Yes, the articles on Design Reviews I have written about guitars and guitar related design have been so very popular that I have decided to create the new, wonderful and very special Guitar Design Reviews website. That’s both .co.uk and .com folks. Since starting Design Reviews my favourite topic has been guitars really and it is good to have a dedicated domain for this area so I don’t bore the more general design/illustration bods who pass by here.
I’m still working on the look and design of Guitar Design Reviews, and there are some under-developed bits, such as the shop, but I’m quite happy at how far it has got to now with 4 pretty decent articles so far;
- The Harley Earl inspired tail-fin chrome guitar
- Jackson Surfcaster SC4 Guitar Review
- 5 all new original guitar headstock designs
- Fender Stratocaster and Aviator Sunglasses desktop wallpaper
And lots more articles coming up of course. As well as the above I have another 6 headstock designs done, 3 other guitar body designs done and I have material for about another 4 guitar reviews right now. That’s not bad going.
Update – I am up to approximately 25 published articles now. Also I have moved the guitar headstock articles from here to there!
Please head on over and have a look! Mark
The wife and I have just enjoyed a little excursion down to Devon and Somerset but mainly Somerset. We saw some great places and scenes and tasted some fantastic local brews. We highly recommend a tipple at Sheppy’s Cider Farm, which has been churning out lovely cider since 1817. I’ve just noticed you can buy their cider online too, nice…
On the way back from the seaside one evening we managed to shoot some lovely sunset photos. My wife particularly likes these, and she took them all. Her ideal sunset scene has a skeletal tree or two in front of the sunset scene. This time of year is the last chance to get these shots before the trees are all full and covered in leaves.
I’ve chosen the best six and hosted them here, you can open the large versions by clicking on the composite scene below.
The six pictures are all approximately 2Mpix images, they have just been cropped down a little but not too much, so they might be useful for various bits of design work, please feel free to borrow them. The pictures were taken with a Canon camcorder with a good lens, the pictures look nice and crisp in their full size pixel preview.
This week I have just completed a website for my daughter, it’s called “Classical Event Music.co.uk“. She and a group of friends aim to provide music and musical entertainment to social events and gatherings throughout the northwest of England/Wales. Or if the price is right, anywhere! The reason it took so long is gathering the media/photos… The site design was finished in October last year as you can see from the page first post. Oh, another thing I just did to complete the site is design the great little favicon in Illustrator, looks pretty cool to me, it’s just a simple treble bass clef and a champagne glass composite image. Pretty funky for a 16×16 pixel image.
The best part of the site is the audio/video media page, lots of great audio tracks to listen to to hear the solo and ensemble playing. There’s one video there at the moment too, hopefully more to follow.
Isn’t being perfect a bit weird? Well it is for us humans, but for the things we covet and buy a lot of the stuff can possibly be ‘perfectly formed’. Shiny new iPod, shiny new BMW etc etc. That is until you get up to the very high end of things, oddly, where ‘hand made’, ‘craft’ and ‘characterful’ become major selling points. Now words like rustic, antique and crafted replace flawless, pristine and precision made.
Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic which embraces objects of art with imperfections, roughness and asymmetry. It’s a kind of art I liked without even knowing there was a name for it, until now… More than once the Design Reviews blog has discussed eroded, aged, worn, halftoned and other ‘lo-fi’ effects in illustrator and vector graphics in general.
Guitar enthusiasts have been buying into hand-made and artificially aged or ‘reliced’ guitars for quite a while now, look at the picture above. A relic will have quite a premium on the price tag! Just think of how many years you would have to own and play a guitar to make it look that used. Quote: “Fender’s Relic line accounts for more than 12% of its $5 million annual sales.” Another very popular market for aged and worn appearance is clothing; think of faded stonewashed jeans and distressed leather jackets. Of course don’t forget antiques either.
As I noted earlier the Wabi-Sabi idea can be put into your illustration and logo work quite easily now with the modern versions of illustrator which are less about pure lines and shapes than before. There’s a lot of vector tools that can cross over into areas that were once Photoshop only avenues.
I have a couple of other articles planned about Wabi-Sabi style graphics, beauty and design coming up which I think will be very interesting. And I hope to put up some polls for feedback too. Come back next week!
To commemorate the inauguration of the new president, Design Reviews has produced a special edition T-shirt with the bloke’s face on it. We probably should have done this a few months ago when people were making loads of money from Obamamania, but we clearly aren’t entrepreneurs here, we are designers & reviewers.
The quality of the design is only matched by the quality of the material! The shirt is made of 100% certified combed organic cotton, with twin needle stitching at the neck, sleeves and hem. AND it’s not produced in a sweat shop in a third world country either.
The design was lovingly created with a paid for commercial full copy of Adobe Illustrator, thereby keeping workers in the USA in employment. The fetching background Obama was realised with the help of the wonderful little program I have reviewed previously, Raster.
These shirts are a limited edition with no more than 500 being produced. One shirt costs 25UKP or 35USD, go to our merchandise page and order lots NOW!
The Day the Earth Stood Still, 1951 & 2008. What a great film with 1951 version was (is), and what a great soundtrack. I’ve not got around to seeing the 2008 version, will probably wait until it’s on TV. Big problem – it’s got Kanue in it, but the front page review on imdb says his wooden acting ‘style’ suits the alien persona of Klaatu. Also the trailer is uninspiring.
What has that got to do with Design Reviews? Well the huge robot Gort is a very cool robot design and I was sidetracked last night while designing a logo to do a version of Gort in Adobe Illustrator. I think it’s pretty nice and you can see it below.
Also out of huge generosity and Christmas spirit I have uploaded some ‘Gort wallpaper’ for your desktop. It’s available in lots of sizes to match your screen 1024×768, 1280×800, 1280×960, 1280×1024 and a big one at 1365×1024. Also even more incredibly I’ve uploaded the Adobe Illustrator (v8 for compatibility) file for you to download, to see how it’s drawn or so you can modify it, such as move the ‘klaatu barada nikto’ text around to suit your own desktop. Please if you do anything like that write a little comment on my page, or DIGG it or something!
The streets of Taiwan are teeming with businesses, it’s very rare to see a residential only area. Commonly the houses have 3 or 4 floors with the ground floor used as some kind of shop, all the shops are open to at least 10pm. In quieter cities you might go in to a store and the family is there watching TV or eating so you feel intrusive.
Anyway all these shops have many kinds of logos, some don’t, they just have some Chinese writing. Last week on my way to Taichung City (pop. 1,064,440) I shot these logos with my phone-cam, an old Sony K800i. Partly because of my inspiration from LogoDesignLove and partly because some of the logos are cool, stylish or funny. Take a look below, 15 logos in 15 minutes…
Have you every ventured into Pants Kingdom or La Fatte? Everyone must recognise Domino’s Pizza. Now I wish I’d spent more time taking some more/better shots.
Is 3D in the non-interactive and non-animated design side of things a bit stale and shopworn?
It seems so, even clients have asked “no 3D effects”, not that I wanted to do any… So it seems like it’s a thing to avoid, a furry dice of the graphic design world now. In fact there has been a consciously flat movement for many years, flat colours, no gradients, no shadows and no 3D. However it seems perspective effects are still quite popular and isometric effects have been cool for a few years. What do you think, is 3D often used to put lipstick on a pig?
If I’ve got the time and inclination/inspiration I like to design CD covers for the space-rock band “The Ebbs (UK)”. If you go to the main Ebbs Studio site, then go to the music section there are 3 CD covers there with an accompanying MP3; a sample from the CD. I’ve designed several Ebbs CDs but not got music samples prepared for the webpage so they aren’t uploaded yet. On the other hand there are a few Ebbs songs without any CD cover yet. The music section is a bit bare so it needs updating, but so does everything, all the time in this digital age…
If you are interested in CD and LP covers there is a great resource on the web which you might not know about – lpcoverlover.com. This is a great site with some of the most bizarre LP covers you have ever seen.