The Sword: Warp Riders

I’ve been a fan of Texan-based metal band The Sword for the better part of 5 years now, and I was surprised recently by the release of their new album, Warp Riders.

I picked up the album yesterday and, not only do the new tracks totally live up to The Sword’s talent but check out the album art and collateral. I really enjoyed the previous logo and artwork the guys put together for previous albums, but I was floored by this old school sci-fi direction. I thought the art looked strangely familiar, and as it turns out Dan McPharlin did all of the painting and design. You might remember his work from this post, or even this one.

I really enjoy seeing my favorite artists work with my favorite bands. You metal-heads might want to check this album out, pretty awesome.

Skratch Bastid at the Signalnoise art show

My pal Skratch Bastid put on a hell of a spectacle at the Signalnoise art show on April 25th at Resistor Gallery in Toronto. Not only did he play a solid line-up of great tunes, but he started ripping up the tables near the end of the evening. Check out this video shot and edited by Aaron Van Domelen. Great job catching the vibe of Skratch’s performance, and some really nice shots in there.

Big thanks to Aaron for sending this over, and always mad highfives to the Bastid for killin’ it.

Reckless Love Album cover

Reckless Love

Reckless Love label

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me talking about the Finnish rock band Reckless Love over the past few months. The 4 boys in the band, Olli, Hessu, Jalle and Pepe hired me last year to create the band’s visual identity including the logo, a couple of cd single covers and their official label debut album cover.

I’m happy to announce that their debut is due to be released on February 24th, coincidentally my birthday! Shown above is the final album cover design I created for the guys.

I mentioned this in a previous post about the band, but there is nothing better then working with someone who is excited about their project. That makes me excited, and inevitably makes the work better. Reckless Love’s sound is inspired by hard rock and hair metal bands from the 80s, polished and updated nicely. So naturally, the design hearkens back to that era being inspired by bands such as Mötley Crüe and Van Halen:

Reckless Love inspiration

I’ve been listening to the final album for a little while now as I worked on the designs and I really can’t wait for the release. Its construction is honest, and they capture perfectly the elements of fun from the era that inspires them, without any irony. It’s no secret that I love modern updates of things past, so I’ve enjoyed every second of working on this project.

More to come on Reckless Love, but in the meantime you can pre-order the album from Record Shop X.

February 24th, rockers . . . mark your calendars.

The Bravery: Slow Poison video

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Slow Poison by The Bravery

Not too many music video knock me flat these days, but I had to write a post about Slow Poison by The Bravery. Beautifully crafted with lots of smooth effects and motion graphics barking back to the psychedelic scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey. According to Buck, the production company behind the video:

“With a four week production schedule and a love song of sorts, we travelled back in time to the late seventies and joined a cult of psychonauts to make a video about alien panther love, ontology, and inter-dimensional space travel.”

Late seventies? Psychonauts? Panther love? How could I not love all those things when they are packaged into a full spectrum space scene full of neon lines and lens flares? Man, I would have loved to have been part of the team working on this one.

Swing over to check out the video on Buck’s website. And a big thanks to Steve MacKenzie for sending over the link. You rock.

Beautiful Bomb cover for Reckless Love

Reckless Love cd design by James White

Reckless Love cd design by James White

Reckless Love cd design by James White

Reckless Love cd design by James White

Reckless Love cd design by James White

Reckless Love cd design by James White

Reckless Love cd design by James White

Reckless Love cd design by James White

I’ve mentioned a few times that there is nothing better then working with clients who are excited about what they do, because in turn they make me excited about what I’m doing for them. Reckless Love is a prime example of this.

Reckless Love is a 4-piece hard rock/metal band from Finland inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Halen . . . everything fun about metal in the 1980s. They just recently released their second single called Beautiful Bomb to follow-up their first, One More Time. Their agent attached this promo shot with the email when he initially contacted me, to which I blurted out “These guys look awesome! I’ll definitely work with them!”

Olli (the lead singer) and I started hammering through the logo style, which went through a few different versions before we settled on the final design. We both wanted something big, like Metallica or Judas Priest, but still captured the fun of the group’s sound. I posted a few of the different iterations above to show how the process went, from the stripped down vectors to the final renders. As for the cover of the single they wanted something bright and colorful, which I was happy to hear :) ’80s metal goodness.

These are the kind of clients you want to work with, man. They are as excited about the music and design as I am, and we’re all coming from the same sources for inspiration in our different fields. Great bunch of guys, and more to come from Reckless Love, for sure. But in the meantime you can catch up with the guys on their Myspace.

FITC Toronto wrap-up

James White at FITC

So I’m now back in Halifax after attending FITC Toronto. I attended FlashForward way back in 2000 but have not had the opportunity to check out another conference since. I am extremely happy to have made it to Toronto for such a wicked time. I saw some exhilarating presentations by design industry leaders, met a tonne of great people and had a wonderful time at the multiple after parties.

It was announced that all of the FITC presentations were filmed and will soon be available on Vimeo, so I will be posting those once available. But for now, here is a little wrap-up of some of the hilights of the trip.

James White and Josh Davis

Top of the creative heap was seeing the mighty Joshua Davis do his presentation entitled ‘Space’. The talk was an excellent representation of his personality, work ethics, inspirations and exhibitions. On top of how inspirational his material was, he is a damn hilarious guy onstage.

Following his talk he had a wicked artshow entitled ‘Outside the Lines’ at a wonderful gallery/art shop called Function 13 where me and Chris hustled over to immediately. After following Josh’s work for 12 years, I finally got to meet the dude and jam with him for a few minutes at the show. Super solid guy, and I even bought one of his exhibition prints which Josh informed me was “the first print he created for the show.”

James White and Josh Davis

Here I am with the print I purchased.

James White and Josh Davis

Also at the show I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Alexander, otherwise known as Good Morning Stranger! Wicked guy, been a fan of Nick’s work for a while now so it kicked ass to meet him for real.

James White and Nick Alexander

Chris and I were about to enter the final after party when he spotted Shaun Hamontree of MK12 chilling outside. We had seen his presentation where he talked about his killer work on the Quantum of Solace opening credits, as well as an inspirational panel he sat on earlier that day. Chris earned his nickname of ‘Ice Breaker’ once again and sparked up a conversation with him, which led to him and I nerding out about Tron, Star Trek, etc.

I sat in on some fantastic presentations, they spared no expense in getting some of the best and brightest from the design/tech industries and I feel very fortunate to see these people present their material. The hilights were certainly Joshua Hirsch from Big Spaceship, Golan Levin and Zach Lieberman talking about their ground-breaking technology, Alex Cove discussing his beautiful algorithms, Brett Rampata from Adobe showcasing the hilarious new MTV Jackass application, and Ron Gervais from BTRY talking about his killer motion work.

And last but not least, we got to meet up with the awesome Allison McCarthy from Odopod with whom we hung out with for the duration of the trip. You rock, Allison!

James White and Alison McCarthy

So this is a super condensed wrap-up of the trip to FITC Toronto as it seemed to go by in one giant blur. Had a wonderful time and can’t wait to attend the conference again next year. Thanks for everything, Toronto!

*Also big thanks to my pal Chris Toms who took all of the photos used in this post.

Hyper Crush CD mock-up

Hyper Crush by James White

Here is a CD cover design I created for the 80s-style electro group Hyper Crush. Given the groups current visual language of extreme colors and retro motifs, I tried to create something that mixed the style of old K-Tel album covers with the over-the-top execution of Judas Priest. Other then the metallic letters, the Priest reference was all but lost once I added all the effects.

I tried to make the design as amped up as I could what with the explosions and lightning, which was lots fun. The design got progressively more hilarious as I added layer upon layer of effects :)

Daft Punk to score Tron 2

Daft Punk to score Tron 2

I’m not normally one to re-post news items from other websites, but this article (brought to my attention by the Omega Code on Twitter) got me pretty excited. Daft Punk on Tron 2? I can’t think of a better group to tackle the job. Check it out:

“French electronica duo Daft Punk has been signed to write the original music score for Tron 2.0, Walt Disney’s upcoming sequel to the groundbreaking 1982 animation cult hit which was scored by electronic music icon Wendy Carlos.

Daft Punk’s members Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter have been involved in various films before, but Tron 2.0 will be their first complete feature film score. The film, scheduled for a 2011 release, is helmed by Joseph Kosinski and will feature Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and Beau Garrett.

According to industry news reports, Tron 2.0 will play as the “next chapter” after the first film, with Wilde starring as one of the heroes trying to help fighting the Master Control Program, the evil intelligence protocol that was the nemesis in the 1982 film.

The assignment of Daft Punk to score Tron 2.0 has been confirmed to Upcoming Film Scores by Walt Disney Pictures.”

Via Upcoming Film Scores