...the customer is always right. Above is pretty much the final design for the poodle sign. I'm a bit uneasy about it but its what they wanted and hey that's great.
One thing that I've learned and have quickly accepted is to not get attached to my work. Especially commercial stuff. I mean, yes, you need to have passion. You need to work as hard as possible on each one to come up with the best solution to the problem. But you just have to accept that some people won't like anything that you think is "good" cause everybody has an opinion. Which is fine. You just need to give the client what they want.
And Ben, you're totally right. A good designer is somebody that can take a bunch of crap (or lollipops!) and bring the same level of interest and passion to it as their own stuff. On to more!
Oh, and they picked the pink one!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
So I was pretty busy today and only had a little bit of time to work on this project. This is the next iteration and while I think its an improvement over the original there are still a lot of things that I will need to change.
I decided to keep the same color scheme because I really wanted to make it work. That and I didn't want to bother with getting new colors to match. I added two photos of poodles (ones that are actually toy poodles) that the client gave me and made them gray scale, ran the PS cutout filter on them, separated the colors with paths, brought them into Illustrator and cleaned the edges, and then finally into CorelDraw.
I did what I could with the title but I still need to make some tweaks. Maybe the spacing for "companions" and the font for "poodle". I'll also play more with the inner box since the description is a bit too small. The phone number I'm not sure about. It juts off the sign when everything else is uniform so I might make the outcropping even (just a line instead of following the numbers) or bring it up. I'll see the reaction from the client.
Overall I think this one is on track. I like it way more than the last and I'm glad its not symmetrical. I have to finish one other layout (it has a poodle silhouette as the sign/ client's request) and then I'll email 'em out.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
This is kind of a self-reflective post, but I'm beginning to realize more and more the differences between good and bad design. One thing that's really hard for me to do is find faults in my own work (whether it be design, drawing, or painting). Not because what I'm doing is necessarily good but because I get stuck in this "bubble" with the piece I'm currently on. To remedy it I really have to take it and put it side by side with stuff on conceptart.org to get my brain going again so I can finally go, "Ahhhhh....I'll change this and this and this".
So when I was at work today I was in a similar situation. Take for instance, this sign I'm designing. Cool colors, symmetrical, nothing too fancy, and utterly horrible. I was doing variations on this piece for a while until my boss finally changed my perspective by saying, "damn Nate...you suck so much I want to kill your babies" (well not in those words). So what's wrong with it?
First, with good design you need to get your point across in 5 seconds. That's pretty much the rules on the internet, and definitely the rules for when you're driving by something at 60 mph. You need to express what's important. Saying your message in a digestible form that sticks with your audience. With this sign, its a business about breeding poodles. So having the name of the business as all the same font, size or style is a mistake. "Cuddly", "Candy", and "Companions" aren't really that important. "Poodles" is the most important while "Chrissy's" comes in 2nd.
So a potential solution for this is to make "Chrissy's" and "Poodle" larger while downplaying the other three words. Also, the type needs to change. While script does come across as pretty, for readability purposes, its on the bottom of the barrel. That doesn't mean you need to have extreme bold on all the time, but you can achieve the same "style" by using a type that's a little thicker and more vertically balanced.
Another big problem with this sign is the color choices. While not bad together (see the palette) they don't really provide great contrast to each other as well. You don't need stark contrast for everything, but on a sign you need the important things to pop as best as possible. One problem with the sign is that the most contrasting colors are the background and border color while the main title's colors mush together. One thing that exacerbates things is the over use of outlines. It works fine with the phone number but the "breeders..." type is muddy and the title becomes confusing. Changing this, I would put the high contrast colors between the main font and 1st outline while making sure both colors pop against the background. Overall, I think the colors need more saturation and intensity.
For the poodles (the bitmaps) I'm on the fence about whether to just have silhouettes or to actually have detail. I do have photos of poddles (the client gave me this "family portrait" of about 8 demon poodles staring at you....claiming your soul) Generally though, I've never liked signs that use real photos. I suppose I could make it work but photos always seem to stand out way too much (well when surrounded by vector objects).
Oh....and just forget about the little design in the middle. It's an okay spacer but probably unnecessary. Soooo...that's that for right now. I'll post the new and improved tomorrow and do a compare and contrast between the two.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
So I've finalized the logo with Black Horse Group. Took a few alterations but it all went through rather quickly. What I'm showing is the concepts that I showed them first, and then the following updates that lead into the final logo design. It all really happened within a few hours because as soon as I would send out an update they would call me with changes.
The process itself was also pretty straight forward. I based a few of the logos off of what the already had (just a black rearing horse) and then kept going. I probably did too many concepts at the beginning (really 3 good ones are enough) but they appreciated all the options. Since the final is basically a copy/paste of 3 different logos its a good thing I submitted so many. What's exciting (for me anyways) is that the final is going to be put on all their hardhats, trucks, signs, and advertising. I'm hoping I left a good enough impression that they'll come back for any other design work.
Also the price for a logo like this is a few hundred. Since its going on so many things though you could easily charge over a thousand.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Hmmm....haven't updated in days. So I randomly am! Crap stuff for sure but I needed to do something. Unfortunately my job has got me running 24.7. Fortunately I just got Painter X for free (a gift) so I'm experimenting with that. It's...amazing. Update will follow shortly!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
So I finished up the moose today. Added some more "sparkles" (ooooh!) to the water and generally more contrast. My boss went in at the very end and added some things (the orange flowers, some darker darks, and whiter trees) but I'm pretty happy with what I did. I wish I had had more time but I was under a pretty strict deadline. Fortunately though, Enamel is definitely getting easier to use. Also, the picture of the sign is what the painting is going to be fastened to...that was done by Larry (told him I'd give him credit).
I also have 2 more logo concepts that I quickly did up today. Sorry about the low resolution but if I had brought them into CorelDraw then I would have lost those fonts.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
So I managed to bring some stuff home that I worked on at....work...today. The first is the start of a moose painting for a sign. I really haven't begun to put detail into it but the lighting is pretty much there as well as the color. I'm kind of not sure about how much detail to put in because its going to be put up about 7 ft high and you'll see it while driving by. The most important thing is making sure it "pops" from far away...need to work on my contrast. It was done using enamel paint, which is used the same as oils except it dries in about an hour. The fumes were ridiculous. Tomorrow I'll finish it up and then post the final.
The 2nd is just some logo concepts for this construction business. I still have to come up with one more (I really only like the one on the left) and I'm kind of competing against my boss :). Unfortunately, I don't have the fonts that work has so I had to use my crappy ones...which takes away from the design.