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Echoes – Week 13 (Nov 16, 2009)

posted by Matt Ward on Nov 16, 2009.

Echoes: Week 13 – Nov 16, 2009. This is the thirteenth 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 feel like I am saying this every week these days, and that I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but it’s been another good week on the Echo Enduring Blog! Stats are up right across the board, so thanks to everyone who visited! And a special thanks to everyone who subscribed! It’s great to see my Feedburner count slowly creeping up these days!

I’ve also decided to shift Echoes from Sundays to Mondays! I’m doing this so that I don’t feel quite so rushed putting these posts together on Sundays. This in turn will free up a bit of time at the end of each week and allow me to spend some more time with my lovely family! I am also toying with the idea of having a some guest posts on the Echo Enduring Blog, so hit me up if you think you’d be interested in something like that!

So, with that in mind, let’s get to this week’s Echoes!

Logo – Bounce

This week’s logo comes from artist Doug Cloud, who I’ve actually exchanged a few emails this week! It’s a really simple design, which clearly communicates the concept behind the name!

bounce logo by Doug Cloud

bounce logo by Doug Cloud

It’s kind of like a visual form of onomatopoeia, wherein a word actually sounds like what it is describing. Words like buzz, snap or even roar. In this case, the logo actually mimics it’s name, by having the appropriately ball shaped o appear to bounce, complete with motion lines.

I also like the way that the typeface reflects the idea of a bouncing ball, with the rounded corners on the letters. Though subtle, I find that it helps to tie the entire design together!

I really enjoy the simplicity of this one. It presents the name in a basic way, uncomplicated by efforts at cleverness or more advanced design techniques! Very nicely done!

Art – A Soul’s Silhouette

This week’s art is a totally awesome piece which really stuck me when I first saw it! I’ve always been a sucker for angelic type characters – as long as they are not Cupid like cheribums in cloth diapers and sporting little gold harps. I especially like black wings. There’s just something that reminiscent of the human condition.

A Soul's Silhouette

A Soul's Silhouette

This is a really great looking angel illustration. It is beautifully rendered, and the detail is really nice, though it is worked enough that it looks more like a digital painting than an actual photo manipulation. The skin tones are extremely smooth, which I think works really well in a fantasy piece. Also, there is a wonderful amount of detail in the hair and the feathers on the wings!

Technical aspects aside, though, what I probably like the most about this image it’s self-reflexivity… Sorry, geeked out there a bit. Basically, what I mean is the fact that the illustration draws attention to itself as an illustration by means of it’s subject matter. The angel figure appears to me emerging out of a drawing on the cracked wall (or perhaps the wall is cracking because she is emerging). This, in turn, has implications of art coming to life, which in again suggests something about the larger illustration.

It’s all very cyclical and multi-layered and I totally dig that sort of thing. I’ve seen similar techniques used in a lot of great art!

Tutorial – How to Create a Grunge Web Design in Photoshop

This week’s tutorial is yet another great tutorial about how to create a wicked website design in Photoshop! This particular tutorial shows you how to make a really awesome grunge-based layout.

How to Create a Grunge Web Design in Photoshop

How to Create a Grunge Web Design in Photoshop

Obviously, one of the things that I really like about this particular tutorial is the final product. It looks great, and makes really good use of the concept of grunge design, to create a layout that is really rough and organic looking, and seems to break up the traditional boxiness of the web (though that, of course, is merely an illusion).

Another great quality is that, while this is a fairly long and in-depth article, there is nothing particularly complicated about it. Most of the techniques are simple enough that, if you are reasonably experienced with Photoshop, you should be able to follow along easily enough. There’s a lot of fine brushwork, some not-so-fine brush work, blending mode techniques and use of stock photos, just to name some of the stuff that you will find here.

All told, it really illustrates a fundamental concept that I am finding to me increasingly true the longer I work with Photoshop and its sister applications. There really aren’t all that many difficult or challenging techniques. It’s mostly just a matter of using a whole bunch of pretty straightforward tools, occasionally with a slight tweak or adjustment. The real trick comes in learning how to combine these different techniques to create a really rocking design or layout.

I think that, among other things, this is something that this tutorial does very well!

Website – Senya Studios

Another thing that I’ve always found really interesting is something which I have only recently heard labeled as “steam punk”. I’m not really sure how I feel about this term, since it seems like a bastardization of “cyber punk”, which is in turn somewhat of a bastardization of punk itself… Regardless, it’s all about old sort of steam and clockwork technologies, usually in a fantastic way that actually stretches beyond the capabilities of those technologies. The movie Wild Wild West is one example that springs immediately to mind!

Well, this week’s featured website – Senya Studios – actually makes really great use of this sort of imagery!

Senya Studios

Senya Studios

The header of this page contains all sorts of interesting looking mechanical devices, none of which I understand at all, and which I have a sneaking suspicion may have been entirely contrived from a variety of spare parts, via the magic of stock photography and Photoshop. If it is, the creation is quite masterfully executed and it’s almost impossible to see any seams.

In addition to the “steam punk” machinery, the website also uses other elements to suggest the concept of antiquity, such as the wooden plaque, the grungy textures in the background and on the parchment looking page that actually holds the content. It also has some really nice detail in the footer (and was actually included in my 25 Creative Website Footers post from this past week).

I’m also a big fan of the font they chose for the headings and the site title. I feel like I should know this font, as it seems so familiar to me, but I just can’t place it at the moment. Still, I think it works remarkably well, and really fits in nicely with the design. Overall, it’s a really great site!

Well that’s it for this week’s Echoes. Hopefully the switch to Mondays will work for everyone! As for this week, 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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Feb 4, 2010

Dante says:

Site title font should be familiar to You if You’ve ever played Thief or Thief 2 from Looking Glass Studios ;]

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