After reading Jefta’s comment in the J.Casey piece I realized I hadn’t been posting much of my own work lately so I decided to put up this wedding announcement I did for my friends Paul and Lisa. I normally wouldn’t post personal work of this nature but I was happy with the result and thought it would make a good exception. To tell you the truth, these are usually my favorite projects; there’s no money involved, no client to compromise for, and no concerns over whether it will be well received by the public. Sadly, it seems this sort of project is the exception not the rule which is unfortunate given that most of us started out in this business purely out of love and enjoyment of art and the process. The other good part of these projects is the timeline, or lack thereof. But as usual, I put this project off until the last minute so I only had a night to complete it, which ended up making it a bit more enjoyable as I knew there wouldn’t be the inevitably endless revision process to attend to after completion. As this was intended to look like a retouch or a painted piece, I was a bit more free to be heavy handed with the lighting effects. This would have been far more difficult if I was going for a photo-realistic look.
So when my friends approached me about creating this we threw around various ideas. In the end they came up with the idea of combining photos of them as kids. Unfortunately all the photos I had to choose from were very different in terms of lighting and color. I’ve never considered myself much of an expert at photo manipulation but this project made me realize just how little I really knew about the process; I definitely struggled trying to get the two photos (pictured below) to look right together. The shot of Lisa was an artificially lit, indoor studio portrait, the other an outdoor snapshot, so it was tough to get the lighting right. I decided to use Lisa as the reference point since she was well lit and then bring Paul closer to that tonal range / lighting condition. The original shot of Paul was taken at dusk as the sun was pretty low in the sky behind him so I ended up doing a lot of gradient masking of color balance and curves transition layers to compensate for the overly dynamic lighting that resulted from the conditions of the original shot. The background imagery had to be scaled up a bit, I cloned one of the windows and did some tweaking to the contents to make room for the added subject. Finally, I added some shadows to Paul’s right side to account for the new position of the lighting and Lisa’s position relative to his.
As for the art direction, I wanted this to feel a lot like an illustration or painting so I did a lot of dynamic lighting, unsharp mask, and some artistic filters to shift it in that direction. The imagery of the existing studio shot of Lisa had a distinctly European thing going on so I tried to push further in that direction to evoke a sort of vintage Swiss-era poster vibe. For that reason, and because this was just the announcement and not the wedding invitation itself, I chose the Futura typeface to give it a fresher feel (than a typical wedding invitation) while at the same time maintaining a sort of classic design sensibility. And of course I went with some loose kerning to give it that Anderson-esque vibe.
Finally I applied some paper effects (blending mode stuff etc.) to give it a real world feel. I have a bunch of vintage poster reproductions hanging around my house and always enjoyed that copy-camera style they give off. While I was overseas a couple years ago I went to a gallery that had a lot of the originals of the stuff I have at home and I got to see them in person. I realized I actually enjoyed the reproductions more, they have a nice grain and vingetting that didn’t show up in the originals (which were typically painted and so also didn’t show the yellowing of aged paper and ink.) This is the kind of aesthetic I am usually trying to achieve in most of my poster work, I want it to feel like a reproduction of an original printed piece.
All in all this was a fun project, I think we as designers should take on more work like this. Free work for friends always helps reacquaint me with the aspects of design that drew me to it in the first place; it gets me excited about the process again, an emotion that I think easily spills over into the jobs that come after it.
I’ll be playing a set tonight at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. The event is part of the Apple WWDC conference so it’s mostly going to be people who are here for the conference, but I asked the organizers and they said it’s technically a public party so I thought I would do a last minute mention here. All the info can be found at the Upcoming Page for the event.
The 1976 print on grey American Apparel Tri-blend is now back in stock. I know a lot of people had been waiting for the mediums to come back so now’s your chance, get them while they last at The ISO50 Shop.
The Obama print sold out over the weekend, 4300 of a limited edition of 5000 (the final 700 were previously reserved). Thanks to everyone who picked one up, I am sure the Obama campaign is very thankful for your support. Sorry to anyone who missed out, I will definitely be doing what I can to make these available in a different form soon.
This was one of the largest format prints I’ve ever done and it got me excited to start converting some of the old designs to larger formats. Be on the lookout for the big stuff soon. For those of you waiting on the case study I was going to write for this piece, I’m sorry for the delay. This past month has been nothing short of insane so I’ve been playing catch-up on a lot of front. I am shooting for having that out this week.
I’m probably posting this against better judgement, but here’s the raw footage from the FITC "Conversations" segment Si Scott and myself did in Toronto this year. I was under the impression this would be edited, but it just plays straight through, sort of funny. There are a lot of other conversations in the series, they can be found here. Some of them get pretty interesting, everything from pron to drugs…
Our conversation clocks in at 51:55 and sort of rambles all over the place, but Si Scott is an incredible artist so it’s interesting to hear his take on things. You can find Si’s portfolio here.
Update: This print is sold out.
As some of you already noticed, the Barack Obama site announced the arrival of the print today. You can purchase the print now for $70, all proceeds go to the Barack Obama Campaign.
After all is said and done, I am very happy with the finished product. Unfortunately the colors on the JPEG above don’t come through as well as they did in print and there’s a lot of fine detail that’s lost at this size, so you’ll have to stretch a little bit to imagine what the real thing looks like. I just got into Detroit, will be playing a set at DEMF tomorrow, so I won’t have time to put together a good case study on the process of creating this print until I return on Sunday. But I wanted to post this up in the meantime after holding it back for so long.
Comment on this post | Purchase Print
I’ll be playing at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) this weekend in, of all places, Detroit. I have extra tickets and wanted to offer up a pair to be given away. I will pick one (1) email at random from the contest entrants, this person will be given two (2) full passes ($80 value) to DEMF. Entering is easy, simply comment on this post and be sure to include a valid email when doing so and type "DEMF Entry" in the body of your comment. Your email is not visible to anyone but myself.
I know this is a bit last minute, but we weren’t sure if the extra tickets were coming through until just today. Again, DEMF is this weekend, so you would need to be in Detroit, THIS WEEKEND. Please do not enter if you do not plan on being in Detroit at that time.
Click here to enter the ISO50 DEMF Ticket Giveaway. Be sure to include a valid email in the email field and type "DEMF Entry" in the body of the comment.
The contest ends May 22nd at 11:59PM (23:59) west coast (PST) time.
Good luck, see you in Detroit!
Update: The single is now available, click here for more info.
The new Tycho single / b-side entitled "Adrift / From Home" will be out next Tuesday, May 27th, 2008. This marks my second release with Ghostly International leading up to the full album scheduled for next year. This single will be available exclusively through iTunes for the first month, and at all other online retailers thereafter. While Adrift is a brand new, unreleased track, some of you may notice that From Home was originally released as part of the Past is Prologue album on Merck. This is because as part of this series of singles, I’ve decided to include the extra tracks which were included on the Merck version of Sunrise Projector (renamed Past is Prologue) so that they are available individually for people who bought the original version of the album and missed out on the new material. I’ve posted a couple clips of the songs below, enjoy.
On a design note, this of course represents new ISO50 work. It’s the first album cover I’ve done in a while and I really enjoyed the process this time around. I wanted to evoke the feeling of a 45 record from the heyday of singles and go with a really reserved, minimal type treatment. It’s also meant to carry over the circle concept from the last single. Anyways, on to the music:
Tycho – Adrift
Tycho – From Home
More Info at Tychomusic & Ghostly International.