Thursday, March 31, 2011

Take 7:

I am in a better place now.
I have some killer thumbnails and I'm excited.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Legend of the Magical Bitching River

So I've worked on it for another 3 hours and still nothing.
So I've decided to tell everyone what it is I am doing..... because that is what this is for I guess.

I don't really know.
Apparently mine and Alan's talk yesterday was like an Obama campaign speech: full of promise and pretty words but now that its time to work I got nothing.

I got the vibe on crystal castles that he was being nice but really, maybe its a good direction but its eh.
Then he say my pathetic attempt at fungi girls and he told me to go that is what I have been doing.
I spent half the day yesterday exploring and most of the day today looking through fungi books and working some stuff out in the direction of a collage but it all sucks. This is a completely objective statement. It's true too.

So I hate it. Where do I go from here?

Well I have been thinking of this story I heard once, maybe it was told in class? Anyway I am 99% sure its true...
There was this person (someone I somehow am socially related to I don't know how, maybe my cousin's friend?) who was on a road trip in CO (or was it NM?) and their bud made them drive waaaay out of the way to visit this river the locals call the bitching river.
This guy had always been super depressed/negative/darkly sarcastic and while that seemed to be working for him, he really wanted to go to this river.
He had read that you go to this river and just bitch, really really bitch and let it all out.... I don't think the article stated a specific purpose just a general soul-vent.
So they two guys drove all the way out to the middle of nowhere to this bitching river.
The person I somehow know waited in the car while the other guy went out on a rock in the river where he sat and screamed and screamed and screamed. He let out everything that he had been holding onto for obviously quite along time...
He basically bitched the entire day while the other guy waited in the car. The other guy said it was getting pretty freaky like he thought the guy had had a mental break but after dark the guy got back in the car.

What I love about this story is what I remember most, what I know for sure, when asked what the guy was like afterward, did he go back to being all dark and negative? The guy said no, not at all, that ever since then he has been "super chill and mellow, like he said what he needed to and now he's all good."

Like I said I don't know where I heard this, I am quite sure it is my cousin's bud.

But the point is this:

There is a magical bitching river somewhere in the southwestern united states and I may be fucked on this project and have turned all dark and twisty inside the moment I chose this godforsaken career because once, along time ago I was a unusually happy, fun-loving, entertaining, relatively low-key kind of a person and if I can find this magical bitching river perhaps i can return to that.

No one ever called me optimistic

I need to vent a bit, forgive me.:

This is the most frustrating project I have had in a very long time.
I have been killing myself on it and have nothing.
That is at least 6 hours I could have spent working on any number of other equally or arguable more pressing projects. I do not know if I need to cry or stab my monitor but either way it has hit that point where even if by some miracle I make something attractive, I'll only see the nasty frustration put into and never want to look at it again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Take 2- Fungi Girls

I am now doing pretty much the same thing as before... just with fungi girls
Below are links to their songs..... they seem to be surprisingly punk surfer rock...

90's Punk Angsty?

Surfer Rock??

I like them.

So fewer colors and dynamic imagery???????


These are my selected color palettes...
From here I am just going to mix and match to create a nice range of vibrancy and contrast

...any particular favorites you feel especially fit crystal castles?


I'm starting to look at color schemes and I figure the best way (obviously) to find the right color vibe is to match the band is to match it to the vibe of the music..... Here are some examples:

Crystal Castles' sound is largely computer generated based.
It varies from really chill to really hectic..... my thoughts are linked to the videos....


This Is My Favorite

The More I Listen The Happier It Gets

I Recognize This One...  Does this one count as singing????

Pretty Sure This Is The Best Known

I am taking away from this that I need ALOT of colors... reflects the hectic overlaying of sounds.. there is just so much going on you know?  (Posters with few colors seem more appropriate for super low key indie bands like marching band or mates of state etc.... this is really active so I want it to be visual active as well)

Also I feel like super bright colors contrasted against dark colors is very electronic.. but I want to expand beyond just that to make it a little more interesting, like throwing some neutrals in there or something...

Anyway I am off to go searching

Saturday, March 26, 2011

This Town Needs Guns

For This Town Needs Guns I have been heading a direction more copy based, like "All the better to eat you with - this town needs guns"

For some reason I have a strong little red riding hood association going on with this name.

I can't remember who of y'all told me this but it was said that they do stuff with chinchillas?  
 had no idea what they were so....  


Anyway, I feel like I have a stronger more accurate direction with crystal castles or fungi girls....

Fair to Middlin'

I did a bunch of thumbnails for Crystal Castles, Fungi Girls and This Town Needs Guns...
(I attempted to scan and post some of these thumbnails but if you remember from class, I did them with a 2H pencil so they were basically invisible.)

With Crystal Castles I am really feeling the idea of fractal imagery, either the use of well placed triangular interactions or the use of fractals to illustrate an abstract castle of some sort.

After class yesterday Reuel sent me a link for some really inspiring fractal images by Artëm Gridin:

This is a nice example of what I meant by triangular interactions... the fractals creating some sort of mass

I would use this sort of technique to construct my castle form

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Copy Vs. Imagery

I have always been one to think linearly.
I find that when I approach a project I tend to develop the copy first and then through the copy I come up with the visuals to match the concept that is in the words... if that makes sense.

This project is giving me hell because (as bad as this is since I am to be a graphic designer) I have issues imagining visuals in my head. I cannot draw from my imagination.

Trying to conjure up illustrations in my mind is like trying to remember a dream after you wake up or having a particular word on the tip of your tongue.

I can feel it, I am so close to realizing the perfect image and yet I just can't seem to quite make it there.

Vanity Thy Name Is Blogger

The bands I am focusing on are the following:

Crystal Castles

Fungi Girls

This Town Needs Guns

I have just been exploring them all equally.... illustration is not my strong suit so it has been rough.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Posters Galore

Below are just a few of the posters I have been looking at... 

I feel like this poster pretty much defines what my poster should be, a dominating graphic with secondary copy.

This is a good example of the issue I have; what is it about Modest Mouse has anything to do with the imagery depicted here? It is not for a specific album or show... it means nothing. Is that okay?

As beautiful as I think this is... Tokyo Police Club has what in common with poinsettia patterns?

Does this mean I can do whatever the eff I want?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Indie Cliches

I found this article when researching, it's about the Top 10 Indie Band-Name Cliches of the '00s.

If you are doing a poster for Indie bands (which I surmise to be the bulk of the class) it is worth looking at for several reasons. If you are not.... it is still interesting.

Band Prospects

Alan Lidji said that when choosing an Indie band for the poster, go by name. That the best band to do a poster for is one with a name that evokes interesting imagery.

This is a documentation of a 15 minute research session conducted over Spring Break where I searched for interesting Indie band names. The following candidates have been pulled from my own memory, my iPod, NPR, the internet, as well as just asking my musical brethren for any good names they have heard of lately.


  • The Unicorns.....................(Imagery: lilac, rainbows, pearly white, light flares/stars)
  • Freelance Whales
  • Delta Spirit..........................(I like the possible visual juxtaposition)
  • Fitz & the Tantrums..........(Good name does that mean good imagery?)
  • Great Lake Swimmers
  • Architecture in Helsinki.....(Too literal?)
  • Bikini Kill
  • Violent Femmes...................(My favorite band. Also happens to evoke brilliant visuals)
  • This Town Needs Guns......(So many avenues here)
  • Maps & Atlases 
  • The The................................(super Indie - lacks imagery, allowing for infinite possibilities?)
  • Stars......................................(Too easy?)
  • Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
  • Kitty on the Catwalk
  • Dogs Die in Hot Cars
  • The New Pornographers
  • Manic Street Preachers
  • Patrick Wolf
  • Horse Feathers
  • Stay Ahead of the Weather...(Not a fan but has visual potential)
  • The Books...............................(Obvious imagery-perhaps too much-I feel repetition benefits )
  • Good Old War
  • The Sounds of Animals Fighting
  • Animals as Leaders
  • As Tall as Lions
  • Fungi Girls........................(Inkblot style, like Lady Gags' Born This Way)
  • Noah & the Whale
  • Crystal Castles
  • Mount Righteous 
  • City & Colour

Commercial Use of Indie

(I am going to state the obvious here) The assignment is an Indie band poster. 

First question is, what is Indie?

Definitions of Indie music on the Web:

  • In popular music, independent music, often shortened to indie music or "indie", is a term used to describe independence from major commercial record labels and an autonomous, Do-It-Yourself approach to recording and publishing.

Yet, the indie is often just considered a style of design and that style is more and more often applied to Top 40 mainstream/major label bands. I only assume it is to elicit a hip and trendy vibe playing along with the current tastes.


All of these bands are currently on iTunes Top 10 lists.... and are signed with major music labels. 
(By the definition above, they are not indie.) 

This commercial use of an independent style is a point of contention for me.  Am I designing a music poster in the Indie style (meaning it is not necessarily representing an indie band) or am I designing a poster (of any style) for an independently labeled band, and indie band. Which one could argue that if I am designing for an indie band, it is automatically within the indie style.

I realize I over-thought all of this, but I feel I could not continue this project without addressing this issue.

Indie music is often accompanied with a particular style of design ("Indie design") yet that style of design is not exclusive to Indie music.

So the question is, what exactly is the project?
I  have just made an extensive post about something which I feel is necessary to point out and research but in the end I feel it is best to interpret the project in the spirit with which it was meant. So I will do a poster for an Indie band in the indie style.

Executive Decision

This project was given to us with so many amazing possibilities that as much as I would love to develop both a guerrilla concept as well as an indie poster, for the sake of time management I am making the decision to choose just one direction and push forward.

Seeing as I committed to a band poster series for my portfolio, it seems to make the most sense that I would choose this direction... so I am.

Guerilla Exploration

Before going dark for Spring Break I did an exercise in guerilla signage. Sonja and I made a message on the wall of the lab saying "DO NOT STEAL OR SPRAY MOUNT PLEASE." The excitement of creating something we thought turned out rather beautifully inspired us to make another sign.....

This is seen as you walk into or through the room....

and this is seen on the other side of the wall, if you are sitting at the table.

This might seem dark minded but we felt it was an appropriate representation of the current class morale. I also feel it is only right to say that we did not come up with this, that is was appropriated from a well-known piece of vandalism in the third stall of the downstairs women's restroom in the Moudy building. Someone once wrote "smile" and "it gets worse" was added on later. I felt it was effective for guerilla because it is one of those things that all of the women in Moudy have seen but no one talks about. Because really, who mentions bathroom vandalism? But on the flip side who doesn't read it?

Also, I appreciate the implied optimism. You can walk through the room and think "Oh how nice!" But if you are one of the broken and tired seniors, you walk past it to class, sit down and think, "Oh how true..."

Epic Return

I am now back in the country after my Spring Break jaunt around the Caribbean and am ready to dedicate the rest of my available time to this blog. I'm still unsure as to what I am supposed to be doing here but just go with it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I cannot quite decide how to begin this blog officially. I suppose like most like I will dive head first and figure it out later. So let me share my thought of the day: Lent. Do I give up something, if so, what?

Wouldn't it be more productive if were to commit to doing something for Him rather than deny ourselves something? That is an argument for another time, my point now is that I began to think about moderation... or the lack of it within our culture. I could imagine an interesting guerrilla poster campaign with moderation as its mascot...

By the by, I chose to give up egg yolks. Did you know they host 45% of your daily cholesterol??

Let me leave you all with this juicy explorative tidbit:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


If only I could smash a bottle of Champagne against my laptop... but alas this post will have to suffice. All hail the blog fledgling and her inaugural post! One can only hope (and work) to make  this blog something worth looking at. . .