Signalnoise poster for BLADE RUNNER

I spoke at Montreal Meets on April 9th and one of the big hooks in my presentation was revealing this poster onstage for the first time. Until now, it had only existed in cellphone photos on Twitter. But here we go, a poster for one of my favorite films: BLADE RUNNER.

This poster truly represents the new direction I’m forcing into my work. I’ve had a keen interest in designing movie posters for quite some time, and this was nothing less than a huge undertaking. From reference photos, digital studies to the final build it took about 2 weeks full time to get it done. Another big departure was building this thing entirely in Illustrator. There is zero Photoshop work in this piece, something I’m pretty proud of. If you saw my Influxis Voodoo Lounge presentation at FITC Toronto 2012 you would have seen an indepth process of how I planned and built this poster. Really long process, so long it ultimately changed how I work.

This poster needed to be treated with respect. I love the film and it has a huge following all over the world. It ultimately defined a new genre of science fiction in both story and atmosphere, and I needed to keep that intact as I worked through the design. High scrutiny was placed on every element in this poster to ensure I got it right. Pursuit of a proper representation of BLADE RUNNER.

“All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.” – Roy Batty

FITC Toronto 2012 Superpost

Standing room only in the Toronto I. Taking the stage for DESIGN RENEGADE.

Onstage for my DESIGN RENEGADE talk. Waving my hands. Yelling. Riffin' about Illustrator.

Packed the Influxis Voodoo Lounge for my supplemental talk, the Signalnoise Poster Break-down.

The gang: Eric Miller, Paul Panfalone, random street vagrant and Chris Toms.

"You mess with Dartmouth, you mess with Buffalo!" - Paul Panfalone, setting the record straight.

Justin Erickson from the mighty Phantom City Creative.

Portland vs. Dartmouth. Hung out with the man, Aaron James Draplin.

Landed back in Dartmouth last night, head spinning and blurry-eyed from my big trip to FITC Toronto 2012. My entire year seems to revolve around FITC, biggest and best event I’ve been to and is the 3rd year in a row I’ve been a speaker. Walked into the event area to see my FITC artwork and logo design everywhere. Real proud, man. Those banner were HUGE.

Before I get into the recap, I want to send a giant thanks to everyone who attended the talks I did at the event. Both rooms were packed, standing room only. Good lookin’ crowd too, I gotta say. But seriously it means a lot that you’d drop in to hear my little story and see some art. Truly appreciate it.

So here we go. A 23-point machine gun list of moments, memories and wonderful meetings that have happened over the last few days. Lets get to it.

1. Travelled with my brother in design, Eric Miller of the Dartmouth Clothing Co.
2. Good friend Alison “Eraserheader” Knott made the trek from Halifax to rep the east coast!
3. Enjoyed a killer steak and colourful conversation with Aaron Draplin, Paul Panfalone and Big Eric.
4. Then Draplin threw down the heavy plastic to cover said steaks. Scholar and a roughneck gentleman.
5. Met the mighty “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin right before my talk. Horror poster hero!
6. Packed the house for my DESIGN RENEGADE talk, then sold a load of posters. HUGE thanks everyone!
7. Sat down with the Humber and Inspiredology crew for a no-holds barred interview session.
8. Hung out with Chad Mueller, Andrew Dertinger, Steve Schiavello and others at the Loose Moose!
9. Met Justin Erickson of the mighty Phantom City Creative! Holy crap! High regard!
10. Met tons of kind folks at the FITC Opening Gala. Questionable odours in that joint.
11. Many topics covered with the amazing Kat Gaskin. Failed attempt to sneak into the hotel pool.
12. Finally saw Aaron Draplin throw down live with Tall Tales from a Large Man. NAILED it.
13. Was given an AMAZING handmade “metal” belt by Malena Gonzalez. Beautiful!
14. Got to the bottom of stuff in a big ol’ interview with Canada.com. Also video.
15. Ate schnitzel for the first time. Loved it. Even love the funny name of it. Thanks Kat!
16. Met so many killer people at the FITC Awards Show. Many hands shook. You know who you are!
17. Mad handshakes with Jerry and Grant from Influxis. Streaming kings among men.
18. Took the stage in the Influxis Voodoo Lounge for my Signalnoise Poster Break-down talk. PACKED room.
19. Saw Draplin rip up the Influxis Lounge with his 20 Points to Wreck Your Life talk. Killed it!
20. Sung the intro theme to My Secret Identity with friend Riley. Tight harmonies.
21. Met a PILE of kind folks at the FITC Closing Party. You are all amazing. Many laughs had.
22. Spotted FITC’s director Shawn Pucknell sporting a Dartmouth Clothing Co. shirt. East coast!
23. Short but lovely conversation with the mighty and creative Jon Burgerman.

I’m missing all kinds of stuff in here. Lots of gaps. But I want every last damn person I met at FITC Toronto that you really made this trip an epic event. From the other speakers to press people, volunteers to timid students. Loved hearing stories about individual creative passions and answering questions. Keep fighting the good fight, people. You are all part of the Signalnoise Crew of Design Hooligans whether you like it or not.

And finally a massive thank-you to Shawn Pucknell, Lisa Walters, Lindsay Munro, Alfred Park, Erin Kelly and Alison Britt for everything they did to make this event a colossal success. For myself and everyone else. They raised the bar this year, saturating the event with inspiration, passion and downright fun. I’d take a bullet for those six … well, six bullets in total I guess. I’d take a RIDDLING of bullets for them. Not to be messed with. Thanks so much, gang.

And now the evil eye of Signalnoise shifts to you, Cleveland. Things will be ramping up for WMCFest real soon. June can’t come quick enough. You have been warned.

From the road: FITC Toronto 2012

Photo by Aaron James Draplin. That's right!

Updating from the road, holed up in my Hilton hotel room at the mighty FITC Toronto 2012. One more day to this beast of an event and already my head is swimming with thoughts of who I’ve met, hands shook, laughs had and fires ignited.

First off, a HUGE thank-you goes out to everyone who showed up to see my DESIGN RENEGADE talk. Man, you guys packed the room, front to back. Couldn’t even believe it. Standing room only. Being the guy onstage harping about Illustrator and fonts your enthusiasm really drove the show. And then you destroyed my merch table, grabbing pins and posters. Thank-you so, so much everyone. Humbled.

Too many tales to tell at this point, but I’m keeping notes. Before I go, check out that 8-bit slice of awesome up above. That was done by Mike Gaboury DURING my talk. That bugger was listening while rocking that killer pixellated graphic. Floored. You’re the man, Mike!

Today at 12:25 I’ll be destroying the Influxis Voodoo Lounge with a complete Signalnoise poster break-down. Several designs will be displayed and I’ll rip apart my entire process for the masses. Also, apparently free beer in that joint. Lets pack that room, I want to see the walls sweat. On stage right after me is that Aaron Draplin. Double threat. Be there.

I’ll update with a nice FITC Toronto 2012 wrap once I land back in the Signalnoise HQ.

Atari Age Magazine

Atari Age Volume 1 No. 1

Atari Age Volume 1 No. 2

Atari Age Volume 1 No. 4

Atari Age Volume 1 No. 6

Atari Age Volume 2 No. 2

Atari Age Volume 2 No. 4

Atari Age Gear

Atari Age Gear 2

Atari Age Article: Steven Spielberg

Recently, while tooling around the internet in search of Computer Magazine cover art, I was blindsided by this tidal wave of nostalgia: Atari Age Magazine.

Like any self-respecting child of the early 80′s, I was the proud owner of an Atari 2600 (thanks mom & dad). I spent hours playing kick-ass 8-bit games like Pitfall, Chopper Command, Commando Raid, River Raid, Vanguard, and The Empire Strikes Back. Atari was it for a few years and every kid I knew wanted one of those wicked faux-wooden consoles. For the die-hard fans, you could become an exclusive member of the prestigious Atari Club for the outrageous price of $1.

Atari Age debuted in 1982 as a perk given to all Atari Club members. The magazine regularly featured exclusive looks at new products, interviews, technical articles, exclusive offers to Atari Club members, and a truckload of Atari-related swag. Just check out those slick Atari jackets, man what I would give for one of those suckers now.

Atari Age ended its publication run in 1984, after Warner Communications sold the consumer division of Atari to Commodore International founder Jack Tramiel. For more on the magazine itself and everything else Atari, head over to atariage.com.

Introducing the music of ONCE

File this one under “support your friends”. I’d like to introduce my good pal Lucas Gardiner, aka ONCE. I met Lucas a few years back when we ended up working at the same company and became fast friends. A brother in metal with the same passion for old school video games. And to this day he knows more about gaming than anyone I know.

Lucas is also a crazy good musician. Plays guitar and bass like it’s nobody’s business. But today I’m here to showcase his other musical talent, electronic gaming music. I went to visit Lucas last week and he started playing a bunch of music he had built on the computer and it blew me away. Some are rockin’ and intricate while others are ambient and atmospheric. Some are Contra, others are Secret of Mana. Seriously good stuff, real diverse. Lucas put together a ONCE sampler pack for you to check out:

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And here is a ONCE bonus track for you video game super nerds out there.

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I know there are some independent game developers that hit my blog, so I’d like to angle this portion of the post at you. Are you developing a game and would like a CUSTOM soundtrack to add the right atmosphere to your masterpiece? Lucas would love to work with you. This kind of music is his passion and he’s DAMN good at it. If your interested, drop him a line.

Can’t say enough good things about Lucas and his ONCE work. Guy is brimming with ideas and nods toward that old school, golden age of video games. These tracks take me right back to when I was 9 years old, rockin’ my NES. Signalnoise got your back ONCE.

One week out, Toronto!

A few of the posters that will be available at the Signalnoise merch table.

New FITC logo and FITC Toronto 2012 creative.

Custom FITC wallpaper.

Signalnoise magnets will be found in the FITC delegate bags.

The Signalnoise HQ is in full prep mode all this week. Boxes and tubes are everywhere as I nail down all the final details for my big trip to FITC Toronto 2012. I’ll be onstage a week from today, April 23rd at 11:45am with my new talk DESIGN RENEGADE. Can’t wait. This week might be slow on the blog as I run around like a buffoon so I thought an update was in order before stuff catches fore around here.

The Signalnoise presence at FITC Toronto this year will be more than what I usually do. Outside of the new logo and event creative I supplied to the FITC crew, we have arranged for a Signalnoise merch table to be set up for after my talk so you poster hounds can check out the wares. I’m busy printing up a bunch of previously unavailable and out of print posters (see image above for a few), as well as my very first screenprint poster. I’ll have 2 different colour versions of that one, 30 of each. Low number edition so act fast. On top of all that, there will be stickers and buttons as well.

Also, my good friends over at Abduzeedo have posted a wallpaper design I put together for the FITC crew. If you’re looking to spice up your computing device or mobile pocket thingy, swing over and have a download. Free, from all of us to you.

And for those attending the event, when you get your delegate bags hunt down the Signalnoise magnet in there! It’s not a piece of swag or advertisement, it’s a little gift I paid for out of pocket for you. Stick it on your fridge.

Me and you, Toronto. Third year in a row. I’ll see you soon.

Buffalo!

Going to be a busy week catching up on work and prepping for the big trek to FITC Toronto 2012. Might be a bit slow on the blog. Burnin’ the candle on both ends AND in the middle. Hard to hang onto that thing, let me tell ya.

BUT, I’m sitting proud in the Signalnoise HQ. Today I’m sponsored by the city of Buffalo, NY by way of this shirt designed and gifted by the myth and legend Paul Pants. Signalnoise’s Buffalo correspondent, spreading the local pride.

For you, Buffalo!

Montreal Meets 2 Wrap-up

Gettin' down to business at Montreal Meets 2. Photo by Tina Mailhot-Roberge.

One good lookin' crowd. That noisy white spec onstage is me. Photo by Steve Schiavello.

The spirited MMTWO merch table. Lots of colour.

Fabio Sasso telling his story from Abduzeedo to Google.

The mighty Radim Malinic setting the record straight.

The MMTWO question period, way more fun then we look. Check Rik out, ready for war!

The man behind MMTWO. One and only Francois Hoang.

Shelby White spreading some wise thoughts, theories and stories.

Rik Oostenbroek takes us through his entire creative journey. Laughs included.

Where to begin? I just returned from my trip to Montreal for the anticipated MMTWO event where I debuted my new talk, DESIGN RENEGADE. Amazing weekend voyage that flew by far too quickly. Many laughs had, many hands shook, many friends made. Lasting memories of great conversation, seedy remarks, general joshin’, poop jokes, deep thoughts and all the rest.

What better way to recap then a machine-gun list of moments. Lets do this.

1. McKibbon’s Irish Pub gathering, minus one unfortunate Radim Malinic.
2. Carbombs with one Mat MacQuarrie.
3. Floored by Drew Gilchrist and his unexpected Signalnoise iPhone skin. Magic.
4. Hell of a nice backstage area to hang in at the venue. Came with with Jack Daniels.
5. The mighty Fabio Sasso and his amazing story/talk.
6. Radim Malinic finally caught up with us, destroyed the stage, and gave me a shirt. Thanks man!
7. Got RAD gifts from Buffalo-correspondent Paul Pants.
8. Ate a fantastic burger and discussed wiener-guns with Kat Gaskin.
9. DESIGN RENEGADE hit the stage. Had a blast. Finally noticed Colin Oakes had his hand up.
10. Poster-seeking mob destroyed my merch table. Huge thanks everyone!
11. Shook hands with Nick Hess, Dave Hardy, Paul MorelJoseph Cotten and Steve Schiavello.
12. Got an awesome character design gift from Marie-Michelle!
13. Saw Shelby White drop mad wisdom onstage. Profound. Deep.
14. Rik Oostenbroek did his first talk and NAILED it. Amazing work.
15. Shelby and I threw down a big drawing collaboration at Steak & Frites.
16. Paul Pants became an international sensation over dinner. Pants for the People™!
17. Saw Rik open a beer with a lighter, cap hit the ceiling! Jaw-dropping!
18. Did a few doodle requests of Superman, Spider-man, Iron-man and Wolverine.
19. Matt Marshall is from my neck of the woods, travelled to represent Nova Scotia. Pride!
20. The amazing and accomodating Francois Hoang, Thi Alyson and Suzana Manolache made every last detail go off without a hitch. None of this would have been possible without them. Indebted. Standing ovation!

I know I’m missing all kinds of details and names in between, but I appreciate everyone for coming out to see the talk. ALL our talks. Killer event and I’m honoured to have been a part of it for the second year in a row. Montreal, you are held in high regard at the Signalnoise HQ. Big thanks to Tina Mailhot-Roberge for the photos above.

My sights are now set squarely on YOU, Toronto. I’ll be bringing DESIGN RENEGADE to the stage at FITC Toronto in a very short 2 weeks. You have been warned.