Speckyboy Design Magazine » Graphic Design http://speckyboy.com Web Design News, Resources & Inspiration Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:14:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design: Saul Bass http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/23/icons-graphic-design-saul-bass/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/23/icons-graphic-design-saul-bass/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:58:07 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=50278

Part of my education as a graphic designer was learning about the field’s history. Before, I thought history classes were stuffy and dull. Not this class. I was floored by the bold approaches and radical...


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Part of my education as a graphic designer was learning about the field’s history. Before, I thought history classes were stuffy and dull. Not this class. I was floored by the bold approaches and radical experiments I saw in this “old” work. I wrote Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design to highlight the pioneers, from El Lissitzky to Paula Scher. Each one offers lessons for today’s creatives, and provides inspiration for new ways to innovate. As part of our series profiling some of these icons, here is the first one: Saul Bass.

Icons of Graphic Design: Saul Bass

Before Saul Bass, movie titles were considered so unimportant that theater curtains weren’t pulled aside until they were over. When Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm was released in 1955, featuring Bass’s minimal, animated title sequence, projectionists were actually instructed to open the curtain before the credits began.

Bass studied art in his native New York, learning about Russian Constructivism and the Bauhaus from his teacher György Kepes, who had studied under László Moholy-Nagy. He opened his own office in Los Angeles in 1952, where he designed print ads for movies. Director Otto Preminger hired Bass to design the poster for his 1954 film Carmen Jones; he liked it so much, he asked Bass to design the titles as well. Bass focused on two elements that symbolized the film: a rose and a flame, superimposed over each other.

Carmen Jones  opening credits by Saul Bass
Carmen Jones opening credits by Saul Bass.

That was a key element of Bass’s work: Rather than spotlighting the movie’s star, he would develop symbolic images to represent the film’s meaning. For The Man with the Golden Arm, starring Frank Sinatra as a card dealer addicted to heroin, abstract paper cutouts enter the screen at different angles while the brassy score plays. At the end, the cutouts change into a distorted arm, the film’s main symbol.

The Man with the Golden Arm opening credits
The Man with the Golden Arm opening credits by Saul Bass.

For the first time, the title sequence set the mood and became part of the movie. Bass designed classic titles for Psycho; It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; Bonjour Tristesse; Vertigo; Grand Prix; and North by Northwest. He continued designing for films into the 1980s and 90s, with titles for Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas and Casino, among others.

Vertigo movie poster by Saul Bass
Vertigo movie poster by Saul Bass.

Grand Prix movie poster by Saul Bass
Grand Prix movie poster by Saul Bass.

Bass also changed the way films were marketed. What other designers were doing for corporations, Bass was doing for movies, creating a comprehensive and consistent suite of materials, from on-screen titles, to posters, to advertising. Collaborating with his wife, Elaine, Bass also directed his own films, including the Academy Award-winning short Why Man Creates, and the feature-length Phase IV.

Bass brought that same iconic visual approach to his corporate identity work. He designed logos for Continental Airlines, Minolta, AT&T, Warner Communications, and others, some of which are still in use today:

AT&T logo by Saul Bass
AT&T logo by Saul Bass.

Warner Communications logo by Saul Bass
Warner Communications logo by Saul Bass.

Vertigo movie poster by Saul Bass
Continental Airlines logo by Saul Bass.

Further reading:

This article has been excerpted from Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design by John Clifford. Copyright © 2014. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Peachpit Press.


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Memorable World Cup Moments Illustration Series http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/14/memorable-world-cup-moments/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/14/memorable-world-cup-moments/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:55:38 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=50135

And so the world cup comes to an end… Overall it has been a fantastic tournament, with some truly great goals and plenty of memorable moments. Some of those goals and moments have been immortalized...


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And so the world cup comes to an end…

Overall it has been a fantastic tournament, with some truly great goals and plenty of memorable moments. Some of those goals and moments have been immortalized by Dipanjan Biswas, an Indian based digital illustrator, who has created a series of illustrations depicting all of those golden moments from the world cup, such as the opening ceremony performance of Jennifer Lopez, Pitbul and Claudia Leitte, the Van Persie diving header as the Netherlands defeated Spain 5-1, the Suarez biting incident, the James Rodriguez ‘wonder strike’ against Uruguay, and many more.

Unfortunately (unless you are Argentinian of course) the series does not feature the glorious Mario Gotze volley from the final.

Memorable World Cup Moments by Dipanjan Biswas

The Show Begins

The Show Begins Jennifer Lopez Pitbul Claudia Leitte world cup opening ceremony memorable world cup moment

The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman robon van persie header diving spain netherlands 2014

Hat-Trick Hero

Thomas Muller scored the first hat-trick of the 2014 World Cup portugal

The Great Wall of Mexico

The Great Wall of Mexico held Brazil to a goalless draw with an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa

Adiós Espana

Adiós Espana spain knocked out of the World Cup by an impressive Chile memorable world cup moment

The Big Bite

The Big Bite Uruguay's Luis Suarez has been accused of biting a player for the third time in his career after an incident with Giorgio Chiellini

Wonder Strike

Wonder Strike James Rodriguez confirmed his status as the World Cup's newest star with a stunning 25-yard left-foot volley

Heart Break

Heart Break Neymar has been ruled out of the World Cup with a broken bone in his back sustained in the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia memorable world cup moment


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Retro-Style Poster Series of the World Cup Golden Ball Winners http://speckyboy.com/2014/05/15/retro-style-poster-series-world-cup-golden-ball-winners/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/05/15/retro-style-poster-series-world-cup-golden-ball-winners/#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 11:19:30 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=48749

The next Fifa Football World Cup is just around the corner and fans are preparing themselves for the big event. The atmosphere has been building up for four years and we are now just few...


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The next Fifa Football World Cup is just around the corner and fans are preparing themselves for the big event. The atmosphere has been building up for four years and we are now just few weeks away before the ultimate sporting event gets underway in Brazil.

Canadian based graphic designer Jon Rodgers has graphically designed the 19 players who have previously won the FIFA world cup Golden Ball Award. The Golden Ball award is presented to the best player at the FIFA World Cup finals. A shortlist is created by FIFA and the winner is voted for by the media.

Jon has designed these amazing retro posters in order to illustrate the players who have made the difference to their respective national teams over the previuos world cups. He has adopted a vintage retro theme in this project to demonstrate the emotions that surrounded each player. According to Jon: “This is a tribute to those few individuals who have set themselves apart in the 19 tournaments over the past 74 years.”.

The FIFA Golden Ball Poster Series

world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation Diego Forlan South frica 2010
Diego Forlan – South frica 2010

world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation Zindeine Zidane Germany 2006
Zindeine Zidane – Germany 2006

world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustationOliver Khan Japan South Korea 2002
Oliver Khan – Japan & South Korea 2002

Ronaldo France 1998 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Ronaldo – France 1998

Romario USA 1994 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Romario – USA 1994

Slavattore Schillaci Italy 1990 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Slavattore Schillaci – Italy 1990

Diego Maradona Mexico 1986 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Diego Maradona – Mexico 1986

Paolo Rossi Spain 1982 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Paolo Rossi – Spain 1982

Mario Kempes Argentina 1978 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Mario Kempes – Argentina 1978

Johan Cruyff West Germany 1974 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Johan Cruyff – West Germany 1974

Pele Mexico 1970 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Pele – Mexico 1970

Bobby Charlton England 1966 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Bobby Charlton – England 1966

Garrincha Chile 1962 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Garrincha – Chile 1962

Didi Sweden 1958 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Didi – Sweden 1958

Ferenc Puskas Switzerland 1954 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Ferenc Puskas – Switzerland 1954

Zizinho brazil 1950 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Zizinho – Brazil 1950

world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation Leonidas France 1938
Leonidas – France 1938

Giuseppe Meazza Italy 1934 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Giuseppe Meazza – Italy 1934

Jose Nasazzi Uruguay 1930 world cup fifa golden ball winner poster illustation
Jose Nasazzi – Uruguay 1930


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Proofing Tips for Print Design Perfection http://speckyboy.com/2014/02/14/proofing-tips-print-design-perfection/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/02/14/proofing-tips-print-design-perfection/#comments Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:34:31 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=46809

Many of the articles on this site are aimed at the digital space, such as design for the web, mobile and apps. And let’s face it, most design in general is done in the digital...


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Many of the articles on this site are aimed at the digital space, such as design for the web, mobile and apps. And let’s face it, most design in general is done in the digital space, much of it never makes it on to paper. But what about when you do want to take your designs from the virtual to the physical world – from digital to print?

It can take a lot of tinkering to get your print designs to look right. Though your designs may look great on the screen, that might not be the case once it has been printed. A thorough proofing process is essential for getting a print piece that looks just as you expect.

Misprinted work is costly. If it’s a problem with your file, you will likely have to fork over more money to fix it. If you can’t afford reprints, you may have to keep the incorrect piece or wait until you can afford to reprint. If it’s a client project, the mistake could put a dent in their plans, your bank account, and your business’s reputation.

A thorough proofing process can head off most print design issues. Though nothing is foolproof, keep the following proofing tips in mind with your next print project:

Words, Words, Words

Spellcheckers are unreliable. Read every word in the piece several times before sending it off for printing. Check your work, make corrections, recheck it, and then have someone else review it.

Words, Words, Words

When working really closely on a project, your brain can fill in letters and words where they don’t exist. Having another pair of eyes check it over can eliminate these mistakes.

By Accident or by Design

During the process of creation, sometimes something important can end up being left out. Some of the most common mistakes include inconsistency of fonts, colors, shadows and other minute details. If you made a big change in multiple areas, such as font or color, evaluate each element carefully to ensure that the change was made every place it needed to be changed.

By Accident or by Design

Additionally, if you’re creating something for a client, compare the design to the original specs to make sure you’ve included all of the necessary features.

True Colors Shining Through

Matching colors on the screen to colors on the paper can be difficult. From the design program, to the final digital file, to the print provider’s presses, each could affect the final results. Though many graphic designers and photographers like to work in RGB, digital printing is often carried via a CMYK process. Some printers will print from your RGB file. Otherwise, you can convert the design to CMYK yourself, though it may take some knowledge and adjusting to get the colors to look right.

True Colors Shining Through

How your monitor is calibrated may also affect how you see the colors on the screen, versus how it will look in print. One way to get an idea is to print a test image and compare it to what’s on your screen. You may find you need to make adjustments to your design’s colors.

Resolution, Baby!

For small print jobs like business cards, brochures or booklets, it’s recommended that images be saved at 300 DPI. There’s more flexibility for image resolution with large format jobs, such as banners and signs. For photographic images on canvas, 100 DPI is considered plenty. A good rule of thumb is to always save your design image files with the highest resolution possible. Though you can scale the image down if you must, it is impossible to add pixels after the fact.

Resolution, Baby!

Bleeds, Crops & Cuts – Oh My!

A bleed is part of the design that extends beyond the crop marks and is cut off in the finishing process. Crop marks indicate to the printer where to cut the design to get the size and shape you desire. Cutting tolerance is the small variations that occur when sheets are cut down to size by machine. Setting up your design file to suit your printer’s bleed, crop mark, and cutting tolerance requirements is essential to getting the final printed design you expect.

Bleed and crop mark expectations vary from project to project and printer to printer, but many small format jobs require 1/8″ bleeds, while many larger format pieces may need a 1/4″ or larger bleed. A high quality printer has a cutting tolerance that measures no greater than 1/16″.

Pick the Perfect Paper

How the colors look for the final printed piece will depend on the substrate you choose. Coated paper has a smooth, satin-like finish that is somewhat resistant to dirt and moisture. A coating will restrict how the paper absorbs ink, which helps to maintain clarity and is desirable for printing photographs and other sharp images.

Resolution, Baby!

Uncoated paper is generally not as smooth, with a slightly rough feel. It has a tendency to be absorbent, like a sponge, which can cause ink to spread on the paper and result in less crisp lines. Work with your printer to find the right substrate if you’re not sure which to use.

Fit to Print

Use your home or office printer to print it out with standard paper, cut it down, and fold it, if needed. This will give you a glimpse at how your printed project will look, giving you the chance to refine your design if needed. Once you’ve sent your design file to the printer, you will also get a digital proof to approve.

Fit to Print

Go ahead and print the digital proof, too. Although this in-house test print won’t necessarily show exactly what you can expect, it will give you a good idea. Evaluate your digital proof very carefully because this is often the last step before your order is printed.

Proof is in the Proof

Digital proofs are ideal due to the ability to create and send them quickly and cheaply, but there are times when it’s best to get a hard proof. If the substrate has distinctive properties, such as metallic paper or synthetic materials, or you’re trying a new printing technique such as white ink printing, request a hard proof to see the design on the medium.

You may also want a hard proof if you have precise brand colors to replicate. There is usually a cost to ordering a hard proof, but it’s a small price to pay to know what to expect when your order is delivered.

Concluding

After stepping through this checklist and ensuring that the interested parties are happy with how the proofs look, the final step is approving the project for printing. You’ve made the effort on your part to make sure it goes off without a hitch; the rest is up to your printer. If you’ve done your homework to find a quality printer, you’ll know that when you receive the final product it will be exactly what you want. But that’s another checklist for another article on another day.

Image Source: Graphic Design Icon Set via Shutterstock.

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Raposters – A Classic Rap Music Poster Everyday for 100 Days http://speckyboy.com/2014/02/02/raposters/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/02/02/raposters/#comments Sun, 02 Feb 2014 12:58:17 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=46506

Last year French designer Zaven Najjar set himself the laborious task of redesigning, in his own unique style, a classic rap music poster everyday for 100 days. Dr Dre, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent,...


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Last year French designer Zaven Najjar set himself the laborious task of redesigning, in his own unique style, a classic rap music poster everyday for 100 days. Dr Dre, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Tupac, and many, many more are all in there. He has inventively called the completed 100 poster series Raposters, and they can all be found here.

Below we have highlighted our favorites:

The Raposters Poster Series:

Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog - Still Dre Rap Poster Series
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog – Still Dre

Tupac Shakur - Changes Rap Poster Series
Tupac Shakur – Changes

Grandmaster Flash - The White Lines Rap Poster Series

Booba - Ma Definition Rap Poster Series
Booba – Ma Definition

Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain Rap Poster Series
Cypress Hill – Insane in the Brain

Eminem - Lose Yourself Rap Poster Series
Eminem – Lose Yourself

DMX - Where the Hood At Rap Poster Series
DMX – Where the Hood At

50 Cent - 21 Questions Rap Poster Series
50 Cent – 21 Questions

Run DMC - My Adidas Rap Poster Series
Run DMC – My Adidas

Wu Tang Clan - Protect Ya Neck Rap Poster Series
Wu Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck

Beastie Boys - Intergallactic Rap Poster Series
Beastie Boys – Intergallactic

Snoop Doggy Dog - Who Am I Whats My Name? Rap Poster Series
Snoop Doggy Dog – Who Am I (Whats My Name?)

Jay-Z - Picasso Baby Rap Poster Series
Jay-Z – Picasso Baby

Nas - I Can Rap Poster Series
Nas – I Can

Public Enemy - He got Game Rap Poster Series
Public Enemy – He Got Game


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