SNBC:55 – General Q&A

Presented here is the recorded version of SNBC:55 with a general art and design Q&A. Feel free to have a watch.

SNBC:54 – General Q&A

For your viewing pleasure, here is the recorded version of SNBC:54 with a general art and design Q&A session.

Unofficial NASA mission patches

Whenever someone asks me what my “dream job” would be, I almost always say “I’d love to work with NASA.” I was never too specific about it, just touching on that I feel space exploration and the advancement of science is important and it’s something I’d like to help through visuals. When I was a kid in the 1980s we were still very much engrossed in everything to do with space shuttles, the moon, SkyLab and whatever else. I was a space kid, and still am.

Over the last few years I’ve messed around with doing a NASA poster on my own time, but I never felt posters were really the hook. Just not very applicable to what NASA might need. But mission patches … there’s something I’d love to do. Something simple and iconic, embroidered on a jumpsuit. Now that’s cool. So I dug up some inspiration from my childhood and got to it.

So here are 2 mission patches I designed for a few things going on a NASA these days. The first is for MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) which launches in 2012, and the second is for the recently launched JUNO mission to Jupiter. I included the initial colorway for the JUNO patch before I switched to the blue palette. I liked the original, but it didn’t speak “NASA” enough.

Hey NASA, drop me a line if you want to talk. Would love to work with you!

Action Thriller 4: Time-lapse process

I recently completed work on a CD cover for my friends over at Imagem Production Music for the 4th installment of their Action Thriller series. In short, stock movie trailer music for action films. Awesome. So they had me come up with a concept for the cover and go to town. I had this image of a leather-clad biker in my head for a little while and this seemed like a suitable stage for the guy.

Just before I started the labour of creating elements in Illustrator, I turned on the screen recorder in hopes that I’d have enough footage to create a time-lapse video of the process. It worked, and stands at a full 12:43.

You can see my entire 6-hour stint creating the cover you see above, from concept to final as I flew around Illustrator and Photoshop building the image from scratch. I didn’t cut anything out of here, this video is complete with screw-ups, experiments, good ideas, bad ideas, menus, buttons, layers, stock photos and the occasional iTunes appearance. All of the little decisions I made along the way. Nothing to hide, here. All secrets revealed. What you see is what I saw.

I’m a big advocate of helping people out, so I hope this video does just that. These things take time, some planning and a LOT of messing around along the way. I’m constantly telling people to have fun with what they do, and I hope this video is a testament that I’m still working under that mantra. If it looks like chaos … well, it is. The good kind.

Sidenote: this is the second piece I’ve done that features this leather-clad biker character, the first being my fake Signalnoise movie poster back in December. He’s my own 1980s indy action film character, perhaps a pseudo-Signalnoise mascot. You’ll see more of him in the future.

Japanese town logos: Part II

Last night I posted up some Japanese town logos, when all of a sudden LA’s own Steven Sacks pipes up on Twitter with a goldmine of even MORE logos, stylized from Kanji characters. Once again from the mighty Pink Tentacle. I thought that original find was teeming with good stuff, then it doubles. Blown away.

You know, I think we can learn a lot from these 1-color bits of amazement. If you’ve been in the design field for any length of time you’ve probably worked on some kind of signage dealing with geography, whether it’s for your town, city or whatever. Our natural instinct is to jump right to a landmark and use that as the backbone. And hey, fair enough. I’ve done the same thing many times. But these … beautiful and timeless. Unique, yet run together as a solid set.

I can’t offer any historical background to these because I’d just be faking it. But there’s something here, something we’ve been missing for decades. Something pure. That make any sense?

Japanese town logos

Alright, I’m not even going to pretend I know what’s going on here. Last week I came across this gallery of Japanese town logos on Pink Tentacle and have been amused, baffled and star-stuck ever since. Each municipality has their own simple, 1-color iconic logo.

No pictures of the town clock. No lighthouses. No “Welcome to Blah-blah” slogans. Just symbols. Clean, nice symbols. Man, how amazing would it be to see stuff like this on roadsigns as you bomb down the highway?

Absolutely beautiful. All I have to say on that. Swing over to this post to read the little story as to what these are.