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Echoes – Week 18 (Jan 11, 2010)

posted by Matt Ward on Jan 11, 2010.

Echoes: Week 18 – Jan 11 2010. This is the eighteenth 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.

If you thought that I had stopped writing my weekly Echoes posts, rest assured that you can think again. Things kind of ground to a half in this regard over the holidays, but now we’re back in full swing so here we are with another Echoes post, with a whole new series image for 2010!

Things have been kind of crazy around here the past little while too. Some of you may know that I have been doing some design projects for MediaLoot recently. I’ve also been contacted by several different sources about possibly writing guest posts for some pretty awesome blogs. It’s cool, but it means that I have an absolute ton of articles in the works right now.

The redesign of the Echo Enduring Blog is going to be coming one of these days too. Seriously. I promise.

Anyhow, on to the first Echoes of 2010!

Logo – Liga Podarkov

Obviously, I really like this week’s logo (otherwise it wouldn’t be included, now would it?), but I do have to confess that I have absolutely no idea what the type actually says. I think it’s Greek, based on the shape of the letters and the apparent translation into the title Liga Podrakov. Of course, I’m not overly familiar with anything other than the good old Latin alphabet that we English speaking folks adopted years and years ago, so I could be totally wrong.

Anyhow, here is the logo in question:

Liga Podarkov

Liga Podarkov

There are three things that I love about this logo. First, is the colour. The magenta, orange and green fight against each other to a certain extent, thereby creating a strong sense of visual energy in the design. However, by the same token they don’t fight so much as to make the entire thing appear ugly or ill conceived. Instead, it seems to have what I might call a kind of aggressive harmony.

Second, I love the splatter hand. It suggests creativity and a kind of hands on craftsmanship, all of which appears completely unbound by convention or a need for order. This is, of course, somewhat offset by the clean and classical lines of the cutaway and of the typeface itself, which helps tame the logo somewhat and give it a clearer focus.

Third, I actually love that I don’t know that it says. Obviously, this is bad for branding and I’m sure that the customers and clientele of the company in question can read the words just fine. It affords an interesting opportunity for a different perspective, however, since it all but forces us to look at the type as more of a design element and less as a readable words. I wonder how that changes our perspective on the logo?

Art – Nazgul

As many of you probably know, I’m a big fantasy fan. Thought it does not necessarily follow that I would also be a big Lord of the Rings fan, I am also that. I was in my first year of university when the first of Peter Jackson’s cinematic representations hit the big screen, and I remember being totally dazzled by the film (even though there were some significant changes to the plot). This week’s artwork is a Lord of the Rings piece, in the Jackson tradition.

Nazgul

Nazgul

In terms of the appearance and design of the Ringwraith himself, it definitely looks like something right out of the movie trilogy, with the same cloak and sword and general ominous creepiness. However, this piece has a dramatically different sort of lighting, which I really dig. There are a lot of lighter colours (I hesitate to say bright, since the piece still has a very dreary feel to it), which makes the entire scene appear as though the it is happening on a cold, moonlit winter’s night.

I think that a lot of the effect that we see here is a direct result of the watercolour medium, and possibly not wanting to overwork the piece (which has happened to me before). This particular form of painting does tends to allow much more of the paper to shine through than something like oil painting, which I think is something that was utilized exceptionally well here.

It’s also nice to see fantasy art done in a non-digital medium. I know that there are lots of fantasy artists out there working traditionally, but sometimes it does start to seem as though the vast majority of the products in the genre are done with either Photoshop, Painter, 3D modeling or a combination. So, it’s refreshing to see a splendidly executed watercolour painting!

Tutorial – How to Create a Cute Vector Bear T-Shirt Design

Chris Spooner is a master at creating cute and cuddly looking vector characters, such as his famous furry vector monsters, and more recently his premium Jungle Animals vector pack. Recently, he published another great tutorial to Blog.SpoonGraphics, outlining a simple process for creating your own cute bear illustration, using nothing more than some simple shapes. He does it all within the context of designing a t-shirt.

 How to Create a Cute Vector Bear T-Shirt Design

How to Create a Cute Vector Bear T-Shirt Design

What I really like about this tutorial, and what I think makes it both accessible and valuable, is that the cartoon bear character is created using only really simple geometric shapes as the foundational building blocks. Clearly, this isn’t an appropriate design technique in all instances, but it does make the tutorial really helpful for beginners, who can follow along and create something simple and attractive while learning a few things along the way.

It might also remind some more experienced designers and illustrators that things don’t always have to be super complex.

There’s not really much more to say about this tutorial, other the fact that it’s another great article by Chris. Be sure to check it out!

Website – DavidG.ro Creative Thoughts

I just came across this website for the first time today, and was really struck by the design, which incorporates some wicked hand-drawn (vector?) floral elements, with really nice textures and a simple but elegant colour scheme.

DavidG.ro - Creatve Thoughts

DavidG.ro Creatve Thoughts

The bold floral elements at the top of the page look really awesome and remind me of some of the work that GoMedia has done for their Arsenal collection. They also mix really well with the textured background to create an extremely attractive and symmetrical frame for the top of the page.

The grunginess at the top of the page also contrasts quite starkly with the very clean and streamlined design that we see prevailing throughout the rest of the design. This kind of juxtaposition can, sometimes, be somewhat risky, since it can lead to a design that feels disjointed or ununified, but I feel that this site pulls it off rather nicely.

It’s also worth checking out David’s portfolio. He has done some really beautiful and inspirational work that I really enjoyed browsing through!

Well that’s it for this week’s Echoes. I’m glad to be back on track with these posts. 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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