now be humming it for the remainder of the day. Heh heh, sorry.

I was fishing around Burlesque of North America this morning and the lovable Fab Four landed on my screen once again, what a friendly looking bunch of guys. What I didn’t know until now was the man behind these legendary designs, Czech illustrator Heinz Edelmann. Beautiful character designs and he’s certainly adept at watercolor. The topmost poster is a show-stopper, I need to track down a large version of that for the wall. He’s obviously done far more work outside of the Beatles, which is why I posted that last image above. Not sure what it’s for, but its really pushing me to hit the sketchbook.

I don’t know a great deal about Edelmann’s work, maybe my pals Ron or Ben could help me out in the comments.

The process behind Elle

The process behind Elle by James White

If you are following me on Twitter, you might have caught a bit of the process behind this new poster design last night, which I’ve dubbed ‘Elle’. I decided to show various stages of the design while I was working on it, something I’m not accustomed to and found challenging, a bit scary yet pretty fun.

So, I’d like to dedicate a post to talking a bit more about the poster as I progressed as the 140 character limit didn’t allow for a lot of explanation. This is, once again, a high-level version of the process as there are a lot of subtleties and details I will gloss over for the sake of time. So, here we go . . .

The process behind Elle by James White

1. As I’ve stated numerous times, everything I do starts with the sketchbook. Here are a few little roughs I created to see how the overall design might drop. It has a few variations here and there, but I generally had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish.

The process behind Elle by James White

2. I then needed a dame, and this image might work nicely. I had this image onhand while doing the sketches above which is why things look consistent. Much easier to conceptualize when you don’t have to guess or hope the right pose is found. I obviously need to tear this image to pieces in order to achieve my goal.

The process behind Elle by James White

3. Lets throw in a bit of inspiration to keep me going. I came across this Vogue cover a while back and really wanted to attempt a poster in this style. The palette is really light with the monochromatic face, very nice. I have also always loved the simplistic design of Bowie’s cover for Aladdin Sane, so I kept that image close by as well.

The process behind Elle by James White

4. Time to crop this lady out. I like the idea of smooth selective cropping and I wanted to try this with the neckline. I also chose early on that this wasn’t going to be a dark poster, so the background is lighter this time around.

The process behind Elle by James White

5. Now that the cropping was coming around, I started messing with the overall palette to see what works. I ended up working on the skin tones for a very long time as I wanted a slight blue/green tint but I didn’t want the dame to look like Frankenstein. I noticed the hair was also going to be a problem with where the image was cropped. I knew I needed to sort that out somehow, but it could wait.

The process behind Elle by James White

6. Now the skin was starting to shape up. I did a lot of blurring and airbrushing to get rid of the grittiness which resulted from me changing hues and levels several times over. I wanted to maintain a bit of roughness (like the Vogue cover) but I didn’t want the skin texture to look like a hack job. I also added a but of selective highlight and shadow bits to make the photo look a bit more interesting, and put in a flat pink for the lips.

The process behind Elle by James White

7. I ended up ditching this color idea because it made everything look blurry, but I wanted to show this anyway because the idea of using purple and blue as main colors would come back around later. Decent idea, but not this execution.

The process behind Elle by James White

8. I fixed up there hair with some scribbles. I like adding some hand-made elements to my work, like splatters and things, and the orientation of these lines made for a nice back piece for the hair. It also covered up that crumby hard crop that was giving me troubles earlier. I did some more skin color work here, and added some flares to make the sunglasses pop out.

The process behind Elle by James White

9. In keeping with the original sketches, I really wanted to add some tears or some sort of liquid streaming from the eye area. I got the idea of having the lens strangely melting down over the frame and cheek, so I got several photos of whatever dripping, cropped out the drops, and adjusted the levels to make it look like mercury. The lenses got completely blacked out as the reflections were competing with the drips. I also added a bit more color to this version with that pink burst over the scribbles.

The process behind Elle by James White

10. I realized that all of my mercury drops had the wrong lighting compared to the rest of the image, so I flipped them all around in order to match things up and added a touch of color to them. I hadn’t worked on the background at all until this point, so a bit of rough texture was added to put a little interest back there.

The process behind Elle by James White

11. And finally, I added a few more lighting bursts, some stars reflected in the lenses of the glasses and come subtle color overlays to bring all the different palettes into the same league. Those stripes were also a last minute decision as I didn’t want the poor girl just floating in empty space.

And there you have it. I would also like to point out that all of the photography and bits used in this design came from Thinkstock.com. Big thanks for the weaponry, guys!