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Echoes – Week 23 (Feb 15, 2010)

posted by Matt Ward on Feb 15, 2010.

Echoes: Week 23 – Feb 15 2010. This is the twenty-second 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.

Here were are again with another installment of Echoes. It’s been a pretty good week here on the Echo Enduring Blog. I saw the most traffic ever in a single week, and am starting to see more traffic coming in from a variety of different sources. I’m pretty stoked about that.

I’ve also been pretty busy. I am working hard at bringing more great content for this blog, and a few guest posts for some other big design blogs. That should keep me pretty busy! Speaking of tutorials, I had another article published on SpyreStudios, entitled “How To Design Your Own Valentine’s Day Heraldry Illustration“.

Now, on to this week’s Echoes!

Logo – Vancouver 2010

Call me a proud Canadian – because I am a proud Canadian. Who hasn’t seen the logo for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games? There is certainly nothing new here. However, in the spirit of the Olympics I am including this logo in this week’s Echoes!

Vancouver 2010 Logo

Vancouver 2010 Logo

There are a few things that I really like about this logo. First, I like that it’s not the London 2012 logo, which is just totally hideous. The shape of the mark itself is also really great too! For those who don’t know, the mark itself is an inukshuk, a man-made stone structure used for navigation for hunters and travelers in arctic regions.

As such, it is a perfect symbol for the Olympic games being held in Canada. It has a snowy, wintry connotation to it, and there are inukshuks scattered all across the snowy regions of this great country!

It also allows for a really great segmentation of colour. Because the inukshuk is constructed of large, independent slabs of rock, the designer was able to give each stone one of the classic Olympic colours (as seen in the rings). The sole exception is the wide flat stone, which is set to a dark blue rather than black. I actually think that this substitution is a good idea, since the black might contrast too strongly against the other colours with blocks these large. The choice to go with the darker blue just softens the entire thing.

Obviously, as a Canadian, I’ve been seeing this logo for years now. Still, I do really like it. And please forgive me when I say go Canada!

Art – Eerie Fables

If you’ve been following my Echoes posts for any amount of time, chances are you will know that I am a big fan of dark, macabre kind of art. I don’t necessarily like things that are overly sensual or grotesque, but art with a sort of eeriness does appeal to me. So, this piece called Eerie Fables is right up my alley!

Eerie Fables

Eerie Fables

This is just an unsettling and creepy piece. The shape of the bunny (or hare) is stretched and stylized, giving it a really dreamlike sort of appearance. This, of course, is emphasized by the artist’s use of texture. I really like the way the the bunny actually blends into the texture at the bottom of the piece, and the way that the artist achieved a sort of blurry effect, which again helps to emphasize that ethereal, dreamlike quality.

Of course, the real creepiness of the piece probably stems from the gun resting in the bunny’s back “pocket”. Combine this with the glowing white eye and angry angled brow, and this looks like on pissed of rodent. Looking at it, you just really do get the sense that this animal is almost like a spirit, come back from the dead to lay some serious hurt on the poor hunter that killed him.

A really, really great piece!

Tutorial – How To Repair Scratches, Tears, and Spots on an Old Photograph

Most of the Photoshop tutorials that you will find out there on the internet today have to do with things like creating photomanipulations, designing websites or illustrating icons. One subject that does not seem to be to get a lot of attention is the concept of photo restoration. Well, this week’s tutorial is on precisely this subject!

How To Repair Scratches, Tears, and Spots on an Old Photograph

How To Repair Scratches, Tears, and Spots on an Old Photograph

This tutorial will take you step by step through the process of how work through the restoration of an old, black and white photograph that is in pretty rough shape. The tutorial will show you how to remove all kinds of blemishes and cracks, and yields a pretty solid result!

To some degree, the photo itself actually looks like an old drawing. For some reason, as we move away from the face, the details just seem to disappear. Perhaps this is some sort of old, photographic technique that I am unfamiliar with, but I do have to say that I would like to have seen the process be applied to a more “complete” photograph. Of course, the author may have had a very limited selection to choose from.

The actual tutorial doesn’t have a ton of text in it either. I would also have liked to seen more explanation. There were a couple of places where I felt that a bit more detailed instruction would have been beneficial. Specifically, in the step in which the face is replaced with detail from another photograph just seems to be missing something.

Still, if you are looking to learn the basics of photo restoration, this tutorial can provide you with a really solid start!

Website – MyInkBlog (Redesigned)

For the second time in three weeks, the Echoes website actually features a complete redesign of one of the design blogs that I frequent on a regular basis. This time, it’s Andrew Houle’s awesome MyInkBlog.

MyInkBlog (Redesign)

MyInkBlog (Redesign)

This was one of the first design blogs that I started following in my RSS reader, so I had become very accustomed to the old design, which was based on a (highly) modified theme. I really liked the old design. I love the new design.

I’m glad that Andrew kept a pretty similar colour scheme, with a nice dark grey and soft, almost banana coloured yellow. However, while the old site featured that yellow a bit more prominently, it is really just a simple accent colour in the new site, which has a darker (as in less bright) overall feel to it. You can see it in the main logo, and then repeated in the hover state of the options in the main menu.

I’m also a big fan of the way Andrew incorporates the rounded corner effect into this design. Obviously, rounded corners are nothing new in the world of web design, but I really do feel that this design uses them particularly well. I’m especially fan of the way the main content area is differentiated from the sidebar by means of a slight height differential. It gives the design a nice sense of depth.

As for the rest of the site, it is just a nice, well organized and contemporary design, which is attractive to look at but not so busy as to be distracting. Overall, this is a really nice design and is certainly an improvement over the previous version (though the previous version certainly wasn’t bad). Well done Andrew!

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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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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Comments

Feb 16, 2010

Andrew Houle says:

Wow Matt, thanks for the feature and the kind words about the redesign. I’m stoked it’s finished and has been received so well.

Feb 16, 2010

Matt Ward says:

No problem Andrew! It’s a great redesign. More than happy to feature it!

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