FITC Toronto 2010 wrap-up

• Onstage at FITC Toronto 2010. Photo by Nate Kogen.

FITC Toronto (April 25 – 28, 2010) went by like a giant colorful blur this year with lots of wonderful moments, memories and conversation. I was in Toronto for only a few days, but so much happened it still has my head spinning as I try to recall it all. So, lets get to it.

One of the highlights was being slated as a speaker this year, where I presented my Back to the Future talk. I was scheduled in the opening time slot on the first day, a daunting position as I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s day first thing in the morning. I was ushered into the room (the largest of the morning sessions) expecting a smaller turnout because it was the first conference talk I have ever done. As the minutes ticked closer to go-time the seats became more and more populated until the room was essentially full. Wow, didn’t expect that.

• The conference room filling up before my talk.

So I went about presenting my material which included a brief biography, inspirational materials, a small process demonstration, a showcase of my work, a client case study, an outline of the online tools I use for promotion, some advice for aspiring designers and a Q&A period. I tried to keep the talk as interesting, entertaining and informative as I possibly could for fear of falling flat on my face. It all went off great, got laughs at my dumb jokes and claps when I showed the movie posters, certainly some like-minded film nerds were in attendance.

Speaking was a tonne of fun, and certainly something I would like to do more of in the future. Huge thanks to FITC organizer Shawn Pucknell for giving me a crack at the stage. You rule, man.

• Shaking hands with some nice folks after my presentation.

The second day started off with checking out ‘Gaia Framework for Adobe Flash: Revolutionize your Workflow’ by my pal Steven Sacks. Great presenter, great technology and all around super dude. I then wandered over to check out ‘Creativity and Chaos’ by Jason Theodor which quite effectively blew my head off. I’ll be posting the video once it’s available, you will want to see this guy in action.

• Steven Sacks at the FITC Awards Party.

• My pal Chris Toms and I rockin' the FITC Awards Party.

That afternoon was the presentation I was most looking forward to, ‘Blending Analog and Digital’ with Scott Hansen, the mighty ISO50. He put on a wonderful talk full of inspirational materials, personal work-flow examples, shots and stories about his home studio and some excellent advice. I even got to meet and hang out with him during the conference, wicked cool guy.

• Scott Hansen and I following his talk.

A few other amazing talks included ‘The Grammar of Interaction Design’ by the hilarious Brendan Dawes, ‘Eyes can Hear: 5 Ways’ by the always energetic Jared Ficklin, and ‘It Has to be This’ by John Underkoffler where he showcased G-Speak, a new method of using computers as freeform tools. All amazing talks, and I will post links to the videos once they are live.

• Jared Ficklin onstage.

FITC Toronto was, once again, a wonderful time and surpassed all of my expectations. I was inspired, informed, surprised and challenged all at the same time. I also met a flood of excellent and inspired people during the talks and at the after parties, all of which sparked interesting conversation with wonderful views and insights. Each night I made my way back to the hotel room with tired eyes and pockets stuffed with colorful business cards. You all know who you are, and you’re damn awesome.

Big thanks to my pal Chris Toms for running around the conference with me for the second year in a row, and providing me with all the photographs you see in this post. You rule, buddy.

My next post about the trip to Toronto will be about my art show at Resistor Gallery. Stay tuned!

Signalnoise at FITC Toronto

Today is my final day in Halifax before heading off to FITC Toronto to attend the big conference. I mentioned it a few times on the blog earlier, and I’m really excited to be having my first official convention talk lovingly entitled Back to the Future. I tried to pack as much informative and entertaining stuff as I could into the presentation so it will hopefully be a good time. Here are the details:

Back to the Future by James White
April 25th, 10am
Room: Toronto I

And remember, I will be having my very first solo art show entitled Broadcast that same day at Resistor Gallery, 7pm. If you will be attending FITC Toronto, I look forward to seeing you there!

Signalnoise Broadcast 5

If you were unable to tune in and watch the Signalnoise Broadcast 5 that happened a couple of days ago, here is the recorded version. Once again, I had a wonderful time talking art and design with the gang and fielded some awesome questions from viewers. We covered everything from process, client-related stuff, upcoming news and events, etc.

A huge thanks to everyone who dropped in to jam. You guys really keep these things exciting.

Happy birthday, Signalnoise.com

Way back on April 20th, 1999 I registered my first domain name, Signalnoise.com. I started my time in the industry a mere 6 months prior to that, so this website has been traveling with me throughout the duration of my career. It’s gone through many transformations in both design and identity before it became the blog platform it is today.

It’s come a long way since I started noodling though graphic software and programming, and to celebrate the 11th birthday of the site here is a hilarious look back at a few of my previous website attempts over the past 11 years. Most of these are from the late 90s and early 2000’s. Enjoy :)

The girls of Signalnoise

I’ve been using a few lovely ladies in my poster designs over the past year or so, and I thought it might be cool to talk a bit about the photographic elements I use in my works.

Right off the bat, no I don’t do my own photography. It has been suggested in a few comments that I should be taking my own photographs to use, but in all honesty it’s too expensive. To get the quality and size that I need for an 18″ x 24″ poster I would require a camera that is a bit out of my budget. Group that with lighting, studio set-up and all that, it’s a big can of worms and I’d rather focus my effort on Photoshop. Gotta pick your battles, y’know?

That being said, shown above are some splits of my finished posters and the photos I used to make them. The majority of the stock I used has come from Thinkstock.com, where I am a proud member of their ThinkCorps team. I’m yet to stump their search engine with some of the silly things I search for, so hats off to them for building such a nice library of photos. You guys rule!

An interesting thing happened while I was creating the 2010 Tuts+ poster regarding stock imagery. I had already created the colorful curved elements and wanted a sci-fi image to place in the center. After searching around for a suitable “science fiction” photograph, an image of a girl with painted black skin appeared in the “you might also like” section. I was so taken by this strange image it actually changed to concept of my poster and took it in a direction I didn’t intend. So in a way, the search engine actually helped me complete the poster.

Sometimes I’ll find an image before designing the layout of a given poster, and other times I leave it for later. Either way, the stock imagery found (and suggested) can really influence what direction I go.

Signalnoise iPad Wallpaper pack

Here is a little something for all you iPad users out there. We in Canada still don’t have access to Apple’s new gadget, but judging by my Twitter stream there have been quite a few sold over the past little while. So, here is the first Signalnoise iPad Wallpaper Pack all ready to download. I selected a few of my pieces and adapted them to the iPad dimensions, which should work nicely in both portrait and landscape.

Click to access the full images.

Since I don’t have an iPad of my own, I can’t really test these before uploading. So if you notice any way these could be improved for better use, just drop me a line in the comments.

So, feel free to add a bit of color to your new gadget. Enjoy!

Lost, Season 6 posters by Ty Mattson

Ty Mattson is at it again. I featured Ty a little while back when he released his excellent Lost posters at the beginning of season 6, and look what he has been doing now. Ty has been keeping up on all the episodes this season and created a symbolic design for each. Being a fellow Lost fan, this was an exciting email to receive.

Ty has a great eye for simplicity and texture, and his illustration style seems to have an honest nod to the likes of Saul Bass. I liked his color posters, but these black and white designs are beautiful.

Check out more of Ty Mattson’s work. Looking forward to tonight’s episode!

Neonometry by Joaquim Nielsen

Here are some really nice experiments by Joaquim Nielsen, which in his email he playfully called ‘neonometry’. Pretty appropriate name. Lovely compositions with some very natural distressed effects and water stains, these would look perfectly at home in a 1970s living room.

You might remember Joaquim from a previous post showcasing his Connected poster. Be sure to swing by his official site for more of Joaquim’s excellent work.