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Echoes – Week 1 (Aug 23, 2009)

posted by Matt Ward on Aug 23, 2009.

Echoes: Week 1 – August 23, 2009. This is the first edition of my weekly Echoes posts, in which I feature some of the best work that I have found on the web. Features one logo, one piece of art, one tutorial and one website.

Hey folks, and welcome to the first edition of Echoes, something that I hope will become a weekly occurrence. That’s my hope anyhow. The idea here is for me to share some of the coolest stuff that I have come across on the internet. This is something that a lot of different blogs do, I know, and I think it’s a great idea. It serves a few different purposes. First, it’s a great way to share awesome and inspiring designs and artwork. Second, it’s a way to keep some consistency to my posts. Third, it gives you, the reader, something to look forward to every week. At least, I hope you will look forward to these “echoes”.

I am going to be using a very specific structure for these posts, at least to start. Basically, I am going to share one logo, one painting, one tutorial and one website that I really dig. I will try to offer as much variety as I can, but the fact of the matter is that I have my own unique tastes, so most of the what you see here will probably fit into that.

But enough preamble. Let’s get on to the echoes!

Logo – Pacific Shore Capital

I absolutely love this logo, which I came across a few weeks back while surfing around LogoPond. It was designed by Mel Campbell (aka Alto), of Six17.

Pacific Shore Capital Logo

Pacific Shore Capital Logo

I am really drawn to the simple black and white palette here, which I find quite striking. I also think that the use of the seahorse in the negative space of the “P” mark is both creative and wonderfully executed. Together with the strong but elegant type face, this works together to create a professional logo with just a hint of playfulness. Very nice.

Art – Dawn Patrol

I love griffins. They are one of my favorite mythological/fantasy creatures, and this might be one of the best griffin paintings that I’ve ever seen. The creatures themselves have a definite weight and depth, and look like they really could exist, something that I feel is important in any kind of painting like this, which is clearly trying to blur that line between imagination and reality.

Dawn Patrol by Sandara

Dawn Patrol by Sandara

The creator of this piece is a very talented artist known simply as Sandara. To see more wicked art, check out her profile on deviantArt.

Tutorial – Create a Trendy Galactic Poster Design in Photoshop

There are a number of great tutorials on Blog.Spoon Graphics. In fact, I’ve already written about one of them in my post “Two Useful Design Articles“.  This recent offering is really great.

Create a Trendy Calactic Poster Design in Photoshop

Create a Trendy Calactic Poster Design in Photoshop

As the title of the tutorial clearly suggests, this article demonstrates how to make a really cool looking poster with a space theme. Even more importantly, it will actually teach you several different very useful techniques, including using the Overlay blending mode – which plays a huge role in the overall effect here – and using star brushes to create a really cool “galaxy” look. Great tutorial, so be sure to check it out.

Oh, and you can probably expect to see more tutorials from Blog.Spoon Graphics, too. It’s one of my favorite design sites at the moment, and I often find myself there, either through my feed reader, or through a simple Google search.

Website – PV.M Garage BlogZine

Now here’s a case of liking a site more for its design that for its content. I’m not even sure what language most of this site is written in. I think it must be either Spanish or Italian, because I can see some very strong connections to French, the only language other than English that I can actually speak and read.

PV.M Garage BlogZine

PV.M Garage BlogZine

Regardless, I am pretty fond of the design of this site. It makes wonderful use of an overall paper theme, layering all sorts of different papers to create an interesting overall effect. Most of these elements can be seen in either the header or the footer, which separate them from the bulk of the content itself, which creates a good balance between visual interest and readability.

I’ve never read any specific rule about this, but I’ve always found that this is an effective way to work. The top of the page is always the first thing that readers see, so having a higher degree of visual interest is helpful for drawing the reader in. Then, as they scroll down the page and read the content, a more minimal amount of detail is preferable so as to not distract from the reading experience. Then, at the bottom of the page, you will often want to add in a bit more detail, usually thematically related to what you have in your header, to maintain an overall uniformity of theme. Or, to think of it another way, to create effective design “bookends” around the content. I think this site does this very well, and it’s worth taking a look at.

So there you have it – the first edition of my weekly Echoes. I’ll be back next week with some more cool stuff.

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About the Author

Matt Ward is a digital artist who lances freely under the moniker of Echo Enduring Media, and specializes in graphics design, illustration and writing. He is also the Creative Director for Highland Marketing, a creative direct marketing company based out of Waterloo, Ontario. You can follow Matt on Twitter

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Oct 27, 2009

Mel Campbell says:

Thanks for featuring my logo. It is always great to hear other people’s take on my designs. Cheers!

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