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Echoes – Week 29 (Apr 5 2010)

posted by Matt Ward on Apr 5, 2010.

Echoes: Week 29 – Apr 5 2010. This is the twenty ninth 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.

Hey all. Here were are with another edition of Echoes, and things are going to be changing just a little. I’ve found that I’ve been getting a bit verbose in some of these articles, and spending a ton of time writing them. People have left some really nice comments in the past, but these posts certainly aren’t the most popular articles that I publish here. So, in an effort to free up a bit more time, I’m going to try to keep the exposition to a minimum – usually just a paragraph or two.

In general news, I had another article published over at SpyreStudios over the weekend. This one is called “A Coder’s Journey,” and chronicles my (often slow) development in the world of coding and programming. The article has received quite a bit of attention and some really nice comments, so be sure to check it out. I also submitted a tutorial to another site, which should hopefully be published sometime this week. Keep an eye on my Twitter account for an update on that.

Now, let’s get to this week’s Echoes!

Logo – ShadowCatcher

We’ll start this week off with a sweet and somewhat abstract logo design for a company called ShowCatcher, which apparently “gathers information for their clients from trade exhibitions through a wide range of media.”

ShowCatcher

ShowCatcher

I love the colours and the general feel of this piece. It has a wonderfully organic aesthetic, while still feeling fresh and modern. The simple non-serif typography really offsets the energy, giving the entire design a solid anchorage. It’s all about striking the right balance.

Other than a vague S-shape, I don’t see much of a connection between the mark and what the company does, though, and the use of gradients may effect its ability to be reproduced in certain media if there is no pure black and white alternate. Still a really nice design though.

Art – Gidleigh Goat

I have been reading through Karen Miller’s The Awakened Mage over the past little while and really love the cover art, so I went looking for more from the artist, David Wyatt, and came across this little gem.

Gidleigh Goat

Gidleigh Goat

The first thing that strikes me about this particular piece is the incredible depth of the green, which is just so wonderfully rich, especially for something that was rendered in watercolour. After that initial reaction, the eye instinctively seeks out the subject, which we find to be this gentle, and somewhat old looking goat character.

Yes, this is another fantasy piece. I’m sure most readers have just come to expect that from me by now! Unlike much of the other fantasy art that I have posted in these Echoes, though, this one has much more of a fairy tale feel to it. The creature seems very wise and friendly, and full of character. It almost makes me want to pull up a log and listen to whatever stories he has to tell.

Tutorial – Building A Custom Subscriber Panel With Stats In WordPress

With so many designers and developers working in WordPress these days, a good quick tutorial about how to whip up a certain bit of code is always useful, and that’s exactly what we have this week.

Building A Custom Subscriber Panel With Stats In WordPress

Building A Custom Subscriber Panel With Stats In WordPress

In this tutorial, developer Amber Weinberg (who has guest posted on this blog) outlines her process for creating a sidebar panel for displaying your RSS counts, email subscribers and twitter followers. It looks and functions much like a widget, but is actually hardcoded right into the theme – though I suppose that and industrious developer could take the information provided her and convert it into an actual plugin widget.

What I like the most about this brief tutorial is that it offers a (partial) alternative to FeedBurner. Personally, I’ve only ever had a few issues with FeedBurner, but it does seem to have developed a quasai monopoly on generating and tracking feed statistics. So, in addition to showing you how to create an awesome little information panel, this tutorial also brings to light what appears to be a very viable alternate method of tracking your stats, directly from WordPress itself!

Website – The Green House

Occasionally I come across a site with some interesting visual effects, and I have to right click on the page to see if it is actually using Flash, or if the effects are achieved with jQuery. This week’s website was an excellent example.

The Green House

The Green House

The site’s home page has three large photographs, which are individually faded in and out in the background. It’s both a subtle (in terms of effective animation) and not-so-subtle (as in completely changing background) effect, which until a few years ago would have been almost exclusively achieved in Flash. Now, it’s great to see this sort of thing being done independently of any browser plugins.

Beyond that effect, though, this site also has a very interesting blend of strong graphics and photography. I really like the way that they’ve integrated the photographic images in with more vector-like elements. It has a unique and original feel to it. I also love the way the site builds really nice icons into its overall navigation system, especially since I am currently right at the beginning of a series on icons and web design. That kind of makes it the perfect time to include the site here.

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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