Saturday, February 28, 2009

Look What I Found

Now if only they released this issue sooner! LOL Or maybe I should've been at the bookstore sooner. At any case, I saw this issue of Computer Arts Projects on the stand earlier tonight at Barnes & Noble. They talk about making a logo for a company, redesigning a logo (how it can make or break the brand) the point that they talk a little of Pepsi's redesign.

They even have an interesting color wheel insight, discovering the positive and negatives of the basic colors. And, some suggestive reading on logos and rebranding. Again, I wish this issue came sooner; however, it's good to have right now and get more inspiration from it.

A note to a friend of mine: They also talk about making sport team logos. Professionally conceptual, and smooth looking. *wink wink* You know who you are. LOL

If you're interested in checking out this issue, I suggest heading over to a Barnes & Noble store or Borders. They should have it....though that issue may not stay there too long, seeing the next one will come up later on. But be warned, the issue is pricey...but it comes with a disk of fonts, tutorials, and portfolio work of professionals. So you do get your money's worth! ;)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Doodling Helps You Pay Attention

I found this interesting article from Time that talks about doodling and memory.

I thought it was an interesting read how doodlers, or sketchers in my vocab, can utilize their minds more in this study. Something that we can use for backup the next time a teacher tells us to quit sketching or doodling...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Semester Project: Business Card & Stationery Intro

I wanted to give another try with the swirl design for Indie, in the business card, as well as attempting the stationery. The card design is can go where it has both sides printed. I am willing to allow this card design to be one side, if I need to.

These stationery designs for the swirl design is a start. I am going to try to push the design more, to see what else might come up.

As for the stationery designs for the characters, I am trying to keep it simple, and hopefully, interesting. I want to provide the information, enough room for the body, and something that makes these designs unique.

As always, any suggestions or advice are welcome. Thanks! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Semester Project: Business Card (Still Pushing)

The willing to try can open up many doors of possibility, and hopefully, confidence to continue. - my response to my cousin on how one limit him/herself mentally.

I hope that quote will encourage someone, as the semester continues to provide challenges. Anyways, I am still trying different ways to rearrange the designs on the cards. Not satisfied, but not giving up either. Right now, the bottom combination is winning my approval. I'll see what else I can do.

Suggestions and advice are welcome. Hope all are continuing to have a wonderful weekend. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Semester Project: Business Card (Couple More)

A couple more ideas with these card designs. I am still going to push these designs until something new comes up that I haven't thought of. Or that someone may suggest.

I am getting to the point where I might need to try different colors now. I'm really considering that. I will see what else can come up, as well as come up with some stationery ideas.

Semester Project: Business Card (A Start)

I actually find this design quite interesting. Just came to me in a split second, and I thought this design for a business the most fun I am ever having! The original position is for it to be vertical. But what's so cool is that you can turn the card to the horizontal position:

And there is still some playfulness to it. Not saying that this is it as far as the final design...but I can see potential for this side of the card, while the other side provides both the logo and information. I'm really having fun with these two characters. :D

Semester Project: Business Card (Pushing)

After talking with Stan on Tuesday about the look for business cards, I tried working in a different direction for the swirl design. I am trying different ideas, see what does and doesn't work, and to continue to push further.

The top two designs are the front, and the third design would be the back of the card. The last two designs reverse the positions, while still having all the information on there.

I'll post the other logo card designs soon. As always, any advice or suggestions are always welcome. Thanks! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Semester Project: Business Card (First Attempt)

There not my final designs, just something to start off with for the business cards. The top one will be one side of the card, and the cup with the information will be on the other side.

Maybe I should show the full image of the coffee cup? Also, should I move up the swirl a bit, so the website information has breathing room? I am afraid it may get cut off, or that it's not getting enough breathing room. :/

The other business card I have is this:

I was inspired to have the business card positioned vertically, after viewing one of the business cards I received months ago. While the other side of this business card will showcase the information, I do want to push this idea a bit. I am hoping to make this business card feel like a bookmark within a case, that may resemble a book. I don't know how that will be done, but I will find out.

Again, I am not saying these are my final business card designs, it's a start. :) Any suggestions or advice are welcome.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Semester Project: Pushing Logo Design (Swirls)

So I am still pushing the logo designs. I wanted to tackle the swirl design, as it is really fun to work with. I tried to do different things, as well as the advice I received from critique and from the blog commentary. Taking the swirls away from the "i"s did not offend me, and I don't really need them either. So I can live with that for sure.

I wanted to try positioning the word "indie" more upright than slanted, as it was given as a suggestion. I was not 100% sold when it was suggested, as the logo was drawn at a slant. However, I wanted to give it a try, just to see if I will like it better. I am honest, I am still not feeling it, even after trying it twice in comparing with the others. The slant is really sticking to me to be honest. Almost like a book leaning against another, how it is positioned in a diagonal pose.

Now, the top middle and right designs almost look the same; however, if the dots over the "i"s are different in size. Somewhat hard to see, seeing I scaled it down in size. And after looking at both, I prefer the smaller dots than the ones in the middle. So the remainder of the other designs, I used the dots in the experimentation, just to see how they all relate.

I tried making the ascender turn to the left instead of the right, as another suggestion. Even made the ascender turn into another curl. After trying both, I was not sold in either way. It started to look like a serif "a" to me, where it just had a distorted look. I then tried to add the coffee cup in there, somehow. I'm just not feeling it either. I just feel like the coffee cup is fighting against the illustrative type, instead of helping. I want them to work together, but seeing them fight is making me play referree. And I hate that. So in my opinion, I would rather have them separate.

Now, if there are suggestions for this scenario, by all means, I am open to listen and willing to try. :) I don't know what else to try with the coffee cup and the type being on the same page.

And last, I tried putting the swirls in other places of the illustrative type. I know that the less swirls, the better. I wanted to push the stress to the point where I can definitely see why I shouldn't go there. It's something I am willing to risk, so that I may learn and understand. Finally, I took the swirl out altogether. Made the "d" look a bit more recognizable. Is the swirl missed? Thoughts?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Semester Project: Redesigning the Redesign

Look at your drawings and learn from them and learn from yourself by drawing.

Drawing brings to us a vision of the world that is much more. How we see the world is revealed in our drawings. How we see our drawings is another matter. When we look at our drawings do we use the same vision we use to cross the street or navigate through a crowded room? - Paul Rodecker

Well, the last time I had my designs for Indie, they looked like these:

And quite frankly, I was not getting a lot of buzz or excitement with these designs. It left me frustrated honestly, but it made work hard to come up with three (seeing that "Tres" means three) new designs. Designs where I could be flexible, and represent my cartoony/animated nature. I guess I did not want to go there at first, I did not want to use it as a crutch. However, the excitement and buzz were present for these designs. Enough to say, "Ok, now we have some direction." And it's good to have some direction now. And the best part is, I can be flexible with any of these designs. :) Each of them are their own individual, as Indie should be.

So now, after getting recent feedback from last night's critique, I am going to push these designs further, as well as work on my stationery designs. I will post both the pushed designs and stationery designs sometime over the weekend. For those who have not been able to see these, I am happy to release these designs to you now. :)

Have a great weekend, and as always, any advice or suggestions are welcome! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Re-Branding/Re-designing Discussion

We know that there will be a time where a client would like to re-brand their logo, as well as their direction. To me, as I continue to learn, I feel that animation and graphic design share the same kinds of challenges and goals. Like logo designing, character design requires lots of redos and sketches, in order to find the exact character design for every particular character. How does the audience read the character? Will all the information and history of the character be showcased within the design alone? What about the voice? Does the voice match well with the design, to where people don't have to look at the design to hear the voice? Character design has always been my interest for many years, and seeing we have been doing redesign for the last few weeks, I wanted to share my thoughts on the redesign of one of my favorite characters: The Joker.

Now, I am sticking to the realm of Batman: The Animated Series, as there have been many redesigns for the comic books and graphic novels. It was an extreme challenge to make the Joker look like a menace, but to keep him fun and entertaining for young audiences. Here's the first design that Producer and Designer Bruce Timm and his team showcased to us in the early 90's:

White skin, big grin with yellow teeth, and the eyes surrounded by black outlining. Not to mention a square chin and a sharp pointy nose. It was a complex design, but it did get the job done. Not to mention bringing an interesting look to the character. The eyes is what grabs the audience, and the Joker's cohorts on screen. They were very gestural, expressive, loose, and quick. Just like his moods and his laughter. In this design, the look is sharper and more defined, as he is laughing from the theatrical release Batman: Mask of the Phantasm:

Both designs were my favorite from Bruce Timm. They were way better than the ones he went with, when the series needed to be redesigned for a more simpler approach:

The moment I saw the new design for the Joker, I was disappointed. I could not help but be reminded of the look of the Warner Bros. and Sister:

The black eyes with white ovals was not impressing me, and I thought was sad is that the red lipstick smile was gone. Completely. I did not read the Joker at all, he did not look that menacing to me as the previous design. It does make it simpler to animate (like graphic design, animation desires simple shapes in order to animate). I felt that he did not get his point of across when he wants to look crazy. He did have some sharp looks when he was not happy. Still, this redesign was my least favorite.

In this last example, we see the Joker taking another direction, where there's a bit of a mixture between the first two designs. This appearance here is from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. His red lipstick smile comes back, as well as his yellow eyes. The black areas around his eyes are not thick compared to the first design. The chin more pointy than square. And his smile is scarier than the first two designs. He definitely looks like somebody you don't want to mess with. While I do like this design, I just feel that he wasn't looking like he was having fun anymore. It was just more of doing business, and keeping it that way. :/ However, I would pick this design over the Animaniac-inspired version. Any day.

Now, some people might ask me why I didn't talk about this design of the Joker:

Reason being, this Joker design was not done by Bruce Timm, as well as it was for a different series outside of the Batman: The Animated Series realm. Not to mention that I don't want to spend two blog posts explaining my disgust for this character's design. I abhor it. Extremely.

Now, maybe many didn't know, and some or many do, that Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) did the voice of the Joker. Like graphic design, animation needs good concept for both the direction of the characters and their voices. Here's Mark Hamill explaining his take on the Joker:

As another bonus, here's four minutes worth of Mark Hamill laughing as the Joker, in many different scenarios. Really observe what Mark meant about using different pitches in order to get the right mood for the scenes:

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you may find it interesting. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Go see this movie! I don't care if you like animation or not, you must see this movie. It is truly inspirational for artists, breaking new ground in visual effects, and storytelling. Especially design work.

Again, go see this movie. I plan to go see this film again.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Semester Project: Still Pushing #2

I am still pushing the illustrative part of the logo. I feel stronger every time I start telling myself, "it starts with I". It starts with me, as an artist, as a designer, as a person. Hopefully, this tagline or catch phrase, will make its' mark with others.

After a few suggestions and concerns, I started to play with the coffee bean some more. To where it started with a thick line, to a thin line, to a more closed oval with a thin line, etc. I also played around with the book some more. At first the spine was coming into as a curve, not as a straight plane. Not to mention that the bottom of the spine has a split. I just believed that someone might have an issue with it, so I wanted to see what it will look like with the bottom fixed.

I also wanted to try to see what the book will look like when the coffee bean is not in the space of the book. In case some other aspects come about.

What do you guys think?

Interesting Designs and Concepts

My favorite soda is Coke (or Coca-Cola - I don't do drugs), and I found something quite interesting yesterday at the Georgia State cafeteria. I normally am used to the design for the recent Coke bottles, giving information about Coke points and using the code to get them online (which is shown here).

However, when I went for a Coke at the Georgia State cafeteria, I was greeted with a new design for the bottle. It showcased new information of advertising, and it immediately grabbed my attention. Here are the comparisons with the first Coke bottle I mentioned with the new one I was greeted:

See the difference? Noticed that they incorporated yellow for the type and for the illustration on the side. If you look closely (pictured below), you will see green along with the yellow shapes coming from the smaller white Coke bottle illustration.

Yellow is usually included for Coke designs along with the red. Primary colors are always used to grab one's attention (especially in the fast food industry). I was surprised that they used green to create contrast, tension, and attention. Seeing that green is the complimentary color of red. I think what was also good about this color choice of green is that the green is not dark or at regular tint. It's almost a yellow green, so it works well with the yellow streaks. It also doesn't make this edition look Christmasy (I know Christmasy is not a real word), seeing everyone is used to the complimentary color scheme of red and green for the month of December.

So to me, I thought it was an interesting find, as well as an attention grabber to let people know of the new advertising on the bottle.

I also saw this for the first time today (I don't have television in my dorm room for the past six months):

I am not a Kobe fan, I was really happy they lost poorly to the Boston Celtics in Game 6. However, I thought this commercial had great concept, due to all the speculation of the low cut basketball shoe design. Seeing I used to play basketball with my friends in high school, I always played in high tops...and my right ankle was like my glass ankle, always got twisted up every other month or so. Not because I got shooked (b-ball terms), but because of my constant rebounding (had hops for a small guy...used to).

Anyways, just the fact that Nike went with the low top cut design for his new shoe made an excellent opportunity to make its' argument. As well as providing humor and nice color schemes in the commercial. Having the ankle illustration animate a smile at the end is a plus (I apologize in advance for spoiling the commercial). It's a fun commercial to view, one I can highly respect. Even if Kobe is in there.

I hope you enjoyed what I found recently.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Semester Project: Testing Colors

I am trying different color schemes for one of the designs that I posted earlier. As you can see, there are a few possibilities I could have gone with for the type by itself. However, when I added the illustration next to the type for it to be a complete combination mark, those same few don't work hand in hand.

I have come to the conclusion on a few things:
  1. Monochromatic as a color scheme does not interest me for the design at all. It also does not bring a strong presence, seeing there is contrast between the typefaces and the illustrations.
  2. While green is my favorite color, I am deciding to stay away from using it as part of the final color scheme. Already one of my classmates have mentioned about Starbucks, and I told her that being reminded of Starbucks because of green will not be satisfactory. So green will not be part of the final considerations.
  3. The blue and yellow color scheme (first row, second column on the first page) will not do. It reminds me too much of Burger King. Sad to say. Not to mention that most primary colors are used by fast food restaurants, just so that they can get your attention quickly. Indie Coffee & Books is not a fast food restaurant.
While this logo design is one of the ones considered for the final critique, I am still going to push them further. See what will work and what will not. I will also try to continue looking up different color schemes.

Any advice or suggestions are welcome. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Update on the Digital Aquarium Printers

They were able to get inks reloaded on one of the printers. And I was able to use it today to do some printing for my typography class. So I wanted to update you guys on that.

Also giving recognition to Loc (from Paige's class) for bringing it up as well, as he commented earlier about the printer. Thanks Loc! :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Can't Spell Distorted Without Tres

One of my recent word semantic projects for my typography class this semester. Like the title said, all the letters in my name is used in the word distorted.

I chose distorted because it really allowed me to be loose and gestural with the design during my sketching. Getting real loose in scribbling before the letters started to come out from doing gestures.

Even though I was critiqued tonight for part of the project, and the rest of it, I am going to come back and push this some more. To make it better.

Hope you guys like the design. And as always, suggestions and advice are welcome. :)

Semester Project: Continuing Pushing

Trying to put everything together. And while I have these designs, I am still looking for something different. I am not satisfied or thinking that these are the ones.

Maybe my cartoonist side has been quiet long enough. You think I should add a certain character holding a book and drinking? I'm just inching to do so....I just might do that. Just to say that I did.

More to come.

Just To Let You Guys Know...

Just found out today that the inks for the printers at Digital Aquarium, they are out of inks. I was told that they might get the new ink cartridges tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb 3). Still, I wanted everyone to know, so that everyone can have alternate plans in printing their designs before Thursday's critique.

So again, right now the Digital Aquarium printers are out of ink, and they are waiting on replacements. If I hear anything new, I will let you guys know.