Future Insights Live

Interview with Davin Wilfrid of Future Insights Live

Future Insights

Last week we posted about the incredible design conference happening in Las Vegas called Future Insights. And they have graciously offered all you lovely readers a 10% off discount code for their annual conference.

Just click here to register and enter in the code: GoMedia10 

Future Insights Live

The Deets



3799 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, United States
(702) 891-1111


April 29th – May 2nd

The Interview

Go Media recently had the opportunity to converse with Davin Wilfrid the Product Director & Community Manager of Future Insights Live and we would like to share it with all of you, our readers.

Davin Wilfred of Future Insights


What is Future Insights?

Davin of Future Insights: 

Future Insights is a team of web lovers who produce great conferences for web designers and developers. We used to be called Carsonified events.


Why Las Vegas for the conference city? Any fun you have planned outside of the conference?

Davin of Future Insights: 

Las Vegas is a great place to have Future Insights Live. Not only is it a fun destination with plenty of activities, but there is a blossoming tech community there that is doing amazing things. The Downtown Project, spearheaded by Zappos founder Tony Hsieh, is a great example of civic innovation, and we’re happy to support the local community in any way we can.


How many people do you expect to attend?

Davin of Future Insights: 

Last year we had about 800 people, and I’d expect about the same this year. We usually draw a healthy mix of designers, developers, and entrepreneurs.


What sort of speaker topics can our readers expect to see at the conference?

Davin of Future Insights:

We recruit speakers who are at the cutting edge of their fields, whether that’s HTML5, CSS3, animation, tooling and frameworks, or anything else. No matter how many years you have in the industry, we aim to leave you inspired to make your next project better than ever.

Davin Wilfred of Future Insights


What speakers are you most excited to see and why?

Davin of Future Insights:

I’m really excited to meet Brad Frost, who has been one of the strongest (and funniest) advocates for responsive web design lately. I’m sure he’ll blow some minds. We’re really lucky to have trailblazers like Jeff Atwood (founder of StackOverflow) and Cameron Moll (founder of Authentic Jobs) on hand, and I’m really excited to hear Ashley Carroll’s talk on A/B testing, which is criminally neglected in many projects.


What topics do you think will be most valuable for 2013?

Davin of Future Insights:

HTML5, CSS3, and responsive web design. Browser support for cutting-edge techniques is exploding right now, and to stay current designers should get ahead of the game and really understand how to future-proof their sites and apps. We’re also reaching a tipping point where having a non-responsive, fixed-width site is no longer acceptable. Designers who really understand RWD will have an awful lot of opportunities in the next few years.


For our print designers, are there speakers or topics that would be of specific interest to them?

Davin of Future Insights:

Absolutely. A lot of our top design speakers started as print designers, and understand that the differences between print and web design techniques and aesthetics are melting fast. All designers will soon live in a world where “design” could mean designing a print ad that is also the front of an interactive page of an e-reader, a web-enabled poster at a bus stop, or a platform for augmented reality viewing (think of Google Glass). Erik Loehfelm, Joe Stewart, Meagan Fisher, and Jon Setzen are all good examples of designers who live at the intersection of all of these things.


For those who are unable to attend the conference, can they see the talks online or hear any of the information remotely?

Davin of Future Insights:

We won’t be live-streaming the event, but we are recording the sessions, and will make the entire conference available as a video package a few weeks after the conference ends. It’s also a good idea to follow #FILive on Twitter to soak up the goodness via social media.


Any last minute words?

Davin of Future Insights:


Sakeachi Productions

Sakeachi Productions Video for “Any Which Way” by the Scissor Sisters

How It Began

I’ll never forget the text.  “Sakai, I have a crazy idea…”

Sakeachi Productions

It was late on a Tuesday evening when I sat upright out of a dead sleep to reply, intrigued. Considering the source was my brilliant partner-in-crime, whatever hair-brained scheme he had conjured up, I knew that I wanted in.

So only days later it was decided, my friend Bill Beachy and I were going to make our own music video.  Inspired by a Beastie Boys video shot by Jeff and Kim Finley on a Nikon D90, our motivation, too, was pure random ridiculousness.

Beastie Boys “Nonstop Disco Powerpack” fan video from Jeff Finley on Vimeo.

What’s Next

The first task we had on the job at Sakeachi Productions (after, of course, giving ourselves this kick-ass professional name) was to find our track. We quickly decided on the kitschy 70’s throwback  “Any Which Way” by The Scissor Sisters, a band relatively unheard of at the time.

Sakeachi Productions

Since the song screamed “disco!”, the ideas started flowing like Farrah Fawcett’s long locks.  We traveled back to the 70’s, by way of YouTube, Google searches, and area vintage stores, to really start to get a feel for what we wanted to capture in our video.  At The Cleveland Shop, one of Cleveland’s coolest and oldest vintage stores, I first laid eyes on Bill in a sleazy leisure suit and golden aviators. Glancing at the tags on these must-have items, it was here we realized that our ridiculously fun project was going to be an expensive one.

Sakeachi Productions

While we were willing to cough up our own money for our disco dreams to be realized, we decided to try our luck with the creative arts fundraising platform, Kickstarter.  After completing an online application and creating a video introducing ourselves and our project, we managed to raise $1,095 in one month thanks to the generous donations of family and friends.

Now that we had our budget, we really felt like our project was coming together.  We next met with the brilliant minds at Purple Films, who helped us to further our vision of the video and storyboard.  We planned to film for two days and set to tape at five different locations including an area vintage store called Sweet Lorain, a local bar, Bad Racket Recording Studios, Brookpark Skateland and the Elyria Roll Arena. Casting our own family and friends, we spent countless summer hours in the offices of Go Media, teaching and reviewing one minute of choreography for a dance sequence in our video.

Sakeachi Productions

The first day of filming came quickly and the excitement in the air was palpable. I realized that our disco dreams were coming true as I glanced over and saw Beachy’s badly combed wig flopping in the breeze outside of the roller rink we rented for the day, as videographer Brett Vance captured his every move.  Hours and hours of filming flew by. Though we smelled of moth balls, we felt like rock stars for the day.

Sakeachi Productions

When the filming was finally over, the work had only just begun. Beachy and I decided that we wanted to try our hand at editing, so our friends at Purple Films handed the amazing footage they captured over to us. We sat at Go Media and opened Final Cut Pro for the first time with fingers crossed. Every Tuesday night for a few months, we poured over all of the footage, story-boarding, cataloging each clip, rating its value and carefully piecing together our vision.

Sakeachi Productions

A week before our premiere party was scheduled, we opened up Final Cut Pro to finish up our last minute effects and were met with an unexpected horror. The hard drive, on which we had saved our finished project and all of our files, had crashed. A visit to the Best Buy Geek Squad confirmed our worst nightmare: we had lost it all. Luckily, as the Purple crew still had all of our footage and we had a rough cut on Vimeo to reference, we had a second chance to create our masterpiece. Thirty hours, 5 trips to Starbucks, and 20 bags of Cheetos later, we finished our video, part deux.

Sakeachi Productions

Our big premiere party and the video’s subsequent release on Vimeo a few days later, were moments of pride for Bill and I, as we received numerous cheers, likes and praise for a job well done. The biggest success, though, for me, was that my friend and I had accomplished exactly what we set out to do: to have a ridiculous amount of fun, as always, together.

Any Which Way from William Beachy on Vimeo.

Poster Inspiration - April 2013

40+ Cool & Inspiring Poster Designs

Inspiring Poster Designs Selected by your friends at Go Media

Who doesn’t love poster art? Whether it’s for a band, a foreign locale, or a conference/event, a well designed poster can attract attention and much deserved praise from peers and laypersons alike. We peel them off the walls at concert venues, grab copies strewn around our favorite coffee shops, and even purchase them from our favorite designers and bands.

Our love of poster art is even evident in the popularity of GoMediaZine posts. Over a year ago, designer Tom Booth created the ebook, The Wall: Modern Day Music Posters and a post along with it called, “Modern Gigposter Design: 100 Stunning Examples” and to-date it is still one of our most popular posts. So we know that you will love the collection of some of the most inspiring posters we love. From vintage to modern, national to international, these posters showcase some of the best designs to inspire you!
Follow Me on Pinterest

Poster Showcase

Inspiring Poster DesignsInspiring Poster Designs Selected by your friends at Go MediaInspiring Poster Designs Selected by your friends at Go MediaInspiring Poster Designs Selected by your friends at Go MediaInspiring Poster Designs Selected by your friends at Go MediaInspiring Poster Designs Selected by your friends at Go MediaDiplomat - Invest AfricaStatus Serigraph PostersStatus Serigraph PostersDjango Unchained Poster #10Etsy Finds: Osborn Woods Posters & PrintsLab Partners: JetBlue Pitch PostersWear-EverArts and Architecture, André ChioteFlight Tag Prints - UK illustrator Neil Stevens Arts and Architecture, André ChioteLondon Transport Museum shows 150 beautiful and innovative Tube postersThe Great Lakes States ProjectSteven Soderbergh’s ‘Haywire’ Teaser Poster - Designer Neil KellerhouseLondon Transport Museum shows 150 beautiful and innovative Tube postersAwesome Poster Designs By DKNGAwesome Poster Designs By DKNGAwesome Poster Designs By DKNGAwesome Poster Designs By DKNGAwesome Poster Designs By DKNGTravel ItaliaRevez Montagnes!The LumineersDKNG Studios - The NationalPARIS TRAVELER SERIESPARIS TRAVELER SERIESAlternative Movie PostersAlternative Movie PostersWBYK: Band PostersWBYK: Band PostersNarcissismMassive Attack - Martina Topley BirdMan Man - Scott HansenCreative & Alternative Marvel Comic Movie PostersCHRISTOPHER MUCCIOLITo Resolve ProjectTo Resolve ProjectTo Resolve Project“A Ride Through Town” PosterCollection of Soviet Children’s Sheet Music from Moscow and Leningrad, 1946 – 1961ITALIAN INVENTIONSLykke LiLiarsIllustrations by Hylton WarburtonAwesome Poster Designs By DKNG

Future Insights Live

Future Insights Live

Why Future Insights?

Go Media was recently contacted by Future Insights about offering all you lovely readers a 10% off discount code for their annual conference. And how could we deny y’all such an amazing offer!

Just click here to register and enter in the code: GoMedia10 

What is Future Insights?

What makes Future Insights Live different from other conferences is that they’ve gathered the best insights from a decade of ground-breaking web technology conferences and put them to work for you. You’ve told them what you need to learn — and how — and their ready to deliver.

Their multi-track event means you always have a choice — you’re not locked into one room and one track. And they record every session for all attendees, so you’ll never miss a thing. Events for designers and developers is all they do, and they take their job seriously. As always, content is king.

Future Insights Live

What you can expect

  • Full-day workshops on HTML5 & CSS3, UX, entrepreneurship, Node.js, and real-time event handling.
  • Three days of sessions grouped into five tracks: Pure Design, Front-end Dev, Back-end Dev, Business, and Mobile.
  • World-class speakers delivering future-focused sessions.
  • App It Out: A web and mobile app contest, but much better.
  • Hands-on labs so you can apply your learning right away!
  • Videos of all conference sessions.
  • Hack, hack, hackathon!
  • Fun, relaxed networking activities.
  • Ask the Experts — your chance to get personal advice from the best in the business.
  • Coffee Shop Chats: Lighthearted discussions led by you!
  • Catered breakfast, awesome lunch, and yummy snacks.
  • Exclusive hotel deals at the MGM Grand, and discounts on flights and car rentals with United and Avis.
  • Fun social events with FREE DRINKS. Mingle with speakers and colleagues in a relaxed environment.
  • Giveaways, competitions, and prizes!
Future Insights Live

The Deets



3799 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, United States
(702) 891-1111


April 29th – May 2nd

They are also offering tons of discounts on hotels, car rental, and airfare so check out this page to get more info on the conference amenities.

The Schedule

Their lineup of speakers includes heavy-hitters like Cameron Moll, Brad Frost, Carl Smith and so many more.

Discount Tickets

So what are you waiting for? Snag some discounted tickets. All you have to do is click here and enter in the code: GoMedia10 for 10% off.

33 Inspiring Designs From Our Friends On Pinterest

Howdy Readers!

Welcome back to the 8th edition of the “Go Media Guest Pinner Gallery Showcase.” If you aren’t a fan of ours on Pinterest click this link to start following what we pin. This showcase features the best pins from our Go Media Guest Pinner Gallery, so these images are the ones that you all found and shared with us. If you would like to be added to the gallery send me an email at [email protected] Happy Pinning!
Follow Me on Pinterest

The Showcase

Source: designmom.com viaAdam on Pinterest

Source: google.com viaAdam on Pinterest

Source: behance.net viaAdam on Pinterest

Source: behance.net viaAdam on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com viaAdam on Pinterest


Source: DAN O SAUR on Pinterest

Rockhart Clothing Interview

Rockhart Clothing Interview

Who is Rockhart Clothing?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing is a longtime fan of Jeff Finley‘s book, Thread’s Not Dead. Recently he reached out to us here at Go Media, and we were so impressed by what he’s doing we decided to feature an interview with him, right here on the GoMediaZine!

Rockhart Clothing’s mission is to create designer apparel for gamers that rocks. Their gear is for real gamers who want to be taken seriously. They’re adding rock and roll style to the video game apparel market, and finally giving adults a way to show off their favorite games. You won’t find any cutesy, cheesy, or lame designs on their site. Only awesome concepts professionally printed on the highest quality garments available. Their motto is, “gamers have grown up and it’s time their clothing did too.”

Button-Pack from Rockhart Clothing

The Interview

Go Media recently had the opportunity to converse with Andrew about his company and we would like to share it with all of you, our readers.


Who are you and what is Rockhart?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

My name is Andrew, and I’m a graphic designer/illustrator/gamer living in Portland, OR. I’m the one-man show behind Rockhart — a retro video game themed clothing line that is styled after rock n’ roll clothing and culture.

Game Over Tee from Rockhart Clothing


What made you want to start a clothing company?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

It started when a few of my designs were printed on some tee-of-the-day sites like TeeFury. There was just something so awesome about people wearing a graphic you designed. I saw starting a clothing line as not only a creative outlet, but a way to build something from the ground up that was all my own (instead of relying on other sites to sell my shirts for me). I had always wanted to start my own company, and a video game clothing line seemed to be the perfect fit.


In a world where everyone starts a clothing company, how is yours different?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

My mission is to provide designer apparel for gamers that rocks. I think Rockhart stands out from the crowd by the quality of the designs and the materials used to make the shirts. I try to design something that not only looks cool, but really brings up a feeling of nostalgia about a specific game or system. I only print on fashion fit tees (right now I use American Apparel and Next Level) using discharge inks; which is more than I can say for the horde of uninspired parody shirts which mashup pop culture references and print them on cheap tees using heavy plastic inks which are flooding the market in an effort to make a cheap buck.

GDMD Tee from Rockhart Clothing


You said you read Thread’s Not Dead, how did that help or change your plans?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

This book, along with the crowd at Mintees, helped me with choosing a printer, packaging, and setting up the website. I’m positive your guy’s advice and expertise saved me hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in costly mistakes that would have probably killed my brand before it even got started.


Launching a clothing brand is the easy part, how do you plan on growing your brand?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

I want to release new designs more often, as well as non-T-shirt merchandise like custom jackets, art toys, and maybe even home-brew NES carts. But that’s just me thinking long term. I have a sketchbook full of ideas and I can’t wait to turn them into something cool for my customers. I also have something new coming out very soon… So keep your eyes out for that!

Tri-Heart Tee from Rockhart Clothing


What was the hardest or most challenging thing you’ve overcome thus far with your brand?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

Promoting my brand has always been the biggest challenge. I’ve gotten a lot better at it, but you can always be on more blogs, talk to more people, and do more social media to get your brand out there. Speaking of which, you guys should really check out Rockhart’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


What is your favorite part about your brand?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

Well if I really wanted to, I wouldn’t have to do laundry for a year; so, that’s pretty cool… but I’d have to say the best part is the people I’ve met through the brand. Customers, fellow retro gamers, or even competitors. It’s just fun to talk to like-minded people who are as excited about the same things you are!

Unplugged Tee from Rockhart Clothing


If there was one thing you wish was answered in Thread’s Not Dead, what is that?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

That’s a tough one. The book was very thorough, but I think some more info on selling at conventions, festivals, and even trade shows would be nice. I did a lot of research before my first convention and I still made a lot of mistakes that I made sure not to repeat the next time.


What kind of advice would you give our readers?

Andrew of Rockhart Clothing:

The more work you put in, the more you get out. No one’s going to go out of their way to promote your stuff except for you. Sales come from hard work and connecting with people who can help your business grow.

SubZero-Belt from Rockhart Clothing

Rockhart Clothing Links

Go Media Podcast – Episode 7: How to Close Design Leads

In this episode, Cleveland graphic designers Jeff Finley and Bill Beachy sit down to talk through a chapter from Bill’s upcoming book. In that discussion, Bill talks about putting yourself in a position to get hired by a client by putting together a great proposal.

Listen to the Podcast


Show Notes

We want to hear what you have to say about the podcast.

Sponsor of this Episode

This episode is sponsored by Mockup Everything. With Mockup Everything, you can produce high resolution, photo realistic mock ups of your designs. There are at least 5 new templates released every month. From iPads to billboards to t-shirts: if you have to mockup anything, use Mockup Everything.

WMC Fest is holding a benefit show on March 22nd, 2013 at the Beachland Ballroom. It’s the first Weapons of Mass Creation event in 2013.

Go Media Quick Tip: Executing After Inspiration

  • Comes from ideas pushed in “Execute”, a new book by Josh Long. Based on the principle of executing after inspiration. He wrote a book about Drew Wilson who built a Stripe-powered app in 8 days.
  • We are filled with inspiration and creativity all of the time, and because of that, you should take advantage of it. Clear your schedule and finish what you’re inspired to create.
  • Don’t stifle your energy because you think you’ll burn out.
  • Several weeks ago, WMC Fest’s Music Director, Jesse Sloan came to Jeff with the idea of doing a WMC Fest-themed show at SXSW. The original thought was prepping it for next year. But, the week before SXSW, Jesse decided he couldn’t wait and hopped in a van ready to take SXSW 2013 by storm. So, Jeff created the artwork and got a rush order through to Jakprints. Jesse secured the venue with the help of 1Up PR, and Truth About Music scheduled the bands and put on a last-minute show. Even Wired.com found the event and helped publicize it on their Instagram feed.
Wired.com’s photo from the WMC Fest event at SXSW.

What’s Go Media Been Up To?

  • Jeff’s been putting more and more hours into WMC Fest and prepping for this Friday’s benefit show at the Beachland Ballroom.
  • Bill’s been spending more time with his upcoming book titled, “Drawn To Business: Designed For Success”.
  • Bryan’s been prepping the podcast to start streaming the recording live, including a live chat for instant feedback. Expect an announcement on that soon.
  • The sales team has been bringing in a lot of big projects, which is helping Go Media reach their design sales goals ahead of schedule.
  • Liz has left Go Media as she moves up in her career. We’re happy for her success, but sad to see her leave.
  • Simon Hartman has been officially hired and will start at Go Media in early April. He was the former Zine editor, but will now help run The Arsenal.
Jeff and Bill discuss Bill’s new book in recently reorganized GoMP Studios.

Closing Deals: A chapter from Bill’s new book “Drawn To Business: Designed For Success”

“Every battle is won or lost before it’s fought.” – “Art of War” by Sun Tzu

  • Starting with a well-designed proposal is an important step in the process of building trust.
  • Go Media normally gets our leads through the contact form on the site.
  • We follow that up with a phone call to create that initial personal contact. That call is also to qualify the project: is there a budget that meets their requirements? Do they have real needs that you can fulfill? We qualify before setting up the discovery meeting, so that if the project is outside of our scope, then we didn’t waste their time scheduling a meeting that won’t go anywhere. A budget is a necessary thing to discuss. If the lead isn’t willing to offer that up, find out what they want out of the project, and give them a ballpark figure of what something like that would cost.
  • After a lead is qualified, we schedule a discovery call with a member of the design or development team. We have a master questionnaire that we try to get answers on before going into the proposal stage. Whether or not you land a lead is determined in that discovery call. Having that budget up front, along with the full project scope, will give you the proper information you need to land the project you’re writing the proposal for. Every piece of the proposal needs to be written around the needs of client. It doesn’t need to be written from scratch every time, but create a template. Write segments for all services you offer, that way you can plug it in or remove it as needed, and then tailor it to that specific project.
  • What goes into a good proposal?
    • A cover letter should include some kind of connection between you and the client. If you have a shared passion or there was a comical moment in the meeting, write about it. Also thank them for coming to you for the project and show that you are excited for the opportunity. This is your introduction to the proposal and to working with them.
    • In your overview and requirements, include what the client wants and needs, why they want to do it, and why your solution is the right one.
    • Also share your process. Make sure everyone knows what is expected from the client experience. That way you aren’t playing telephone with your sales team. They need to sell what you can do with the energy that you will be doing it with. The client needs to know what the expectations are, and everyone on the team needs to know that ahead of time so those expectations can be either met or exceeded.
    • For the purposes of the proposal, include a cost estimate that summarizes the main sections of the project.
    • Since they’re reading your proposal and since you know the project, provide some additional related services that might make sense for their project.
    • Provide samples of your work as well as testimonials.
    • Always provide some terms and conditions that cover guarantees and how they can accept the agreement and any liability.
    • Our proposals are our contracts. If they put a down payment on the project, then they have legally accepted the proposal. So, there is no second document that they need to sign.
  • Choose a program that works best for you. We chose InDesign, because it gives us the most flexibility to design a beautiful proposal, yet it still allows the sales team to edit it easily. Your proposal is a direct reflection of your design ability. It needs to be beautiful and easy to use and understand.
  • Complete the personal connection by hand-delivering the proposal. The client gets to see your face, they get to shake your hand, and now that they “know you”, they’re more apt to call you to ask questions or have a conversation with you to negotiate. If it’s a huge project, why not travel a long distance. Build the relationship up so that the proposal is not a faceless document.
  • After you’ve delivered the proposal, follow up within 3-5 business days. You don’t need a specific reason, other than to make sure that they received the proposal and to see if they have any questions about it. Since you reached out to them, even if they chose someone else, it’s possible that you still have an opportunity to land the project by negotiating with them.



Hosts: Jeff Finley and Bill Beachy
Producer: Bryan Garvin
Recorded at: Go Media

Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in sponsoring the Go Media podcast, either episodically or exclusively? Well, hit us up at [email protected] if you are interested in advertising your business.

What Do You Think?

We want to hear what you think about the latest episode of our podcast and what topics you would like to see covered in upcoming episodes. Comment below with your suggestions.

Ready for More?

Keep learning and listening to more Go Media podcasts!

35 Inspiring Vintage Illustrations

Vintage Illustrations

Who doesn’t love vintage? Not us! There has been a growing trend of vintage inspired designs. From packaging to typography, from posters to web designs, the vintage look is pervasive in the graphic design field right now. This is a showcase of the best vintage illustrations we could find on the web! Some are from yesteryear and others are inspired by those retro designs. You will see everything from packaging, to posters, to book covers, so checkout the showcase below for inspiration for your next design project.

The Showcase

Source: bloggokin.it via Go on Pinterest

Source: grainedit.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: abduzeedo.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: abduzeedo.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: gomediazine.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: gomediazine.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: by9.tumblr.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: Uploaded by user via Go on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: drawger.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: brainpickings.org via Go on Pinterest

Source: grainedit.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: lillicarre.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: 2.bp.blogspot.com via Go on Pinterest

The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned at Go Media

To borrow some wit from the great Groucho Marx: “Before I speak, I have something important to say.”

That something important is to announce I’m leaving Go Media after five remarkable years.

Although it’s a bittersweet moment, I know that the future of this company is bigger and brighter than any one person. Go Media has truly done some inspiring and meaningful things during my time here — but they’re only just getting started.

Because this is a farewell post in disguise, please forgive me while I reflect on some of my favorite moments at this amazing company.

Bill Beachy’s Famous Salsa

The summer of 2008 was exactly as it should be in Cleveland — hot, sunny, and full of promise. In those days Go Media was headquartered in Bill’s townhouse-turned-office, where we sat elbow-to-elbow, sipping coffee and clicking keyboards.

Bill Beachy, Adam Wagner, Dave Romsey, Chris Comella and Tim Boesel hard at work in the original Go Media headquarters.

Our refuge from the heat was the AC and Bill’s delicious homemade salsa. During lunch breaks we gathered around the kitchen island (a.k.a. communal feeding station) to gorge on a vat of the cool tomato mixture. It was a refreshing treat and my first true bonding experience. It was also my first glimpse of Bill’s overwhelming generosity: what was his, was ours. No strings attached.

The Go Media Softball Team

I can’t help but smile when I think of how unapologetically terrible we were — desk-bound designers huffing around the bases after barely bumping the ball into left field. I don’t count our losses, though. All I remember now is the camaraderie, competitive spirit, and Heather’s bright blue pants (you showed us how it’s done, girlfriend).

Go Media alum Heather Mariano sports some exciting blue pants while waving at the camera

Paid Days at Cedar Point

Our surprise trips to Cedar Point were just one of the many perks I boasted to friends and family when gushing about Go Media. These short jaunts to Sandusky were Bill’s way of saying “Now go have some fun, you nerds!” And fun we had.

The Go Media crew enjoy a day at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio

Go Media vs The Iron Dragon

Epic Christmas Parties

Gifts, games and goodies — it doesn’t get any better than a Go Media holiday party. It’s a full day devoted to festivities, including Rock Band blowouts, catchphrase blunders, and a spirited present-swapping game that left Sarah crockpot-less (some people better sleep one eye up this year, that’s all I’m saying).

Liz Hunt, Kim Finley and Adam Law laugh it up at a past Go Media Christmas party

Weapons of Mass Creation

It finally hit me that I was part of something greater when volunteering for WMC. If I could hop in a time machine and rewind it three years, I would reassure Jeff Finley that putting on this festival is worth the hours and the heartache — and that he has no idea just how awe-inspiring it will become.

Bill Beachy, Jeff Finley and Adam Wagner speak at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest.

The memories I have with Go Media are authentic, heartwarming, and rewarding — and from where I stand today, it’s humbling to acknowledge the lessons I’ve learned over the years.

Without further delay, here are my biggest takeaways from working a job that has always been oh-so-much-more than that:

  1. Be genuine and do what you love — the rest will follow.
  2. Never underestimate the power of dependability.
  3. Build relationships, not projects.
  4. Hold yourself accountable when no one else will.
  5. Give back, because you never know who’s watching.

The Original Go Media Crew

Thanks for the memories, my friends. You’ve helped mold more lives than just mine, and for that I’ll remain your fiercest fan.

Ampergram: Capture. Tag. Type. Share.

Typography Is Everywhere

Designers and non-designers alike, everyone experiences typography in everyday life. Whether it’s transportation signage, your employer’s branding, the letters on the old ballpark facade, the list goes on and on. Some of these letters are new to you and some of them remind you of childhood and times passed. If you do resonate with these characters that you see, would you still connect with them if they were taken out of their surroundings? Would you still be able to pinpoint which H is from the HOLLYWOOD sign and which W is from the Welcome to Las Vegas? More than likely you would. Each of these letters has a very distinct quality about them.

AMPERGRAM allows you to quickly create a message using unique and possibly recognizable letters. Your message could be as simple as “I love you” to your significant other, but upon further review, they notice that each letter is from one of your favorite locations throughout your relationship. Or if you are looking for diversified fonts, but still wanting to type your name using a black font on a white background, that is possible through AMPERGRAM using the filtering capabilities. Having just moved from Cleveland to Brooklyn, NY, I may decide that I want to have a print that says BROOKLYN spelled out, but only using letters from around Cleveland, so I can have a little bit of both worlds.


There are several ways to use AMPERGRAM; through our web app, AMPERGRAM.com, as well as our iOS and Android apps. You can save and share to the AMPERGRAM community gallery or through many popular social networks, save your ampergram as a JPG to your device, or even download a high resolution file to print.

We are going to step through the process in a moment, but if you want to see it all wrapped up in under 40 seconds, watch AMPERGRAM — The Experience below.

The possibilities are endless, and the potential is there. However, AMPERGRAM is only as strong as the users behind it. If you see single letters or single words that catch your eye, capture them, post to Instagram and tag with #ampergram including the photographed character (#H, #3, #?).

Do It Now.

AMPERGRAM is quick and easy to create with, but also very professional and full-featured. From opening the webpage or mobile app, typing a message and sharing within seconds; to clicking on each letter, cycling through all options to fine-tuning your results, even mixing in some word results, it is possible to spend as much or as little time creating an ampergram. It is completely up to you.

Let’s begin. We are going to start new, and then choose the smallest cube layout.

From there, we are going to choose the second line to start typing GO. At this point AMPERGRAM is telling us that we can click to use GO as a word or we can ignore that message to keep each cube as single letters, which is what we are going to do.

We then click on the G and we are presented with more information.

If it is the first time you are visiting AMPERGRAM, you will see these hint panels at times. As displayed on this panel, you can find out everything you need to know about the photo and who took it, as well as cycle to the next or choose to filter out specific G’s. You can tell from these results, we have two different types of characters. Some are typographic and others are representative (the seal of a juice bottle that resembles a G).

After making our selections, we will then go down to the third line to type the rest of our message. You can use your arrows keys to move from cube to cube as well as space-bar, backspace, return and even CMD+A to select all of the cubes.

If you do not have a keyboard attached, click the keyboard icon in the bottom right of your screen and a virtual keyboard will slide up. This is where you will find special characters like a heart, star, checkmark, etc.

Since we are satisfied with our selections for GO, but we want to make sure this next line only pulls from photos taken in Cleveland, we can specify this from the filter results panel. In the filter by location, we type Cleveland, and select to apply this to only future photos, and click apply. You will see no changes to your cubes, but now when you type, the new photos are only pulled using your filter requirements. If you see a cube that says no results, make sure to widen or remove your filtering parameters.

When we are done editing, click the save|share button in the upper right. This will save your ampergram privately in our system. However, you can make it public in the AMPERGRAM gallery, save it as a desktop wallpaper, share it to any social media network, or even choose to download a high-resolution file for printing.

A Little Behind The Scenes

Adobe Flash With Air vs Learning A New Language

When I first started to develop the Flash website of AMPERGRAM, I knew that if it was going to succeed, that I would have to be able to make it accessible from all platforms. Since I am only a Flash developer, and I did not want to loop in a third party, my options were extremely limited. I would have to learn a new programming language so I could develop for mobile, but then I would probably still have to develop everything twice since I did not know of anything that would work in a desktop browser as well as a mobile applications. My only other solution would be to further research Adobe Air and see if I could package my already existing Flash website into a mobile app.

I proceeded down the route of using Air and I am very happy that I did. I was able to moderately redesign the interface to be more mobile friendly. One way to assist this was by adding a hidden side menu instead of having all of the options in the top menu, giving us more real estate for the cubes.

What To Watch For

During the process I found it necessary to make sure scaling worked from the beginning. Since mobile platforms have every size resolution you can think of, be sure you allow your interface to scale and center appropriately. I am happy to say that as an Android user I was able to make sure AMPERGRAM looks completely customized for all resolutions of Android devices. For iOS it looks great on iPhone and iPod devices but our scaling had slight problems on some iPad versions. Everything is functional currently if you download for iPad, but some visuals are off-centered. A fix is in the works, but all the more reason for me to mention that this should be a point to focus on from the beginning.

As a designer, I know that I am probably speaking to mostly iPhone users. As much as I have been an Android user, I am very accepting of iPhones and enjoy many things about them. However, in the process of developing through Flash and Air, pushing to iOS for testing was quite time-consuming. Every time I would compile the app to Android, it would take any time under 30 seconds. Which is quick enough to allow for an ease of troubleshooting. Find a problem, attempt a fix, test, repeat. It went pretty well. However, when pushing to the iPhone, compiling alone took close to 5 minutes, no matter how complex the app and code. This quickly became the time where I would get up and stretch my legs since I was going to be waiting anyway. Once the 5 minutes were up, I then had to open iTunes, drop the compiled IPA into iTunes and then sync the phone, not to mention all of the issues with mobile provisioning documents and certificates. This process was not fun and I found myself testing mostly in Android for quickness and then only testing milestones on iOS to make sure the code was functioning in a similar way. If you are going to publish on both platforms, I would recommend a similar course of action.

Never Stop

I have been working in Flash for almost 15 years, and I am always learning new aspects of what can be done. I have been working on AMPERGRAM for about 5 months, on nights and weekends, around my full-time job. I am so excited that the app is launched and self-sustaining, but I know that if I want this to be successful, that I have to continue to make the app better, and continue to make myself better. When I was asked so many times over the past few months, when am I going to launch, I continued to answer, “When it is perfect.”

I obviously had to launch before then since I now know it will never be perfect, but I am proud to say that I have the ambition to continue to do as much as I can; to continue to add features and functionality and to make it as close to perfect as it can be. If you have the same ambition when working on your projects, that is the best thing you can hope for.

Be sure to visit AMPERGRAM.com, download our apps and tag your letters! Report back here and tell me what you think about it. I would love to know!

Creativity Fueled by Community – Meet our Extended Family!

Meet the Go Media Extended Family

Have you met our Extended Family? We collaborate with a community of specialists who extend our capabilities by enabling us to fulfill a wider range of project requirements. These specialists comprise our Extended Family.

By plugging into this community, you can reap the benefits of a full service agency without losing the passion or focused expertise of a specialty firm. We’ve curated a selection of top class businesses with a passionate focus on what they do best, in order to extend comprehensive, yet expert services from full scope marketing services to intellectual property attorneys.

In our ongoing quest to become a true business ally, we journey alongside you to help you get where you want to go. We believe success isn’t just about increasing the bottom line – it’s also about designing and implementing strategies to provide top notch customer experiences and form lasting relationships. Because our creativity is fueled by community!

Here’s a bit about the Go Media Extended Family:

Kelley Green Web – Communications and Development Connections

Jenny Kelley and Lauren Prebel focus on making connections that incorporate you into the cohesive web. We work with your business, non-profit or community organization to create and implement custom, targeted marketing and development strategies that yield results.

Kelly Green Web

Muse Content Group – Content Marketing

Jackie Bebenroth is a Swiss Army Knife of creativity who works with entrepreneurs, agencies, and executives to reach new heights through the power of storytelling.

Muse Content Group

SageRock – Digital Marketing

The Digital Marketing Agency, SageRock Inc., was founded in 1999 to help clients engage customers across an ever expanding interactive marketplace. We do this through multiple channels such as search, social media, and vertical targeting; emerging digital opportunities such as mobile and rich media; behavioral targeting thorough email and dynamic engagement; and refinement of all initiatives through understanding usability and metrics.

Sage Rock

Cinecraft – Video Production

Cinécraft produces high-quality video and develops custom eLearning solutions to support the goals of Fortune 1000 companies and medium to large sized businesses.


Dan Morgan – Photography

While in New York, Dan helped Sotheby’s auction house convert it’s entire cataloging operation to digital photography. In 1999, during the Dot Com boom, Sothebys.com hired Dan to oversee 13 young digital photographers. Dan’s expertise here was not in just in Digital Photography, but also in lighting and working with people – skills Dan uses today to help companies in Cleveland get the most out of photography in a digital age.

Dan Morgan - Straight Shooter

Tap Packaging Solutions  – Packaging

Tap Packaging Solutions, a domestic manufacturer of quality packaging for over 100 years partners with our customers to provide creative, innovative packaging solutions.

Tap Packaging Solutions

Midwest Box Company – Packaging Services

Midwest Box Company started in 1964 as a short-run supplier and has grown to become Cleveland’s oldest and largest sheet plant.

Midwest Box Company

Licata & Toerek – Intellectual Property Law

Sharon L. Toerek focuses her legal practice at Licata & Toerek on intellectual property law, advising clients across the United States on trademark, copyright, trade secret, non competition, and other intellectual property and business law issues.

Licata & Toerek

Triplet 3D – Motion Graphics

Built on years of experimentation, we unleash our creative spirit to provide clients with custom-crafted, cutting-edge, and dynamic imagery.

30 Cool & Creative Packaging Designs

Successful Packaging Design

We here at Go Media are no strangers to Packaging Design. In fact, our very own Adam Law wrote an incredible post titled, “5 Tips for Creating Successful Packaging Design.” Because of Adam’s post, we have received numerous inquiries from companies interested in commissioning us for packaging design. Creating successful packaging designs is a “must have” for any designer. And it’s not just about the actual box or label. As a designer you can come up with new and innovative ways to package the actual product so you see you are more than just a graphic designer, you are also a product designer.
Follow Me on Pinterest

Check out the showcase below for inspiration for your next packaging project.

The Showcase

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: mr-cup.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: smashfreakz.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: inspirefirst.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: mr-cup.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thedieline.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: lovelypackage.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: mr-cup.com via Go on Pinterest

custom sticker for wmc fest

Tutorial: How to Design and Print Custom Silk Screen Die-Cut Stickers

This post is a revealing walk-through behind the design, illustration, and sticker printing process. I’m proud to show off the new artwork I created for the upcoming Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 4 event.  The artwork below is going to be used for stickers, t-shirts, posters, etc. In this post I’m going to show you how I created it and how I set it up to become a die-cut sticker. I got these custom die cut stickers printed at Sticker Robot and they did a great job! Let’s do this. Strap yourselves in, this is going to be a fun ride.

Related: Check out this other article I wrote about how to design custom Kiss Cut Stickers for your Band.

WMC Fest 4 defy the hand you're dealt

Step 1: Sketches!

Way back when I started WMC Fest I used the phrase “defy the hand you’re dealt” quite a bit. I wanted to bring that back this year. A couple years ago Brandon Rike created an image for WMC that featured a hand stuck with two arrows. It’s a clever way of illustrating the idea behind the phrase. I wanted to expand upon that and combine it with images of friendship, togetherness, and community. Those are frequent ideas people have when they think about WMC. I started sketching and I came up with a pair of holding hands with a sword through them. You know, like we’re fighting this struggle together!

defy the hand you're dealt sketch

Step 2: Photoshop Prep

Since this artwork is going to be used in lots of ways, I created my Photoshop document at 18″ x 24″ at 300 DPI.  Why didn’t I use Illustrator you ask?  Just personal preference mainly. This design could have been done in either program to be honest. Since we are setting up the files for CMYK sticker printing, I chose the CMYK color mode. Once I got my new document set up, I copied and pasted my sketch in the document and sized it accordingly.

new photoshop document settings

placed sketch in photoshop

Step 3: Gathering References

Before I start illustrating, I need to find a reference image for my holding hands. While my sketch is OK, I want the proportions to be accurate. I asked Bill to shoot a photo of my wife and I holding hands. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but I want to at least get the pose correct so I can manipulate and illustrate it in Photoshop to my liking. Here is our reference photo:

holding hands

Step 4: Blocking it Out

After I placed my reference photo into my document, I rotated it and cut out just the arms and hands. The rest of the photo is unnecessary. I also went ahead and blocked in some additional reference like perfect circles, real fonts, starburst lines, and framing for the die-cut sticker.

wmc fest design references

Step 5: Start Illustrating

I reduced the opacity on my reference to something like 25% so I could start drawing on top to create the illustration. I use my Ye Ole Wacom Intuos 3 tablet and my brush settings are below. There are better drawing tablets out there, but this has served me well since 2006!

jeff finley wacom brush settings in photoshop

wmc fest design in progress

Step 6: Hand Lettering

Once my outlines are created, it’s time to start drawing the type. Now it took me many tries to get the letters correct for “Defy the Hand You’re Dealt.” My sketch itself wasn’t detailed enough so I had to improvise a lot. I knew I wanted “defy the hand” on the left arm and “you’re dealt” on the right arm. It was just a matter of making the letters fit! It was a lot of trial and error. Some tips for your own lettering would be to block in the letters first. Try a rough draft and get the letters in there how you want. Then you can turn that layer’s opacity down and draw it again over top while being more creative with the letter forms. Since I don’t have a very steady hand (often a little jittery from coffee and anxiety) my letter forms are not perfect. They’re a little wobbly, which is ok considering my entire design will be slightly imperfect.

hand lettering by jeff finley for wmc fest

The rest of the lettering was easier because I had a font to base it off of. For the words Cleveland, I set my reference type up with ITC Caslon and warped the type and got it into place. Then I drew over top of it my own custom version of it. For the dates, I loosely based my letters on the font, I drew it in rather quickly. Check it out:

cleveland hand lettering by jeff finley

wmc fest lettering in photoshop

Step 7: Shading and Stippling

Once the drawing was complete, I printed it out and used a good old fashioned light box. I placed my outlined drawing down first, then placed a blank sheet of paper directly on top. The light box allowed me to see through the paper so I can have precise detail when stipple shading. I used a set of fine-detail Micron pens. There is no shortcut to stipple shading, believe me I’ve tried!  I actually tried using my Wacom tablet to do this, but I didn’t get as natural and consistent results. So I went analog for this! To be honest, stipple shading is much easier using Micron pens and doing it on real paper than trying to do it digitally. My intention was to scan my shading into Photoshop onto a different layer. Then I could do whatever I wanted with it!

jeff finley drawing with a light box

Stipple Shading on its own layer

One trick to note: I did a separate scan for any stippling that would be “highlights” or “distressing” on my image. For example I did the stipple shading on my text on its own piece of paper and scanned it separately. That way I could change its color easier. I did the same for all the abstract dots that fill the background. In the end those were going to be lighter than the background, but it is still nice to have it on its own layer.

wmc fest design fully shaded

Step 8: Coloring!

Now that I had my outlines and shading complete, it’s time to fill it with color! I knew I wanted to go with my tried and true WMC Fest color palette. With my outlines and shading layers on top, I made a new layer underneath everything for each element. I started with the left arm first and colored it with the WMC pink color. Then I made a new layer and started coloring the right arm an orange color. By having the outlines on a layer above your colors, all you have to do is get close and color between the lines. It doesn’t matter what kind of brush you use, I’m just painting in solid colors. To make sure I’m using the same consistent colors throughout the design, I use “color overlay” layer style on each layer.

Also, since I made my background dark, notice how I changed the colors of “we are weapons of mass creation” and “until the end” to something brighter. Also, take a look at how I colored the little flag in the middle and the rays shooting out from the center. I just selected those layers and changed the “color overlay” setting to the color I wanted. No additional coloring needed.

Here is what our design looks like without any outlines on top.

wmc fest design with colors blocked in

And here is our finished design when we turn back on the shading and outline layers. Note: you might see some subtle distressing on the type. What I did for that was duplicating some of my stipple shading layers and placing them strategically on top of the type. Since the shading layers are the same color as the background, I was able to achieve a slightly distressed look.

WMC Fest 4 defy the hand you're dealt

Step 9: Prep for Die-Cut Sticker Printing!

The design is done! Now I just need to send it to print! But before that I had to make sure I was adhering to the specs that Sticker Robot calls for on their website. They actually screen print their stickers, but use a CMYK simulated process print. They literally screen print tiny dots of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black to get the exact colors in your design. So all I had to do was send them a high res CMYK .tif file and they did the rest. No complicated color separation work for me!

The trickiest part in setting this up for print was creating the die-cut layer. This was just a single color outline that on a separate layer that tells the printer where to cut the sticker out from the background. Since we aren’t going for traditional square-shaped stickers here, you need to specify the shape of your sticker!

It’s pretty easy. See below:

sticker die cut prep for wmc fest design

One thing to note was that there should be at least a 1/8″ safety area separation from your artwork to your die-cut line, and an additional 1/8″ bleed  area beyond your die-cut line. This will ensure your sticker has enough room to move around slightly on the press.

Another cool thing with Sticker Robot is they are one of the few sticker printers that allow you to print a grayscale design on the back of your sticker! To set this up with my custom shape sticker, I mirrored my sticker shape horizontally and designed the sticker back. I used a collage background I designed for the festival last year as my background and added our website URL. The only catch is the design had to be black and white. Check it out:

wmc fest die cut sticker back

Step 10: Print up the Stickers!

The design was sent off to Sticker Robot and here’s a few photos they took of the sticker printing process, from film to packaging:

Film for the black plate.

Film is printed for each color. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The film will be used to expose the screens.

Film for the back plate

The film is exposed.

A bright light is used to expose the film through the emulsion to the silkscreen itself. Each color will have it’s own screen.

film is exposed

Silkscreen Sticker Printing

A squeegee pushes ink through the screen onto the vinyl substrate, one color at a time, one sheet at a time.

silkscreen sticker printing

close up of cyan ink on the squeegee
a close up of cyan ink on the squeegee

Cyan and Magenta Ink

The cyan and magenta ink have been laid down. Next will be yellow, then black and finally 3 coats of clear UV protective ink.

cyan and magenta ink

Silkscreen Quality Ink

Silkscreen ink is notoriously thick and durable, typically 10-20 times thicker than digital ink. This is magenta:

magenta ink
Doesn’t really LOOK like bright magenta we know does it?

Magenta, Cyan and Yellow

The basic colors are coming together… we’re just missing the final color, black.

colors are coming together

Black ink is laid down…

Now it’s starting to look like a sticker!

black ink is laid down

Sticker Diecutting

This is a tedious process, where each sticker sheet is literally cut one at a time – a truly custom sticker. See the video below that shows the process on creating die cut stickers.

sticker die cutting process

Sticker Packaging!

Here are the final stickers. WMC here we come!

stack of wmc fest stickers

2,000 wmc fest stickers
this is what a couple thousand custom die cut WMC stickers look like…

custom sticker for wmc fest


So there you have it, that was how I created the artwork for the 2013 Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and how the stickers were created. You can get your own screen printed, die-cut vinyl stickers created with your designs through Sticker Robot. If you want to attend the upcoming WMC Fest and see a ton of great bands, speakers, and designers, tickets go on sale soon at http://wmcfest.com.

wmc fest die cut sticker time lapse
A simulated time-lapse of the illustration

40+ Beautifully Illustrated Websites

Website Design

When Go Media got it’s start in 2003, we primarily did illustration work. As the times changed and the market made increasing demands for web and interactive work, we adapted and began creating websites to meet the clamoring of clients. We would never forget our roots, though, and we infuse our illustration sensibility into many of the websites we design.

Now for many of you out there, especially the UX and Front-End Designers of the world, the visible look of the website is important but not nearly as important as the functionality and interface design. The showcase you will see below features the intersection of illustration and web design and that is the focus of the sites we have featured. Keep scrolling to get inspiration for your next website design.

The Showcase

Source: hongkiat.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: line25.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: line25.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: line25.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: psd.tutsplus.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: doublemesh.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: webneel.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: designbeep.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: cruzine.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: cruzine.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: cruzine.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: abduzeedo.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: designbeep.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thephotomag.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: designbeep.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: doublemesh.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: galleryheart.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: webneel.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: dzineblog.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: gnosh.co.uk via Go on Pinterest

Source: downgraf.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: siteinspire.net via Go on Pinterest

Source: lp-sf.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: dzineblog.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: webneel.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: webneel.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: line25.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thenextweb.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: noupe.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: noupe.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: thenextweb.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: noupe.com via Go on Pinterest

Source: psd.tutsplus.com via Go on Pinterest

Illustrate & Design an Alternative Gig Poster in Photoshop

Fonts Used:

Boston Traffic

Birth of a Nation

Brushes Used:

Watercolor Splatters


Last year, I was commissioned to create a poster/flyer for a heavy rock venue in the UK. The instructions I got were that they wanted something “edgy” and “hardcore”. Punk rock artwork is something that I typically do and I had created similar images for bands in the past, so it was the perfect project for my particular skillset.

Original thumbnail sketch

The Ink Stage

I started the project with a few thumbnail sketches of a man in a mask surrounded by various surreal and bloody elements. The band had just released a record called the Nightwatchman and I wanted to create my image based on this plague era image of a masked man.  I always produce my illustration projects in this manner; creating the rough layout and concept idea before jumping headlong into any ink drawing. It helps me to cement the idea in my mind before I start any inkwork. I have little concern over “how good my thumbnails look.” I merely need to put some ideas down on paper. In fact, I don’t even use a pencil to sketch and create most of my thumbnails in biro on whatever bit of paper I have handy!

Reference sheet created for the project that includes pictures of my own hands and ear!

The next step in my process is to gather all the reference materials I need. Because I barely do any pencil sketching apart from a very basic outline, I rely on solid reference materials. Some of these I find online and some I create myself (an iPhone is a seriously useful tool for taking reference shots)

Finished inked artwork

The reason why I don’t pencil sketch is because I like to ink on a clean canvas without the distraction of pencil marks. This makes the need for good reference more important and I always have the copies of my reference materials in constant view. To ink my artwork, I use three kinds of ink pens; a Paper Mate Flair pen, a medium Sharpie, and a Pilot Fineliner for the finishing details.

Illustrating directly in pen creates a particularly “energetic” style.  The fact that you are forced to edit and rethink the composition as you go is very liberating; if I make a mistake and I have to adapt the artwork to incorporate the mistake. The errors you make become as much a part of the illustration as the intentional ink lines.  It also generates the thick, black, and “dirty” style that I like.

The Digital Paint Stage

After creating my Photoshop canvas as an 8.5”x11”mini-poster (300dpi in CMYK mode), I scanned, dropped, and resized my ink drawing onto my Photoshop canvas. 

Once the scanned image was on my artboard I used my curves menu to consolidate the black and white in the layer and get rid of any loose grey pencil lines and uneven black (insure that the channel is set to CMYK and use the settings below as reference.)

The next step was to knock-out the white in my black layer.  I used my eyedropper tool to sample the white in this layer. I then went to select>color range and brought up my color range menu. To select all the white in this layer, I used the fuzziness toggle bar to ensure that all the white areas in this layer were selected.

After okaying my color selection, I deleted the selected white from my black layer.

The next step in the process was to start painting the piece. For this project I used a pack of watercolor splatter brushes (see top of article) – adding them to my default wet brush menu. I love this brush set that very closely mimics a loose watercolor paint style.  I also find the wet ink brushes particularly useful for digital painting in a very natural paint style.

I used a limited color palette of yellows, pinks, blues and browns to create my image; using the lightest to darkest tones first, and gradually moving into the central face image. Each major color layer was separated, starting with my “yellow layer”. Once my yellow layer was created, I used a selection of my watercolor splatter brushes to add random splatter shapes. I set my brush opacity to 70% to mimic a more “watery” effect

The painting process I use is very “free” and “casual” I separate each color layer and try to put colors down as fast as possible without thinking about it too much. The watercolor splatter brushes are ideal for building this type of loose paint texture. I ensured that each color layer was set at least to 50% opacity in this artwork and built realistic textures by turning the opacity down on particular brush strokes.

As well as using the watercolor splatters, I built texture using various wet brush effects to add splatter details in each individual layer.

To finish the background portion of my digital painting, I added a very opaque white layer (27%) and brushed in some white to tone down some of the harsher paint areas and knock-out the darker shades in the central character area.

For the main mask and face image, I created a new layer and painted my central character.

Once the central character was painted and the white highlights added, I wanted to add some finishing touches of dripping ink to complete the illustration. After creating a new layer, I drew some basic lines with a wet brush.

I selected these lines with my magic wand and using the warp tool (edit>transform>warp) bent and curved them to mimic the flow of dripping lines.

I then created a new layer called “small drips” and using the same technique as before for individual lines, drew and warped thinner lines to finish the paint project.

The Copy and Info Design

The big challenge in this particular project was the amount of copy they required on the poster; the client’s intent was to use the artwork as both mini-posters and flyers and they were very adamant on the copy elements they wanted to include.

With this in mind, I figured that I’d create a simple layout that compartmentalized all the copy elements in the head and foot of the artwork.

After re-sizing my artwork to free some space up in the head and foot of the piece, I created a new group and added a new layer. In that layer I drew a simple square with my polygonal lasso tool.

I then simply flooded the marqueed area with a solid black using my bucket fill tool to create a cut-out “punk-rock” style graphic.

I created a new text layer and used the font Boston Traffic to give my copy that stenciled punk rock vibe – laying the copy element inside the cut out shape.

The other font I used in this design was Birth of a Hero to further the destroyed and distorted look. After creating a new layer, I then continued this design approach by creating another cut-out shape with my polygonal lasso tool.

Again, I flooded this shape in black with my bucket fill tool. I then copied and flipped this same shape (edit>transform>flip horizontal>flip vertical) and placed it below my copyline.

I then added new text layers to finish off my header copy.

After creating a new layer, I repeated the process of drawing a shape with my polygonal lasso tool and bucket-filling with black. With this particular shape, I went back to my polygonal lasso tool to draw and delete a section from the top of my shape.

I then added new copy layers using my stencil font.

Using the band font styles I was supplied, I added new layers and built a text treatment in the lower left of my design.

I then copy and pasted the cut-out layers from the design header and used them in the footer copy to add some design synergy.

To complete my punk rock layout and to create some extra-footer space, I added a new layer to create a border around my design. Using the polygonal lasso tool again, I drew a cut and distorted shape around my design.

With my selection still active I then flooded the border by first inverting my selection (shift+ctrl+i) and then using my bucket fill to make it a solid black.

To complete my design, I added the remaining copy to the foot of my layout.

29 Inspiring Designs From Our Friends on Pinterest

Howdy Readers!

Welcome back to the 7th edition of the “Go Media Guest Pinner Gallery Showcase.” If you aren’t a fan of ours on Pinterest click this link to start following what we pin. This showcase features the best pins from our Go Media Guest Pinner Gallery, so these images are the ones that you all found and shared with us. If you would like to be added to the gallery send me an email at [email protected] Happy Pinning!
Follow Me on Pinterest

Guest Pinner Badge

Thanks to the amazing Dan O (one of the regular contributors to this Pinterest board) recently created a gorgeous badge for all you “Go Media Guest Pinners”. How cool is that?! Click the button below to download the badge.

The Showcase

Source: blog.behance.net via DAN on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Adam on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Adam on Pinterest

Source: grainedit.com via Adam on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Adam on Pinterest

Source: warhol.org via DAN on Pinterest

Source: google.co.za via Maarten on Pinterest

Source: ffffound.com via Maarten on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via DAN on Pinterest

Source: google.com.br via DAN on Pinterest

Source: google.com via DAN on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Bobby on Pinterest

Source: dribbble.com via Adam on Pinterest