Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The colors...

I've always been an Illustrator man.
The tightness of the edges and the endless scaling possibilities. I usually streamline my inks and color the whole shebang in Illustrator. But over recent months I've been admiring the works of people like James Jean and Asaf and Tomer Hanuka and I've been flirting with the idea of maybe *gulp*...switching.
I know, I know, I can just use both, but where's your sense of drama!?
Anyway I wanted to try coloring one of my illustrations in Photoshop, but I don't have much experience with it. I have, of course, been using photoshop for years, doing all kinds of odd jobs (scanning, retouching making images ready for prints etc.), but never actually for illustrating. I had made some failed attempts before but they were... well failed. This time I wanted to make real go of it.

A nice opportunity arose when one of my illustrations was deemed "too heavy" by the client after I had already inked it (some mix-up about the meaning of the words "sketch approved"). It was the style drawing I wanted to color because it was kind of realistic. For the more cartoony stuff I still like the flat tightness of illustrator.

Quite a few artist who use photoshop don't even ink their art, but use really clean, partly shaded pencils. I might try that at some stage, but I really like inking and I don't want to loose too much of the clean tightness that comes with good ink.

I didn't know where to start but I just went about it the way I would do a painting (with paint and brushes and stuff). So that meant the big shapes first. As with most of my experiments, I put in exactly 0.0 planning. So I made up the colors as went along... which is why they're not the most interesting of color schemes.

After the big gestures, start adding more and more of the smaller details.

And that's where I decided to call it a day. I could add more detail, change some colors, redo some of the renderings, but as far as the experiment goes I think it's quite a successful one. I really want to get into this some more and also do a couple of 'professional' pieces. Although that's where I bump into one of big disadvantages of Photoshop... pixels. Which means none of that nifty infinite scaling that vectors offer. So that means thinking ahead a bit better and maybe buying a few more GB's or RAM.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Father, it's been 2 months since my last confession... I do apologies.
In June of this past year I was approached by the 180 advertising agency in Amsterdam to help them out with the some custom typography for one of the campaigns the were working on. I went into their offices to be briefed (and sign a bunch of NDA's) and what I thought was about a 2 months worth of work turned into and almost al consuming project of a good 6 months.
They wanted me to do some custom lettering for the Adidas football boot campaign.
It meant having to design and draw two pieces of typography in (what became) 24 different languages... These included next to most western languages, Chinese, Japanese Arabic, Russian and Korean.
It was an offer I couldn't refuse so I went at it with all I had and the first applications are now being shown to the public....

The campaign was developed to promote the latest edition of the Adidas soccerboots; the Predator and the F50.
The Predator is a the shoe for the methodical, tactical, technical player whereas the F50 was designed with the more flamboyant, fast and playful player in mind. The concept behind the campaign was based on the idea of these shoes representing two different teams, the punch-line being "Two team,two attitudes, choose your side". This had to be reflected in the type.

(Click the image for a closer look)

The type was based on two existing type-faces. One being the Flix and the other one the Cuba (a horribly cheap and crappy product and therefore needed a LOT of work before it was of any use). The reason for this was that they wanted to have other supporting typography in a similar style but were too cheap to let me design two faces from scratch... it wasn't that really, it would've just taken me too much time.

This is one of the first applications of the campaign. This one is in Germany and similar so-called 'mega-sites' will also be done in Brazil and Honk Kong. My typography is part of the print campaign. To check the commercials and other part of the whole thing check the Adidas website.