Concept Designer

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Heroes of Newerth Concepts

Last year I was hired to do some concept for the S2 Moba Heroes of Newerth. I was tasked with re-imagining one of their characters, Predator, as a demonic monstrosity.

They sent me some reference images and guidelines, and after that I began with a series of silhouettes. Based on their choices and feedback, I then iterated several times on the head, arm/weapon, and the body (not all processes are shown here).

The assignment wrapped up with a series of orthos and some callouts.

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Shotguns / Rifles / Daggers

Here are a few more early weapon designs for Shattered. I typically create quick silhouettes such as these and send them over to the team for them to choose one. Sometimes, they may want elements removed or added, or they might like to see an element from one design paired with another. Changes like this don’t take long; I try to give them as many options as I can without wasting time on too many choices or the unnecessary.

As always, here I’m trying to find a delicate balance between classic steampunk over-design and post-apocalyptic/scifi ultra-modernism. Non-functional or absurd bits on the weapons need to be kept to a minimum, but they also can’t look contemporary or futuristic. At the end of the day, though, the design still needs to feel cool. They have to stand out. So, if that means introducing interesting shapes or bending the rules a bit, so be it.

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Shattered Weapons, Round 2

Update! So, I haven’t posted in a while. A lot of that has been due to being terribly busy, as well as dealing with a medical issue that has kept me from working as much as I’d like to. But hopefully the worst is behind me!

Since I’ve posted last, Shattered has been fortunate enough to be the first tabletop game featured on Creative Uncut (which typically posts art for videogames only), and Josh and I also landed an interview with CG Society. In addition to concept and graphic design, I am now assisting with the game’s art direction. We have some excellent artists working on some really cool new pieces that I will mention in upcoming posts.

Here’s a sneak peek of the 2nd round of my new weapon designs for Shattered. The designs I made before ended up being about half of the weapons in the game, so there’s many more to go. This time around, I’ll be sharing some of the initial sketches and process as I go along, instead of only showing the finished product. Stay tuned!

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2014 American Advertising Awards

This will be my last post about the Advertising Awards. Design for the event is handled by one of the local designers in rotation, and it was Vantage’s turn this year. So I was tasked with designing the flyers, poster, social media banners, award certificates, and the award show program. I had a lot of free reign with this assignment, so long as I stuck to this year’s slightly Gatsby–ish theme. Had to be careful, though. There is such a thing as too much bombast.

Here’s the program. Again, I tried not to go too overboard with the theme. The main typeface is Lucida Sans/Lucida Sans Unicode, with Anchor Jack, Poiret One, and Voltaire used for display text. Color was kept to a minimum so that the “bright light” yellow would really stand out, with a desaturated blue for accents. My focus was on maximum legibility/readability and retaining a very graphic quality to the program. I know they look a bit small on the screen, and these are low–res jpegs, but these were fairly large at about 12×14.

Addy_program_1

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So, then there was the award ceremony. I hauled in 7 awards myself for projects that I designed, including a bronze award for the Monroe Surgical daVinci Robot series of ads, a silver and 1st place People’s Choice for the Race for the Cure T-Shirt design, and a gold, 3rd place People’s Choice, a Judge’s award, and Best In Print for the Diabetes Placemat, which I had not previously posted on the blog. Here it is below:

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All in all, not a bad night. This was my first time to participate in anything like this. I posted a pic earlier on twitter showcasing the awards (minus the silver award, which I forgot about). I’m pretty happy that the judges liked my designs, and I hope that I can continue to learn, grow, and improve.

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Hawkeye, Volume Four

In this post, I’d like to talk about work that is not my own. After all, this is a blog, and I’d like to start featuring work that I enjoy and find inspirational. So let’s talk comics.

I recently dove into Hawkeye, Volume Four at the suggestion of my comic book aficionado brother–in–law. I must say that, although I enjoy comics and graphic novels, I am extremely particular with what I read. If the art is bad, I don’t read it. If the writing is bad, I don’t read it. I typically do NOT like superhero stories, because why are we limiting an entire medium to one tiny genre?

(top picks on my list are Watchmen, Metal Gear Solid, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, 100 Bullets, and Garth Ennis’s run on The Punisher….I like noir–ish tales and protagonists that are flawed, “regular” people)

Hawkeye, Volume Four is written by Matt Fraction with art by David Aja. The covers are extremely clean and graphic, with an Apple–like attention to the use of white, silhouettes, color, and negative space.

Hawkeye

The interior is equally interesting. Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, is a regular dude with no powers (but extraordinary skill with a bow), and even so, the stories are much more about common issues like helping his neighbors out than it is about fighting off villains. Aja makes clever use of panels, icons, and composition. This is a great example of a work that could only be done in this medium, and it’s done very well. It’s very refreshing to see a leap forward like this, especially after reading Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics (which is an excellent book and will make you wonder why comics is considered such a “low” art form).

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Particularly awesome is an issue that is told from Hawkeye’s dog’s perspective, involving only panels and icons, with a word here and there that the dog might recognize. It works beautifully, and even though the writing is usually light and witty, it’s interesting how this comic plays on our ability to navigate through the panels and unravel the story. Another strong point: a serious female main character who is NOT a love interest.

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So, despite Hawkeye being an Avenger, this series really turns the genre on its head. It’s quite invigorating. I think it’s really unfortunate that comics have been locked into this stereotype that they can only be for guys who grew up with them, or for geeks, or source material for big budget superhero films. They are pictures and words, which we all use and like. This medium could be so much more than it has been. I’ve noticed that board games have become more popular recently (thank goodness…as much as I love videogames, I think board games are a great social alternative). Maybe the same could happen here…comics just needs a push.

Brrrrrochure!

I actually enjoy designing brochures. It’s something of a challenge marrying all that type with design elements and photos. I think it can be really easy to overwhelm the viewer with too much information or to make the brochure appear uninteresting.

This, along with print ads and other marketing collateral, was assigned to me in order to update the look of Monroe Surgical Hospital. The idea here was to give a quick overview of the facility and to present a clean, calm, modern tone. The typefaces used here are Avenir / Avenir Next, which also have been my favorites for a few months now.

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Shattered Book Design #3

This is the 3rd and final sample of the Shattered book interior design. I wanted to showcase an example that had no art, since art will not be on every single page. However, I thought I could instead fill the pages without art with interesting and consistent design elements that echo the feel of the world.

So, since this is a (really) dark steampunk RPG, I threw in plenty of cog silhouettes, ink splatters, and pen strokes to give the book a nice contrasty, gritty look:

Shattered_ch4_doublepage_web

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