Category Archives: creative process

The New Vhcle Mag

So I have big news to announce. I have recently joined the Vhcle Magazine team! I have always admired the Vhcle vision and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by. During the process of hopping on board I also brought my friend, colleague, and fellow JetstreamProjector contributor Bruce Mai.

We were given the incredible opportunity with Issue 7 to break down and reconstruct the entire magazine to give it a new and refined look. What really helped us gain a true understanding of the essence of the magazine was doing research and analyzing the past issues with a critic’s eye. Right off the bat, some of the important changes we decided to make were to establish a new grid and to update the typography of the magazine while maintaining the sophistication and independent feel of previous issues.

Another important layer we wanted to introduce was storytelling. Photos can be arranged and cropped in a strategic manner in order to tell a story and we wanted to use this as a tool to engage readers at more than just a contextual level but to bring a level of nostalgia or story discovery aspect. This is not to say that every section of the mag has blatant stories. The photos and other visual elements were arranged in a way to tell simple stories of multiple interpretations and develop a mood using the rhythm. Disregarding the cookie-cutter technique each spread is unique on its own and works in harmony with the other spreads to create a magazine that is not only viewed but experienced.

The cover and spreads featured above are from Issue 7 which was released on September 11th. As from this point forward we will be bringing nothing but progress of the magazine to you. Vhcle Magazine is only available online but with our team stronger than ever we plan to be in print very soon. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the evolution of Vhcle.

Get on over to Vhcle.com to check out the full issue and drop a line because we love feedback.

Check out the Bruce’s previous post on the magazine here.

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Filed under creative process, Design, Grid, Magazine, photography, publication, typography, Vhcle

Bad design sucks.

Bad design sucks, let’s face it. We made a cultural manifesto about it. About how much it sucks, how much could it suck less, and, more importantly, how much we could do to change it. Change the way design is perceived. Change it with heart, passion, attitude and intelligence.

That’s the real revolution, baby.

baddesignsucks.com

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Filed under creative, creative process, Design, identity, typography, Video

The New Humans ➡ Avalanche

If you haven’t already heard, it’s time you found out about The New Humans’ debut ‘Avalanche’ EP. As the band’s designer for a year and photographer for over two, it’s been amazing to watch The New Humans grow into the colossal force they are today. On Saturday, August 21st, The New Humans and I will release ‘Avalanche’ at the Townhouse to the masses.

Rough art concepts for the ‘Avalanche’ EP began early this year. The entire identity of the EP was designed around a stunning photo from The Herbert Collection which I’d stumbled upon in Sac State’s library. I turned the first few pages of the beautifully aged book, saw the image, and immediately could feel and hear TNHZ‘s ‘Avalanche’ pulsing through the paper. After several meetings with the band, we all agreed the image would make the perfect centerpiece to build upon.

I created a wordmark for The New Humans using the realist and modern typeface Univers. I felt it expressed the personality of the band, especially when the right colors were applied. The artwork creates nostalgia and hints at old science fiction book covers and movie posters from the late 60s and early 70s – both major inspirations for me. An accent magenta color was added to show the new and contemporary feel of the band in contrast of the retro imagery. With the artwork established, I was able to apply it to a flyer and poster design. The front and back of the flyer is shown in the last image above.

-Raoul Oretga

As a musician, you are always searching for imagery that accurately represents your music. It’s a very hard and scary process. With our band exploring many sonic textures on this album, we were daunted by the task of capturing all the musical elements visually while still maintaing a sleek and simple design. Luckily, we’ve got Mr. Ortega on our side.

Before we began designing the artwork, Raoul and I outlined two general concepts for the EP – we wanted to use a found image, and with said image, create a visual entity. We talked about artists like Stanley Donwood (radiohead) & Scott Hansen (tycho) who we admired for constructing a brand of sorts with every album they design — a visual stamp made on the music which inevitably becomes infused into the music itself. Think Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” or Radiohead’s “Ok Computer”.

When Raoul first sent me the image from The Herbert Collection, I was floored. It was the first and only image he ever showed the band, and right away we knew it was the one. As Raoul mentioned, the artwork evolved rather quickly after that. The text was added, tweaked, and finalized in a matter of days. The interior jacket sleeve was designed using type as texture, and the jewel case inlay is a glitzy remix of the nostalgic cover. With these elements added, we feel like we were very successful in creating an accurate visual representation of the album.

To further our pursuit in creating an entity around the album, promotional posters and flyers were made using the album’s general design scheme. We also redesigned our websites in accordance to the colors and images of the album. Needless to say, we feel we’re well on our way to imprinting ‘Avalanche’ in the minds of the masses.

– Cole Cuchna

The ‘Avalanche’ EP Release Party is this Saturday August 21st at Townhouse in Sacramento. The night will kick off at 9 pm and you will finally be able to get your hands on a CD.

For more information, go to The New Humans ‘Avalanche’ EP Release Party event page.

Check them out on their website, myspace, and facebook.

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Filed under art, creative, creative process, Design, Music, packaging, print, Shows, TNHZ, typography

Two Twelve ➡ Love

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Here is a nice display of a painting process by artist Two Twelve. Very OBEY of her especially with the way she uses stencils and layering.

more about “Two Twelve ➡ Love“, posted with vodpod

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Milton Glaser ➡ Drawing is Thinking

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Milton Glaser is a living design legend of our time and his words are always so inspiring and enlightening. In Milton Glaser’s lecture on drawing I could not agree with him more when he says “drawing is essential to understanding form.” In my Visual Principles course in the Graphic Design program we began our symbols process with drawings with line and shape to gain a better understanding of form. Although I have learned this, often times it is difficult to stay consistent with keeping this action a part of my design process. It is so easy to go straight to digital when a quick composition is a few clicks away. This act can be very misleading and can often hinder our ability to problem solve and think creatively. The physical action of drawing is far more problem solving, feeds creativeness, and can be very engaging allowing more of a connection with the left side of the brain. Remember that the computer is not always the best means for developing or even carrying out a project. The use of expressiveness in drawing can be a driving force to help flourish ideas and to gain momentum for moving projects forward.

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On a side note, I would prescribe spending at least a few minutes a day to make a quick sketch. Throw out any judgement of your work and just draw. Creativity will thrive as a result of these delicate efforts. I could definitely use a boost in creativity.

Milton Glaser discusses this subject in greater depth in his book Drawing is Thinking.

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more about “Milton Glaser ➡ Drawing is Thinking“, posted with vodpod

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Ira Glass ➡ Good Taste

I found this on ISO50 earlier this week and I just keep going back to it. I finally decided just to post it here. These words are probably the most brilliant and inspirational words I have ever heard. Ira Glass gears advice towards video production but his words in the first two minutes of the video can be applied anyone going into the creative field.

The first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good — it’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase and a lot of people at that point quit.

And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. We knew that it didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have and the thing I want to say to you is — everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase or if you’re just starting off and you’re entering into that phase, you’ve got to know it’s totally normal and the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work.

Via ISO50

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