Articles by Day: August 6, 2013
Textures. You said textures? That’s textures!
Hey folks, it’s Simon here. To say that I’m excited to share what I’m about to write doesn’t even begin to cover it. Heather and myself have been hard at work to release a super thing for you guys, before WMC Fest. It’s the Go Media building texture pack!
A bit of context
So I don’t know if you’ve been following along, but here’s the thing: Go Media is housed in this super bad-ass old warehouse building. I won’t go in too many details, but you can read a lot more about it in past Zine articles (Home sweet home, Designing the Go Media HQ workspace) or see some photos of the office floor renovation process. Our fearless leader Bill also tracked down this circa 1960 photo of the building:
Anyway, there has been a lot of work done on the building’s facade in the past 3 months. Just check this out:
All of this fixing-up work revealed a lot of amazing things to look at. I’m obviously talking about textures here. After capturing a few images for personal references, we decided to share them for all you guys too!
So after a couple of hours of shooting, at least as many in editing, and some selection process, we’re ready to introduce you to the Go Media building texture collection. It includes 122 textures, divided in five categories: fabric, dust, grunge, noise, and wood grains. The whole things weighs 629 Mb.
Let’s have a quick look at some of these
As you can see, the collection covers a pretty wide array of texture types, and goes from super subtle to sledgehammer.
The best is to come yet: let’s talk price
That’s the most awesome part: we decided to release the full collection for free! 0¢. Nada. Zilch. You get the picture. Well it’s free, for a limited time only, as part of the general craziness surrounding WMC Fest and its preparation. We will probably put the whole collection back at a normal price sometime after the Fest when we’ll have time to do so, between catching up, tearing stuff down, and settling back in a normal rhythm. So, obviously, you know what to do: get the damn collection now.
The good times of the free texture collection have passed, but we decided to sell it for a very low price: only $37! I’ve calculated that’s around 30¢ a texture.
A few case studies
I wanted to demo the potential of the pack, and to unveil some of the ways to use these.
1. The fake product box
For a start, you can see the textures in action (and a few other ones) on the digital product boxes. Let me quickly walk you through the PSD in the video below.
Sorry for the background noises, but the Go Media office is busier than a bee hive!
Grab these resources to re-create the design:
2. Some advice on how to manipulate the textures for use
It’s the first time I’m shooting photos to create noise textures. I have developed a workflow to use them, but it might not be the most obvious. Let me show you below. We’ll create a wallpaper in the process, using some art I’ve developed for a recent contest on Dribbble as the basis. You can use whatever you see fit though. Call it your procrastination project of the day, but don’t cry if your boss catches you.
1. Let’s create a new Ps document sized at 1920×1200 px.
2. Let’s have a look at the art in my Ai file.
The color scheme is as follows: #EA3E24 for the background, #200D10 as my near black dark color, and #F4D6CB as my highlight color.
3. Let’s fill the background of our wallpaper with #EA3E24, and paste our brand lock-up in the frame.
You could go simple and just center it, or align it at the bottom right corner, in order to spice things up a bit. This will also allow people to appreciate the textures we’ll be working with in your design against that dark orange background.
Following my initial intention to center the art, I placed guides at the center of the frame (960 px vertically and 600 px horizontally). But since I’ve decided to shift things around a bit, I also placed guides at 50 px of the bottom right corner. Now that that’s done, time to work some texture magic.
4. Let’s choose a few noise textures, and a few dust textures from our collection.
I’ve chosen the following:
5. It’s time to place and edit the first noise texture, gma-go-media-building-texture-set-misc-noise-007.jpg
I’d suggest placing the textures at the top of the brand lock-up. That way, the texture application will unify everything together visually. To place the first noise texture, I’m just sliding it in my Ps window, and sizing it to recover my whole canvas. I’ve highlighted the values I’ve used in red.
Once you’re happy with your texture placement (notice how mine is slightly off-centered), just validate the transformation. Now, we have two options: either we rasterize the smart object created when we slid the texture in our document, or we leave it as is. I’m going to rasterize it to gain time, but you could still follow this tutorial if you didn’t. You would just need to use adjustment layers to apply the saturation and level changes to the textures, and make sure these are properly clipped. See the box PSD breakdown above for more information.
For a noise texture to, what we want is to bring these subtle dust and noisy elements visible in white or off-white over our design. We’ll be using the Screen blending mode (which shows anything black as transparent) to accomplish this. So the goal now is to use our levels to darken as much as possible of this texture, and to lighten only the noisy bits up.
First, let’s desaturate the texture (CTRL/CMD + SHIRT + U). Then, time to bring our levels palette up (CTRL/CMD + L), and to start playing. After a bit, it looks like the areas that we can impact with the texture aren’t very interesting. A potential workaround is to invert the texture and see what we can do with that “new” work surface. But even after doing that, alas, no luck. So I’m simply not going to use this texture this time.
Let’s slide in our second noise texture, gma-go-media-building-texture-set-misc-noise-009.jpg, and repeat the same process.
And here, we’ve got some better luck at just keeping parts of that texture that make these little noisy elements we’re after.
I’ve used 75 for my dark tone, 1.5 for the mid-range, and 150 for the light tones. Time to change the blending mode to Screen, lower the opacity of the layer to 35%, and to admire the result of that first texture pass.
Another little thing I’ve done is to sharpen (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen) my layer once, as it enhances the little noisy details we’re after.
6. Dusting things up
It’s time to include and manipulate our dust textures in here. Let’s start with gma-go-media-building-texture-set-dust-001.jpg. If you want your dust speckles to look white, the process will be very similar to the noise textures. Here are the values I’ve played with for that:
And here’s the result:
In the event you want the dust and speckles to be black, here’s what I’d suggest:
Finally, I just switched the texture’s blending mode to Multiply.
Now comes the time to choose which direction to go. Given how the next texture, gma-go-media-building-texture-set-dust-002.jpg, has reacted when I was designing the box (see above), I’m going to select my white dust speckles.
Time to place and edit the texture in the canvas. After rasterizing the layer, I decided to invert the texture, to get its effect to show in dark rather than light elements.
After some sharpening, it was time to get our level palette again. Here are my values:
7. Last but not least, let’s add our finishing touch
The last texture I have listed in the resources list above is gma-go-media-building-texture-set-grunge-048.jpg, a grunge texture featuring what could be a stained and moldy ceiling panel. This will be the last texture we’ll add. It shows a bit of grain and a stain.
I’ve place the texture at the center of the canvas, and increased its size at 125%. After placing, rasterizing, sharpening, and desaturating the texture, we’ll use the levels to bring out the details of that texture.
Once that was done, I could have just put the blending mode on Multiply, and lower the opacity. Multiply is a blending mode that “multiplies” the color values of stacked pixels together. When you put a grayscale texture atop a design through this process, your colors will look lifeless and muddy. This is why I went with Soft light instead:
We still get the stain pattern, as well as the moldy dots, but they do not overpower the colors. If anything, it boosts the saturation a bit. We could call it a day here.
But that clean logo was bugging me. See a 100% detail below:
It’s too clean compared to the rest of the wallpaper. So I decided to age it a bit further.
For a start, let’s turn off the branding layer and copy-merged the content of our canvas. To do so, select everything visible (CTRL/CMD+A), and use CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+C when copying. This will copy everything that’s visible in your selection, rather than just the content of the layer that’s highlighted in your layer palette.
After that, add a layer mask to the brand lock-up layer. ALT+CLICK this new layer mask, which will allow you to see and edit its content, and paste in front (CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+V) the information we copy-merged just earlier. Notice also that I’ve unlinked the layer mask and its layer, which will allow me to move/resize them independently from one another.
Time to use our trusty levels once more to fine tune the effect. My values are below. The goal was to mimic what we did with our second dust texture: to just keep the most interesting elements of our texture, and to wash out the rest.
And here we have a grunged out logo!
This 100% crop shows the result more in details. This is already a bit more fitting. We could obviously aged the logo further, but that will be the object of another tutorial (but feel free to apply some advice from Simon Walker in the meantime if your brand lockup is a vector element).
Some other things you could play with to refine the grunge effect (other than the levels step values) would be to move the content of that layer mask around, to select the spot you like the best. Or you could rotate of 180°. Or you could paste a completely different texture in… So many things to try, so little time. The advantage with this technique being that the grain and texture elements will match the grunge elements of your logo. Don’t hesitate to share your results in the Go Media Flickr pool and/or in the Go Media Pinterest gallery.
You can download both versions of the wallpaper straight from my Dropbox, in a convenient zip file.
This is a
free $37 texture collection, that includes:
- 122 textures
- Spanning 5 categories (fabric, dust, grunge, noise, wood grains)
- Over half a gigabyte of data = high resolution files
What are you waiting for? Get it now from the Arsenal!
Oh, and since next week is WMC Fest, I hope to see you all there!
In this episode, we sit down with WMC Fest Speaker Adam Garcia. We talk to him about starting his design career with his friends in the music industry and how he overcomes fear in his everyday design life. We also sit down with Simon to recap and react to the Go Media Arsenal Survey results and what they mean for the future.
Listen to the Podcast
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Sponsor of this Episode
This episode has been brought to you by Simeon Hendrix.
An Interview With Simeon Hendrix
Go Media: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and why you decided to start this project?
Simeon Hendrix: I toured the US from 2000 – 2009 as frontman for the experimental rock band DOWN-STARES. I was creating all the artwork for the band, T-Shirts, CDs, posters, etc. Fell in love with graphic design. Other’s saw my work, asked me to do it for them, etc. The band dissolved, I went full time into learning and progressing as a graphic artist. Through my educational training is how I found out about Go Media in 2010, that led me to Jeff Finley and WMC Fest… I reached out to Jeff Finley last spring before WMC 3, told him I wanted to document his festival, he gave the blessing.
Through last year’s WMC 3 documentary, I met Mike Jones, founder of Creative South, he loved our WMC doc and requested we please go to Columbus to document his Creative South 2013 Festival. That’s how I found out about Creative South.
We raised $400 for our local Meals on Wheels organization during our campaign to secure funds to create this documentary. Meals on Wheels provides meals for elderly people who might otherwise not receive a regular meal.
Go Media: What do you want people to feel, learn or take away when they watch your documentary?
Simeon Hendrix: I want people to see what a great time we had in Georgia. I want people to laugh, be engaged and interested, excited, hyper, joyous, inspired, curious, full of optimism and possibility. I also what it to pump people up for WMC Fest which is in a couple weeks. WMC is the father of Creative South and it’s an honor to know these people and interview and learn from and be inspired these who are heros of mine.
Go Media: Any chance of a second documentary when you make the trip up again?
Simeon Hendrix: I feel like this Creative South 2013 documentary IS a sequel to our WMC 2012 documentary. It was a tremendous honor for Mike Jones to invite us to Georgia, it was an honor to interview Jeff Finley and William Beachy and hear their excitement about the upcoming WMC 4. I would have loved to make it to WMC 4 to make the TRILLOGY, but it didn’t work out. I plan to attend CREATIVE SOUTH 2014 as well as WMC 2014.
I love the graphic design community and look forward to growing with it and broadcasting about it for years and years to come. This is such a warm and welcoming community, we love it.
Go Media: Is there anything else you want people to know about yourself or this documentary?
Simeon Hendrix: We just recently wrapped up on a Mini-Documentary series that chronicled the Historic Undefeated Inaugural Season of the minor-professional football team the Wichita Falls Nighthawks. That was a great time. Friends, family and fans can find that series on our YouTube Channel. Stay tuned to SimeonHendrix.com or Simeon Hendrix on Facebook or Twitter for more details on the Creative South Documentary or tune into Creative South on Facebook and Twitter. Big thank you to Jeff Finley and Mr. William Beachy for the interviews they gave, for letting me guest blog on GoMediaZine.com. I wish we could be in Cleveland for WMC4, but guys it just didn’t work out this year. I hope everyone is inspired by the Creative South 2013 Documentary and it gets you so pumped up for WMC4 that you can’t sleep and you stay up all night writing, drawing, singing, and creating.
- Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 4
- Go Media on Twitter
- The Go Media Building Texture Collection
- The Pressure
- Adam Garcia on Twitter
- Simon on Twitter
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