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Echoes – Week 7 (Oct 4, 2009)

posted by Matt Ward on Oct 4, 2009.

Echoes: Week 7 – October 4, 2009. This is the seventh 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 guys. It’s been a really great week on the blog front. I’ve seen massive increases in general traffic, and significant bumps in RSS subscribers and Twitter followers. All of this means that I am moving steadily towards achieving the publicly stated goal that I wrote about in my 100-100-100 Mark post.

Currently, I’m in the process of making a few tweaks to the design of the blog, which should come live later this week! My hope is that these changes will make it easier for you to share the content you find here and increase exposure.

I should also have some new material added to my portfolio this week, so keep an eye out for that, too! Now on to the Echoes!

Logo – Storyland Pictures

This week’s logo actually didn’t come from LogoPond. Crazy, I know. I actually found this one on The Design Inspiration blog (though I did find it on LogoPond, later). This one is apparently done for a film production company, though a somewhat cursory Google search didn’t really bring up anything other than different logo sites featuring this same piece (and another, completely different logo with the same name).

Storyland Pictures

Storyland Pictures

Maybe the production company has since gone out of business, as production companies are known to do. Regardless, I still love this logo. The really clean and simple lines of the mark and the strong, bold typeface both work to create a really classic feel. On the other hand, the simple gradient adds a kind of modern feel which really recalls the whole Apple/Web 2.0 trend.

It also has a visual connection to another popular trend: heraldry. This is achieved primarily through the way that the unicorn is rendered. You could easily take the unicorn itself, double it up and place them on either side of a cool looking shield, and be left with the beginnings of a really cool heraldry graphic.

I think that all of these features work really well together to create an effective and somewhat timeless logo.

Art – Beauty Before Death

It seems to be a theme over the past several installments of Echoes that the art I showcase is some sort of re-imagining of a traditional cultural character (or characters). First it was the Mad Hatter. Last week, it was the crew from Oz. This week we’re looking at a wonderfully rendered image of Medusa! Don’t worry. You won’t turn to stone!

Beauty Before Death by Alice Z and Enkel Dika

Beauty Before Death by Alice Z and Enkel Dika

I like this interpretation. Most artistic renditions of Medusa actually have the snakes growing right out of her head, like thick serpentine strands of hair. This interpretation takes a bit of a different twist, with long locks of actual hair that actually end in snake heads. I’m not sure how that work in the real world, but this is fantasy we’re talking about here.

I also really like the colouring here, and the mix of hues, in a very watercolour inspired manner. Again, the colours don’t really add to any sense of realism, but certainly helps evoke a sense of the fantastic. I also find it interesting the way Medusa here has an almost Geisha type face.

If you dig this piece of art, it is also available as a T-Shirt from Threadless. Currently, they seem to be sold out of most of the sizes, but they may very well do another run at some point.

Tutorial – Create a 3D Glossy Box Logo in Photoshop

This week’s tutorial will show you how to create one of those cool glossy looking boxes in Photoshop, with some interesting lighting effects added in for extra coolness. The tutorial is actually relatively short, which is great because the final results are really stunning!

Create a 3D Glossy Box Logo in Photoshop

Create a 3D Glossy Box Logo in Photoshop

This is a great technique to have in your skill set, since these kinds of graphics are really trendy these days, especially on websites and with technology related design. This tutorial demonstrates just how simple these kind of effects really are to achieve. It’s really just a matter of a few simple steps.

One thing that the tutorial does say about the textual portion of the design is that you cannot apply a perspective distortion to a block of text. This is true. The tutorial’s proposed solution is to rasterize the type, which will work fine if you are only creating one logo. But what if you want to create a set of similar looking icons, the way Adobe does with their Creative Suite?

A better solution is to use Smart Objects. Create your text in the same way that the tutorial suggests, but instead of rasterizing the type, convert it to a Smart Object. You will be able to manipulate it exactly the same way the tutorial explains, with the added bonus that you can now open up the Smart Object and change the text whenever you want. When you save the Smart Object file, the changes will be reflected in your Photoshop document.

Website – Zaum & Brown

This week’s website is the online presence of Zaum & Brown, a design company based out of Norwich, UK. Their primary market is working with various artists, mostly in the music business. They do websites, custom MySpace layouts, CD jackets and just general band-related artwork.

Zaum & Brown

Zaum & Brown

What I really like about this website is that it has a really cool fluid layout. It uses a variety of different blocks – seemingly containing information about their different clients and projects – all arranged across the page. It looks cool all on its own, but try resizing your browser display. You can do by changing the size of the window or by zooming in and out (if your browser supports that functionality). Watch as the various blocks actually realign themselves in order to fit your view!

It’s a totally awesome effect, for those who actually take the time to change the browser size. More importantly, though, it actually allows the site to shift and conform to the size of the browser window. This means that the site is going to render well on a wide range of displays and devices.

The site’s primary design is also based on a shifting grid, which is important, because it helps to align everything properly. As the size of the window is determined or shifted, everything pops into place based on the grid. A smaller display has a smaller number of columns and vice versa.

It probably also helps that the black and grey design has a simple but beautiful elegance that makes this one of the coolest web experiences that I’ve had in some time. Well done to the guys over at Zaum & Brown! I am probably going to have to sit down and figure out how this one works!

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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Nov 20, 2009

myspace 2.0 layouts says:

I really liked your well-done blog! The info you provide is well-done ! I think im gonna stick around and read about 5 of your posts. See ya

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