As you may already know, Alex Cornell — the same Alex who posts on this blog — is also my intern around the studio. A while back Northwestern University asked him to take on the daunting task of layout and design for their “Day For Night” magazine. The previous design was pretty much your run-of-the-mill college publication without much thought put into the design so this was a great chance for him to really evolve the visual language of the magazine. The big constraint was colors; apparently he can only use black, white, and one spot color of his choosing per issue. As you can see, the finished product is superb, Alex’s excellent eye for typography and layout really shine through in his first issue for the magazine. This project was featured (and deservedly so) by Behance last week and is up on Alex’s portfolio page there. Congrats Alex, very nice work!
With all this talk of snowboards and all the new snow up in Tahoe, I thought it would be a good time to post about these Armada skis I did a couple years back that have just recently been released. In November of 2006, Armada asked me to design the 2009 AR6 line (there is a relatively long period that separates the design phase and end product in the production cycles of most snowboard / ski manufacturers). Based on the timeline and budget, we decided I’d deliver 2 reference designs which would be extrapolated by in-house designers to fill the 5 versions of the AR6 line. I believe Mackel Vaugn put together the final designs based on what I turned in. The top image (orange, very top) shows the early tests I showed Armada to illustrate what I was going for. Skis are an interesting form factor to design for; you have these two narrow canvases and you sort of have to choose whether to treat them as a whole or individually. Based on the very wide design of the AR6′s I decided to try and tie the two skis together to feel more like one large design across a canvas.
After some meetings with Armada about the tests I had sent in, we decided to stick with the basic forms for the final versions but bring up the overall color and variation of the designs. The results were the final two reference designs (directly above), I delivered the PSD files along with various image collateral and they worked those into final five ski designs. I’ve done a couple ski projects and all my snowboard projects this way. It’s an interesting process, handing off the design and later being surprised by what they end up looking like (the bottoms were a surprise too, only designed the tops). The whole thing reminds me of layer tennis, sort of like a design remix. You can see all the final versions of the AR6 at Armada’s site and you can see some in action in this video review. These are out now, you can check Armada’s dealer list if you want to pick up a pair. I did the 2010 AR6 line as well so you should start seeing those out next fall. Here’s Armada’s product video for the 2009 AR6:
Guitarist and electronic musician Christopher Willits continues his monthly series from SoundArts studio. In this episode, Willits proves the future is now by showing you how your iPhone can control Ableton and Max/MSP.
Tune in once a month as Christopher shows us some of the ways he produces his own music, as well as the many cool things you can do with recording software. According to Christopher, “I simply want to excite people’s imaginations and creative processes so they can more easily create the sounds and music and art they love.”
For more What You Talkin’ Bout, Willits? visit XLR8R TV
What You Talkin’ Bout, Willits? Part 6
Alex Cornell is a student at the Academy of Art Graduate Design MFA program here in San Francisco and he also helps me out around the studio with various design and music related things (in addition to being a designer he’s also a ridiculously talented guitarist and a knowledgeable sound engineer).
Recently he brought over a project he was working on to get some critique. Since I never went to school for design it was great to get a glimpse inside the classroom through his project and also very interesting to hear what his professor thought of my input. I had a great time working with him trying to refine the project so I thought it would be nice to have him do a process piece for the blog. I think this serves an apt companion to the Making of Obama post; a good counterpoint written from the student perspective. I am sure many of you were/are design students yourselves so you can relate, seems to me like the professor does a pretty good job of impersonating a client. The following article is his account of the process of creating the piece and working with his professor to complete the project.