Enrich your design: leaflet printing from Solopress

Showing posts with label Illustration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Illustration. Show all posts

5 March 2013

Avengers Assemble - TueVie Day

The Avengers movie poster successfully advertised one of the biggest blockbusters of 2012 with the help of previous Marvel franchise movies that had short teaser clips after their credits - all of which were leading to Avengers Assemble.

Today we're going to analyse some of the design choices made within this movie poster to better understand the relevance of it to the movie content.


Character Fame

Each superhero in this poster had feature movies created for their character's storyline, except Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and all of the original cast from these previous films were kept with the exception of The Hulk who was played by Mark Ruffalo (played in two previous Hulk movies by Eric Bana and Edward Norton).

The popularity of each feature movie character most-likely lead to their apparent visual rank in the poster: Iron Man stealing the most focus (as the most famous character in the franchise) leading all the way back to a more discreet Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who has been cleverly positioned in the centre of the poster - this is an illustrative representation of his relevance to the other characters as the one that brings the superheroes together.

The Scene

The scene presented is almost lifted straight out of the movie content, featuring a beam of light above Stark towers (a focal point in the plot) and the destruction of a city - an expected setting for almost all Marvel movies.

Interestingly the good guys are all featured within this illustration but the enemy is not - a deliberate choice to add mystery to the enemy’s identity or to avoid confusion the potential confusion that the enemy is a part of The Avengers?


The poster does look a bit unimaginative by just placing all of the superheroes standing together, almost as if they were photoshopped straight out their feature movie scenes and placed together. 

On the other hand, what the poster lacks in imagination it makes up for in quality of appearance as the filters applied give it a hand-painted look - a homage to the paper format this story originally came from?

In all honesty you wouldn't expect as good of a poster as this is to have been produced for such a big name franchise anyway as you'd presume that the Marvel company would've generated enough hype through trailers, entertainment media, and their fan base that a poster wouldn't have provided anything more other than a pin up for die hard Avengers fans.


If you have seen the Avengers then you will agree that the poster gives good insight into the storyline minus an appearance of the archenemy, which adds mystery as to who it is unless you follow the films and their end of trailer clips.

Overall I admire the artist's attempt at re-creating the hand-painted medium that historic poster artists previously used but in a digital format, giving the poster more association with the illustrated comic books.

The film itself is very entertaining and worth watching if you are a fan of big action scenes and previous Marvel movies. Just for your entertainment, here's the official Avengers trailer:

28 February 2013

UK Print Illustrators - 3 of February's Favourites

February has been a quick month but I’ve managed to find 3 favourite illustrators for the month whose impressive artworks have been brought to life through print. I wanted to share their work because their creations are very imaginative, which should help if you’re in need of some “outside the box” inspiration. Also, they’re based in the UK - a bit of patriotism is always fun!

Illustrators have a competitive industry to battle within whilst remaining cool-headed and creative so help these artists out by sharing this article if you’re as impressed by their illustrations as I am.

James Oconnell

Mr Oconnell is a professional all-round creative based in Manchester and his website bio makes you imagine him as the Spiderman of the illustrative world: “I'm a firm believer of using my skills for good”.

Oconnell Be Good Together

The first of his creations that appealed to me is titled Be Good Together and is intended to provoke non-collaborative creatives into working with one another to form something collectively awesome by presenting the message that it does.

His design reminds me of a dream catcher that has been hung, which almost ties in with his theme i.e. the dream that all creatives will one day work with one another.

Carl Koch

I’m a great fan of visual artists who have imaginations that can create an entire fantasy world within a single piece of art. One type of scene that has always appealed to me, since my love of the anime movie Howl's Moving Castle, is the floating island.

Koch High Rise Livin

What I admire most about Koch’s floating island, titled High Rise Livin’, is the realistic appearance of this imaginary house he has created - similar in appearance to a child’s tree house with the characteristic charm of a vintage potter’s shed.

Created with watercolours, this artwork reminds me of the Disney film Up because of the childhood contraptions created by the movie characters - an association that Koch may or may not be happy with.

Daniel Schooler

I’m not sure if the anime side of my life is running this article but my reason for showcasing this illustrator’s work is because of the connection it has with my adoration for Dragon Ball Z. Rather than explain the plot I’ll leave it for you to research and find out the relevance of giant monkeys.

Daniel Schooler

Schooler’s bio gives great insight into some of the design choices he’s made within this illustration, for example he’s added a depth of field and focus element that you’d usually find in photography by making the larger plantation, which is seemingly closer, blurred and out of focus. Within his bio he explains that he “has a curious relationship with photography” which would explain this combination of the illustration and photography forms (http://www.danielschooler.com/about.html).

Graffiti and tattoo artistry also spring to mind when analysing this piece of art which Schooler again explains are his influences and aspirations.

9 January 2013

Adobe CS2 Available for Free Download

Many people in the design community may already know about this but I thought I’d spread the word for those who fancy having a copy of Photoshop CS2 for free to learn the basics.

A friend of mine told me about it so I thought I’d do a bit of research and truth be told you can download Adobe’s Creative Suite 2 for free on their official website here: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/index.html. If you don’t know what you are doing with these files then I recommend you read through the installation guide first: http://download.adobe.com/pub/adobe/magic/creativesuite/CS2_EOL/MLTI/CS2_install_Win.pdf.

I can say from firsthand experience that I downloaded CS2 this evening via these links and obtained Photoshop and Imageready CS2 with Adobe Bridge chucked in of course. The serial key is provided on the download page so be sure to use that when it asks for one – worked fine for me! What is worth noting though is that CS2 is a package that dates back to 2005 so your operating system may or may not impact its functionality. I fortunately have a Windows Vista laptop which I installed it on successfully. Other operating systems may have different experiences.

There have been a number of blogs saying that Adobe has said that this is not a free download of CS2 (e.g. http://www.itworld.com/consumerization-it/334669/free-adobe-creative-suite-cs2-maybe-maybe-not), however, I can say with confidence that I have been able to use the software this afternoon and if you’re looking to get your hands on a copy for yourself, well you know where to find it. This whole thing is definitely beginning to sound like a scene from Tron Legacy when Sam Flynn gives away Encom’s new operating system for free:

26 October 2012

The Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine: An Honest Overview

I recently witnessed a graphic designer friend of mine purchasing what I personally deemed to be one of the most ridiculously overpriced ways of digitising paper format information. Introducing the Evernote Smart Notebook, created in collaboration between Evernote and Moleskine.

Don’t get me wrong, Evernote is a brilliant note taking platform. I use it on a daily basis to sync notes via the cloud to all of my devices which saves emailing individual pictures and corresponding notes using separate programmes. But as you’ll notice from my tone, I’m not a great believer in the benefits that Moleskine’s Smart Notebook provide.

This new “innovative” notebook is available to buy in both small (A6-A7 size) and medium (A5-A6 size) from $24.95 on Moleskine’s website - the innovation being that you can use a smartphone loaded with Evernote’s application to take a photo of your handwritten notes and illustrations. Sounds like something I was doing 5 years back with my Nokia N95 and a £1 notepad from my local high street. But wait! There’s more.

The pages within the book aren’t your regular ruled lines. They are dotted ruled lines, which according to Evernote accurately skews your work once the app has read the dot pattern so that you eliminate the problematic slanted shot of a page. The other version of the notebook also contains pages with dotted lines but as a grid pattern - more suitable for graphic designers.

Another supposed benefit of this book & app combo is the removal of shadows from the photos you take of the notebook, however, as a photographer myself I’m not convinced by this. First of all Evernote advises that “using your flash ensures that you’ll get the highest quality image” (http://blog.evernote.com/2012/08/24/the-new-evernote-smart-notebook-by-moleskine/) in which case you won’t get a shadow - you can even try this now by taking a snap of a word on a piece of paper with your smartphone. Secondly, the automatic removal of shadow, if true, is an amazing innovation as in my experience this is quite a lengthy Photoshop process, which has lead to me just re-taking photos. Hmm?

Last but not least is my favourite selling point: stickers! Yes that’s right you get stickers which allow quick tagging of your pages. All you have to do is stick one on the appropriate pages and your notes are categorised into the corresponding notebooks that you’ve registered each of the stickers to. But what do you do when your stickers run out is my question? Costly methinks when you could do this manually via the app.

So what are my final thoughts on the Evernote Smart Notebook? Well the upside is that you get 3 months of Evernote’s premium service which gives you a whopping 1GB upload allowance per month as well as a few other service related features. The downside is I don’t understand who this notebook is targeted at. Serious graphic designers and illustrators will have their methods of digitising their creative work using tablets, scanners, and a range of software suites. So who?

Give us your thoughts on Evernote’s Smart Notebook. A new age designer’s essential or a flash in the pan waste of money?

18 October 2012

Brilliant Ideas for Great Flyer Design

Flyers are a brilliant traditional print medium that has multiple uses, from wedding invitations to advertising. They can be printed on a range of different stocks to impress those receiving them including gloss, silk, and a variety of others, giving an attractive 2D design further depth.

There are some basic “rules” that should be learned before diving straight in and creating a flyer which are outlined in this article: “How to Design a Successful Promotional Flyer”. Once you’ve read that you can start getting creative and creating something completely original to suit the purpose of your flyer, be it for personal or business use.

In an attempt to inspire you before you begin putting pen to paper, we’ve sourced some really attractive and captivating flyer designs that you’re going to love. Read on and let us know what your favourites are.
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8 October 2012

Getting to Grips With Adobe Illustrator

This week I began playing with AI to transfer my paper illustrations to PC - yes PC not Mac (maybe a Mac one day when I have the dough). I've been getting my head around the various tools it has to give my work justice, which has meant reading plenty of tutorials online and following them to see how each of the different functions works. It's been fun to say the least but it takes some patience and getting used to.

To share some of the resources I've been using, as a total beginner on AI, I have selected my five favourite tutorials from last week which you can learn from if you are also a Noob or maybe refresh yourself if you've not used a range of tools it has for a while.

5 Adobe Illustrator Tutorials for Beginners

How to Create a Cute Bunny Vector Character

This tutorial shows you how you can take some really basic shapes and transform them into a cute little bunny. This lesson can provide you with a first step towards creating some original and unique characters of your own. To begin this tutorial visit: http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-cute-bunny-vector-character/.

Create a Rolling Stones Style Mouth n Tongue

This tutorial takes hand drawings into account, as your first step is to scan in your drawing from paper to digitise it. This is exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking to do so open your eyes to this one and learn how to make your own cool Rolling Stones style graphic. Have a read of this tutorial at: http://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/create-a-rolling-stones-inspired-tongue-illustration.

Thug Bunny Symetry Tutorial

Learn how to create illustrations with symmetry in the simplest way possible in this tutorial. The bunny looks pretty awesome. I promise this addition is not just because I like bunnies as I noticed the first tutorial is of a bunny. This one is more about learning how to make your design more symmetrical. Read how to do it at: http://illustrationclass.com/2008/07/07/thug-bunny/.

Making a Cake Illustration

Nearly as good looking as the real thing, this tutorial teaches you how to make a tasty looking treat. Moving through a range of different tools this one takes you into a 3D element of illustration. Try this tutorial at: http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-detailed-cake-illustration/.

Create a Vintage Badge

I turned to this tutorial because I'm going to look for an interesting way to brand my work with a logo or stamp of some kind. This vintage style appealed to me the most which could also be of interest to you if you're looking to sign off your work somehow. Find out how to make this vintage badge at: http://abduzeedo.com/vintage-badge-illustrator-and-photoshop.

That's all for now. I hope you find some inspiration in these tutorials as well as learn how to transfer your paper makings into graphic designs. Good luck and have fun the same way I have. Just be patient.

21 September 2012

Impressive, Super-Dooper, Jaw Dropping Illustrations

Everyone loves an image that can make their jaw hit the floor in amazement and preferably in admiration not disgust. If its that good, some of us will go as far as making these impressive illustrations a part of our lives through posters, wallpapers, sharing them on our social walls, and posting them as our avatars.

Seeing as its Friday we'll take it easy on the cognitive side of things and try to impress you with some great images we like from the web. Without further ado, here's the Inspiring Print collection of impressive, super-dooper, jaw-dropping illustrations.

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9 August 2012

The Psychology of Colour in Design Test

Colour is something we all as human beings take for granted as we are born with this fascinating privilege of colourful sight, unless if you’re born blind of course. For the majority of us, colour is a major catalyst of universal design that evokes a wide variety of emotions – although it is perceptual to each individual’s experiences in life i.e. red can be associated to passion and love for one person and mean something completely different to another individual, most likely in another part of the world.

By understanding the environment in which we intend to unleash our designs, we can spark the desired emotional response to create an affinity from consumer to creation – something that many businesses seek to create in order to maximise the sale of their products or services.

For designers in the Western world who intend to release their illustrations on their local demographic, the desire is there to always follow the curve, as businesses do, and create a red heart for example as you know that it is socially acceptable and the affinity to love is expected. But is there something more to be had from confusing the senses of your expecting audience? This is where the study of psychological response to colour can make your design become “off the wall”.

Using the example of the heart, I’ve presented a few images I’ve pulled from Flickr below which show a standard illustrative heart in different colours.

Let me know what your emotional response is to each of them in the comments below telling me which country you’re from so we can see if there’s any difference between nationalities.

 1. Green Heart

2. Red Heart

3. Wood Heart

It will be interesting to see what the results of this psychological test present. I will present an in-depth discussion on the topic following its results in a month's time. Please comment your responses to the designs presented above below.

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