Archive for February, 2010

Have a FREE font or make your own!

Have a FREE font or make your own!

I have just found a font generator that allows you to create your own OpenType fonts within a couple of minutes. Go make your own handwriting as a font. The process is really easy…. just download the free template, fill it in …

There are some basic guidelines to follow…

Once finished just scan and upload and a few minutes later you can preview you own font. You can submit as many times as you want….

Here are a few examples of other peoples efforts…

You can download FREE my handwriting at the bottom of this page (You will have to go through the checkout but it’s $0.00)

If you are interested in making your own font, you could do a lot worse than visit this site…

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FIGHT GAME Tshirt designs

FIGHT GAME Tshirt designs

Following on from my earlier post regarding NIKKO shirt designs. The original designs were rebranded to FIGHT GAME for an upcoming movie/video game of the same name. Executive producer and NIKKO MD, Bas Boon, asked us to come up with some more designs specifically for the FIGHT GAME brand. In the tutorial I will ‘talk through’ the designs called liberty….

Starting off with another of Noud van Miltenburg’s great illustrations…

My first decision was to bring in the black line illustration and the colour on separate layers, the original colouring wasn’t the correct hue for this shirt and the flames were too literal, so I kept the highlights and shadows and gave it al a blue/grey hue….

The next decision was the background, my concept was to have the statue of liberty climbing out of a distressed chaotic background, this for me was a poiniant image and also had some conatations towards New Yorks recent history. So I wanted to start at the material of the shirt and give that a faded look…

Nouds illustration now needed some loosening up, so using some vectors from our Scribbly Doodles Vector CoolKit
I set about adding a graffitti scribbles…

Not quite enough, a few more needed…

It was beginning to come together now, just a few more to darken the bottom…

The design was taking on a ‘Banksie’ look now, so I decided to add some spray can drips to fortify the graffitti look…

Finally I added the FIGHT GAME branding with some more spray drips…

The finished image was then added to the rest of the range. These Tshirts and hoodies will be available for purchase online very soon, check back to this article soon for more details.

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ASCII Art Made Easy

ASCII Art Made Easy

When I was at school, many decades ago in the dark ages. We had a computer room, with a computer. Attached to this computer was all sorts of wires, card punching data storage, a noisy dot matrix printer with sheets of sproket fed paper and a group of nerds that made up the computer club (they are all probably IT multi-millionaires by now!). If you weren’t in the club, you never got a look in. Occasionally, though, long sheets of paper would emerge with images made out of letters and would be pinned up outside the computer room. It was a boys school, so the images tended to be of bikini clad girls or motorbikes and grab the attention they did!

It’s been a long time since I have been reminded of those images, until I stumbled over a website that offers a free service converting any photo on the web to ASCII art. And it does a great job…

The input is easy…

Here are some examples I played around with…

Personally, I think that this technique is due for a revival, I will certainly consider using it in my next design job…. why not?

Visit the website yourself HERE and have some fun……

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Win a FREE Apaganza Vector CooKit!

Win a FREE Apaganza Vector CooKit!

The first person to post a coherent comment on this article answering the following question wins an Apaganza Vector CoolKit of their choice!

I often use the layer effects options in Photoshop, they are a great time-saving tool. One of the small details that I find perticularly annoying is they default setting on the outer glow.

As you can see it is set to a sickly yellow at 75% opacity on the ‘screen’ setting. It’s a setting I, personally, never use… so here is the question…

How do you change the default settings for layer effects in Photoshop CS4?

First correct answer posted below wins, good luck….

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Fast and furious photo montage in Photoshop

Fast and furious photo montage in Photoshop

Sometimes you have to help a pal out. A good old friend of mine emailed me last night asking if I could work up a poster for his outdoor adventure business based in the Lake Distict, UK. He had ‘knocked something up’ himself in Word (:)) and wasn’t too pleased with it.

I put aside 3 hours to try and improve on things. I had the photographs above and what I could download from his website (www.keswickoutdoors.com). I picked a particular photo to start off…

This, I decided to use as the central picture, not sure why, but you have to start somewhere! Looking through the activities that the kids were involved in, I had a rough concept of sky (paragliding) top, ground (rock climbing) middle and water (canoeing, swimming etc.) bottom. First task then, add some sky….

With a 3 hour window, I wanted to keep complex cut-outs to a minimum, so, using the eraser set to airbrush I roughly blended the top of the original photo into the sky. I had already picked a paragliding picture to go in, so the main group shot was moved to the right.

Next, add more people……

Again, I roughly hacked out the parts I didn’t want. Keeping in the mid section, I added the column of walkers in the fern…

Ok, I was happy so far. Next step was to add the paragliding shot. It’s always a good idea in photo montaging, if you have similar landscapes or horizontal lines in two shots, to line them up. It makes the transition look a lot more natural….

The composition, so far, was lacking people actually enjoying themselves. Time for some smiling faces!

Now I found myself with a horizontal line across the bottom half, not good, try to avoid the shots in you montage merging at the same point, it generates an obvious line to the observer. I revisited the walkers shot and ‘pinched’ a bit more fern.

Still needed more happy faces, time to do a couple of cut-outs….

Looking ok, now I was running out of space for the water activities. I had only a few pictures here, if in doubt just throw one in….

As you can see, I had to extend the water by flipping the shot on the left and stretching it horizontally, It would do for now. I had now reached the file size I wanted to work to (A2). What to do about the obvious join?? I still had ample of pictures to use… What about if I try something like this…

Yes! that works… Now I started to add the text, starting with the heading…

I added a dark blue glow on the heading to make it stand out from the sky, happy so far, so time for the details…

I tried to hide the bag in the middle of the poster with the Camp dates box, I didn’t work so they ended up here. Final text to add was the contact details and accreditation…

Nearly there…. It’s always a good idea, when you are nearing the end of a project, to stop and stand back for a minute and take in the big picture. For me there were a few dead areas in the poster, the bottom right, the grass lower centre, the bag and left by the paraglider. I wanted the finished poster to look appealing to kids and parents alike and decided to go a little over the top and show more activites and group shots…

Finally, I added a border just to give the poster some breathing space…..

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, photo montages can often produce stunning results in a surprisingly short period of time.

Burrowdale summer camp is a fantastic experience for your children (plus you get a week off too!), run by professional staff with years of outdoor experience. Burrowdale owner, Jocky Sanderson, as well as being an outdoor pursuits expert is one of the UK’s top paragliding instructors running flying courses worldwide (www.escapexc.com), he was also featured on BBCs ‘Britain from above‘ TV series with Andrew Marr (Check out the behind-the-scenes clip HERE).

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Windy Fight Gear – Street Fashion

Windy Fight Gear - Street Fashion

Windy have been making professional sports fight equipment since the 1950′s. They are one of the world leaders in boxing gloves, pads and shorts. Their European dealer recently asked us if we would be intertested in designing a small (at first) range of Tshirts that could be worn as a gym or fashion item, again, of course we accepted the challenge. The theme was to be Thai with influences toward Tattoo art and Thai boxing (Muay Thai). Also, strangely, they were keen on one being of a heraldic nature. Following the Tshirt range we were also asked to ‘spice’ up the European dealer’s website for a relaunch in 2010.

The Solution

Firstly we contacted our old friend Dong at his Tattoo studio, Dong is a big Thai boxing fan and specialises in Thai dragon and demon (yaak) images.

We selected 5 of Dongs sketches, made a deal and set about designing the shirts. using a mixture of tattoo images, elements from our own Vector CoolKits and some purchased graphics, we set to work. After creating a zillion layers in Photoshop, these are the results.

To make their product unique in the stores and gyms, we designed labels and tags to be added to the shirts….

The Windy dealer was pleased and we were happy to have worked on a unique project such as this. Consequently we have followed the ideas through to MMA shorts and hoodies. The instore graphics and web banners, as you can see, work well with the thai tattoo theme…

So, Windy are back, with a stunning new range of fashion/fight wear, check out their website here…

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