The Alien poster that I designed for the Mercury Cinema is now available in print form on Society6.
Posted by Chris / 30 Sep 2012 / 3 notes
Spent the weekend working on promotional materials for a New Weird Australia-organised event for Filthy Children, a Sydney-based collective of electronic musicians.
The brief was wide-open, and anyone who’s been in that position before will know that it’s both a blessing and a curse. You have to set your own starting point, so I just started with listening and connoting. It was lucky that I was able to get into their music really easily, and I instantly started drawing comparisons to a made-up genre a friend and I fondly refer to as ‘playstation music’; tunes reminiscent of soundtracks from games like Ace Combat 3, Ape Escape, and Spyro. A few of the artists had referenced games in subtle ways, too, so this is where I started.
Posted by Dan / 12 Sep 2012 / 4 notes
Recently in my coworking space at Hub Melbourne I have witnessed more and more small businesses looking to 99designs and crowdsourcing sites for their design needs. Time and time again I have explained to people that this is not the best way to get effective design and so thought it was time to…
How I felt this morning.
Here he is: probably the first lesson in fear for every kid who ever dared to open the ‘Games’ folder in Windows 95. Shhhh. No more tears, now.
Posted by mwlblog / 10 Aug 2012 / 0 notes
A little while ago I posted a mock-up of a business card for Ross McHenry. At the time I thought I’d have them off and finished within about a week, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.
During the process I managed to overlook the simple fact that when printing digitally, light ink doesn’t print well on dark surfaces. I had a couple of options, one being to use a white foil print, but that’d be getting rather expensive. My other option was to get them screen printed, but having never done it myself I was unfamiliar with how finely the screens could print. I got in touch with Jake Holmes over at Tooth and Nail and he was pretty enthusiastic about how they could turn out, so I ordered my paper and we gave it a shot.
I had no idea what to expect, so when Jake called me over to the studio with the finished sheets, I was pretty amazed at the result. Jake was able to shed some insight into the process to me, and we were able to discuss some pretty interesting ideas and experiments for the next run. I’m increasingly finding that collaborative efforts are invaluable to the design process.
With the sheets back in hand, it was now up to me to cut them. This had to be done manually, for a couple reasons. One was that I had made the cards a little too wide, so I had to go in and cut an extra 5mm or so off the running edges. The other was that registration can be tricky when screen printing double-sided, and whilst Jake did a brilliant job, it’s always best to cut with caution. I’m also pedantic and dumb.
Following this ordeal, I then had to pin holes into each card individually with a thumbtack. This was to create the starry effect that goes with the planetary layout of the text. I had tested the stock before getting it printed, and it didn’t take anywhere near as much damage as other stocks I had tested whilst mocking it up, so I was pretty pleased about that.
This might all sound like a chore, but I consider being able to make something by hand a bit of a blessing. Each of these cards is different from the others, they’re all different sizes and their stars are unique. I want to create things that people will enjoy; that they’ll want to keep. I find that I’m constantly inspired by games, and the idea of play. I love the ‘ahh’ moment, that brief moment where you discover something new, or how something works. Just interesting little things that, even if for a second, make you feel good about yourself.
And things are always better when they’re gift-wrapped.
Posted by Dan / 22 Jun 2012 / 2 notes
Cheers! Glad at least one person is taking them :D
Posted by Made With Lava / 13 Jun 2012 / 0 notes
Questions of whether or not video games are art are tired and vague. What we need to be doing is examining their value and meaning. Games, like any other form of design, have the power to communicate, educate, and transform, as well as entertain. Criticisms such as the worth and narrative functionality of games need to be examined in order to gain a greater understanding of their potential.
Well Played is an online and print journal dedicated to the closer study of video games; how people play them, how they communicate, and what their role is in a greater cultural context. Each issue is released digitally for free, but is also available for physical purchase.
This is one of my favourite essays, by Nick Fortugno. Shadow of the Colossus is often regarded as a game of great poetic value, but is rarely discussed in any depth. Fortugno analyses the relationship between dramatic storytelling and interactivity and how the idea of ‘futile interactivity’ becomes a core component in the game’s narrative.
On another note, if you’re yet to grab the latest Humble Indie Bundle, I strongly recommend getting on that shit right now. It’s worth getting for any one of those titles, let alone all eight of them (plus the soundtracks oh goodness).
Posted by Dan / 11 Jun 2012 / 1 note
Here’s the third (and probably final) poster in the Future Imperfect series for the Mercury Cinema. If you haven’t seen the film, Westworld is about a robot cowboy that starts killing tourists in a futuristic theme park (the itchy and scratchy world Simpsons episode was based on this film)
I used a glitch art technique to create distorted line effect. Glitch art is where you open a .jpg file in a text editor and start messing around with the code. Rob Sheridan used this to great effect when creating the social network soundtrack artwork.
I went through the code and removed a single character every 50 lines or so and it ended up creating an amazing rainbow pattern. I quite liked the coloured result but decided to green-ify it to keep it consistent with the other posters in the series.
Will definitely be experimenting with this technique more in the future, got some really crazy results and it’s lots of fun.
Posted by Chris / 9 Jun 2012 / 2 notes
Wood & Wire is a digital record label, promoting experimentation in Australian music across all genres.
The label is a project from New Weird Australia, an initiative designed to promote and support new eclectic and experimental Australian music.
A minimum of two releases are added to the Wood & Wire catalogue at the beginning of each month.
W&W just launched yesterday, but there’s already four releases (including an attempt to make a ‘better’ version of Metallica and Reed’s infamous ‘Lulu’, and some 80’s synth inspired film dissonance by newcomer Emily Grantham) up on their bandcamp store. Anyone with a passing interest in the sounds coming from NWA will get right into this. It seems to me like a continuation, or successor to their already well-established ‘Editions’, which can only be a good thing. The time between Editions has been growing steadily over the past several releases, and I was concerned that the program had been dropped, so this is a sight for sore
Heath Killen is behind the visual systems again and everything’s looking pretty rad. He’s developed a pretty thorough brand which seems to revolve around a selection of simple shapes and triangles. The covers utilise a system that works well in a digital environment; recognisable at varying sizes, yet still visually stimulating. There’s no back cover or spine so names are featured systematically in the top corners. I’d love to scroll through these in cover flow. Contributors to NWA’s commons flickr stream will probably benefit from this system as well.
Have a peek for yourself, grab some tunes.
Posted by Dan / 4 Jun 2012 / 0 notes