Gone Troppo: Sands of Time

Gone Troppo_Sands of Time
Cover designs for a new track by art-music collective Gone Troppo. This was an interesting design process, due to the songwriter requesting the investigation of an alternative approach that further referenced the ‘sand’ element from the song. My initial thoughts were that without the high contrast of the original blue & yellow design, the overall impression created by the thin linework would be too diluted and therefore not stand out enough at the small scale of an icon, which is where this artwork would mainly be viewed.

As it turned out, the design still works well with a lighter textured background and my concerns were proven incorrect. This is always an interesting part of the design process for me, and something I’ve regularly communicated to clients when changes are discussed. Many requested changes are often very difficult to judge accurately before simply trying them to see the actual impact on the finished design. Experience has shown me that some small adjustments can have a significant negative effect on a design, dramatically changing the flow, appearance or readability in a way that myself and/or the client will not accept. Current digital production methods certainly make it far easier to alter artwork and investigate options, especially compared to when my artwork was mostly hand drawn and assembled – but any changes incur extra time (and usually money) so the designer is responsible for efficiently advising a client and resolving all queries without futile and costly exploration.

My design features various elements from the song itself: a diamond, travel, a broken heart, the universe and a sunrise. The track is available to download at CD Baby.

A Snake in New York

SNAKE PLISSKEN print
I recently watched John Carpenter’s classic sci-fi film Escape from New York again, and was inspired to create a design featuring lead character Snake Plissken, played with rebellious coolness by Kurt Russell.

In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don’t come out.

I’ve always liked the setting, atmosphere, music and general style of this cult movie since first seeing it back as a young teenager. Snake is a great hero character and was to later be the inspiration for Solid Snake from the popular Metal Gear video game series.

The typography I’ve created is based on the font style used in the film for the prison signage, which I think really captures the unique 80’s look of type design during this period and is what I believe to be the signature font for this great film.

Prints, t-shirts and more available to purchase at søciety6.

Snake Plissken tees

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Abbott vs Putin
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stated that he plans to ‘shirtfront’ Russian President Vladimir Putin when he attends the G20 leaders’ meeting in Brisbane during November, due to Russia’s suspected involvement and lack of rescue assistance in the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over the Ukraine in July.

Abbott was a student boxer and Putin is a bear-wrestling 6th dan judo and karate expert! BRING IT ON!!

ToQ: Duquellah coat of arms

Duquellah coat of arms
A new coat of arms design for the City of Duquellah, as part of my ongoing Tales of Quahnarren project.

Duquellah is the largest city in Quahnarren and the oldest permanently inhabited site on the continent since the arrival of the Guahn people. Known by all as the ‘city of learning’, Duquellah is famous for the Victory Gate of Vehkorr and the broad thoroughfare Aelisen Way, both located near the central area of the city amid the attractive natural parks and small gardens that abut The Skar river.

Motorsport Heroes poster

Motorsport Heroes posterAfter considerable effort I’ve finally finished the latest design in my Motor Style Inc. series of prints. Motorsport Heroes has taken approximately 150 hours to complete, with a large amount of that time spent exhaustively researching all of the drivers and cars featured in the 15 individual illustrations.

The concept for this poster was to collectively show the wide variety of designs in global motorsport series, particularly during the classic decades of the 1950’s to 1980’s, when many highly iconic racing machines and legendary drivers competed in events around the world. I was very keen to only feature drivers that personally won many races (and championships) and chose cars that achieved great results and/or are considered to be fine examples of automotive engineering and design. I entered the 1990’s only to include 7-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher – and to add the beautiful Jordan 191 – one of my personal favourite modern F1 designs. A few close-up details:

AndrettiRöhrlNuvolariMass + IckxMossPrints are available from søciety6

1970’s Grand Prix heroes

1972 Lotus-Ford 72D1973 Tyrrell-Ford 0061975 Ferrari 312T

Here’s some more illustrations from my Motorsport Heroes poster project. This time showing three world championship winning cars and drivers from the 1970’s:

  • Emerson Fittipaldi ~ 1972 Lotus 72D
  • Jackie Stewart ~ 1973 Tyrrell 006
  • Niki Lauda ~ 1975 Ferrari 312T

Three iconic designs from what is surely the greatest decade for Formula One car design.

Motorsport Heroes

1966 Repco-Brabham BT191988 Peugeot 405 T16 Pikes PeakThe start of a new design in my ongoing Motor Style Inc. series of illustrated posters. Motorsport Heroes will feature a large number of individual images of iconic cars and drivers from different international motorsport series, each showing the wide variety in style and manufacture of the machines raced.

Above are illustrations of the 1966 Repco-Brabham BT19, driven by Sir ‘Black’ Jack Brabham (the only man to ever win a Formula One World Championship driving a car of his own design and construction), and the 1988 Peugeot 405 T16 Pikes Peak, famously driven by Ari Vatanen at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Colorado.

Tales of Quahnarren: Ustahm

Tales of Quahnarren: Ustahm

As a part of an extensive current project set within my fantasy world of Quahnarren, I’m creating detailed maps of some of the towns and cities within the land. This colour map of Ustahm, which is a mid-sized town located to the north of The Skar river in the Dehanthor Valley, is the first that I’ve completed.

Ustahm is a prosperous, well-kept, and industrious town, famously surrounded by multiple rows of the giant redwood Sehquoihar tree, providing a distinctive elegance and respectful civility to the area. Ustahm is a vital stopping point on the busy and important trade route between the major cities of Duquellah, to the southwest, and Moornehm, to the northeast.

Places of interest in Ustahm include: Warden Guhlnaar’s ornately majestic offices on Merchant Row; the Spotted Serpent Tavern on the notorious Koq Walk, for those needing refreshment or entertainment; the vibrant market corner, where locally grown and manufactured goods are enthusiastically sold and traded; the grandly appointed Haanstrom Inn on Shadow Lane, opposite the central governance sector; and the renowned Azifhar Bathhouse on The Hollow, the largest of its kind in eastern Quahnarren.

A pickle of a story!

RCHRD’S GLSSS ND TH WRRNG NGHBRSRCHRD’S GLSSS ND TH WRRNG NGHBRS is an entertaining eBook written by new authors Julie and Luca Harper, mostly about Giant Spider Crabs, Greater Bulldog Bats, Green Iguanas, maths, music, timekeeping and vowels!

I was asked to provide a cover design, including a full series logotype and hand lettering, plus a few mono interior illustrations (three shown below) for the book, which at times proved to be more challenging and time intensive than I had envisaged.

RGNTWN_ShoppeRGNTWN_Boris and EddieRGNTWN_Clearview Village mapThe mono illustrations were completed in Illustrator using the pressure sensitive blob brush, and were created as loosely sketched pieces, capturing some of the energy found in the written style of the book. The main characters themselves proved to be somewhat hard to successfully define and capture accurately, and we went through a number of iterations and revisions before I produced the simple character sketches for protagonists Nigel Le Nez, and Madame La Bouche.

RGNTWN_Nigel Le NezThese hand drawn pencil sketches then became desired final art, with colour added (as seen above) to match the cover formatting. This wasn’t planned, and it introduced a number of design issues to solve, as the two standing characters dramatically altered the spacing and balance of all the cover elements, which required an intensive rethink of the layout to retain a reasonable design structure.

Ultimately the client was happy – which is all that really matters – and the book moved on into the final production stage. It is now available to purchase from Amazon for Kindle, or the Kindle Reader App, and can be downloaded HERE. So, if you know someone who would like to read a fast paced rollicking story for 7-10 year olds, then I can fully recommend the eBook as a highly entertaining reading experience. And, don’t worry, the vowels are supposed to be left out!

RCHRD'S GLSSS

A Christmas Garden Trail map

Trail mapIt’s just over a week until the ‘A Christmas Garden at Stangate House‘ event takes place next Sunday, so I thought I’d share my artwork for the children’s Christmas Garden Trail. This will be a fun activity for all the kids to take part in – wandering the Stangate House garden paths and discovering the items hidden amongst the plants surrounding them. We’ve made most of them rather easy too …

A Christmas Garden at Stangate House

A Christmas Garden at Stangate HouseMy poster design for a community event to be held at Stangate House in Aldgate, South Australia. ‘A Christmas Garden at Stangate House’ is a free event featuring carols, poems, children’s games and activities. Myself, two other students, and our lecturer from Mt Barker TAFE, will be organising the games and activities as part of our assessment for the Events diploma. Everyone is encouraged to bring their rugs and picnic, and enjoy this lovely garden setting in the Adelaide Hills.

Visit the Stangate House Facebook page if you’d like to view some photos of their fantastic camellia gardens, which are recognised as one of three International Camellia Gardens of Excellence in Australia.

Adelaide United t-shirt designs

AUFC_Cassio_tee AUFC_ForeverRed_tee AUFC_WeAreUnited_teeEarlier this year I created the three t-shirt designs above as competition entries for my local football (soccer) team Adelaide United, who play in the A-League as South Australia’s team.

The first design features popular Brazilian-born defender Cassio, a previous club champion who loves to dribble the ball and take on opposing defenders. The second design refers to the club nickname of ‘the Reds’ (they play in a predominately red strip), and the final design is a bold slogan graphic promoting strength in unity.

The competition is now open to public voting to decide the winning design, which will be produced by apparel supplier Kappa as an official club t-shirt for the current 2013-14 season. Online voting is available here until the 6th of November, so do the right thing and vote now for your favourite design!