Sunday, September 1, 2013

"Make It Pop" and Other Illustrated Designer Horrors

I came across a collection of posters designed to illustrate a few of the key things that we tend to hear in the industry, and was elated to not only enjoy an inspiring visual project, but to know that I'm not alone.

Created by Mark and Paddy of, this brightly colored, and inspiring collection of designs add visuals to the hilarious requests that some less-than-informed clients tend to ask. In an earlier post, I raved about the truth and genius of the comic How a Web Design Goes Straight to Hell by the Oatmeal. In said comic, the point is clearly made that sometimes the client is not always right, and essentially needs a little direction in order to help you give them exactly what they need (and want).

My very favorite phrase to hear from a client while in a working session, or after presenting them a visual draft of their original request is the infamous, "Make It Pop." This is by far, one of the most frequent requests that most of my clients have at one point said to me, and each one meant something very different in the end.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stories in Typography: continued

It's one thing to use typography as a medium to express a narrative or concept in design, but one group decided to publish the stories and background that was involved in creating their fonts and reveal the stories for each type.

Fontsmith - 10 years in type
Fontsmith - 10 Years in Type

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Making of Disney's "Paperman"

If you haven't been made aware of Paperman, the latest Disney animated short, I would classify it as a requirement for anyone seeking a shimmer of hope in an increasingly bleak time of the overpowering CG animation style entertainment.

Without actually diving too deep into the message, or the story that the animated short tells so well, the style of animation is absurdly unique for these changing times, and deserves some recognition. As an art form, frame-by-frame animation has become more and more of a dying medium, and there have been some ripples as to this meaning that the quality animation being sacrificed for a more economical, and convenient method. I tend to agree to a point, but cannot argue that such CG animated movies like Toy Story and Up are emotional gold.

In Paperman, they use a very creative combination of CG technology with a hand drawn finishing effect to create the illusion of a 100% hand drawn animation. I recently read a blog article on the making of Paperman, that opened my eyes to just how ridiculously dedicated animators can be.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Design Resource: Free Textures for Web

In order to create a truly memorable website design, one thing I try to focus on is including small, subtle design elements that indirectly contribute to a larger user experience. These style refinements, and graphic enhancements usually appear as the inclusion of drop shadows to create the illusion of depth and layers, or gradients to add a more robust color scheme and perspective, or the shiny reflective button glare effect that was so prevalent in 2006.

One particularly understated, yet sometimes over abused, styling element is the background texture. In cases where these graphics are abused with harsh contrasts, heavy saturation, patterns too complex to have legible text, and poor placement, this ultimately creates the sense of a 2003 myspace page instead of the intended professional web presence. Behold your solution,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cazenovia College: Designer Interview

I was contacted last year by Patrick Ormsby, a visual communications student at Cazenovia College, to answer a few questions regarding what it's like to be a graphic designer in the working world.

The following questions and answers were the result of the inquiry:

What is your proudest moment as a designer?
As a designer who takes pride in their work, the most fulfilling thing you can do is to overcome a challenge and be truly pleased with what you've created. In turn, when you are happy with what you've made, your client will see the pride you have in your work, and take that as reassurance in your skills and ability. Learning a new technique, or building a better workflow to expedite your design process can also be incredibly rewarding, and a long-term benefits.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Remlik's at the Roberson Wine & Food Festival

Binghamton's top grille and oyster bar, Remlik's, will be featured at this years annual Wine and Food Festival held at the Roberson Museum and Science Center this April.

As a part of their sponsorship for the event, Remlik's is offering guests an option in commemorative glassware featuring our redesign of the Remlik's logo from 2011, as well as the event details etched into the stemware.

For more information on this delicious event, follow the Roberson on Facebook.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Visual Language

As I've focused on in several posts already, the importance that communication plays on everything we do cannot be understated. Specifically for designers, the graphic representation of abstract, and personified qualities associated with causes, corporations, business entities, and mission statements is becoming more of an art in story telling than just being able to come up with a creative idea and draw it.

During the 50's and 60's when advertising agencies and marketing started to burst through the seams of emerging technologies, the messages were often tailored to a very specific demographics, portraying very narrow minded applications, and told one specific story. This story became so much more complex with the introduction of television, as well as larger circulations in printed magazines and newspapers. More and more reliance on the graphics being portrayed gave way to heavy gaps in the communication through these designs. It became the communication of complex emotions and messages through visuals alone. A visual language.