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Echoes – Week 20 (Jan 25, 2010)

posted by Matt Ward on Jan 25, 2010.

Echoes: Week 20 – Jan 25 2010. This is the twentieth 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.

Well it’s been another good week on the Echo Enduring Blog! I’ve saw a nice spike in traffic, and my “If Photoshop Was Batman, Illustrator Would Be…” post continues to seem some really solid attention. It was even tweeted by some pretty big players, which was sweet. I also posted about some of the things that I am doing in support of the relief efforts in Haiti. Please take a moment to read my post.

I also launched a client website that has been in the works for some time now. It’s for an organization called Partners With Purpose, and the launch of the site couldn’t be more relevant, since PWP (as they call themselves) are a mission to Haiti. Please do take a moment to visit the site. I’d appreciate any feedback!

Also, I had another article published over on MyInkBlog. This one is the first in a two part series that looks at the use of channels in Photoshop – particularly as an extraction tool. Please feel free have a read!

Now, on to this week’s Echoes!

Logo – Yodaa

This week’s logo is a ton of fun. It is a strictly typographical piece, but showcases how such a design can still be creative, unique and even a little funky.



This one has that sort of retro-classical feel to it, along the lines of something like Koodo (whose commercials and posters I hate, but whose logo I love). Yodaa even has a similar kind of name. Like the Koodo logo, the basis of the letters themselves are actually thick chunky circles, which is what gives it that kind of retro feel.

It also provides the logo with a truly nice sense of unity, which is maintained by a constant thickness to the strokes of the letters themselves, and the tiny little circular cut out that exists in every single letter. Additionally, the horizontal positioning of the letters also adds unity, by lining all of the circles up on the same plane. It also makes for a nice little spot to put the tagline.

The shadow effect is a nice little touch, too, giving the logo a sense of depth and dimensionality. It could easily be used in most of the branding materials, but the effect of the logo does not depend on it. The mark could be flattened into a single colour and the logo would still be recognizable and effective.

Art – The Ice Giant Cometh

Run for the hills! In this week’s artwork features a big, mean looking ice giant, and he’s coming for you! I certainly wouldn’t want him to catch me!

The Ice Giant Cometh

The Ice Giant Cometh

This is probably one of the coolest imaginings of an ice giant that I have ever seen. Most of giants that I remember from the various fantasy images that I have seen throughout the years have been little more than massively magnified Norsemen and Vikings, perhaps with white hair or frosty blue skin. This giant, however, appears vastly more ominous. Instead of being someone who lives in a land of ice, this hulking behemoth actually appears to be made out of ice, or at least to have a remarkable degree of control over it.

It has a striking, elemental feel to it.

Moreover, it is incredibly well rendered. The level of texture across the giant’s body is really amazing, while the cold, hard lines of his face give him a really mean look. I am also particularly fond of that evanescent, blue glow that really completes the image and gives the giant a truly supernatural air.

I actually cropped this one down a bit, since the original dimensions made it quite wide. So, be sure to go and check out the original, which has a somewhat different feel, based simply on it’s much wider shape.

Tutorial – Building Custom WordPress Theme

In this 18 step tutorial, web designer Nick La takes us through the process of how to transform a simple HTML template into a basic WordPress theme.

Building Custom WordPress Theme

Building Custom WordPress Theme

This is an older tutorial, dating back to the fall of 2008, so some of the WordPress screen shots might look a little bit different than what you might be used to, here in the winter of 2010. Still, it will teach you the basics of how to create a WordPress theme, most of which should still be very relevant for any kind of theme development today.

Unlike many of the tutorials that I have read over the years, this one doesn’t follow a strict and rigid hierarchy of steps (even though it is broken into steps by the headings). Nick takes the time to explain what he is doing, how certain parts of the the theme works, and why he makes certain choices – such as coding all of his HTML and CSS before even beginning to work on slicing and coding the theme itself. This provides a valuable insight into the mind of the developer/designer.

Nick is also quite pithy in his writing. He says what needs to be said and not much else. If you’re looking for a really in depth dissection of each and every part of the theme development process, you probably won’t find it here. Fortunately, though, the tutorial does contain several links to the WordPress Codex, where you can find much more detailed information.

All in all, I think it’s a great tutorial. And, if it means anything to you, I frequently refer back to this article as a reference during the preliminary stages of my own WordPress projects!

Website – Solegiallo

I don’t have a clue about what any of the copy on this week’s website actually says, but I do know that the large images, prominently featured in the background, have done a pretty good job at making me hungry. Since the website appears to be for an Italian restaurant (literally – it’s in Italy), they appear to be doing their job.



What I am drawn to on this site is the non-standard layout and organization. Content really kind of takes a back seat to imagery in this one. Based on my growing hunger, this appears to be an effective technique. However, rather than plastering the site with all kinds of different images, the developers actually used the MooTools JavaScript framework (I checked the source) to transform the background into a rotating slide show. This way, each image can stand boldly on its own, rather than trying to compete with a myriad of others. Very cool.

They also achieve an almost Flash-like navigation without a single bit of Flash. Clicking any of the navigation buttons along the bottom of the page triggers extensive animation, as boxes fly across the screen, stopping on the requested bits of content. Again, all of this animation if achieved using MooTools. Thus, the site becomes richly interactive, using nothing but the built in components of the user’s browser!

I’m reasonably certain that the site is also making use of two of my favorite parts of the emerging CSS3 technologies – namely the ability to specifically define rounded corners on an HTML element, and the equally cool ability to define the transparency of a background colour (rather than the entire element). Both of these techniques appear to be on display in the site’s small content boxes!

All in all, this is a really interesting site, which does a great job at showcasing some of the coolest parts of modern web technologies, all in a beautifully crafted and hunger-inspiring framework!

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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Jan 26, 2010

Alexander Nedelev says:

Hey, pretty good article you have for MyInkBlog, Congrats! Found your blog not long ago, and really enjoy it! The “Batman” article was great!

Good Luck Matt

Jan 30, 2010

Murlu says:

Usually not a big fan of these sort of weekly posts but I must say, this changed up my thinking about them.

I think it’s just that many people get lazy and just blast you with links that they found over the week but it’s great to see that you actually put opinion with it and only select a few that are actually worthwhile.

Loving the blog, definitely checking it out more :)

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