Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cantalouper at Mojo's 9/2/11

I was contacted by Levi from Cantalouper to do another poster for them, this time a headline show at Mojo's on September 2nd. As usual, the band gave me free reign and it was nice to do a poster that showcased the band as headliner. While brainstorming, one of the first ideas to come to mind was an old cassette tape. I've always liked cassette tapes. Probably because that was mainly the medium of music that I grew up with. We always had records in the house, but when my siblings started purchasing music, it was mainly on cassette. I remember talking with the guys about how some bands today are releasing new music on casstette and reverting back to the warm, lo-fi sounds of analog. And while I've never heard Cantalouper in analog form, something about their music tells me it would work perfectly in that guise.

 I added textures to both the black "plastic" of the cassette as well as the "paper" label. I think these helped in adding a bit of interest and depth to the illustration while still keeping it stylized. I added the Cantalouper head logo in place of the reels and was also glad to finally get to incorporate the font I designed as well. I kept going back, adding little details here and there like the pieces on the sides of the cassette and the strands of tape that always seem to show in the counter window. Here is the final result!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cantalouper Font

This is the project that had kept me busy all Spring. I apologize for just getting it posted now, but as soon as it was finished, I had to rush it off to the web designer who is currently hard at work on the Cantakouper website. This is a project that I am extremely proud of. I built the font entirely in Illustrator CS4 and learned tons along the way. Designing a font is an involved process. Not only do you have to come up with a cohesive design throughout the alphabet, you also have to take into consideration the relationships between each letter. I took typography in school where we learned by definition tracking, kerning, ligature, etc. but never really worked with them on a practical level. Well, at least in the aspect of designing a font. For example, adding the curved tail to the "a" as it leads into the "l" so it will create a flow to the font almost like a cursive as opposed to leaving the curved tail off the "a" that is before the "n". The "n" has such a strong vertical stem that the curved tail wouldn't fit with it, so the blunt, non curved tail was the best option.
Technicalities aside, I plan on completing the alphabet in this style for Cantalouper so they can use it beyond their logo. But for now the basic design is in place so the construction shouldn't be too difficult, just time consuming. But I had a blast working with the band and learned a ton about Illustrator!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Buildings of Detroit

After finishing the my Detroit Concert Series, I started thinking about other places in Detroit that deserved recognition. While the urban decay of Detroit is nationally known, there are many buildings with rich histories and phenomenal architecture. The Penobscot is one such building. Without giving a complete architectural history, the Penobscot Building was designed in two stages by Donaldson & Meier (1905 and 1916) and later by Wirt Rowland for the firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls (1928). It is one of my favorite skyscrapers of all time and I thought it would be the best place to start a new series.

 I particularly like the border I designed for this piece. I wanted something Art Deco and clean to reflect the design of the building. Once I had the font picked out for this piece, I started playing around with the extra symbols and notation markers that came with the font. The border is actually two paragraph symbols (¶) turned face to face, then put end to end. I was quite pleased that something so simple could end up being so effective as an Art Deco element.

I'm not sure where this series will go- will I keep it skyscrapers only? Detroit isn't exactly skyscraper central and there are MANY smaller buildings that are just as interesting and beautiful. Will I keep it a series of four like the Venue series? Again, there are so many cool buildings here in Detroit it could be tough narrowing it down to four or five or six... I have my eye on a couple though, so we'll see how it goes. And even if this never turns into a series of four or six, I think this piece is a fitting tribute to the beautiful and often overlooked architecture of Detroit.

Concert Venues

Here are four pieces I did a while back, long before I ever thought about blogging. This series was done during my Senior year at The College For Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, Michigan. It was during this project where I found the beginnings of what I envisioned my work to be. All four pieces are legendary in the world of Detroit rock n' roll: The Grande Ballroom, The Majestic Theatre, Saint Andrew's Hall & The State Theater. Considering my love of music, creating a poster series commemorating Detroit's rich musical history made complete sense. It combines two things that I am extremely passionate about, art and music.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's been a long time, been long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time

Well as you can see it has been far too long since I've posted here, but it's not for a lack of work. I've been doing a lot of design work for Cantalouper, whom I've mentioned in my one previous post. Mostly posters for shows, t shirts, buttons, and a hand drawn font. All of which I'll get posted on here very soon! But today's post is one that I'm particularly fond of at the moment. It is a poster that I finished a few weeks ago for a show Cantalouper will be doing with a band called Unwed Sailor. If you've never heard of them, I suggest you check them out. They're an instrumental only band, musically centered around the bass guitar. Good stuff! Anyways, Cantalouper asked me to do this poster for the show in July and as an added bonus, the venue, Mojo's, would print the poster and use it in their club to promote the show! Needless to say I was pretty stoked about it.
It took me a few days to get the imagery that I wanted for this show. I listened to Unwed Sailor to get a feel for the type of music they made, wanting the poster to feel right for the band. I also wanted to stay away from the overtly stereotypical nautical images that one thinks of upon hearing the name Unwed Sailor. I think I found the balance I was looking for with the life preserver ring, stenciled with the bands and date of the show. I also like the wooden plank background which reminded me of an old tugboat making its way up the eastern seaboard and the cool blue waves along the bottom. The waves were a holdover thought from a previous sketch I had made for this poster. They reminded me of waves used on old Vaudeville sets. The ones that swayed from side to side while Vaudevillian pirates sang songs about mermaids. I thought they gave me a nice clear ground to add the rest of the venue info and really seemed to anchor (no pun intended) the whole poster.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cantalouper Posters

Here are two posters I have done for the band Cantalouper, from Columbia, Missouri. They are really great and I encourage everyone to check them out at their Myspace page.

In the first poster I did for them, I wanted to revisit the old traveling revue style posters of the 1950s and 60s. Utilizing mainly text with only a few small photos, I wanted the poster to be eye-catching and straight forward.

The second poster was for a show Cantalouper played with Royal Pines. I wanted to somehow combine the imagery of a pine forest with the Cantalouper logo, which is a cantaloupe with "X" eyes and a mouth. I wanted the poster's image to be simple but easily translated. Because of the scale difference of a pine tree compared to a cantaloupe, I was struggling to find a way to incorporate the different images. So I eventually came up with a single tree branch with a pine cone and cantaloupe growing from it.

Here We Go!

Hello all!

First off, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to check out my blog. I will be posting projects that I am working on in their various states throughout the creative process. I may also post random thoughts and ramblings from time to time. Please feel free to comment on any and everything! The whole point of this blog is to share my art with anyone who is interested in seeing it.