Supporting MAX100 and WMC Fest

Being an advocate of creating and realizing personal projects, I’m always in support of those who are taking matters into their own hands to reach their personal creative goals. So today I’d like to champion a couple of my pals who are doing just that, and need our support.

First we have Matt Stevens (Twitter) and his book, MAX100. A while back Matt decided to create a bunch of unique designs depicting Nike’s AirMax1 sneaker through a number of different concepts and styles. I’ve been following the project for quite some time now (and posted about him before) and was thrilled to see Matt is looking to offer these designs through an independent publication. And it looks damn nice, too. In the man’s own words:

“I want to invite you to back me as I create 40 more illustrated entries to reach 100 and create a very unique book. The book itself will be a celebration of creativity, ideas and what I consider the greatest sneaker ever made. It will contain some behind the scenes information, including process, inspiration and sketches, but mostly it will just be the creations themselves. If you’ve seen them all, the book will contain almost half completely new entries and other content.”

I, for one, would really like to have this book on my shelf. Swing over to the MAX100 Kickstarter page to see how you can help Matt out, and get more information on the project.

And now we have WMC Fest (Twitter), a grassroots design and music event being organized by Jeff Finley down in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve done a few talks at big conferences but it wasn’t until I spoke at Montreal Meets this past January that I saw the potential of these small start-up creative events. A lot of people don’t have the resources to travel to Toronto, or Barcelona, or San Francisco to see visit their peers and get inspired by industry pros, which is where these smaller events chime in.

WMC Fest will take place on June 11 – 12 and will be host to an array of different musical acts and creative speakers. I was asked by Jeff early on to be a speaker but it unfortunately collided with my trip to OFFF in Barcelona. Bummer because I really wanted to go to see the sights. Here’s why, straight from Jeff himself:

“WMC Fest is a grassroots event put on by creatives for creatives. We’re working to become a premier art, design, and music festival in the Midwest. Our goal from day one has been to bring you awesome bands, inspiring speakers, and one memorable weekend for a really low ticket price. That’s unheard of in our industry. To achieve that we rely on sponsors and active community members like yourself.”

This one is urgent. The boys are really close to reaching their funding goal but they only have 4 days left. Act now, support good people doing good things. Swing over to the WMC Fest Kickstarter page to get more information and how you can help the guys out.

I think it’s awesome when people take it upon themselves to see projects through, like Matt and Jeff. We all work in a turbulent industry and a lot of times we struggle far more to reach personal goals than we do “finding work”. Guess that’s what makes us stronger, but we should always find ways to help each other out along the way. We’re all in this together, y’know?

The art of Neil Stevens, Crayonfire

Some great work coming out of England, courtesy of Neil Stevens AKA Crayonfire. Really enjoying the vintage feel combined with modern technique. Great stuff.

Vintage record jackets

Here are a few hand-picked vintage record jackets. These were all plucked from Project Thirty-Three, which was a task in itself since their supply of amazing images goes on and on. Huge source of great stuff.

Amazing what was created in order to give these records their visual identity. Some are symbolic of sound/instruments, some are straight up illustration, and others are design experiments of Swiss flavor. Most of which have a limited color palette with amazing results.

Check out the wealth of images at Project Thirty-Three. You won’t be sorry.

Signalnoise: Cycle poster

Here’s a poster design that has been floating around my head and sketchbooks for about a year, so I decided to get it out and make it real. It was about time to realize this thing, so here it is. Signalnoise: Cycle.

The reference of this design is obviously Olympic posters created back in the 1970s, mainly the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. All of that work was created by Otl Aicher. I wanted to create something more simple then my usual work, and show some restraint in the color palette and texturing. A challenge to say the least, since I’m used to running hog wild through Photoshop and flinging lights all over the place.

This was a calmer process, I really enjoyed it. I’m going to print this up in the next few days after a bit of mild adjustments.

Vintage matchbook covers

Here are some vintage matchbook covers grabbed from this mighty Flickr set. I love everything about these. Solid design made through obvious limitations in printing quality. These guys did what they had to in order to make their brands stand out in the world of matches. I especially love the texture on these blown-up scans and slight blurriness and overlap of the ink. The real deal.

At least, I think these are all matchbook covers. Not sure why that rooster is talking about soup. That’s all kinds of confusing.

Beware of this Flickr set, man. Serious time waster.

Phantom City Creative

Here are some killer poster designs by Phantom City Creative, comprised of Justin Erickson and Paige Reynolds. I just recently happened upon their work, one of those random internet stumbles that led me to their portfolio. Sure glad it happened, can’t get enough of the diversity these 2 pump out, as well as their excellent choice of films. Man, great stuff. And what a surprise to see they are from Toronto, Canada. Rockin’ it on this side of the border! Yeah!

I’m so happy to see the “design underground” creating movie posters the way they should be done. I’ve bitched plenty about the generic stuff Hollywood pumps out these days … just can’t touch stuff like this. Great to see. Give Phantom a follow on Twitter.

Retro TV style frames for VH1

While digging around in my client files the other day I came across these style frames I created for VH1 a little while back.  I was hired to create the digital boards for their new television lightswitch, essentially working on sequences and mapping out motion to stylize their bumpers and logo spots. A lot of these are super early in the process, rough stuff to catch a style even before I had the logo. Experiments, really. Lost relics.

Some are better then others, but early on I really wanted to push some retro television styles into this, and try to create a flavor of television design from the late 70s and early 80s. Spectrums, lens flares, space stuff, all the things I remember seeing on tv when I was a kid. I wanted it a bit rough and textured as well. Complete with slight film skips and dust. Authentic, ya know?

Most of these went unused and the final product was predominately my spectrum lines all animated up. Really cool stuff, and put together by the talented folks at Laundry. Check it out. Real pretty, love the lighting they did.

When I came across the images above I was reminded of the original vision I had. Something vintage, oldschool tube television from back in the day. Had a great time working these up.

SNBC promotional poster

An unused client piece adapted to a little promotional poster for the Signalnoise Broadcast.