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.

The art of Ben Thomas

I did some link-chasing last night and ended up on the website of UK-based artist Ben Thomas through a post on OMG Posters. It was that top image that caught my eye with the nice purples and oranges, but it was the other work that struck me really hard. Such wonderful use of colour, greyscale, geometry, natural forms, texture and effects. He obviously has the digital chops, but it all looks so natural. Not forced or over-designed.

Beautiful stuff. Stopped me in my tracks for a while. Check out Ben’s website for more of this work, and drop by the store to see what’s for sale, and say hello on Twitter.

Sword & Sworcery + Jim Guthrie

I’m a bit late on this one, or early if you consider the post I did on Toronto’s own Superbrothers 3 years ago (link). Last year they launched their first game for the iPhone and iPad, Sword & Sworcery. The game flew under my radar and was suggested to me via Twitter. After a few seconds the thing was being downloaded due to my being a fan of their work for some time now.

I’m not going to review the game or anything, but I will say that I’m absolutely loving it. The ’80s, Commodore 64-esque graphics really hit home for me, bringing me back to my childhood playing all those little adventure games for hours on end. Beautiful use of design, colour and effects, but the glue that holds everything together is the sound and music provided by Toronto’s Jim Guthrie.

I bought and downloaded Guthrie’s soundtrack, Sword & Sworcery EP: The Ballad of The Space Babies and have been playing it all day. In the process of downloading Guthrie’s newest album now, Children of the Clone. Both album covers seen above were designed by Superbrothers.

If you’re looking for a new game that’s awesome to look at, a wonderful adventure story, and is funny as all hell … I highly recommend Sword & Sworcery. Very immersive and wonderful atmosphere. Check out the Superbrothers website and say hello on Twitter. Also, here’s where you can find Jim Guthrie, and his Twitter as well.

Signalnoise Studio sign by Andrey Danilov

First post of the year goes to 22-year old Andrey Danilov (Twitter) currently residing in Hangzhou, China. Andrey spent a bit of time during his holidays to put together these lovely images featuring my Signalnoise rainbow sun as a neon sign. All shined up complete with wires and galaxies. Man, the little sucker never looked better.

I can’t even tell you how much this warms my heart. I’ve been up to my neck in project planning over here, then this shows up out of the blue. Wasn’t asked for, just a little gift from the other side of the world.

Signalnoise salutes you, Andrey!