SNBC:53 – General Q&A

For those who were unable to tune in live yesterday for SNBC:53, here is the recorded version for you to check out. I might have been a bit sick yesterday but I missed the previous week’s broadcast because I was traveling. So here we go.

I didn’t have a topic once again, just a general question and answer period where we covered topics such as the Signalnoise Store and new products, video game box art, designing with a grid, designing the “bullseye”, the idea of timeless design, changing your artistic style, and a bunch of other fun subjects.

So have a watch, and I will see you at the regular time next week, Thursday at 3pm EST.

Buck Rogers lunchbox, 1979

Here’s one for Mom and Dad. Remember this thing?

When I first started kindergarten back in 1981 my parents bought me my first lunchbox, good ol’ Buck Rogers. But since the show was on TV in the late 70s I was too young to even know anything about pop culture. I had no idea who Buck was when I was a kid other then what dad told me about the show. But here is where blind kid-like enthusiasm comes in. The lunchbox had a dude aiming a laser gun, hot girl, a robot, a spaceship and a real cool logo … everything a kid needs. Seeing the show was irrelevant, I still knew I had the coolest lunch in the class.

The round, cut-out portrait of Buck still makes me laugh. Maybe Gil Gerard had it written into his contract that all merchandise needed his headshot included. So good.

Mom packed my sandwich and juice in this thing everyday. I can still remember the sound that latch made when you closed it up and the rattle of the handle when I carried it to school. Good times.

And it’s sure no mystery where I get my inspiration from these days. This lunchbox has all the elements I love (and mimic) today. This shots were borrowed from this Vintage Tin Lunchboxes Flickr set.

Tron sticker cards, 1982

Here’s a quick one for the oldschoolers, some Tron sticker cards from back in 1982. These scans even maintain all the dust and grit, aged for flavor. Authentic stuff.

Check out the full scan right here. Brought to you by the kind folks over at Branded in the 80s.

Blaxploitation film posters

I watched an excellent documentary a few nights ago called American Grindhouse which outlined the rise of the grindhouse film scene in the States, starting with it’s roots back in the 1930s. They showed all the important and influential films from the scene complete with footage and a lot of posters.

A big part of the film was the Blaxploitation sub-genre that erupted in the 1970s. I’ve been a big fan of these films for quite some time, primarily for their over the top dialogue, action scenes and plot lines. But it was pretty clear while watching American Grindhouse that Blaxploitation films had the best, and most badass posters by far. I decided to round up some of my favorites. Typically showcasing the stars and scenes on a white background, each poster has their own unique characteristics. I simply love the arrangements and killer title treatments, just look at that Super Fly T.N.T. poster. Lighting his smoke with lit dynamite?! So good.

All of these were yanked from the mighty The Wrong Side of Art, which I highly recommend having a look through if you have 8 hours to spare. While your at it, you should listen to Can You Dig It?. Perfect soundtrack.

A thank-you from James

The past couple of months have been a bit of a blur with traveling, speaking, teaching, shipping, blogging, emailing, working and all of the other things that make up the day of a 1-man design company. It’s difficult at times to keep up with everything when stuff gets busy, as I’m sure many of you know with your multi-faceted careers. It’s not just about making stuff, but everything else involved with keeping things going. Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

Signalnoise as an online entity has grown far beyond my expectations over the past few years, building a mighty little readership that I appreciate each and every day. The people who take the time to drop by and leave a few words through whatever means they do truly mean a lot to me, you have no idea. So here are a few words to you hardcores:

Commenters
You guys are the best, man. I really appreciate all the kind words, feedback and general funny banter you bring to the blog every single day. When I started this thing I never expected to see the same names pop up all the time, but here we are. It’s like having a friend drop in to visit for a few minutes. I may not have the chance to reply to everything said, but I guarantee I read every word you guys write. Big, big thanks to everyone who contributes around here.

Purchasers
When I started the online store to sell my goods, I never expected people to buy them. For real, not just saying that. I made things that I liked, not things that I hoped others would like. But over the years I’ve seen a steady increase in the amount of posters and t-shirts sold through my little store, and you have no idea how proud I am to see people wearing my logo on their chest. Never thought I’d see the day, man. Mega thanks to everyone who took it upon themselves to support the Signalnoise brand. Truly humbled.

Broadcasts
I look forward to the SNBC broadcasts every single week because it gives me the opportunity to hang out with good friends for an hour and talk about art. That means a lot to me since Halifax offers limited events when it comes to that kind of thing. Each week I have about 100 viewers who show up to hang, offering amazing dialogue and funny banter. I maintain, you are the ones who make those broadcasts fun. Thanks so much for showing up, gang.

Speaking event attendees
Now we’re getting down to it, the folks who actually travel and pay money to attend design events AND sit down for an hour to see me speak. I really enjoy getting onstage and telling the story of my work, but the fact that people are interested really does mean a lot. I appreciate each and every one of you for checking out my talks whenever they take place, and stick around afterward to hang out, shake hands and have some laughs. I’ve met so many amazing people at these events, and you’re all awesome. Means the world to me.

Tweeters
Back in the day I never thought I’d be onboard with the whole Twitter thing, but holy crap here we are. That service has been my main artery for keeping in touch with everyone, and the word ‘invaluable’ doesn’t even cut it. When I’m looking for feedback, help, advice, jokes or just keeping track of what others are up to, it’s become an essential. Most days I work from home by myself in the office, and you tweet-heads make it feel like you’re all here causing a ruckus. High fives to you all.

In a nutshell, a HUGE thanks to all of you who have supported and are continuing to support this little part of the web. Never could have done this without you.

SNBC:52 – FITC Toronto 2011 wrap-up

Here is the recorded version of SNBC:52, which was a big FITC Toronto 2011 wrap-up. I took a big chunk of the show to talk about all of the presentations I saw, the people I met, the things I saw, and how my onstage antics went. I made a post on the blog that outlined the same general stuff, but this broadcast is a bigger telling of the story. So if you didn’t make it to FITC Toronto (or if you did), have a watch for my big recap.

SNBC:51 – General Q&A

If you missed out on tuning in live to SNBC:51, here is the recorded version for you to check out. No topic-based discussion this week, just a general question and answer session. We covered subjects such as starting your own online store, logo design process, staying focused on client work while having your personal work on the go, the cost of software, the power of sketching, etc. Lots of fun.

Be sure to check me out live most Thursdays at 3pm EST and bring those questions.

Signalnoise at Flash on the Beach 2011

You and me, Brighton! I’m really happy to announce that I will be traveling to the United Kingdom to speak at Flash on the Beach 2011, September 11 to 14. This is really exciting as I have never been to the UK and have wanted to visit my British friends for quite some time. I’m also stoked to see the awesome line-up of speakers slated for the event. Joshua Davis, Gmunk, Hillman Curtis, Robert Hodgin … high-octane inspiration, right there.

I will be presenting my Back to the Future talk at the FOTB event, and will post more details as they become available. I’m early in my trip planning process, but I would like to venture up to London on my final day to visit some pals who live there. Perhaps a meet-up? I’ll see what I can do to arrange a venue.

If you will be attending Flash on the Beach 2011, I will see you there. If you want to come, grab your tickets.