Orb vs. Cube: Free vector download

A few weeks ago I was playing around with this vector graphic I made of an orb inside a hollowed cube, trying to make a geometric poster or use it as an element in a larger piece. I tried a few ideas then tossed it on the sidelines to chase another concept. This was originally going to be a part of the Year Zero design but I couldn’t quite make it fit. However, I liked design of the element and wanted to do something else with it.

This is the first time I’ve done anything like this, but I want to make the little vector graphic available for you to use. I put together the above design using the cube to show what can be done with effects and stuff in Photoshop, and here are a few of the unsuccessful concepts I was playing with in Illustrator in an attempt to make the element look good.

So, I’m interested to see what you can do. This isn’t a contest or anything, just a fun experiment if you are looking for a reason to make things. Simply download my vector file (EPS) right here and start playing with it in any form you please. Change the colors, add effects, pattern it, bust it apart, whatever you might have fun doing. The sky’s the limit.

Once you are done, feel free to post your creation in the Signalnoise Flickr pool. I’d love to see what you come up with. Have fun!

Year Zero for OFFF Barcelona

I will be attending and speaking at OFFF Barcelona 2011 in June of this year, which I’m really looking forward to. Not only is it the second time I’ll be visiting Europe, but it will be an excellent chance to meet up with people in that part of the world whom I only know through the web. Can’t wait.

As part of the festival, the OFFF team will be releasing a book based on the theme of the event, entitled Year Zero. The above image is what I created for them, playing on the idea of a modern day digi-pop version of the all-seeing eye, wrapped in an 80s rock vibe. I even went as far as to create a companion piece, the ’80s magazine advertisement promoting a television that “thinks for you”. It’s based on a real ad. Yeah, creepy.

I had lots of fun working on this one, even though it took me a little while to really get the concept visualized. The inspiration for the main piece was simple, I wanted a kind of Bladerunner atmosphere mixed with the typography from the poster for They Live.

I spent a great deal of time messing around in Illustrator, trying different color schemes, layouts and elements as I tried to find the proper combination before moving to Photoshop to assemble things. One of the errors I tend to make is moving to Photoshop too early without having a good direction in mind, so this time I put in the hours to ensure that wouldn’t happen. Here is a sampling of my vector sketches.

That final sketch was the one that set me on the right path, so I began putting things together in Photoshop where I added all my lighting, effects and textures. The one elements that I wanted to spend some time on was that digital eye, it had to look sinister and big, and ultimately look electronic. I used a hexagon pattern I built a while ago in Illustrator and used a simple eye design as a rough guide. This took a little time to get the curves right, but pretty fun when it all came together.

The final elements added to this design were actually the people. I wanted something to add a sense of scale to this thing, to make it look larger than life. I already had the staircase built, so the silhouettes were added to make everything feel far bigger and ominous. I spent a crazy about of time adding spot lighting and glows to this one because the pyramid structure itself isn’t made of very many shapes, and I wanted some interest in there.

So, if you are attending OFFF Barcelona this year look for this in the Year Zero book. I’ll also be looking to get posters made of this in the near future once I have it properly re-scaled for the larger format.

Signalnoise Broadcast 39

If you missed out on sitting in on Signalnoise Broadcast 39 yesterday afternoon, here is the recorded version for you. I didn’t have a topic in mind for this week, so I did a big recap of the Montreal Meets event that happened the 2 days before then opened the floor to viewers for some QA. We had a great time, and my dad even showed up to bust me for swearing. Ha!

We talked about HTML/CSS, my time working for web companies, grid systems, the Signalnoise online architecture, getting ripped-off, how clients find me, blogs I follow, etc. Have a watch and I will see you at the same time next week, Thursday at 3pm EST.

Montreal Meets: Recorded versions and photos

Fabio Sasso, Francois Hoang and myself

Here I am getting into my presentation.

Fabio kicking-off his talk.

Mingling with a crowd of nice folks after the presentations.

Good pals Colin Oakes and Mat Macquarrie, the Stream Team.

Fabio and I did a lot of laughing the entire trip.

I just returned to Halifax from my big trip to the Montreal Meets event, which took place last night. It was an awesome time, Francois did a fantastic job of organizing everything, setting things up with the kind folks at Concordia University and enlisting the help of many amazing volunteers to help out.

It’s safe to say the event was a huge success and the continuing positive feedback has been overwhelming. We had a packed auditorium at Concordia as well as a packed online viewership as people from all over the world watched the presentations and QA period. Big thanks to each and every one of you for making this rare event so enjoyable.

This will be the first of a few posts as photos and materials filter in from the event, but you can watch the recorded versions of Montreal Meets above. We were unfortunately without a working mic system, so please crank your volume to hear everything (or use headphones). And big thanks to Juan Madrigal for the photos used in this post!

Montreal Meets live, tonight!

The big day is here. Later on today Francois Hoang, Fabio Sasso and myself will be taking stage at Concordia University for the Montreal Meets event. Francois has been busy getting everything organized and being a fantastic host to Fabio and I while in town, and today it’s time to rock and roll.

In case you need the last minute information, here is a list of all the important stuff for this evening’s festivities as posted on the Montreal Meets website.

The Schedule

18h15 EST – Montreal Meets Presentation
18h30 EST – Signalnoise Presentation
19h30 EST – Abduzeedo Presentation
20h45 EST – Q & A Session

Attendance information

1515 Ste-Catherine West in the EV Building, in the room EV 1-605 at 18h00. For those coming to the event, please arrive about 15 minutes in advance to take your place. Please note that the reserved seats will be seated first and the rest will have to stand.

For the e-ticket, just give your email to the people at the front and this will be your confirmation for your entry to the event. If your email is not confirmed, that means you will to wait for the reserved seats to be seated first and then you’ll be able to come in. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Live broadcast

If you are unable to attend the event in person, you can tune in live via a Ustream broadcast. Things were made really easy, you can click over to the Signalnoise Broadcast page and tune in to watch the presentations. The chat may be deactivated during the broadcast to allow better bandwidth, we’ll see how it goes.


I’m sure there will be plenty of posts on Twitter before, during and after the event. If you want to keep up on the action watch for the hashtag #MontrealMeets and follow @Montreal_Meets, @AoiroStudio, @Abduzeedo and myself, @Signalnoise.

Montreal Meets pre-broadcast from Concordia

Fabio Sasso, me and Francois Hoang

Here is the recorded version of the Montreal Meets pre-broadcast we just finished doing at Concordia University in Montreal. Founder Francois Hoang, Fabio Sasso and myself sat down in the auditorium to answer some questions about tomorrow’s event, work and process stuff, and how cold Montreal is these days. This was also the first time Fabio and I got to see the auditorium we will be presenting in tomorrow. Great times.

Thanks so everyone who tuned in live. The Montreal Meets event will be streamed to the same place, the Signalnoise Broadcast page starting at 6:15 EST. See you there!

Greetings from Montreal

I landed in beautiful Montreal this morning, the first day of the much anticipated Montreal Meets trip. I’m excited to be visiting a city where I haven’t been in a number of years and am hoping to visit a few landmarks during my stay. I’m happy to say that I’ve already hung out with Montreal Meets founder Francois Hoang and my (frozen) pal Fabio Sasso of the mighty Abduzeedo.

More to come as the days progress, but tonight we are having a little meet-up at Hurley’s Irish Pub, 1225 Cresent at 8:30pm. Come on down and say hello. Then on Tuesday evening is the big Montreal Meets event starting at 6pm which will see art and design presentations from Fabio and myself. Be sure to come 30 minutes early, and check out this post for the full details.

Great to be back, Montreal.

The art of Kilian Eng

I came across the work of Kilian Eng quite by accident a few days ago and am extremely happy I did. This Swedish designer has a perfect mix of rough 80’s rock and the surreal illustration of Moebius. Not only does Kilian nail those color palettes with precision, but the atmosphere he conveys in each piece is beautiful. All these pieces look like they are part of a bigger story, and in most cases they are.

Swing over to Kilian’s Behance account to check out the full spread on a grand scale. Amazing stuff.