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Echoes – Week 5 (Sep 20, 2009)

posted by Matt Ward on Sep 20, 2009.

Echoes: Week 5 – September 20, 2009. This is the fifth 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.

This has been one of those weird weeks, where you feel like you’ve done an absolute ton of work, but somehow I don’t seem to have accomplished a lot, at least not on a tangible level. I finished of a bit of this, did a bit of work on that. Of course, now that we’re into the unofficial start of the fall season, I find that things start picking up in my personal life, too. And with a bunch of different design related gigs on the horizon, it’s probably going to be busier than ever.

I also posted my first comment to win type contest this week. Basically, I am giving away a free, custom designed vector pack to one luck winner. Be sure to check it out, and enter to win. All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and add a comment.

Anyhow, on to this week’s Echoes. Hope you enjoy!

Logo – Bowling Shoe

I actually came across this logo when I was doing a bit of research for last week’s post and I immediately knew that I had to write about this one. It may be incredibly simple, but I think it’s also extremely effective.

Bowling Shoe Logo by Greg

Bowling Shoe Logo by Greg

Its a prime example of using the concept of the double entendre from a visual sense. I’m sure I don’t have to explain, but just in case, if you look at the mark one way, it is clearly a shoe print. In fact, I would guess that that is what the vast majority of people see first. However, it doesn’t take much to shift our brains and actually see that the mark also has the shape of a fallen bowling pin, complete with the two traditional stripes. The doubling of the shape, while perhaps not a stroke of genius, is nevertheless extremely clever, and worthy of being showcased.

Of course, I should note that this logo was created by the designer for fun, and is not actually a client work. This isn’t a huge deal, but somehow it always seems just a little bit easier to create clever logos when you’re just making them up for your own purposes and not really trying to solve a client’s branding problem. But that’s a whole other kettle of fish, which I may get into some other time.

Art – Dance in the Robe of Horizons

I wanted to bring you all something a little different for the art this week, something that doesn’t necessarily fall into the typical fantasy art that I am so typically drawn to. Trust me, you will be getting a lot of that as these posts continue. So, I went hunting through deviantArt, and came across this interesting piece.

Dance in the Robe of Horizons

Dance in the Robe of Horizons by Versatis

I like the feel of this one. I don’t know if it’s the subdued and cold colours or the somewhat unfocused, but still contained energy of the piece. I really like this disconnection of the legs though. Severed as they are by the composition, they become prototypical and symbolic, the legs of Every Man, or in this case, Every Woman.

Like most abstract and/or surrealist paintings (and I feel that this one has a bit of both), there are probably more interpretations than we could even begin to explore. I don’t want to get into anything like that right now. I just wanted to highlight this particular piece for its awesome composition and energy. I don’t know what it is, but I really dig that abstract surrealist fusion.

Tutorial – Creating a Crazy Cool Logo

Despite the title of this week’s featured tutorial, the article is really more about typography than about logos. The tutorial is posted on the massively popular Abduzeedo (which, I promise you, I will never learn to spell), and basically explains how to use Adobe Illustrator to create some really cool looking text, which in this case, forms the basis of a logo.

Creating a Crazy Cool Logo

Creating a Crazy Cool Logo

One thing that this tutorial doesn’t do, which most others tend to, is to provide a preview of the final design at the beginning. Thus, because my little page preview image doesn’t actually show you what the tutorial will teach you to make, I have also included an image of the finalized design.

Here is the final logo design

Here is the final logo design

Basically, the tutorial shows you how to start with a basic circle and then, through  eplication, deletion and modification, build up the shapes of the letters, as you see here. It’s a cool little tutorial that can be a real inspiration for those designers looking to create a custom typeface!

A couple things to note, though. First, the tutorial really does assume a certain level of knowledge when it comes to working with Illustrator. There is not a ton of explanatory commentary and if you’re an Illustrator novice, it would certainly be easy to get lost in some of the assumed steps. In fact, this is a criticism that exists in some of the comments.

Another thing to note is that this is not necessarily the greatest technique for creating the text for a logo. The letters look super cool, with a really trendy and modern feel that I totally love. However, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to read. In fact, I had to look to the copy to see exactly what the word was (Zagora). So, while this would be a great effect on a poster or something similar, it might be just a little bit too stylized to work as an effective logo.

Still, I like this article, and if you are reasonably competent in Illustrator and are looking for a simple technique for creating some really wicked lettering, be sure to check this one out!

Website – Emotions Freelance Portfolio

There are a great many different portfolio sites out there, many created by some extremely talented designers. In the many hours that I have spent browsing such sites, one of the things that I’ve found many of the most successful to having in common is a certain degree of simplicity. This week’s featured website is a great example of this.

emotions love

Emotions Freelance Portfolio

This is an example of purpose helping to dictate form. The point of this site is simply to act as an online portfolio of work done by the designer (who identifies himself simply as Mike). There is need for any real extraneous information, so things remain really sparse. A simple green gradient acts as a soft and attractive background. Thumbnails are arranged into a basic three column grid for simple arrangement. Site copy is kept to an absolute minimum, letting the works speak for themselves, while the prominently featured and brightly stockinged leg adds a certain degree of visual interest and mystery to the design.

Interestingly, between this site, the Bowling Shoe logo and the featured artwork, I seem to have a leg/foot theme going in this post… That wasn’t intentional at all.

Anyhow, I really feel that this design works particularly well. The simplicity gives it an elegant look, and as I’ve already mentioned, really lets the works speak for themselves. Of course, it’s just one way of doing a portfolio site, but if you are going to be creating or redesigning your own, this is a great site to get some inspiration.

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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