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Echoes – Week 4 (Sep 13, 2009)

posted by Matt Ward on Sep 13, 2009.

Echoes: Week 4 – September 13, 2009. This is the fourth 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.

I’ve been busily designing this week. I’m hard at work on a project involving the design of five different logos. I think I’ve pretty much wrapped up that part of the project, but it was a unique experience. Because they were all for the same client, and all part of the same basic group, I tried to create a sense of continuity, while still creating a completely unique look for each logo. I think I’ve pretty much wrapped that part of the project up, though, and this coming week I will be moving on to some other elements.

If you haven’t heard yet, I also had my first Photoshop tutorial posted over at Spyre Studios, which was cool for me. If you’ve found your way to my blog because of that site, welcome. I hope you’ll stick around, and consider subscribing to my feed. For those following me on my journey to the 100-100-100 mark, I’ve also seen increases in subscribers and twitter followers. Traffic here also spiked out at well over 100 hits, thanks to the popularity of my 9 Wickedly Free Heraldry Vectors post.

Not a bad week, really. Now, on to the Echoes!

Logo – Lost Symbol

One of the logos concepts that I have been working on this week made use of wings, so I was surfing around LogoPond for a bit of inspiration. That’s when I came across this cool looking logo.

Lost Symbol

Lost Symbol

I really like this one. Part of it clearly has to do with my love of fantasy, and the fact that the mark looks a great deal like a dragon or some other mythical winged beast. That on it’s own at least starts it on its way too coolness, in my view. Of course, that on it’s own is not enough to make a good logo. This one works for me because of its clean lines, which would translate perfectly into simple black and white. I also love the type selection, which has that sort of ancient feel, like something I would associate with the myth of Atlantis, which plays right into the “lost” part of the logo name.

Some of the criticisms of this logo center around the use of white space, and the empty space beneath the dragon symbol, on the right. I can agree that it does create a certain level of imbalance in the logo, but I don’t think that his necessarily takes away from the effect. It creates a sense of dynamic, as though there is something missing, which again plays right into the “lost” idea.

Art – Alice in Wonderland: Hatter

I’m a huge fan of interesting re-imaginings of old stories. I’m an especially big fan of such re-imaginings of Alice in Wonderland, many of which are especially interesting and creative. With Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland due out in March of 2010, I expect there to be a major increase in depictions of the adventures of Alice and various other associated characters, such as the good old Mad Hatter. Here is a really cool example.

Alice in Wonderland: Hatter

Alice in Wonderland: Hatter

Clearly, the overall feel of this particular image is very dark. The hatter’s skin has an inhuman palour to it, giving the impression of some sort of vampiric or otherworldly power at work. His coat, sharp collar, frilly cuffs, fingerless gloves and low sitting hat all work with the subdue, purplish tones to create a powerfully Gothic feel to the piece. Of course, we have a bunch of classic Hatter/Wonderland paraphernalia here. We have the card in the hat, the tea pot, and the theme of playing cards running through the piece. Additionally, the little yellow smiley face adds a sense of dark humour. It also makes a sort of weird allusion to the Watchmen, though I can’t tell if that’s on purpose or not. If it was intentional, I wonder what this says about the artist’s perceived connection between the Hatter and the Comedian?

Tutorial – A Cool Lighting Effect in Photoshop

This tutorial clearly plays on the whole Apple and Mac theme, but the final product is pretty darned cool and really worth checking out.

A Cool Lighting Effect in Photoshop Tutorial

A Cool Lighting Effect in Photoshop Tutorial

There’s not a ton of editorial in this tutorial, so make sure you follow along on the screen shots too, which is where you will find most of the parameters for your various dialogue boxes. Like most lighting effects tutorials deals a lot with various blending modes. It also uses a variety of layer styles. Other than that there’s not much else to say – the tutorial really speaks for itself. The only thing to note is that the tutorial is actually written by Fabio from Abduzeedo, an awesome design site that you should be sure to check out if you’ve never been there before.

Webuute – Lebloe.com

This is the website of Montreal based designer, Gustavo Rodriguez. The site functions primary as an online of Rodriguez’s impressive work, which is certainly worth checking out. However, I am more interested in it because of it’s unique and beautiful design.



The design uses a primary blue colour palette, with a bit of pink, purple and yellow as accents. These colours are combined, somewhat organically, with some very strong textures to create a beautiful and interesting effect for the header of the site. This is compounded by several planet-like shapes, a trio of very colourful kites and a tiny little bird, apparently sitting on what appear to be abstracted telephone wires (or maybe a clothes line). These lines then merge quite nicely with the page title, helping to create a very nicely unified design.

The blog doesn’t appear to have been update in a few months, so I hope that Rodriguez is just on a bit of hiatus, and that such a beautifully designed site doesn’t become another inactive internet relic. I’ve also found that some of the websites in that part of his portfolio don’t seem to load. I think that this is because when you click on a thumbnail, the sites in question are actually loaded in an iFrame. It’s an interesting technique, in that it allows visitors to navigate the sites he’s designed, without ever leaving lebole.com. The biggest problem, though, is that this makes his portfolio vulnerable to sites that have been taken down, which will no longer load.

Well that’s it for this week’s Echoes. Which ones were your favoirtes? As always, if you know of any designs, tutorials or art that merits being included in a future post, feel free to let me know about it!

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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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