The Hudsucker Proxy poster

Here is a Signalnoise poster for the film The Hudsucker Proxy by the mighty Joel and Ethan Coen. My pal Dave Howlett gave me the DVD for Christmas of last year as I’ve been talking about wanting to see it again for quite some time. So a few weeks ago I threw Hudsucker on and had a sketchbook close by in case any poster ideas hit me.

I sketched up the initial ideas for this poster after watching my favorite part of the film, when Waring Hudsucker runs down the boardroom table and dives out the window (not a spoiler, happens at the beginning). He does this after hearing a record breaking financial report, and doesn’t say a word for the entire scene. Love it, see here:

The Hudsucker Proxy is rich with visuals and I could have went in any direction, but I wanted my poster to be specific to that scene as it’s the catalyst for the rest of the movie. If you watched that clip, you’ll see ultimately where the design came from, what elements I took and the moment I wanted to capture. Needed to be clean, almost cold, like the 1950s Hudsucker boardroom.

Now, fans of the film might mention that there’s a key element, or “product” missing from my poster but I assure you there’s a good reason why. When I watched the movie for the first time with my pals Dave Howlett and Mike Holmes, whether it was intentional or not, they kept the DVD cover away from me and never mentioned the big idea Norville Barnes had up his sleeve. So while watching the film, Tim Robbins’ character looked absolutely nuts for the first half. I was in stitches, best way to experience the film in my opinion. So for that reason, I left it out of my design as to not ruin the surprise for those who have not yet seen the movie.

Going to send this off to the print ship for proofing in the next few days, and going to see what I can do to make it available.

SNBC:44 – General design QA

If you missed out on tuning into SNBC:44 yesterday afternoon, here is the recorded version. We had a general QA session this week and I answered some great questions from people in the chat room. We discussed the importance of running a blog, dealing with client feedback, the use of business cards, how I created my Wired type work, the best design briefs to get, my favorite art books, freelance hours and a bunch more stuff. Awesome time.

So have a watch and I’ll see you next week, Thursday at 3pm EST.

HP + Daft Punk interface tests

Here are some test images I did for a job a while back. The mighty Psyop hired me to create some interface mock-ups for the new (at the time) HP touch computer for use in a television ad featuring Daft Punk onstage. The idea was to create some abstract shapes and color which would be put to motion as Daft Punk manipulated the shapes to trigger music during a performance.

Even though the idea was super cool, it was unfortunately one of those projects that didn’t see the light of day. I was involved early in the pitch stage and the project was either abandoned, or a different concept was picked which is quite common in the turbulent land of advertising. Either way, it was fun to work on and I wanted to post these mock-ups to show the early stages of conceptual when dealing with a television ad.

As I said these were test images for the interface, just raw ideas I threw to Psyop in the early stages. They were great to work with.

Masters of the Universe paintings

I’ve said quite a few times that if you weren’t a kid in the 1980s, you really missed out on some great toy action. I was big into the Masters of the Universe back in the early 80s, and every Christmas seemed to be littered with new and colorful He-man figures (thanks mom and dad!). I remember getting He-man, Battlecat, Skeletor and Panthor the same year. So amazing.

Here are a bunch of Masters of he Universe paintings from back in the day displaying a myriad of characters, weapons and vehicles. I’m not entirely sure what these were used for, probably promotion of some sort. So many memories, I loved this series.

Thanks to this post at Monster Brains for the excellent shots.

How to make an 8-bit avatar … in 2 tweets

8-bit avatars seem to be all the rage on Twitter these days, which is cool by me considering the bulk of my childhood was spent playing the Commodore 64 and first generation Nintendo. After watching a 5-minute video on how to create your own avatar in Photoshop (which is great, nice old school results) I decided to cut the process way down and post a #2tweettutorial on Twitter. Silly, I know, but it was late and I was messing around on the computer while watching Thundercats on TV.

Need a starting point? Here, download my tiny 8-bit Photoshop file.

Break the rules, experiment, make it your own. But more importantly, have fun.

Signalnoise for WIRED and Quora

I have gotten reports that the issue of Wired featuring some of my illustrations is now out in Europe. I was hired by the kind folks at Wired last month to design some original type pieces for use in their article about the mighty Quora. Other then the direction “Make the letters look big and flashy”, I was allowed to come up with whatever I wanted. I experimented a bit with line work and halftones, something I haven’t really done before now. Shown here is the 2-page spread (top) as well as two drop caps designed for the article.

My original version had crazy vibrant colors, and I have to tip my hat to Wired for making the suggestion of pulling the tones back a bit. It added some realism to the design and made everything come together. Wired are fantastic clients, always enthusiastic and fun to work with.

This issue should be out now in Europe and hitting the shelves here in North America real soon.