Don’t Believe the Type

Here are some really nice examples of glossy retro type designs coming from Spanish artist Marta Cerdà Alimbau in a project called Don’t Believe the Type. I came across these a few days ago and was instantly grabbed by how closely these resemble old sticker designs that were prevalent when I was a kid. Kinda ugly and hilarious yet awesome at the same time. However, designs aside, there is a very appropriate message happening with this project that can only be described by the artist herself:

“I tried to make a tacky, kitsch, vulgar and acid piece, where we can read some lines of the world we are living in. Very aged and retro, as if it was part of an old ridiculous civilization, already dead. We try to make letters beautiful, more attractive, more visible, when many times conscious or not, the content of the message we’re working on is totally wrong. This is an exaggeration, it’s not meant to be a beautiful typographical piece, it’s more a personal reflection.”

Well done. You can see more of Marta’s work on her Behance and her official site.

Signalnoise Broadcast 22: Photoshop & Illustrator

Here is the recorded version of Signalnoise Broadcast 22, with a focus on Photoshop and Illustrator. I enjoy doing the topic-based discussions because it adds a nice framework to the broadcasts, so this time I wanted to talk about the programs I use the most.

This was a lot of fun, and quite challenging taking questions about the specifics of these programs. I didn’t realize that my usage of these programs is so second nature at this point, that I had to really think about the questions to remember what tools I use on the fly. Remembering specific shortcuts and palettes was hard, but a really interesting exercise. We went over all kinds of topics such as working with vectors, working with color for print, my favorite shortcuts, and I even showed some of my old paintings. Good times.

So, have a watch and be sure to tune in next week, Thursday at 3pm EST. See you then!

Samurai Jack background designs

I’m a big fan of Samurai Jack. I was a bit late catching on to the cartoon because I rarely watch television, most of my viewing is on DVD, but was instantly taken by the sound and design of the show. The pacing is unlike anything I’ve seen in a cartoon, to the point where I’m surprised kids remained interested after 2-minute stints of Jack walking through a forest with nothing but the sound of wind. Genndy Tartakovsky really nailed the style on this unique ‘toon.

One of my favorite parts of the series are the beautiful landscape backgrounds, they are all different in palette and design yet fit together nicely as a set. Here are a bunch of images grabbed from Pumml, the art blog of Drake Brodahl. Be sure to check out all of his awesome Samurai Jack posts, the amount of art he covers is staggering. Seriously, any of these images would make a beautiful framed print. Enjoy. According to Drake, these were done by Dan Krall, Scott Wills and Jenny Gase-Baker. I hope I got that right.

For all you Jack nerds out there, my favorite episode is the 3 Archers, which is where the snow-covered turret above came from. Love it.

Signalnoise Broadcast 21: Starting your t-shirt line

If you couldn’t tune in live yesterday, here is the recorded version of Signalnoise Broadcast 21 with a focus on “starting your own t-shirt line”. I enjoy doing these theme-based broadcasts, and there is nothing more fun then talking about my line of silly shirts. I did this discussion in hopes to lend some advice to those who want to start making their own shirts but don’t know where to begin. We had a great time talking apparel and cracking jokes. Big thanks to everyone who tuned into this thing.

Be sure to tune in next week where I’ll be announcing the winners of the Salvation Army t-shirt poster giveaway. That’s a mouthful, but check out the post for full contest details.

The Salvation Army & Signalnoise + Giveaway

I’m really excited to announce the launch of the Salvation Army + Signalnoise Blood & Fire t-shirt now available for purchase at WARdrobe Army Apparel. It’s always been my goal to find suitable projects where I can do the work I enjoy and it gets used for a wonderful cause. The Salvation Army is a perfect fit and I was thrilled when they contacted me, great people doing great work all over the world and I’m stoked to be a part of their growing line of apparel. The shirt begins shipping on the 22nd.

100% of the proceeds of this t-shirt will benefit the street meal service provided by The Salvation Army Cariboo Hill.  Their volunteer team provides over 600 hot meals a week to those in need on the corner of Main and Hastings in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver BC. Here’s a bit about the shirt and the project:

Printed with waterbase discharge inks and metallic gold trim on pre-shrunk, super soft Alstyle 5301and metallic gold trim 100% ring-spun cotton. Available in Black or Light Blue. Some other notable Artists involved on the project are Hydro74, Barton Damer, Matt Stevens, Los Fokos, Zombie Yeti, Invisible Creature and Joshua Belanger.

Buy a shirt and win a Signalnoise poster

And to make matters even better, if you order a Blood & Fire t-shirt within the next week you will be entered to win one of 2 Signalnoise posters of your choice (the Tron Legacy poster is included in that selection). I will be announcing the 2 winners on Signalnoise Broadcast 22, which will air next week on Thursday, September 23rd at 3pm EST. Tune in to hear the big announcement, and best of luck!

A big shout out to my good pal Fulton Hawk over at The Salvation Army for making this project happen. Keep rockin’, brother!

Recent concept drawings

• The intial concept drawing for my Signalnoise 2012 shirt.

• I'd like to have Eddie chewing on some Signalnoise type, somehow.

• Heavy metal skull, designed to the tune of Guns n' Roses 'Appetite for Destruction'.

• I drew this guy while watching Black Dynamite with some friends.

• Scare Bear likes to listen to Gorgoroth.

• This one is pretty self-explanatory.

I’ve been asked quite a few times how I feel about sketching as part of the creative process. It doesn’t matter what I’m working on and what the final medium might be, I always start with roughing up ideas in my sketchbook before going near the computer. For me, it helps clear my head without the worry of “multitasking” and forces me to focus on one thing and one idea.

Here are a bunch of drawings I created over the past couple of weeks, which some of you might have caught on my Twitter. Naturally, I’m always thinking about new fun t-shirt ideas I can throw into the mix, so most of these were designed and geared toward how they might look on a shirt and what peoples’ reactions might be if they saw someone wearing it. I constantly get compliments on my Black Metal Busters shirt whenever I wear it, so a few of these are exploring the idea of taking characters from my youth (1980s) and melding them with metal. The idea just makes me laugh when people recognize the characters.

Will all of these make it to t-shirts? Well, probably not as I’m sure there are some kind of copyrights involved especially with Maiden’s Eddie, since I didn’t change his design at all. But maybe I can get Bruce and the boys onboard. Who knows?

Signalnoise Broadcast 21: Starting your t-shirt line

That being said, I’d like to throw a small plug for tomorrow’s Signalnoise Broadcast. Its been requested that I go over the specifics about how I started my t-shirt line, what services are involved and what supplies I use. So tomorrow I will be performing a little demo of how I pack my shirts, what I use, and how I make my wares accessible online. I want to do this in hopes that other people who want to start their own brand can grab some advice they need to get the ball rolling. It’s sure to be a fun time, 2pm EST, hope to see you there.

Minimalist posters by Federico Mancosu

I’ve been so caught up in Signalnoise projects that I haven’t had the opportunity to post some inspiration from around the web, so to get things back on the rails check out these wonderful minimalist movie and music video posters by the talented Federico Mancosu. I can’t even remember how I came across his work, probably one of those late-night link following surf sessions.

I’ve been seeing a lot of minimalist posters popping up over the past little while, and the ones that ring true use a pure notion or idea from the film at hand in a clever way. Federico’s work is certainly effective, even for the movie I don’t really recognize. I also enjoy the effort he puts into the credit text and his film posters, that’s a lot of type editing right there.

Check out more of Federico’s work on his website.

Signalnoise Broadcast 20

Here is the recorded version of Signalnoise Broadcast 20 if you missed out on tuning in live. We didn’t have a topic-based discussion yesterday, just a general Q&A where we covered all kinds of relevant and funny subjects. We talked about preparing files for print, the Signalnoise Lectures, favorite typefaces, cool design documentaries, a bit of entrepreneurship, using Pantone to select colors, talked about Hobo with a Shotgun and a bunch more stuff.

I even gave away a copy of my new Tron Legacy poster through a retweet contest, and the lucky winner was Lio Fernández Roca from Argentina. Congratulations man!

So, have a watch of Signalnoise Broadcast 20 and I will see you next week, kids.