Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas Break

I'm reaching the end of Christmas break, which has been great. I've had a lot of R&R, hung out with a lot of friends, watched a lot of How I Met Your Mother (the entire series, actually...), and been to the theater way too many times. BUT! my break hasn't gone without doing a little design work too! The great thing about it is that it wasn't really stuff I HAD to do (aside from one recent project, which I will hopefully get to tell you about in the near future). Pretty much all of what I designed this break was just for fun and for friends. If you didn't know by now, I enjoy designing things for my friends that I think would be funny/cool/whatever. Perhaps its a form of stress relief from other more serious project that I'm usually working on. With these side projects, I do them of my own accord, so there's no pressure involved. This leads me to the first image below. I have a lovely friend named Halsey who is just the sweetest person. A few years ago I drew this design you see below on a shirt for her birthday. Halsey will tell many people that her name sounds like "Hall C," because so many people say it wrong. So that is what kind of sparked the connection between that and Hi-C in my head. Skip to now, I finally decided I had the skill enough to recreate the image digitally. This version looks a heck of a lot cleaner and refined if you ask me, and I'm excited to get it printed on a new shirt for her!

 This next design is a birthday invitation for my nephew. This one was equally fun just because it was obviously very kid-centered. The theme of the party was Sesame Street. My sister-in-law came up with the main tagline (This birthday is brought to you by the letter Z and the number 4), which was off the bat a genius direction to go in. With such a popular topic like Sesame Street, I had the fortunate advantage of all the elements of the card falling naturally into place.
One of my absolute favorite types of design styles is the kind that parody's a popular icon. This is why I am in love with basically any type of Star Wars art. Some may say its not being original as a designer, which, in a sense its not (since somebody else came up with the original concept, and you are just tweaking that.... which I guess is what art and artists have done to a degree for a long time... but that can be a debate for another time since even I am on the fence about it). However, the thing I like about the style is that artists and designers are implementing their specific style to the icon, which is what makes it new and original to me every time. But, I digress...
On a side note, my wife and I got Zeke Sesame Street Chutes and Ladders, and a Spider-Man mask to go with the Spider-man Vans shoes we got him for Christmas :)

 This particular design was really fun as well, because I've been hosting Lord of the Rings marathons for a few years now (this will be the 4th, as you can see below), and every year it seems to get just a little bigger. I've moved this marathon from my parents' basement to the small theater that my church has, and each year the turnout is pretty strong. This year I decided to make an flyer for it.
I'll tell you what, I stinking LOVE hosting this thing. And its not just the theatrical versions, oh no. These are the extended versions which add at least 2 hours to the marathon. Sweet LOTR goodness! What makes this year just a bit bigger than past years is that the big wigs have finally decided to release the extended versions onto blu-ray, which I of course got my hands on. The movies on a theater screen is cool enough, but when the screen gets that big, the picture quality is important. Needless to say I was extremely excited for the blu-rays to be out well in time for the marathon.
As you can see, I added that minimalist flair that I love so much which, as I said before, naturally fell into place, seeing as LOTR is such an iconic movie.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rubik's Cubes, men's hygiene, and 2012

Praise Jesus the end of the semester is here! I've been busy with quite a few design projects this past month. As posted earlier this week, I just finished and am selling 2012 calendars I designed. I'd appreciate your support in buying one! You can view and purchase the calendars here.
I've also been busy working on a couple design projects for school. These were a couple of the most extensive and also most exciting projects I've done to date, and I'm very happy with how both turned out. All the design projects this semester have pushed the limits of what I can achieve and design with enough research and critical thinking. Really happy for my new art instructor, Jeff Smith, who has a high standard of excellence for us. I think its paying off!
This first set of images is a line of men's bath and body products called CODEX (I've gotten most criticism about the name from women, who immediately think of Kotex- a feminine product! ha. However, my sister made a good point: Its ironic that Kotex is a strictly feminine product, and that CODEX is a strictly masculine product). The target audience is ages 30-50. The idea behind the design of CODEX is that I want there to be a line of products that encourage men to get off the couch and be "real men" Its a product that helps lazy, no-game guys turn it around by offering the essentials you need to make that happen. Its actually meant for different types of men: those who are lacking that "manly" edge, and also those who are already "manly men" but need a product that is up to par with their manly lifestyle. Do you think this communicates the idea well?

The entire product consists of lotion, cologne, shaving cream, hair wax, a t-shirt, and a few other random items for the perfect "manly package" ;)
I also had to make some stationery to go with the style of the products  

In addition to B&B products and stationery, I also had to come up with an ad and promo poster. Pretty clever ad if I do say so myself... :)

Ryan is the face of CODEX

This next project is an album design. Believe it or not, the inspiration for the entire design came from a Rubik's Cube and an old book. We had to take 2 random objects and come up with a title for an album for the band of our choosing. Naturally, I chose my own band, Static Society. Not only did we need to come up with a title, but we also needed a concept, or story, that adhered to the title.
The title I came up with was The Cubist Compendium. The concept behind the title and the design is the idea that life can be simpler than people make it a lot of the time. A Cubist is type of artist that takes an object and breaks it down into its simplest form (for example, a cubist would take the image of a car and break it down into an image consisting of circles and rectangles). Of course, there is a level of the artist's own interpretation in the art as well. Anyways back to the concept: people today make things in their life so complicated and gray, and it really doesn't have to be that way. There can be black and white areas; there can be absolution; everything doesn't have to be unknown. So The Cubist Compendium concept is essentially about how you can know the areas of absolution, and addresses issues of ambiguity in one's life. The simple shapes mixed with the victorian-style people and grungy backdrop represent clarity and simplicity in a meddled, imperfect world.
The design as a whole is a little more metaphoric and abstract than narrative, but I did't feel like the concept called for a strictly narrative approach, because I am addressing more of an idea than an actual story. I'm very happy with how this came out. What do you think?

Album cover

Booklet design 
CD design and back of the CD case

Promotional postcard

Saturday, December 3, 2011

You need calendars. I made some for you.

Whew after working on these for a long time, they are finally up for sale- my series of 2012 calendars! Just in time for Christmas, too. I can see these stuffing many stockings! With 6 different designs, there is probably one for you, so check them out! View my calendars here!
Here's some images of some of the calendars to get your interest growing :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Workin' Away

Got a few new things in the works that I wanted to update you on:

Graceway baseball T-Shirt:
These are only gonna be for a group from my church that's going to the Dominican Republic (not church-wide), but I am really happy with how they came out! Who knows, maybe they'll get some more use this next season?

2012 Calendars:
I put up a little preview of each of the ones I'm working on on facebook and twitter, but here's a whole image of one of the calendars. some of them are half practical, half cool-looking. This one is more on the cool-looking side, but I think the fact that it's not traditional makes it my favorite of the ones I'm doing. I'll probably be selling them for like $15 each, starting in November sometime, by then I should have a good 5 or 6 options to choose from, but here's one of them to see now:

Fleetfoot Delivery Co.:
Yet another school project. It's a branding project, complete with logo, stationery (business card, envelope, and letterhead) package design, and an accompanying ad:

This version got scrapped, but I actually had most fun making this one. The first thing that came to my mind for this company was a fox, signifying that it has quick service. Plus, I thought I came up with a pretty clever ad, too (second image) ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Higher Digital Sales= Cooler Hard Copies For Me

One of my favorite bands, The Devil Wears Prada, just release their new CD, Dead Throne, this past Tuesday. Needless to say I had to get it. A lot of the time I will buy my music through Amazon or iTunes just for the convenience of it, but when its a band I love or a CD I'm really looking forward to, I'll go buy the hard copy. Part of the reason for this is that it just feels more personal to me; I feel more connected to the music when I have something in my hands that the band made. But the other reason I still buy hard copies is because i LOVE album artwork. I just love how every part coincides with one another (I love it the most when the design on the CD fits with the rest of the design). Anyway, so I go get this new TDWP CD, and I was really impressed with the packaging. Like, really impressed. So much so that when I got done looking through the design of the packaging, I closed it up, forgetting that what I opened it for was for the actual CD! I would say mission accomplished for this design. That got me thinking about other CD packaging designs that have impressed me. Here's some examples of a few that I've really loved that have just come out this past year:

The Devil Wears Prada- Dead Throne

A Classic tri-fold. Nothing new yet....
This is where it gets unique: These panels all flip up!
You can see why I forgot to even grab the CD...but I love that!
Another unique way to incorporate the "CD sleeve"

Underoath- Disambiguation

This one is more about the CD sleeve, but the casing looks cool too.

This tri-fold case is a trip...
The awesome thing about this sleeve is that it uses regular paper AND vellum! The result is freaking awesome-looking. 
All of the artwork for this album was good.

I wish I could capture the level of complexity and thought that went into the design of each of these pages. You really do have to see it in person to get the full effect. You can tell the placement of every word and every design element was carefully thought out, even though it has a "random" look to it.

A Day To Remember- What Separates Me From You

This casing is cool in that with each fold, it tells a part of a story. Plus the fact that it opens up to a sort of cross shape is something I've never seen before in this type of media. Maybe its been done before? Idk, I don't care. It really works here.

This part is pretty clever. This is the top view of a street, and in the middle there, the band is down in the sewer. What makes it great is the fact that the CD deign looks like the lid to the sewer- how cool!

Do you know of any other cool examples of CD cases? Share them with me!

T-Rave pt.2

I've done a bit of work for my friend Travis Geary (aka T-Rave) in the past, mostly for personal projects that he's involved in or starts. The more I design something that involves T-Rave, though, the more I think its more fun than work. T-Rave has done a good job of kinda making himself a product, so I feel like its pretty easy to design things that have to do with him. I'm a big fan of "Aha's" in design, and just for clever little doodads in general, and I feel like I can naturally create things like that in T-Rave's case.
Anyways, recently T-Rave has been the culprit of many self-taken photo bombs, where he will apprehend an unattended phone and/or camera and snap a picture of himself. He will then post this photo on Facebook, twitter, etc. (with rather nice things to say about himself, I might add). This gave me a small spark of inspiration to design something quirky for T-Rave, to support even his wildest, least-serious endeavors:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Straits Wedding invitations!

Whew these invites took a while, but I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. My sister-in-law is somewhat of a designer herself, so she's proved to be my toughest client to date since she had as many ideas in mind as i did! In the end, a pretty good wedding invite came out of it, though. Take a look-- Can't wait for October 21!

Congrats, Ryan and Jordan!
BTW: Ryan and Jordan just got their engagement pictures posted online by Lark Photography.