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77: Black on Black

Posted by Scott

Picture 5.png I wasn’t sure if this new shirt and thermal were going to get printed before the new year, but we were able to get them out this week. The new Black on Black 50/50 American Apparel Tee (pictured above) and cotton AA Thermal are now available at The ISO50 Shop. These are going to drop in the ad on Monday so get them while they’re still around (as always, I’m posting them here on the blog a little early).

On a somewhat related note, I’ve always found it difficult to photograph black objects and this shirt was no different. The contrast between the paint and the shirt is a lot more subtle in real life (and the paint isn’t grey, it’s black), some more accurate pictures are here (taken by the guys at Merchline who have been shooting all the recent model shots for the ISO50 storefront). Apparently I need a gray card because I’m using the same lights as them: The Calumet Quattro (more on that later) and a tungsten Smith/Victor photo flood. The picture above was overexposed for effect, but even when I’m trying to be as color accurate as possible I’m still running into trouble. I was definitely happier with how these shots came out and it’s getting frustrating because I was using the same lighting setup, same exposure settings, and same room to shoot them. Does anybody out there know much about this phenomenon or how to correct it? Any advice would really be appreciated in the comments.

In other news, Alex brought by his Wacom Intuos 6×8 today. I really enjoyed working with it, I’ll be posting on that more tomorrow. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to respond to the Wacom: Which Size? post. It really helped a lot.

ISO50 OFFF-AP Print Now Available

Posted by Scott

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There’s a new print now available at The ISO50 Shop. This is the poster I created for the 2007 OFFF Festival in Barcelona. A small number of full size posters were originally printed to support the event (the rest were handbills) so there aren’t many floating around (if any).

If you’ve ever been to the after party for OFFF you’ll know it’s always a pretty amazing event; lots of audio visual input going on. I tried to capture that vibe with this poster, making a foray into a color spectrum I rarely use. Given that the event was more of a party than a live show I felt a little more free to pursue a different vibe than usual. If you’re wondering, the fonts are mostly from the Chalet Family with some Trade Gothic thrown in for good measure. Get one at the shop for a closer look.

Printing Posters + Restocks

Posted by Scott

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The prints you see above have all been reprinted and restocked over at The ISO50 Shop. Many were out for quite some time and they usually move fast once back on the shelves, so if you’ve been holding out for your favorites to be in stock, now’s the time.

I often get asked where I get my prints made so I thought now would be a good time to touch on that subject and go into a little more detail about the process.  I have all of the small format posters done at a print shop in Sacramento, CA called Blue Moon Printing & Graphics. I found the place back when I used to live in Sacramento and even after moving to San Francisco I still use them as my primary printer. They are a relatively small shop so the service and attention to detail is far beyond anything you’ll find at some of the larger printing companies. I’ve found that personal attention to the output is the key element in getting your prints back looking the way you intended. It’s very difficult to make the transition from what you see on your screen to a printed piece of paper and no matter how well calibrated your equipment is you’re always going to experience a shift in color, saturation, contrast etc. The trick is to tweak the original file and the printer itself to try and compensate for these shifts and it’s important to find a print shop that is willing to work with you through this process.

I have the prints made on a digital thermal press which is essentially a toner-based process. I really like the output of this process because in the darker areas the toner builds up a thicker layer, giving an almost screen-printed effect when viewing an area of high contrast (such as a transition from cream to dark brown; the dark brown will appear to be painted on top of the cream background). The other advantage of the digital press (as opposed to offset) is that there are no plates involved so proofing and tweaking is a much quicker (and cheaper) process. You can adjust the file and run off a new proof in about 5 minutes as opposed to etching new plates and resetting the press as you would in an offset scenario. The only real downside of this process is the format limitation, the prints can only be 12"x18" at the largest. You are also limited to the type of paper you use as the toner won’t adhere to coarser papers; although I like to use a natural tone cover stock which is pretty smooth so this is not a big issue for me. The natural tone stock also has a yellow cast to it so that the yellow range in the lighter areas of the image is boosted. It gives the image a sort of aged, authentic feel which I think takes a bit of the edge off the digital output.

Blue Moon does have a traditional offset press but they just recently got it and I’ve yet to test it out. If you’re looking for a good printer I highly recommend them, and since they can do the whole proofing process via mail it doesn’t really matter where you’re located (my friend in New York does all his printing through them). You can find more information at their website: http://blumoonprinting.com.

I’ll be doing a post on monitor calibration soon in which I will go into more detail about preparing work to be printed and working with color profiles and printers…stay tuned.

New Tycho Single & Shop

Posted by Scott

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The new Tycho single "Adrift / From Home" is now available direct from the MP3 shop in DRM-Free 320Kbps MP3 format. It was previously available exclusively through iTunes but can now be purchased at the new Tychomusic Shop and all other major digital music retailers. You can also purchase all the other Tycho releases at the Shop.

If you had previously purchased MP3s direct through the old system you may know that it was far from perfect. The new shop has been rebuilt from the ground up and functions far better than the previous system with instant downloads and full user account control.

In case you missed it the first time around, below are some clips of the songs from the new single. You can hear the full version of Adrift at the Tycho Myspace page.

Tycho – Adrift (clip)

Tycho – From Home (clip)

Obama Print Sold Out

Posted by Scott


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.

New Tycho Single Out 5/27/08

Posted by Scott

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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.

Lisbon Bound

Posted by Scott

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Headed out for Lisbon tomorrow morning for the OFFF. I’ll be bringing my camera and hopefully getting some good shots. I’ve never been to Portugal, just heard a lot of good things. If it’s anywhere near as great as Barcelona I’ll be happy. 

There will be an ISO50 booth at the OFFF Festival complete with shirts, prints, CDs, etc. Stop by and say hello if you’re in the area, the Mercadillo is free admission. See you out there!

Photos via rabataller, Matilde B. & rabataller respectively.