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Echoes – Week 12 (Nov 8, 2009)

posted by Matt Ward on Nov 8, 2009.

Echoes: Week 12 – Nov 8, 2009. This is the twelfth 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 a pretty awesome week as far as Echo Enduring is concerned. First, the blog we featured in InspiredMag’s “10 Fresh Blogs for Visual Inspiration – the November Edition” post! It’s always great to see your work featured in roundup posts, so I was pretty thrilled when I found that article.

I also had another tutorial posted over on SpyreStudios. This one basically outlines, in great detail, the process that I used for creating the Crawling Vines pattern, which I also posted this week as an exclusive freebie, available solely to my RSS subscribers. The response to both the tutorial and the freebie has been really great! So thanks to everyone who has read, downloaded or commented!

I also received a very nice email from one of my readers, saying how much he enjoys the content here. I always love hearing from my readers, so please do feel free to drop me a line.

Anyhow, now onto this week’s Echoes!

Logo – Illusoria

This week’s logo is another great example of how to play double entendre with a logo. In this case, we have Illusoria, which clearly has something to do with women’s shoes (I’m not sure if it’s a boutique or a design company, or something else entirely).



Clearly, the mark on this one is meant to have two different impressions. First, there is the shoe – stiletto-styled footwear commonly associated with posh elegance, which and of itself suggests something about the company and the kind of shoes that they sell, design or are otherwise involved with.

Second, the logo also contains the stylized image of a woman, sitting and leaning back on one arm, hair seemingly blowing in the wind. The model-like position also has suggests a connection with the world of fashion, which reinforces the concept of posh elegance, as suggested by type of shoe. Moreover, the reclined position also seems to indicate a certain degree of leisure and relaxation, perhaps suggesting the comfort of Illusoria’s shoes.

Altogether, this logo shouts expensive to me, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Immediately, there is a sense of eliteness surrounding the brand, which can certainly be an effective strategy, depending on what a company is trying to sell and who they are trying to sell it to!

Art – Circle of Orboros

This week’s artwork is another typical fantasy piece, by Andrea Uderzo. I like it primarily on the basis of its composition and use of colour.

Circle of Orboros by Andrea Uderzo

Circle of Orboros by Andrea Uderzo

This piece has a really dramatic feel to it, which I think is achieved, in part, through the use of perspective. The eye line of the viewer is set low, so that everything seems to be looming above them. If you can, imagine this same piece if you were looking straight on. It would really loose a lot of its presence. This is a technique that Uderzo uses frequently. In fact, in browsing his gallery, nearly all of his images use some sort of dramatic point of view, even if it is very subtle.

I also really like the eerie, almost mist-like green light that emanates from the golem. It is exceptionally well rendered, and really gives a strong sense of “earth” magic, which seems to be the overall intention of the piece. The detail on the armour is really great too, and I like the way that the elf woman’s armour clearly matches that of the white wolf. They are obviously connected in some way.

The only thing that remains a mystery is what that these forces of the forest are rushing to attack, or preparing to defend against. Perhaps some evil forest destroying creatures?

Tutorial – Design a Realistic 3D Baseball Cap in Photoshop

I’m actually pretty excited about this week’s tutorial, which you can find on Tutorial9. The tutorial will basically walk you through the steps for creating a realistic looking baseball hat in Photoshop. The timing seems pretty appropriate, what with the World Series having just wrapped up, though with an unfortunate result (not a Yankees fan). The final product is also absolutely stunning!

Design a Realistic 3D Baseball Cap in Photoshop

Design a Realistic 3D Baseball Cap in Photoshop

Like I said, the final product from this tutorial is really great! I’m especially fond of the grungy background! The other great thing about it is, like all of the Tutorial9 Photoshop tutorials (or at least the ones that I have seen), the PSD is available for download, so you can open it up for yourself and really look at how all of the different layers work together!

I would say, however, that this tutorial is not aimed at beginners. The author doesn’t get into a ton of detail in the steps, and a certain level of familiarity with Photoshop certainly seems to be expected. Still, even if you are a beginner, you can always try to follow along as best you can. You could still probably learn a thing or two. Checking out the PSD would probably help too.

Regardless, I think this is a great tutorial and I am looking to carve out a bit of time to give this one a whirl myself! Hope you enjoy it.

Website – The Pixel Blog

I found this week’s site in a recent roundup on Smashing Magazine, and as soon as I did I absolutely knew that it would have to become an Echo! Of all the websites that I have seen over the past while, this is probably one of my absolute favorites, due in part to its creativity and to it’s fantastic and whimsical nature.

The Pixel Blog

The Pixel Blog

Immediately, I am struck by the truly bold colours. I am also drawn to the interesting illustration of cartoonish and caricatured houses built on the top of what ends up being a remarkably tall tree, peaking through the clouds. Also, while you can’t see it in the static preview, above, the windmill is actually a superimposed flash movie, which twirls around and around on a permanent loop. This gives the page some really cool visual interest.

As you scroll down, you will find that the entries in the blog are actually separated from each other my means of branches extending off of the tree. You will also see some nice sidebar widgets, complete with colourful icons, and another little house hanging from a rope.

Then, at the very bottom of the page, the design is completed with an illustration of the rest of the village, planted firmly on the ground, where villages are supposed to be found. Of course, the style of those building also matches the ones a way up in the tree.

I love the originality of this site. It’s so different from anything I have every seen on the web. I also love the fusion of web design with wonderfully rendered illustrations. In fact, the quality of the art on this site is so good that I could almost have featured it as this week’s art too!

So go ahead and visit The Pixel Blog! It’s a treat for the eyes, and pretty fun to navigate through!

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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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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