Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Unnecessary Design

Walking home today I noticed that there was construction going on at a building I was walking by. There is a large lot of grass with a couple of paved paths though it beside the building, and the whole thing was surrounded by a temporary fence. I usually cut through the lot on the path so I just walked around it. When I got halfway around I found this sign posted on the fence. Someone took the time to design, print, and post this.

Fence Image

Fence Image

Sign Image

How informative!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Calendar - December

Well, this is the last month of the 2009 calendar. I haven't made a 2010 calendar, but perhaps I'll still make desktops. We'll see.

December Desktop
Standard (1024x768)
Widescreen (1280x800)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Design Magazine Paper Samples

Dear Graphic Design Magazines,

Stop putting heavy paper samples in your magazines.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, paper mills buy ad space in design magazines to advertise their brand and their product. Because their product is paper, they obviously want their ad printed on their paper. And because they want to grab people's attention, they like to use extremely thick paper to do so. Much of the time, the paper they use is actually thicker than the magazine cover. It makes flipping through the magazine a headache.

Once you get anywhere near any of the 3 or 4 of them (per issue) you can't help but accidentally flip to them. Think about the annoying subscription cards in other magazines. Now think if the cardboard they use was thicker, and the size of the entire page.

Making your magazine difficult to read is counter-productive. It would basically be the equivalent of me
Green Block
putting a giant green rectangle right in the middle of my blog post.

How annoying was that?

Perhaps we can at least compromise and put them all at the back of the magazine.


Mike Short

Monday, November 16, 2009

The past few months

So, there haven't been that many posts to this blog in the past few months. This is mostly because there hasn't been much to report as far as my life in design. Most of my time has been spent doing one of the following things:

1. Eating
2. Finding places in Graphic Design and Marketing to apply to
3. Applying to those places
4. Sleeping
5. Watching movies
6. Working on portfolio projects
7. Practicing and recording with The Late '94s
8. Hanging out with friends
9. Learning new design skills and techniques
10. Finding MORE places to apply
11. Applying to THOSE places

For the past three weeks I've been working on a one-month contract at Halogen Marketing. It feels good to be back working again and on a team. As for after the one month contract, I'm not sure yet. I'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RSS Feeds

Today I've added RSS feeds to my portfolio and to this blog.

For those of you who don't know what an RSS is, it's basically a way to get your news and updates from web pages you visit, all in one place. You download an RSS reader (There are many free ones available) then you add RSS feeds by subscribing to them on your favourite sites. Most sites now have a feed, but not all. I use an RSS reader to get all of my Graphic and Web Design news in one place. I can browse the headlines and save myself the time of visiting each individual page.

The feed for this blog will update you each time I make a blog post, and can be found on the side pointed out in this image:
RSS feed image

The feed for my portfolio will update you each time I add a new portfolio piece, and can be found on my homepage, as pointed out in this image:
RSS feed image

Friday, September 11, 2009

The making of a magazine ad

Because graphic design is a job that requires a process that many don't understand, I thought I'd show my latest project in steps to show how a designer works. (I've skipped all of the 1 000 tiny boring steps)

The project I set for myself was to create a series of ads for a fictitious crayon company I named Crayona.

1. First I sketched ideas for the logo/wordmark.
Sketch of logo

2. Once I had an idea what I wanted it to look like, I made the font and logo in Illustrator.
Making letters
Black and White Logo

3. Then I printed it out and redrew it with an actual crayon.
Crayon logo

4. After scanning the crayon logo I made a vector version of it using Photoshop and Illustrator.
Vector logo

5. Once I had the logo, I designed the crayon box using the same style and colours.
Crayon box

6. A little cutting and pasting later, I had a cardboard crayon box.
Photo of box

7. Using the crayons, I drew versions of famous paintings, some came out well, others failed. I tried to do them quickly to give them a more childish look.
Van Gogh
Van Gogh
da Vinci

8. Once I chose the ones I wanted to use, I wrote the artists signature and "age..."
Mondrian signature
Pollack signature
Van Gogh signature

9. ...and made name tags
Name tag

10. Put them all together with a little finesse, and you have a series of magazine ads.
Van Gogh

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Calendar Desktop - August

The calendar turned out great and I'm quite happy with it.

Here's the August page turned into a desktop.

August Desktop
Standard (1024x768)
Widescreen (1280x800)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Video Editing

I've been teaching myself how to edit videos over the past week, and I'm really enjoying it. After I'd done a few small videos I wanted to do something more challenging.

I decided to create a video of my band playing a song at a show last summer and sync it up with the same song recorded in a studio. I could have used the sound from the video, but it wasn't as clear, and it wouldn't be challenging enough.

There was two problems with doing this. First, when we played the song live, it wasn't the exact same speed as the studio recording, and second, we only had one camera filming the show. One camera and one angle doesn't make for a very exciting video.

So the trick became using chunks of video from other songs and matching each movement to each sound. I'd say around 50% of the video is comprised of shots that weren't even from that song.

It's not perfect, but I'm quite happy with the result.

Filmed by Scott Reeves.
Edited by Mike Short

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Calendar off to print

Calendar pages

So I've sent the calendar off to print and I'm just waiting to get it back. I've also started making my list of design firms and contacts that I'll give it to.

I just posted screenshots in the portfolio section of my webpage for those of you who are interested.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blog Layout

I'll be working on the layout of this blog over the next few days. If something looks weird, it should be fixed soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Calendar Cover

So I took some pictures today. I'm not sure I have the exact one I want yet, but I thought I'd put up the best of the day to see what others think.

If you like any of these, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post with the number that you think would make a good cover to my calendar.

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