I’m doing research for a personal project and I wanted some amazing space photos. My brother in law recommended looking on the Nasa website, of course! I was not disappointed. There are a lot of amazing images of moons and planets but I’m mostly drawn to nebulas and dust and warped clouds and galactic rings. The above are some of my favorites and best inspiration.
I was just perusing through this year’s Communication Arts Typography Annual and came across this lovely poster by Sean Freeman. Obviously, there is a lot of typography in the annual to be admired, but this one struck me especially. I love the use of actual objects to create type, such as I’ve been exploring with paper recently. The poster is also a significantly appropriate style for the band.
Check out more of Sean’s incredible work at Levine/Leavitt—it’s all pretty mind blowing.
I’m preparing for a short stop motion film for my friends’ website. They are starting a new brand for screen writing and filmmaking together and we need some imagery. The idea is to create several short videos that are classically cinematic and then use them super-sized, running in the background of their content. One image they’ve created is the well-used flying through stormy clouds, lightning flashing, and coming across the logo floating in the air. I decided to “Michel Gondry” the idea by creating a stop motion video of the idea. I started with the paper letters that I’ve already created and am now creating and test shooting the clouds (seen above). The clouds will keep me busy for a while, then on to the foil lightning bolts.
While flipping through Nylon this month, I noticed this awesome ad by Burton. It’s not the exactly something I’ve never seen, but I love that there is no digital typography in this ad. I’ve always been a huge fan of using major amounts of imagery and teeny tiny small typography, the imagery is more interesting! But when you can find a solution that is unobtrusive, thank you. This is the kind of tactile design I like to see, especially since I’ve been hand building my typography lately. This is the type of work I’d love to integrate my design career with.
I just posted my final images of this project on Behance, but I wanted to follow up with a blog post (since I haven’t done one in a while). These are the final images used for the Smitten website. The background image was a hard one to get perfect, but fortunately we found an amazing image that looks its actual 3-dimensional style that it is. The last image I used was a little too glowing and not casting enough hard shadows.
This turned out quite nice, I’m not sure how much time this would have taken if I had just built the whole thing in photoshop rather than making custom paper art. Either way, I’d happily spend all of the hours cutting paper than creating fancy brushes hunched over a computer, even if it takes more time.
This website was worth it in so many ways—an awesome portfolio piece and I was paid in private yoga lessons. Portfolio and a new yoga practice? Thank you very much.
While starting photo shoots for my new brand, A Common Name, I got a few distractions. There are a few too many adorable animals trying their own layouts or probably just flat out disapproving my designs. They are way too cute to get mad at, so we happily documented their ideas..
The above two images are raw shots of a typeface I’m building for my new design brand called, A Common Name. I’ve been physically building two different typefaces into 3-dimensional paper type. The plan is to place the letters onto complex surfaces to photograph. The end result would only feature one of the typefaces set in different locations—on grass, on a brick wall, in a river (oh yes, we’re going large scale too). I had so many typefaces in mind for this, even extremely round letters. Somehow these square/rectangle shapes appeal to me, when I lay them in any which way on a surface, they create amazing patterns and shapes (see above). I’m also happy with the possible juxtaposition of placing such rigid letters in natural settings.
A background on the name:
A Common Name comes from months of searching for a new business name and finding that nothing that pertains to me in the design world hasn’t already been used. Smith is THE most common name in the U.S. I cannot use it in any way, shape, or form because it’s already been done and used. I landed on A Common Name because of this problem. Many names have become common and so many design firms have “common” and regular used phrases. It’s hard to feel original, especially in the web world.
A Common Name will be a title for myself, for original design work, for a design firm. Everything has a common name, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing.
The top three images are parts of our my process for the final round of design for Smitten.
The first image is a detail image of the cut paper. After the prototype design, I decided I needed to change a few things. The paper needed to be thicker (which took longer to cut), the thin lines of the logo needed to be thicker, and I needed to hit the black ink on the paper twice. This all helped to make a darker, more precise image to use.
The second image shows the set up of my favorite in-house photographer, Greg. He used a soft light box partially covered by a black board to emit less light and some running lights laid around the piece to create ambient light from the sides. Also, I had to increase the distance of the top cut piece with the bottom piece to help more light float around in between.
Because of Greg‘s excellent skills, I find myself with this last image that took about 5 minutes to retouch. Pretty fantastic. I really am working hard on these hand made pieces to make them as perfect as possible so that I barely have to touch them in post production. A success this time.
I’ve been continuing to take a lot of photos with my iphone and capturing some great moments in my travels. I’m keeping a theme of not caring about clear and crisp quality. These photos find the mood of the world I found myself in which inspired much creativity (the result was not these photos). Sometimes a good 6 hours alone in a car will force some thoughtfulness into your life.
Those of you that know me, know that I adore crows very much. They’re always an omen to me and I’m fascinated by their intelligence. I’m happy my new friend posed so well.
I’ve been traveling in New York the past 10 days and haven’t had much time for creative work. Alternatively, I’m experiencing plenty of creative inspiration from my surroundings. The fashion (it happened to be New York Fashion Week, lucky me), the graffiti, the grime and dirt, architecture, interior design, museums. It’s kind of like a system overload. I didn’t bring a fancy camera, but I snapped a few inspirations along the way. This post contains images found only in Brooklyn, just a few blocks from where I was staying. Definitely more to come.
To fit the final design of the forest concept, I had to create cylindrical setup. I found some great black wire to make loops in order to mount the trees all around. I super glued the trees directly to the wire (sometimes my fingers with it) and most of them stood up beautifully. The ones that didn’t, I had to create an extra single wire support behind, which worked well.
We don’t have the proper setup to do some test shoots, so I did a quick rig on a c-stand to see if I was on the right track at all. The rig taught me a few things: I need a couple more loops of trees, the loops need to get about 1″ bigger each step I recede back, I need to create a sturdier rigging to link all of the loops together, and I was completely on the right track!!!
Most of these things are not too hard to fix, it’s just more hours of work. I’m super excited that I might actually pull this off.
Here’s a quick photo of a work-in-progress. I’m creating a paper forest for a very large diorama. The end diorama will be 4′ x 6′, the largest scale project I’ve worked on (so far).
The whole project is quite a large undertaking and the forest has logged quite a few hours itself. I’m a perfectionist and it’s hard not to cut all of the trees perfectly. They do not need to be, so I’m working on trying to get a little imperfect and filling in the gaps quickly with black marker afterwards. I’ve been experimenting with the right thickness of paper. It started with foam core (ridiculous idea!) and ended with two sheets of text weight paper Super 66′d together.
Next up, how to rig these things up?