Thursday, February 24, 2011

Urban Apple Realty

Here's another logo I created. This was actually a collaborative effort, but the finished image, I feel, is very successful. This was actually for a competition and my design won, so I thought I would talk about it for a bit here. The goal was to create a logo for a realty company here in Chicago called "Urban Apple Realty." Right away I had an idea of what I wanted to do so I didn't waste any time in putting it together.

I knew I wanted to take an apple and actually carve it. One of the first things I learned when I started college, from Mr. Ryan Swanson, was that Photoshop is great but if you can take a photo of whatever you're trying to create, do it. Sure, I could have created an image like I had in mind, but these days I'm more about creating it organically instead of digitally. When I first learned Photoshop I was all about making these weird designs but I've kinda moved past that now and back to an actual hands-on approach whenever possible.

For this idea, I bought the largest apple I could find and carved it up. I left the bottom 1/3 alone and carved the top 2/3 into a building, leaving the stem on top of the apple so that it was still recognizable as an apple. I then took a photo of the apple in my photo tent, imported it into Photoshop for some level adjustments, opened it in Illustrator to live trace it to create a vector image of it and then brought back in Photoshop for some manipulated text. The resulting image was submitted to Dave Rodriquez for judging.

My concept was very much liked, but my type treatment left much to be desired (which I wasn't surprised about because I wasn't a fan of that part of the design myself). However, one of the other entries (from Matt Hecht) had a text layout that was really slick and she liked his type with my concept so the two were combined. Finally, the image I submitted was a vector, but wasn't quite an image that could be used for a logo so Dave took the concept and made an improved vector image of it. The finished result can be seen below.

As you can see, it's a very effective and successful collaborative effort and resulted in a portfolio piece for all three of us to use, noting credit to each of the people involved. I'm very pleased with the logo and am really happy to add this to my portfolio because it's the first "corporate" logo I've created that's going to be used. Nice!

...up next... my website re-design for Element Bars.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Anti-Cruelty Society Ads

It's been awhile since my last post, but I wanted to throw some of these up here. I realize that this blog is supposed to focus on my video work, but until I have some new projects to show, I've decided to start including some of my print work.

The images below are for an advertising campaign for the Anti-Cruelty Society. We met with their designer a few months ago and learned a lot about how he operates and got to see some of the designs he's created. It was very inspiring, since Ronay and I have gotten two of our three cats from there and are both avid supporters of animal rights. This was a client I was excited to be working with.

The idea behind it was to create a new advertising campaign that focused more on getting donations, and not so much on getting people to adopt. I didn't realize that so many of the donations that they get are from people that don't even own pets. A vast majority of their donations are left after people die, which I was a little shocked to hear. I think it's great and also a little sad that someone would leave their entire estate to the Anti-Cruelty Society when they pass on. That's something I would have never thought of.

We had a brainstorming session and the idea of a pet bowl filled with coins came up, so that's the idea i ran with. Rather than try and Photoshop the whole thing, I thought it would way easier just to set it up and take the photo myself... so I set up our light tent and snapped some photos, retouched them, and slapped on a tag line.

After I had the first piece complete, it was smooth sailing. For the second one of the three, I decided I needed an actual cat in the photo. Ironically enough, I had to use the only cat we have that didn't come from the Anti-Cruelty Society (she came from a rescue), our newest addition Calista (or Cali for short). I had to use Cali because she's the only one of the three that I knew would actually sit still long enough and cooperate for a photograph. I set here in the tent, ran to the living room for a second, and came back to find her already sitting in the perfect spot so I freaked and grabbed the camera and went nuts.

The photos turned out fantastic and was exactly what I needed. A few little level tweaks and I was good to go and ready for the third and final piece. For the last one, I had the idea that I'd use a toy that the cats have. It's this crazy glove thing that you can wear that has all of these different mice attached that they go nuts for. I had Ronay put the glove on and hold a $20 in her hand. I placed a white board underneath her hand (to make editing easier) and snapped the picture. A few quick level tweaks and another tag line later and we're finished!

These, I believe, were being sent to the Anti-Cruelty Society sometime this week. Hopefully I'll hear something back from them and they like them, but if not, then it was still a fun project and I got some really nice portfolio pieces out of it. Definitely something different than some sad-bastard Sara Maclachlan ads, right?

Lastly, one of the most difficult things about this idea, if not the most difficult, was writing an appropriate tag line. Something clever, something catchy, and something coherent. After some failed ideas, I came up with this idea to use words that had more than one meaning. For the first, I chose to use the word "change." I'm playing with the different meanings, because it can mean money and can also mean making a difference. The first tag line was: "Your Change Can Make a Change". For the second, I used the word "kind," since it also has multiple meanings. The line for that one is: "Your Kindness Can Help Another Kind," because I thought it fit best with the picture of Cali. Finally for the third, I used: "Your Hand Can Lend a Helping Hand," using the photo of Ronay's hand in the glove.

There you go! Let me know what you think and thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finished site

Well after weeks being a slave to Adobe and a few days of crazy frustration, my site is finally finished. Thanks to Lindsay and Dave for all the help. I definitely have a better grasp of Dreamweaver now and should have a much easier time on the next site... which should be in just a few weeks since I'm getting ready to start making a site for Ronay and her dolls. We have quite a bit of photos that still need to be taken, but the idea and framework are already finished. Exciting stuff! Please stop by, have a look, and let me know what you think! here it is

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Inspiration!

Ok, so no video update this week but I do have new inspiration to talk about. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Darren Aronofsky's newest masterpiece, Black Swan. I won't go too much into the plot, but it's essentially a remake of Swan Lake, only done Aronofsky-style. He's been my favorite director ever since I saw Requiem for a Dream. I know alot of people hadn't really heard of what he's done until they saw The Wrestler, but I've been a fan for alot longer.

Anyways, the film is hands-down Natalie Portman's best performance. At no point in this film does it feel like she's acting, but rather that she's actually doing exactly what it is she's doing on screen. It's truly amazing to see, especially since you don't see that very often anymore. The film also featured a good performance by Mila Kuniz, an actress I've never been fond of but now am changing my opinion. Unfortunately it did feature another crap performance from Winona Ryder, but eh that's to be expected.

The movie was incredibly epic, made only better by Clint Mansell's score... another individual that I've been a fan of for years. I've been a fan of Mansell's for longer than Aronofsky simply because he used to be in a band I really liked, Pop Will Eat Itself... who were really one of the first industrial bands I kinda got in to. I discovered them after they were signed to Reznor's Nothing label back in the mid-1990s.

So yeah... all in all, it's a must-see for fans of Aronofsky or fans of cinema in general. It has some ultra-sexy scenes in it, but has some crazy memorable disturbing sequences as well... but really, what else would you expect from Aronofsky? It's really kicked up my motivation to get things rolling again with this feature length film we're sitting on, regardless of the casting set-backs. Time to get moving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Not-quite as flashy

Not much to report in terms of the upcoming film. I did hear back from our writer Bob a few days ago, he's still trying to find the right children for the few roles we need filled for the flashback scene. Other than that, not much going on... definitely a long process but we'll get there.

In other news, I'm working to get this new website up and running. My current portfolio site is all done in flash, and while it looks pretty slick, it can't be viewed on portable devices (not until they make a plug-in anyways). When I designed the site I actually didn't think anything about that, but it does make alot of sense since we're in this new, crazy technical world now and nearly everyone (except Baena) has a smart phone. If I'm an employer and I have two possible candidates apply for the same job and wanna check their work out while I'm on the train, I'm already going to have a slight preference for the one I'm able to view on my phone.

So yeah, the new site will be up and operational sometime in December... especially since it's for my portfolio class, which wraps in the middle of next month, kinda have no choice but to finish it, but that's cool with me. I'd rather have a deadline to push me to get it done. I already have the basic layout in mind and have started on it, but it is gonna take a bit to get it all working how I want it to.

One of the sites that really inspired me for my new portfolio site was this one, by an artist/photographer named Francisco Aveledo. I really like the grid system he used for this so I'm going to apply that same technique to my own site. I'm also using the same rotated layout so it's going to look pretty slick when it's finished.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010