Clever Movie Posters

http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/24-unofficial-movie-posters-that-are-better-than-the-real-po

The link above contains what it calls “Unofficial Movie Posters that are better than the real posters”.

Most of them are pretty good but a few of them I think are great and they tend to be ones that make use of negative/positive space or symbols in the image.

ironman3

Iron Man 3 – I thought this was neat because of the three lines indicating action as he is flying upwards but also doubles to mean “III”.

dirtyharry

Dirty Harry – great use of perspective.

seven

Seven – see the 7?

Those are just a few of the ones I liked but I think others like the Lion King, the Goonies and the Amazing Spiderman are also pretty neat.

It’s interesting how most movies do tend to have these alternative posters for them that are almost always more creative and interested than their promoting counterparts. Understandably, most movie posters want to emphasize the actors in the movie by using an image with them in it and Hollywood probably underestimates (rightfully so perhaps?) the average person’s capabilities of deciphering these types of posters and would rather go for something easier to digest.

Personal Branding and Online Presence

I have a blog. I’ve had one for quite a few years now. One of the biggest problems with having a blog, for me, was trying to pinpoint it down to just one subject – which I have never been able to do. Little did I realize until fairly recently that another thing I need to focus on is the actual branding aspect of it. Then it occurred to me. Anyone who has any sort of an online presence has to focus on their own personal branding.

That last line is something I’ve always sort of realized. Just in the sense of controlling how you want to be perceived. Yet I never really considered it to be a type of “branding” until nowish. And with so many social networking outlets that are all pretty much connected in some way, there’s plenty of opportunity to create an online presence… and plenty of opportunity to screw it up.

So starting with Facebook. The people you’re friends with will see you a certain way based on how you use Facebook. What type of statuses you post: personal, news release, entertainment, gossip, complain, etc. How open or private your Facebook is also influences the type of statuses you may post. Twitter is typically more open and public so what you post on Twitter may differ from Facebook. Then of course there is Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, and a bunch of others. The question now is: how connected do you want each of these to be?

Each method of social media serves a different purpose, both in how we present ourselves and in how we use it to interact with other people. But I think there still should probably be some level of connection between them all. LinkedIn is meant to be the most professional of the social networking sites, since that’s what its primary purpose is. But if someone goes from your LinkedIn account to your Twitter to your blog to your Facebook and gradually sees a huge change in presentation between them, it will likely lead to some confusion. How authentic is this person and which profile is more true to the type of person they are?

I guess the point of all of this comes down to whether we want or should put more effort into personal branding across our entire spectrum of social networking and online presence. For me, that has included interconnectivity between the different sites which all lead to or from my website but beyond that, it could also mean things like images and colours, photos, whether I want to create some sort of a logo, and probably most importantly, content.

Latte art

I’ve been working in a coffee shop for longer than I care to admit. Like any job, there comes a point when you try to add variety into what you do. For me, that came with learning latte art. It’s an art in several ways. Of course, the obvious that involves drawing images on top of the latte but also in making the milk in such a way that allows you to do it in the first place is something that has become a skill I’ve yet to master. Although I have grown to realize that the humidity in the air does play a part in it. The rest is how the milk is steamed and most importantly, time. Once the milk is steamed, letting it sit for a few seconds allows the bubbles to pop and form microfoam, the key ingredient to making latte art.

Some of the things I’ve drawn on lattes have included things like trees, leaves, clovers, dogs, cats, monkeys, flowers and butterflies. For some reason, I’m not very good at coming up with things to draw on the spot so unless I have an image in front of me, I usually just go for something default, like this one:

default

But sometimes, I’ll google something on my iphone that I want to put on a latte and use the picture as a reference point. Such as this angry bird:

angry latte

Or this Psy Latte pairing:

psy latte

I also made this one: photolatte

…in photoshop. It’s the face of my co-worker who, of course, actually made it into a real latte:

duplicatelatte

Just a neat way to be creative at work and bring design into something you can drink!

Times Square

A few weeks ago, I was in New York City – perhaps the most logoiffic, brand-heavy place in the world, particularly in Times Square which is the size of several blocks with huge signs, screens, lights, images screaming at you. The interesting thing about Times Square is that, while it is a central hub for advertising, it has itself become its own attraction and brand on its own. The image of Times Square with what is now the old New York Times building standing at the centre of W 46th St. and 7th Avenue with Broadway cutting across is iconic. But why is Times Square so iconic? The advertising.

2013-02-18 02.31.13

Thousands of people, likely more, walk through Times Square every day, probably even every hour. Even at midnight, the place is pretty crowded. Yet the only thing that really sets it apart from anywhere else in the city, or anywhere else for that matter, is the abundance of advertisements that are so huge and so numerous. It has become a site to see for anyone who travels to NYC. Other than that, there are no rides in Times Square. There are no other real attractions in the actual space. Broadway shows are location all around it, yeah. Madame Tussauds is in the area. And there is lots of shopping and places to eat. So it’s interesting that a huge group of advertisements can draw people to see them in wonder.

As an aside, I also went to the Museum of Modern Art where I saw this painting that I think makes interesting use of negative and positive space, depending on perspective, but there seems to be more than two dimensions to this painting which is why I found it so interesting.

2013-02-23 15.52.17

The Approach to Business Cards

Aside

I know I’ve seen business cards over the years that I thought were neat or even fantastic. However, because of my awful memory, they all escape me now so I resort to doing a quick google search to try to find some that jump out at me as being great.

Like most things used to promote or bring awareness to a person, brand or organization, what one does is important to how it is perceived by the public. A lot of it comes down to first impressions and for a lot of smaller businesses or self-employed people, a business card is often someone’s first impression of what you do. Here are a few examples that I enjoy:

Movie Crew business card This one is a mini clapboard in the form of a business card. Awesome for someone who is looking for a career in the behind-the-scenes film industry. The clapboard is used on set of any film to sync video up with audio during the editing process of the film because most of the time, the sound is recorded independently from the video and they have to be paired together afterward. It’s that instantaneous sound made by the clapboard that allows the video editor to ensure everything is perfectly in sync.

Microphone business card This business card takes the shape of a microphone, specifically a radio microphone suggesting that the card’s owner might be looking for a job at a radio station or perhaps a recording studio – one that focuses on recording jingles and commercials. I like this card because, like the clapboard one, it’s simple but it’s also easy on the eyes without sacrificing style. This card tells me that all one really needs to put on a business card is a name, phone number and email/web address.

Clear business card This business card takes on a more standard look except instead of regular paper, it’s transparent. This strikes me as a good idea for someone taking a more general approach to getting his or her name out there. Maybe for an office, some sort of a printing company or even a PR agency. That way, you can go for the standard approach to how the text is formatted and grab attention by the material the text is printed on.

Swiss Apple

The Apple

Combining two of the previous journal assignments, I decided to take a crack at my first swiss design using the apple from the first entry. I underestimated how difficult it is to make a decent looking image using elements from the swiss design layout. For one, every single item, letter, line and figure have a reason for being there, line up with something else and otherwise serve some sort of purpose. With my image, it was essential that I have the apple in there somewhere but I knew it would be a challenge considering most swiss design images tend to not use real images. However, even before I added in the apple at the end, just the text and the lines were difficult to arrange in a way that both made sense, and was visually appealing. I also purposely avoided using colour as that would only increase what I had to consider. I did use a grid with this, ensuring everything was properly lined. This is my first attempt and hopefully, if I decide to continue with this style and with creating images in general, I’ll get better over time.

The words are rough german translations of smart, important, improvement, planning, input and cooperative; representations from the apple image.

Discovery of Swiss

Swiss Graphic DesignCharacterized by many, many lines

Swiss Graphic Design
Characterized by many, many lines

While reading through the chapters of Graphic Design School by Dabner, Calvert & Casey, I came to the realization that there were certain images that really jumped out at me while others I didn’t care for. Talking to a friend of mine who’s in school for graphic design, I learned that the images I liked the most were labeled as being swiss graphic design. It became a fascination that I could google “swiss graphic design” and find image after image that looked so clean, arranged and yet so simple.

An example where the design is made up of only text

An example where the design is made up of only text

Many of the images that I see use just a few colours and makes incredible use of lines, visible or not, over the imaginary grid. The arrangement of text aligned with the few lines or shapes always work powerfully for the image. Often times, the letters themselves make up the design, as with the image to the right. One of the aspects I don’t care for, however, is that it tends to have a very industrial early 20th century look. While it’s classic, I’d probably remedy this by fusing it with a more modern chic design. Use softer typeface, for example. Replace the helvetica with optima, perhaps, and pay close attention to the colours to keep it vibrant.

The Swiss graphic design style was developed in the 1950s

The most important thing I’ve noticed with swiss graphic design is the white space. There’s a lot of it. I’ve heard the phrase “white space is your friend” before but now I’ve seen it in action and believe it. Like Lisa Simpson once said about a performance, “You have to listen to the notes she’s not playing,” I’ll reiterate for design. You have to look for the space that’s not used.