Revisiting Signalnoise 2008

I had an evening to myself recently and while I was puttering around the home office I started to look through some of my archives of past work, specifically the Signalnoise work I created in 2008. Lots of shard assets, wild colours and lens flares … certainly a rough blueprint of what would come from Signalnoise. It was a great time of personal experimentation, working in an area I was really familiar with. The excitement of forging new territory for myself, and building a body of work quickly with enthusiasm.

I was working at a small design company in Halifax at the time and Signalnoise as an entity was nothing more than my blog, really. I had no freelance clients, and used my free time 100% on my own work. So many late nights by myself in front of the computer, listening to music and creating stuff. I started remembering who I was back then. What my goals were. What my motivation was. I just wanted to create for myself, and to have fun doing it.

Yesterday I opened up some of my old art asset files and decided to make a piece in the style of 4 years ago. A lot of my pieces from back then incorporated the word VARO into the design, something of an imaginary broadcasting company I used to create the posters for.

You’ll hear people in the industry say “Never look back, only look to the future” which is something I’ve never agreed with. Once a year I look back at old drawings and designs with great affection. It’s a roadmap of where I’ve been, which helps me understand where I am and where I’m potentially going. The successes and the failures all taught me something along the way. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

It was fun to revisit this style. Haven’t done so in years. Very nostalgic. Kind of emotional.

8 Comments

  1. Some of my favorites pieces from your portfolio are from that period – Dagger Woods, Smashing Magazine’s 2nd Anniversary poster.

    For me 2008 was a year of making lots of crappy Flash websites. :) I, for one am happy those days are gone :D

  2. CameronDuthie

    “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards” – Steve Jobs

    I’ve really enjoyed watching your style evolve over the years. Thank you for inspiring my work and personal life along the way!

  3. You are a great inspiration for many of us. I discovered your work while I was taking graphic design classes. I have been following your work for about two years. 2008 was the year I started taking graphic design courses.

  4. I was once involved with the graphic design jungle-gym until I gave it up to pursue other opportunities in college. I do not regret it one bit. Though I do not use the medium for its intended purpose of visual emotions and the exploitation of those excited brainwaves, I take your artwork and a few chosen others as inspiration for my own creativity in wordcraft. I gain a level of sophistication whenever I visit your work, and just as you were building a name for yourself back in 2008, I am too (although much more slowly).

    Take heart that your work is progressing the likes of those beyond the visual grasp. When you have time, I would appreciate it if you would peruse the unveiling of my own first published work at http://www.nwmotiv.com/featured-content/a-study-in-stance/

    Thank you, James. Thank you for reaching out for the stars.

  5. It’s funny, but I whink it was last week that I was thinking of your past design style. I love many pieces of that period. I think it was on that year that I discover your work and I was totally amazed. I have “La Femme” hanging on my livingroom’s wall and “Gasoline Morning” on my bedroom’s, because the nostalgic vintage ilumination of it gives me a fresh start every morning. If I had to pick one year of your work, it probably would be that year.
    About the “Never look back, only look to the future” thing, I also disagreed. Your fellow work is also amazing and great, but just like in life, looking at the past makes you remember who you are, and whithout that past, the present and future won’t be possible.

    You rock James

  6. “You’ll hear people in the industry say “Never look back, only look to the future” which is something I’ve never agreed with. Once a year I look back at old drawings and designs with great affection. It’s a roadmap of where I’ve been, which helps me understand where I am and where I’m potentially going. The successes and the failures all taught me something along the way. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.”

    Absolutely with you on that one.

  7. Scott

    James,

    This is a great piece. This treatment of typography and the Varo logo is the best I’ve seen in this series. Keep up the great work!

Leave a Reply