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Echoes – Week 6 (Sep 27, 2009)

posted by Matt Ward on Sep 27, 2009.

Echoes: Week 6 – September 27, 2009. This is the sixth 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.

So here were are again, back with another edition of Echoes. It’s been another interesting week. I received another inquiry for some design work on a project that I am totally stoked about. Of course, since the project is “hush hush” right now, I can’t say much more than that, but I’m super excited about the opportunity.

With that, though, I would have to say I’m getting pretty close to being booked up until the New Year. I have a number of different design commitments, and I’m getting to the point where I’m not sure just how much more I could take on. Still, if you’re interested, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

I also saw some fairly significant spikes in traffic earlier in the week, thanks in part to Jon Phillips over at Spyre Studios, who really pushed my Custom Vector Pack Giveaway on a bunch of social media. That was a huge bonus for me. Thanks for spreading the word Jon!

Well that pretty much wraps up the events of the week. Now on to the Echoes.

Logo – Focusedata

This week’s logo has a really cool, if somewhat creepy mark. Here we have a man in a suit holding up a massive magnifying glass in front of his face. The round lens itself doubles as both eye and an oversized head, turning the business man into a kind of cyclops.

Focusedata logo

Focusedata logo

Yes, with that oversized eye, this logo is perhaps somewhat bizarre., but I think that’s part of what makes it effective. The logo is certainly memorable, and that’s something that everyone is looking for in terms of their branding. It also works well in a single colour, which is always key to a successful logo design.

While I really like the mark, though, I’m not completely sold on the name. It’s not a bad, and I certainly feel that the typeface itself works. There’s just something lacking for me. Ironically, I get the sense that the name actually seems somewhat unfocused. I get no real sense of what the company would do. And what does the magnifying glass have to do with data? Does the company focus on data analysis? How do they focus data?

Of course, this is yet another one of those logos that was developed based on a concept rather than on an actual company. It is for sale at BrandStack if you are interested in purchasing it. I’m sure you could probably work out something where you change the name a bit too, which would probably be a good idea. I think that, a more focused name, this logo could be really, really great!

Art – Oz

Two weeks ago, in Echoes 4, I featured a really interesting rethinking of Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter character. I also talked about how I am very interested in these kinds of reimaginings of traditional cultural characters. This week, I am bringing you another such work, this time featuring the main characters from the Wizard of Oz – Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion.

Oz by Tyshea

Oz by Nafisah Tung

I actually come across this drawing through Charlie Parker’s lines and colors blog, which in turn sent me to a post on The Design Inspiration blog, which features 25 really interesting and different interpretations of these four iconic characters. That post is really worth checking out, so have a look.

This particular piece is my favorite the bunch. One of the things that I like is the fact that the Scarecrow actually reminds me a lot of the Batman villain of the same name (I’m a big fan of the Bat). Even more, though, I really like the way Nafisah has worked in the four card suits into the four characters. Notice the clubs on Dorothy, the diamond on the Scarecrow, the heart on the Tin Man and the spade on the Lion. This is a really cool spin and, interestingly, raises some allusions with Alice on Wonderland.

Both stories feature young girls who are transported to fantastic worlds, filled with colourful and memorable characters. It makes me wonder – what would happen if Dorothy’s and Alice’s worlds collided… an interesting premise, and one that will certainly be giving some more thought to.

Tutorial – Comic Book Style Graphic Design

This week’s tutorial comes from the guys over at GoMedia, and can be found on their blog – the GoMedia Zine. Titled “Comic Book Style Graphic Design“, it basically outlines the steps that the author would take when creating a really wicked comic book style poster.

Comic Book Style Graphic Design

Comic Book Style Graphic Design

This tutorial is a bit more of a workflow outline than a detailed step by step tutorial. It basically outlines some very generalized steps that you can that it takes to move from concept sketches through to a completed design. I really dig the fact that it starts with a really traditional method, using a good old fashioned pencil and paper to draw the design’s main character. It’s a really great demonstration of the classic form.

I also really like some of the words of encouragement that William Beachy has for artists. He basically compares drawing to baseball (which I love to begin with), writing:

I like to make an analogy between a good batter in baseball and a good illustrator. A great batting average for the major leagues is “.300.” This batting average means that they get 3 hits out of ten, or get a hit 30 percent of the time. I think that this is a reasonable expectation for an artist to have as well. If I can get 3 decent drawings out of ten attempts – I feel fairly good about myself.

I’d never really thought about it this way before, but as an artist that’s a really encouraging way to think about it. Obviously, Beachy is very talented, and if someone of his skill level is happy with three decent drawings out of ten, then maybe I don’t have to worry about trying to make every drawing perfect.

Website – Tony Chester Website

This is a really cool design concept for a personal website. It really just cuts out all of the excesses and gets straight to the point: this is me, this is what I do and this is how to contact me.

Tony Chester's Personal Site

Tony Chester's Personal Site

I like the simplicity of this site. It really just presents the basics. There is a short bio about who Tony is, a form to contact him (click the contact me link) and then links to all of his various social media. In terms of content that’s pretty much it (aside from a short list of projects that he is involved in). The rest of the site is all just a picture of him, looking pretty suave and set against a sepia toned city background.

This is a really cool way of doing a personal site that doesn’t really involve too much in the way of content. The layout really features the subject of the site very prominently, so that there is no doubt as to what the purpose really is. The background also works to create personality. I don’t know Tony at all, but just from looking at this site, I get the impression that he is hip and urban, but with a somewhat traditional aesthetic. Moreover, I see all of this before even reading a single word on the site itself. All of this information is conveyed in the power of the imagery itself.

It may be cliched to say that an image is worth a thousand words, but this is a great example of how true this can be, and how to effectively make use of this power in design.

Well that’s another edition of Echoes wrapped up! What were your favorite parts this week? I’m looking at doing another themed installment soon, so toss me your ideas people. I’d love to hear them!

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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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Sep 28, 2009

Tony Chester says:

Wow — thanks for such a great write up about my website! Very cool indeed ;-)

Tony Chester

Sep 28, 2009

Matt Ward says:

No problem Tony! Keep up the great and inspiring design work!

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