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Echoes – Week 11 (Nov 1, 2009)

posted by Matt Ward on Nov 1, 2009.

Echoes: Week 11 – Nov 1, 2009. This is the eleventh 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’m back on track this week! Still not feeling in the prime of health, but I am better than I was last week, and Echoes is officially being released on schedule. Now I just hope I don’t have to spend another entire Monday evening in the ER. So far, all indications are that I won’t.

Anyhow, here we are into November already. Feels like 2009 is racing to an end at a breakneck speed. 2010 will be here before we know it, which is crazy and thrilling all at the same time. I should have a couple of client websites launching in the New Year, which is always exciting. There are also a few new opportunities coming up that should kick into high gear starting in January, so I’m stoked about that too!

As for the present, this past week was also exciting since Jon from Spyre Studios officially published Tweevil, the dark twitter bird that I designed as an exclusive freebie for his website. The response has been really great, and I’ve already had the chance to see him used in one blog design! You can see it too over at Spiral Pixel Design. Looks pretty awesome!

But now, let’s get on to this week’s Echoes!

Logo – Mohammad Amiri

This week’s logo comes from fellow designer Mohammad Amiri, based out of Iran. It’s really nothing more than a clever combination of two well recognized symbols from the areas of web design and graphic design.

Mohammad Arimi Logo

Mohammad Arimi Logo

As you can clearly see, the logo effectively combines the mouse pointer and the pencil, on the basis of their shared geometry – namely the triangular shape that exists in both of them. From my perspective, this is extremely clever fusion of two very prominent symbols.

The arrow mouse pointer is widely recognized and used in every major graphical operating system that I know of today. As such, it has become a highly recognizable icon for computers and, by extension, the internet. Similarly, while much graphics design is done digitally these days, the pencil remains a strong and identifiable symbol for the entire graphic design industry.

Since Mohammad positions himself as both a web and graphic designer, his beautifully rendered logo (with it’s simple but bold cell shading) is an exceptional mark that does an excellent job at representing him and what he does!

Art – Abstract Phoenix

This week’s artwork is an incredible illustration by Nick La, the creator of such websites as Web Designer Wall and n.design studio (currently being redesigned). The illustration is called Abstract Phoenix and it absolutely blows my mind.

Abstract Phoenix

Abstract Phoenix

I came across this vector-based piece for the first time about six months ago – maybe a little more. I remember being really astounded at the level of detail it contained, especially given how much of my own work I do in Illustrator. I had sort of half-forgotten about it, until, as I was doing my weekly search for artwork to showcase here, it returned to my mind. I just had to include it.

Really, I don’t know what to say about it, other than the fact that colours are beautiful, the lines are exquisite and the overall energy of the composition is incredible. I especially love the way the strong bold colours of the phoenix itself contrast against the more subdued and pastel-like colours of the background.

I certainly hope that you find this image as beautiful and inspiring as I do. Also, if your interested, Nick has posted an article about the design process behind this one. Personally, I’m always interested to learn more about how other artists work. If you want to read the post, you can check it out over at the Web Designer Wall.

Tutorial – LG LCD Monitor Icon

This week’s tutorial teaches us how to create a glossy monitor icon in Photoshop. Typically, I would recommend using Illustrator for icon design, but the overall effect of this one is very nice, so I thought I would share it.

LG LCD Monitor Icon

LG LCD Monitor Icon

The tutorial is pretty easy to follow, with lots of images and very direct and specific instructions about how to achieve each step. In a sense, though, this is both a benefit and a drawback. If you have a strong understanding of Photoshop and how the various elements work, the instructions should be really easy to follow. However, if you’re not so familiar with the program, the instructions may seem a little sparse, and could perhaps benefit from a bit more explanation.

I also find that there really isn’t anything too Photoshop-specific here and I think that a lot of the ideas and concepts could be easily ported to Illustrator, for vector based icon design. Of course, you would certainly need to have a very strong understanding of Illustrator. For instance, you don’t have the same perspective and distortion controls that exist in Photoshop. Instead, you would have to use different shape controls.

Still, it’s a great tutorial and you should check it out.

Website – Line25 Web Design Blog

Chris Spooner is well known in the design community, primary for his awesome Blog.SpoonGraphics site. However, back in March of this year, Chris launched a second blog, called Line25, which is focused on the subject of web design. It’s also this week’s featured website design!

Line 25 Web Design Blog

Line 25 Web Design Blog

The site has a pretty simple layout, really, but one that works quite well. Obviously, with a name like Line25, it makes sense that the design would be strongly line based. Chris achieves this through the use of two different grid patterns. The main background consists of a slanted grid (maybe about 15 degrees – but that’s just a guess). This achieves a really nice directional contrast against most of the rest of the design, which (with the exception of the slanted title banner) is all vertical and horizontal.

There is also a secondary grid, which can be seen in the sidebar and in the background of the titles of each post, and which contrasts well against the background, both in terms of colour and angle. Also, the RSS, Email Subscription and Twitter icons all make excellent use of the grid concept, which helps them integrate nicely into the design. However, they are also large and prominently placed, so that this integration doesn’t cause them to get lost, which is important!

Beyond these things, Chris has done a great job of selecting his colours, typeface and the spacing his text. Of course, I would expect nothing less from him!

Well that’s it for this week’s Echoes. Which ones were your favorites? 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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Also from Echo Enduring Media:

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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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