Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Old Man Promo

The Old Man in Amsterdam is a snowboard shop in winter and a surf shop in summer and kind of an institution at that.
They recently became an official premium Burton store and they needed a short promo to run on the narrowcast system of the Amsterdam tram-lines. I had the honor to produce the little thing.

And before you ask... there's no sound.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

The Old Man promo from BOLTgraphics on Vimeo.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More portraiture

Over the last few years I've been asked more and more to do portrait. For a variety of clients, but mainly for a Dutch magazine call the REVU. About 6 weeks ago I finished the last out of a series of 4 portraits of this writer named Henk van Straten.

Every week Henk covers a story about people that ended up in court, all for different reasons. Some severe, others not so.
The brief: a portrait of Henk (showing off his tattoos, which suit his young and punchy style of writing) and 'something to do with the justice system'.








Monday, March 12, 2012

All Hands...

It's not very often one comes across companies that value the importance of their internal communication as much they do their external one. Usually when organizations even understand its importance they don't want to spend any real money on motivating, informing or educating their employees about their plans and strategies.

Not so with Kabam. This games developer, specializing in free to play online titles, has set some big goals for itself and wants everybody on board and motivated. So they came up with a little print campaign to run in the halls of the Kabam offices.

It was going to be a series of posters, inspired by wartime propaganda of the 1940'. Basically rallying the Kabam troops. There were going the have about 11 posters made in total and I was lucky enough to be asked to design one of them.
The brief was the stuff of dreams and basically came down to:
"It has to be inspired the 1940' propaganda style of posters, use the copy supplied, try to have the poster represent the different areas of expertise within the company... go do what you do."
Great!

So I got to it...
As some of you might know by now, I'm a real sucker for all design stemming from this era of history so I had to really contain myself and not get too carried away with the proposals
I did two sketches.



One was a quite literal representation of the copy, which is something quite typical of the posters in those days.
In the second one I tried add a little more dynamism, a bit more of the old 'marching towards the bright future'

Kabam like the hands better and to be honest I had to agree with them.
They weren't really feeling the '51%' in the roundel and also had some concerns about the legibility and placement of the "fighting our way back to"

So I fixed it and send in my second proposal, in which also went a bit more into the colour use I thought would be nice. I also sent along a sample of how I wanted to execute the final illustration.
I wanted the poster to have a lithography feel, make it look nice and olde. It was a style I had applied before, but was a slight (but fun) departure from what I usually do. No inking involved this time, just going form the pencils straight to vectors and then to photoshop for some trickery.




The go to finalize was given and I started on the final piece. The only thing that was bugging me about the typography was the "fighting our way to 51%" line... it was too frilly. It needed to be more robust. So I stripped it all the way down to a simple brushed display face (using House Industries' House Slant from their Sign Painter collection).

(click it to get a better view)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Let's be friends


Not sure if I mentioned this before, but BOLTgraphics is now available for 'liking'.

There's an honest to goodness facebook page on which I post and share all kinds of random news, clips, tid-bits, loosely connected to realm of design, illustration and BOLTgraphics.

It'd be nice to see you there.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Robothon 2012

This coming March the conference on type design and technology called Robothon will once again be held in The Hague, The Netherlands and as ever it's being organized by Erik van Blokland and Paul van der Laan.
Although they are both gifted graphic designers themselves, they thought it was a good idea (don't ask me why) to let me design the logo for this year's conference.

The brief was simple: "Do what you like" and as a guideline they gave me a few words:
- UFOs (.ufo is and I quote "a cross-platform, cross-application, human readable, future proof format for storing font data")
- 2012 (as in the end of the world... maybe)
- robots (Robofont is a .ufo font editor which will be launched at the conference)
- general 'nerdyness' (it is after all "type design and TECHNOLOGY")

It was plenty for me to go on.
At first I thought about doing some Gigantor (Osamu Tezuka) and Ultraman inspired stuff...


...but I opted against that route. This kind stuff doesn't really come across in Roman characters and I din't want to go the 'faux-kanji' route.

Instead I started looking for more western inspiration like the science fiction tv-shows from the seventies:


This would give me that nerdy edge, the space, the UFOs... time to get sketching.
I did a couple of sketches at first trying to fit type into the shape of a flying saucer... or have the logo be emblazoned on the chest-plate of a giant robot (still hadn't fully let go of that Gigantor idea), but that would make the thing way to bulky.



So this one wasn't going to let it be squeezed into a mold of some UFO. I had to give it some room to stretch it's legs... Although I liked the interlocking, the UFO thing had to go.

I built the basic character-shapes in Illustrator and then deformed them, to give it that spacey "zoom into the future of 30 years ago" type of feel. After that I adjusted weight and contrast where it had all gone a bit wonky from the deformation.


After that I added the space-ship (which sort of resembled a pointed calligraphy pen), the 2012, colours, drop-shadow and some Kana (a word in Japanese characters that, as my underdeveloped knowledge of the language assured me, was saying "RO-BO-TO-N")and it was done...
Through the wonders of Twitter we found out that although the Kana did spell "ROBOTON" the "TH" would in Japanese more commonly be transcribed to an S sounding character (resulting in "ROBOSON"). It was corrected...


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gus typography

Good friends had a baby boy, I decided to write his name. I liked the name and can always use the practice.
I made it all nice a blingy...
Hope you like.