Illustration research assignment

12 02 2011

While looking through one of my brother’s back issues of Wired magazine, I stumbled across an article titled The Geek Justice League.  I was actually drawn in more by the illustration that accompanied it.  Upon first glance, I thought the illustration was a John K. illustration, John K being John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren and Stimpy, and needless to say, it grabbed my attention, being a big Ren and Stimpy fan.

The article was a tongue-in-cheek write up about ideas for superhero alter egos for the heads of some of the top technological companies, including Google, Amazon, Windows, Oracle and Facebook.  Artist Daniel Krall did a great job of capturing the essence of John K. while capturing the likenesses of each of the ‘superheroes’ (at least, the one’s whose faces weren’t behind a mask.)  Each character has the logo of their respective company, making them easily distinguishable within the composition.  The superhero in the forefront, is what would draw the average person into the article, as the arm band prominently highlights the trademark Facebook ‘f’ logo.

The artist uses great line work to create the illusion of depth in the composition, while also keeping a quite hectic piece, from seeming too busy.  The lines also have an interesting quality with a varying thickness on a single line, giving it the feeling of movement.  The colour palette was quite simple, using shades of greens and blues that normally wouldn’t be used together.  It was also interesting the way the artist has some of the characters bouncing outside of the ‘frame’, keeping the eye moving throughout the entire page.











This image and article are from Wired magazine, Issue 18.05, May 2010 –

Written by  Mike Senese –

Illustrated by  Daniel Krall –


Book Series Redesign

2 11 2010

Some preliminary roughs for one of The Deptford Trilogy of books by Robertson Davies.  My main ideas were to pay attention to the snowball and the significance it plays in the series, and to show how everything is intertwined within the series.

DVD Final

26 10 2010

Here’s the final product.

The idea’s pretty straight-forward; a bird cage.  And of course, contained within the cage is the same bird from the poster.  The DVD case also keeps the same main colours of the poster:  the deep red and silhouetted bird in black.  I really wanted to keep it simple like my poster, and I felt that having the reverse image of the bird on the back really made it feel like you were looking at the other side of the same bird cage.

Although I originally planned on using metal for the cage itself, over the past week, I realized that I just couldn’t do it justice with the tools at hand, so I instead settled on a case made out of card in the shape of the cage with die-cuts for the cage spokes, as I always wanted to integrate the design on the DVD case, with the outside view as well.  I etched the words ‘The Birds’ on the front in the same font as the title on the poster.  I originally thought of using the same ‘logo’ from the poster with the bird on the d in Birds, but decided it would look much too cramped.

The dvd case opens from the bottom, and pulling out the DVD, again, very simple.  It folds open to reveal the two discs, one with the head of the raven, and the other with the head of director, Alfred Hitchcock.

DVD Package

13 10 2010

So the next step of the classic movie rebranding, is to design a case for the DVD.  I decided to grab inspiration straight from the movie, while keeping with the poster I already designed.

Movie Poster – final

5 10 2010

So here’s the final product.  A happy accident along the way led to the red background (thank-you wordpress), and the addition of the birds on the wire helped combat the HUGE empty space.  I kept the birds on the wire and the pole rather undefined, as I didn’t want them to become the focal point of the poster, but to instead, lead the viewer around the page.  For that same reason, I added the black border to the page, as I found it helped bring the eye back down to the type.  I placed the pole/wire on a tilt, as that will be a very familiar aspect to any Hitchcock fans, as he often used it show a changing of the dynamic, whether between characters, within plot or in a change in story line.

Movie Poster – Presentable Roughs

28 09 2010

So here are the presentable roughs for The Birds movie poster.  I’ve kept them very simple.  Although they aren’t complete yet, all that’s missing is the detail on some things.   It’s pretty much what you see is what you get.  I know which one I’m leaning towards, but I’d love to hear some input on it.

As I said, I’m keeping them very simple, because I find Hitchcock films, especially The Birds, often have a very simple premise behind them.  His films are often creepy, than scary, and make you look at things differently after you’ve seen them.  I’ve kept a very clean, white background for them all to keep with the theme of simplicity, and think that it is achieved quite well.  Two of the poster ideas are simply black and white, with silhouettes and shadows.

Design 1 – As a fan of Hitchcock, I think the design with the shadow of his name revealing the movie title, is almost an homage to the dark side that I imagine him to have had.  The silhouette of the single raven sitting on his name, is meant to be reminiscent of the scene in the movie where the single raven lands on the jungle gym outside of the school, before the real mayhem starts in Bodega Bay.  I contemplated having the whole flock of the birds, but I found that the single silhouette had a more ominous presence.

Design 2 – Much along the same lines as the previous design, the single raven silhouette on the word is meant to remind of the scene with the jungle gym outside the Bodega Bay School.  The original design (as you can see in my previous post) had MANY birds sitting on the letters, but upon doing that, it just felt muddled and hectic, and quite simply, not as eerie as the single bird seems.  The huge presence of white space is meant to represent the calm before the storm.  This is also the only one of my three presentable roughs, that doesn’t focus on Hitchcock, but solely on the movie itself.

Design 3 – Quite possibly the most famous scene in the movie (aside from the final scene, perhaps) the phone booth is one that has been parodied in countless movies and TV shows.  I wanted to show the aftermath on the phone booth once Melanie had left the booth, possibly even Bodega Bay.  A simple colour scheme, pretty much picked straight from the movie, is meant to give the viewer the feeling of Melanie being trapped in the booth.

Movie Poster – Preliminary Roughs

21 09 2010

Here are the preliminary roughs for assignment 1a, a movie poster for a classic movie.  I chose Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I have also included a poster of the original as a reference.

The ideas I have so far are fairly different from one another, but one thing that they do have in common is that they all have a lot of white space (save one).  I wanted it to be very minimal on the page, as I find that Hitchcock’s films are very simple in their premise for the most part, and I wanted to get that point across with these posters.  I also wanted to give a sense of the unsettling feeling of the birds in the film, which is why I have images like a big bird head in one, or a bunch of birds blocking the text in another.  I also wanted to give a sense of the power that the birds have, either by using multiple birds or a single bird in a lot of negative space.  Some of the images have my writing on them just indicating a detail or what have you.