Distress type by hand in Photoshop

There must be something about digital type that we don’t like.

We put a lot of energy into distressing, aging, texturizing, and simulating letterpress techniques with digital type. There are a lot of cool techniques out there. So here I am, sharing yet another one that’s really good for distressing specific parts of letters that are subject to more wear & tear.

We’ll be using Photoshop and digging into layer masks & scatter brushes.

But first, let me show you an example of what we’re trying to achieve.
distressed type

Okay, so a couple of things about the way this type looks that I can’t achieve using regular techniques:

  • The distressing is not even. This is not just noise or a texture overlay.
  • The outlines are not straight. Actual distortion of the letterform edge, from peeling, erosion, ink bleed, or whatever.
  • Certain parts of the letter seem more vulnerable to wear & tear. This makes sense I guess.

Step 1: Prep your type

Create a document, 1000×500 pixels. Fill the background with #22202c. Make a text box, type something clever in #eae7e0, and rasterize the type with applied FX.
If you’re curious, here are my type settings:

Unviers LT Std, 49 light ultra condensed
370 pt
Layer effects: 7px #eae7e0 stroke, from center

Now let’s do some standard pre-grunge type tricks that I learned from Jeff Finley’s Wacom Illustration Video Tutorial. Blur the rasterized text by 1px. Now use smart sharpen with a 0.8px radius and at 140%. Remember these blur and sharpen numbers will depend on the size / resolution of your document.

Now let’s distort the edges of the text a little bit. Go to filter>distort>ripple, and choose a small ripple with a 22% amount. The edges should ever so slightly ripple. Here’s what mine looks like now:

scatter brush type aging

Step 2: Make a grunge scatter brush

grunge type scatter brushThis is the brush we’ll be using to paint away distressing on the type.

Open up your brush panel and check “Shape Dynamics”, “Scattering”, “Noise”, and “Smoothing”. This is gonna be a nasty brush! Push the sliders for Size Jitter (in Shape Dynamics) and Scatter up & down until you get a brush preview similar to the one you see here.

I generally like to keep my main brush very small & soft, usually between 1-4 pixels and 0% hardness.

Hit “D” on your keyboard to reset your foreground & background colors to default black & white. This means your brush will be black, which is what we want.

If you just swipe the brush around a little bit, you’ll see you’re now “painting noise”. Perfect!

Step 3: Paint the type mask with the scatter brush

Make sure your layer mask is selected, and use your brush tool to paint inside this mask. Black pixels hide the rasterized type layer, and white pixels show it. The mask starts out all white.

As you paint in your wear & tear, think about the letters as physical objects. What parts look subject to distressing? Call to mind rusty old street signs and roadside ice cream shacks. Vary the size of your brush between 1 and 5 pixels. Use larger brushes for the edges of the letters. Use a little more distressing in areas that seem especially ‘rippled’.
type grunge
See how the mask I’m painting looks noisy, like the brush preview above?
distressed typed
Just keep painting until you get a degree of distressing that suits you. I tend to prefer very mild distressing. Just enough to get the looker’s subconscious to think “not digital”. Be sure to make each letter different. That’s kind of the whole idea of this approach: more custom than a distressed font.
scatter done

Cool, huh?! Once you do it a few times, this technique isn’t much harder than overlaying a texture – and it looks a lot better to me.

We’re basically done here, but I’ll add in a paper texture to make our image more closely match the “SHHH” image.

scatter final

That’s it! Thanks for reading this quick tip, and let me know if you have ideas to take the technique further.

Call of Duty: Black Ops features Go Media Vector Art

We’re all still pretty young here at Go Media. Heck, Go Media founder Bill Beachy is only in his thirties. So yea, it’s fair to say we’ve played plenty of Activision’s award-winning action game Call of Duty. That’s why we were excited to get the call from Activision saying they wanted to use our vector art in the latest installation of the series: Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Activision hand picked images from The Arsenal for use in the Playercard editor of Black Ops.   There are more than 480 images, but it’s not too hard (especially for long time fans of The Arsenal) to pick out the skulls, heraldry, or disgruntled suits that came from our library.

Check out the (admittedly lo-res) screenshots of the emblem creator below.  Images in the emblem editor can be colored, moved, rotated, resized, and overlapped to create unique playercards.

call of duty gomedia arsenal
arsenal call of duty
arsenal vector art call of duty
call of duty vector art

Grab Wacom Illustration Video Tutorial, get Vinyl Record Mockup Templates Free

wacom illustration video tutorial
Yo everyone, hope your world has been spicy & happy.

If you’ve spent any time around here, you probably know about Jeff’s Wacom Illustration Video Tutorial. In this two hour voyeuristic walk through, Jeff shares his process from concept to final coloration & tweaking – and all the meaty hand illustration work in the middle.

Well, what he’s working on in that tutorial is a fictional album cover called “Beauty is a Black Hole”, and we ended up showing the final art mocked up on a vinyl record. In early 2010 when the tutorial was released we actually received quite a few messages from ya’ll asking about the record mockup. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that all the Vinyl Record Mockup Templates were finished.

Buy Jeff’s Wacom Illustration Video Tutorial, get the Vinyl Record Mockup Templates Free

So I think these two tools go together nicely. If you have the guts & skill to make it all the way through the Wacom illustration video tutorial, then you damn well should be able to get the final satisfaction of seeing it mocked up in all its glory on a record sleeve. That’s why if you purchase the video tutorial between now and Friday November 19th, we’ll throw in the 11 Vinyl Record Mockup Templates below for free.

vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template
vinyl record mockup template

There’s no coupon code necessary – just purchase the video tutorial, and the templates will be included.

If you’ve already purchased the video tutorial and would like the Vinyl Record Mockups too, email me with your order number and I’ll send you a discount code for 35% off.

New Release: Grid Kit

design grids download vector

Grid Kit Released

We cooked up the grid kit to be a go-to ingredient in your page layout process. We revisited the classic tomes of page construction and put together a smashing sampling of grids that will inspire & guide your eye through the design process.

All of the grids are vector so you can use them right in Adobe Illustrator, or overlay them onto your pages in InDesign, Photoshop or other design application.

Download the grid kit for $9.99

What’s included?

We’ve included every kind of base grid we could dream up: various columns, margins, gutters, and rows. We’ve got isometric grids, golden concentric circles, graduated golden sections, gradient cells, and more. Several page construction methods resulted in a few of our favorite grids in this kit.

grid kit page design construction grid system

Most of the grids are for a single 8.5×11 page, but a handful use Van de Graaf’s page construction methods to build a page area for facing pages. If you want to see each & every grid included in the kit, check out the Grid Kit Facebook album.
van de graaf page construction grid system
grid system page design grids go media arsenal
Remember to check out the Grid Kit Facebook album to see a preview of all the grids in the kit.

Arsenal: Pullover Hoodie Templates!

Hi again everybody, it’s Adam from Go Media.

If I had a feather for every phone call, email, and comment from designers requesting pullover hoodie templates, I could build the Big Bird float from Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Maybe two of them.

I know you’ve all been wanting these for a long time, and it’s exciting that they’re finally available. There are 7 (and an additional back shot arriving in an imminent update) templates demonstrating great variety & usability.

To celebrate the launch of the most frequently requested template pack of the year, I’m offering a huge limited time $14.99 discount with the coupon code: pullover. This huge discount is only available for one week, until Friday June 25th.

Browse the thumbnails at the Arsenal.

Weapons of Mass Creation Interview: Chad Lenjer

We’ve already posted 4 of the video interviews we were lucky to film with attendees of the first Weapons of Mass Creation event last fall. Currently we’re busy planning a much more ambitious festival to celebrate contemporary creative visionaries, called Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. Visit the home page to find out what it’s all about, who will be attending, and how you can participate.

Enjoy this video interview (with transcript below) with incredible illustrator Chad Lenjer (Discordant Art).

Chad Lenjer: My name is Chad Lenjer. I go by the alias Discordant Art. I guess people would know my work if they were into the metal / hardcore scene. I predominately do merchandise designs for bands of that sort.

GoMediazine: So who are some of your biggest clients right now?

Chad Lenjer: You know it sort of varies. I’d say some of the most stable, solid bands would be Job for a Cowboy. I’d say Three Inches of Blood even, I’m just a huge fan so they’re bigger to me than any other thing.

GoMediazine: I guess the better question is who your favorite client is?

Chad Lenjer: Uh right now – I mean, it’s not like I have “favorite clients of the month” or anything, but – probably my favorite client is this band called Irepress from Boston. It’s just nice to actually – when it comes to the music industry – being able to do work for a band that I found myself being a huge fan of before I even knew them or did a doodle for them.

GoMediazine: Why did you come to the Weapons of Mass Creation campaign today?

Chad Lenjer: Well, because Jeff hit me up about it. And I just think it’s a really good thing. Of course there is exposure involved & what not. But at the same time, it does make a big difference. Go Media is just completely flawless in everything they do. Their stock art is… I mean you could go to Half-Priced Books or some used book store & buy one of the twenty page things with a bunch of banners & scrolls printed. But then you have to scan that in, and the quality is not anywhere as good to what it would be. So it’s really worth using.

GoMediazine: What’s your opinion of stock art & design resources?

Chad Lenjer: I mean, I have absolutely no qualms with using them. In the past I have felt a little bit guilty. But I mean, they’re royalty free for a reason. It’s not like someone slaved over it and was super pissed or rolling over in his grave over something we’re using. I think they’re a huge positive when appropriating old ideas in newer work. I don’t know, I don’t feel like there should be any guilt involved honestly. I’d say if you were just creating solely pieces of art in a non-conceptual sense of only stock art – then – you’re doing something wrong. But otherwise, it’s really good.

When it comes to music people use the same drum beat in multiple songs. It’s just whatever fits. Whatever the whole piece comes out looking like or sounding like, each thing has its own feeling.

GoMediazine: Your illustrations have been described as extremely detailed & meticulously done. Can you talk a little about your process for it?

Chad Lenjer: Uh, basically, I dunno. Paper. Pens. Draw pictures. I start with a really lose concept & draw a dozen or so thumbnails of compositions that could possibly work or ones that are really garbage. When it comes to pencils, like the initial sketches… When I’m working on a project sometimes I feel bad because it doesn’t really compute. Like I don’t have very much to show in the very first stages. I’m really loose – it’s just a couple scribbles. But I can totally envision what it’s going to look like once I start fleshing it out.

And then from there, it’s just inking. Which is really fun because it’s when I get to add all the detail. But at the same time it’s a little big grueling sometimes. Coloring is usually an afterthought, but I’ve been trying to have the best possible piece envisioned in mind so that there’s not going to be some snags along the way.

When it comes to tee shirts, I’m guilty of it, that’s almost everyone’s last thought: “Oh, let’s just throw the band’s logo on it.” I guess it works, but at the same time it totally looks completely different. You can add something on top of anything.

GoMediazine: Who would you say are some of your biggest inspirations right now?

Chad Lenjer: Uh, right now… I’m still influenced by illustrators greatly. There’s Horsebites (Richard Minino), Justin Kramer (Angryblue) that are here. Angryblue, he was actually one of the first people, when I was in the sixth grade, I would just look at everything he had up on his website. He would worked for a bunch of my favorite bands. He was honestly one of my biggest inspirations.

I really like John Dyer Baizley from Baroness – he’s a fantastic illustrator. But I feel like I get the most inspiration from people that don’t do exactly what I do. I really like photography, but it’s sort of hit or miss with me. It really all depends. I’m an avid lurker on FFFFound.

GoMediazine: What are you working on currently that you’re really excited about?

Chad Lenjer: A couple of designs for Irepress, which I was telling you is my favorite band to work for. So I’m excited about that. Probably just being able to actually do some personal work. Starting to do some prints. And a little side project that I started a year ago. It’s not even anything gallery-worthy, it’s just for fun. I loved the show “Are you Afraid of the Dark” as a kid. So I find myself rewatching old episodes and drawing little pictures based on scenes for them. I always liked macabre & horror and I feel like it’s the perfect balance between being too gross and still having some really scary concepts in mind. It’s just fun, and a little bit of nostalgia.

Weapons of Mass Creation Interview: Fuel Brand Inc.

Welcome to the fourth interview of the Weapons of Mass Creation video interview series. Not sure what this is all about? Read the kick-off article to get caught up!

We sat down with Adelle Charles & Joshua Smibert of Fuel Brand, Inc and chatted about their background, goals, and views on the design industry. You’ll find both the video interview & the typed transcript below. Enjoy.

Adelle Charles: Alright, I’m Adelle Charles from Fuel branding, and I’m the CCO.

Joshua Smibert: Joshua Smibert, same. I guess most designers would know us through the site Fuel Your Creativity.

GoMediazine: Who are some of your clients? We talked about this before because you guys don’t essentially have clients, so why don’t you talk about that a little bit.

Joshua Smibert: We’re a publishing network, so no clients but lots of readers.

Adelle Charles: No clients is good.

Joshua Smibert: Both of us have come from production world though so we’re used to client work but now we just serve the community.

Adelle Charles: Yea, we serve the creative community.

GoMediazine: How has that been for you guys? How is that better and how is it worse? So before you actually had clients, you had people you were responding to but now it’s a bigger entity.

Adelle Charles: It gets a little crazy sometimes, not gonna lie.

Joshua Smibert: But we don’t have deliverables so we get to respond to more the flow of what’s being asked but not specifics.

GoMediazine: So it’s more organic.

Adelle Charles: Yeah, it’s about building relationships.

Joshua Smibert: With a lot of people at once rather than one on one with a client.

GoMediazine: Why did you come to Go Media today, to the Weapons of Mass Creation campaign?

Adelle Charles: Well, Fuel is really about the community and your brand Go Media and Fuel, it’s what we’re about. And we totally wanted to meet you guys.

Joshua Smibert: We love the fact that you guys are reaching out and doing things that focus on creatives. It’s not about a single vein or a single person or competitive – it’s about, we’re all part of creating things and making things and doing cool stuff. So it seemed to fit.

GoMediazine: I see Fuel and other companies having a single brand name to which they launch a series of related sites. Is this planned from the beginning and why keep all the sites under the same brand? Does this strengthen or dilute the brand?

Adelle Charles: It actually started with Fuel Your Creativity. It just kind of, I met Josh and it kind of went on fire. No pun intended I swear.

Joshua Smibert: Fuel your creativity started as a single entity and as a really grassroots effort to try and share what you were working on with the community.

Adelle Charles: It was about a year and a half ago.

Joshua Smibert: Almost two years ago. So what happened was, we had to discuss what might be the next step for something. We built this community of designers, community of creatives. Where do we go from here with it? Fuel as a concept was about building on creativity and adding to it. So we kind of launched into other areas but still under that same concept. So it made sense to keep it all under Fuel but to build a brand to extend the reach because it meant the same thing.

GoMediazine: So Adelle you are coming from a background where you went to art school and so you have an eye for what looks good and what doesn’t look good.

Adelle Charles: I hope so!

GoMediazine: You have worked on projects where you had deadlines. What is your opinion of stock art and what the Arsenal has?

Adelle Charles: I love what you guys do. I use Go Media’s stuff. It’s a great tool to build on. Amazing things can come from it. I’ve used it on posters, art work, website design, I love it. I’m not just saying that because I’m here.

GoMediazine: What would you say to someone who’s kind of knocking it?

Adelle Charles: Knocking it?

GoMediazine: You would be like “have you ever had a deadline?”

Adelle Charles: Yea, exactly.

Joshua Smibert: What isn’t stock art anyway? Everything is a shape, everything is taken from something.

Adelle Charles: It’s true. It’s all about what you’ve done with it.

GoMediazine: That’s a great overarching philosophical way to look at it. I’ve never thought that way about it.

Adelle Charles: Trademark that quick!

GoMediazine: What is your ideal project? That is an interesting question for Fuel as an entity, I guess it would be what is your ideal situation or what is your ideal vision for Fuel?

Joshua Smibert: To us the concept of Fuel links to it’s name of creative development. Building on or adding to. For us creating an entity which has things that flow through it but uses what we do to add to it. If that makes sense. So information comes through us and other people can come consume that information. Hopefully apply it to their design work, apply it to their illustration, apply it to their motionography, whatever they are doing.

Adelle Charles: The fuel brand network is the umbrella of the publishing sites. So it’s “fuel your”, fuel your creativity, fuel your illustration, fuel your apps.

GoMediazine: In my head I’m envisioning this circle, almost like a cyclical thing, you put out these resources, you’re developing this community, people are responding, and then they are coming back. They’re doing their work, taking from these resources, and they’re coming back and leaving their resources.

Joshua Smibert: Again, back to the name. Fuel doesn’t do anything unless it’s applied to something. So the idea is, it’s a community publishing network where we take people in an industry and allow them a platform to get good quality, good feedback. So for designers working on something, they can come and publish to the community and the community can respond, engage, learn from, take away from, rebuttal, and disagree. It’s a way to be able to bring out the best of and the most interesting and do something with it to create new stuff.

Adelle Charles: The engagement is the best part.

Joshua Smibert: For us it’s about doing and creating new stuff. And hopefully that’s what the resources we provide do. And that’s again why we think it’s kind of a cool concept because you guys can take something and add to it to make something new. And that’s the whole concept of creation for us.

GoMediazine: Do you have any current projects or undertakings that you’re allowed to talk about right now? Or do you have to be kind of secretive about it?

Joshua Smibert: Sure. We have an events circa we’re working on.
We’ll be doing some Fuel workshops and hopefully in the next year second quarter, a Fuel conference.

GoMediazine: Alright I have to go tweet about this right now. I have to tell everyone!

Joshua Smibert: There’s a lot of stuff. Fuel United is another project we’re working on which will be a way for creatives to contribute back more of a hub, a charitable hub where everyone can offer their talents to organizations doing something. Sometimes a lot of freelancers may not have massive amounts of cash to hand out, but still want to contribute. We all have talents; we all do amazing stuff, so Fuel United will be a hub for allowing other organizations access to the creative community. It’s something we’re doing with some other partners. We’re trying to look for ways that we can all as a community give back.

Weapons of Mass Creation interview: Mark Weaver

Here’s the third installation of the Weapons of Mass Creation video interview series featuring designer & illustrator Mark Weaver. Not sure what this is all about? Read the kick-off article to get caught up!

You’ll find both the video interview & the transcript (to make up for poor audio quality) below. Enjoy!

GoMediazine: How would people know you?

Mark Weaver: I’m a graphic designer & illustrator. And basically, I started doing this project called “Make something Cool Every Day”, which was started by Olly Moss who is kind of a famous graphic designer. I started working on this project doing designs every day. Eventually people started blogging my stuff. It got kind of, I don’t know, it got on some big graphic design blogs. I started getting some work from it. Did some work for Wired recently. I got some recognition from that project – just a personal project.

GoMediazine: Who are some of your clients?

Mark Weaver: Paste Magazine.

GoMediazine: Wait, did you say Paste?!

Mark Weaver: Paste.

GoMediazine: Oh, I love that magazine.

Mark Weaver: Oh really, I used to work there. I worked there for two years. Yea, it’s good. I did some layout for them. We did the whole magazine redesign. I’ve done work for NASCAR.com through Turner Interactive. They do all the NBA, NASCAR – all that stuff. Georgia Music Hall Fame, I did some work for.

GoMediazine: So, what was your favorite project?

Mark Weaver: Definitely Wired, because recently they asked me to do an illustration, just whatever I wanted as long as it had the date in there. So it was really open ended and really fun.

GoMediazine: So why did you come to the Weapon of Mass Creation campaign?

Mark Weaver: I just thought it was a really cool idea, and some good exposure to get my name out there. Seemed like a fun thing to do.

GoMediazine: What’s your opinion on stock art & design resources?

Mark Weaver: Well, a lot of the stuff I do is based on public domain images. I take a lot of different images & create something new out of them, kind of like a collage style. So I think it’s great to have stuff like that out there for designers to use & be creative with.

GoMediazine: So how did you get started as a designer?

Mark Weaver: Oh man. I mean, I’ve always had a love for drawing. Started drawing at an early age. It was just a natural path for me to go in that direction – to do illustration & design. It’s not something I really chose. It was natural to do.

GoMediazine: I would doodle on the side of my math homework.

Mark Weaver: Yea, I’d rather be drawing!

GoMediazine: What is your ideal project?

Mark Weaver: Oh man. Probably my ideal project would be doing a series of posters for the White Stripes.

GoMediazine: Who are your inspirations?

Mark Weaver: Like, artists? Or?

GoMediazine: You know, you could name artists, or just whatever inspires you?

Mark Weaver: I would have to say Stanley Kubrick is kind of a big inspiration for me. Just, the way he shoots film. Everything is very structured & precise & really clean. I feel inspired by his work and I try to emulate that in my work. Especially ‘2001 A Space Odyssey”, which is like my favorite movie.

GoMediazine: Your work has a nostalgic vibe to it, what draws you in that direction?

Mark Weaver: You know, I’m really not sure why I’m drawn to that. I really like vintage looking mid-century style things. I just love clean typography – like Swiss typography style. I can’t really explain it. I just feels real. It feels … I don’t know. I really can’t explain it. I just love it.

GoMediazine: Lately there seems to be an abundance of people latching on to the style of retro-futurist-modernist-whatever. Do you worry that’s a passing trend?

Mark Weaver: Sometimes I do think about that. I have seen a lot of people doing that sort of style. But even when I started doing this ‘Make Something Cool Everyday’ thing, it wasn’t even close to what I’m doing now. My style is evolving even from when I started back in January. So I’m just trying new things. I could be doing something totally different next year or next month. It’s just an experiment.

Go Media featured in Advanced Creation: Illustrator

advanced creation illustrator go media

Near the end of 2009 we were contacted by Stéphanie Guillaume & her team at the French outpost of Advanced Creation about re-releasing a couple tutorials from The GoMediaZine. We said “sure!”, and sure enough, the hefty 150 page special issue arrived in Cleveland just this week. Typically the French division of Advanced Creation focuses on Adobe Photoshop, but like I said, this issue is special!

It’s packed full of content, including 20 full-blown Adobe Illustrator tutorials! Among those twenty are two from right here on The GoMediaZine. Bill Beachy’s awesome Holiday Pinup Girl Vector Tutorial, and Maren Kelly’s guide to Creating a Complete Apparel Tech Pack.

Here are some pics from the issue:

advanced photoshop gomediazine vector tutorial

advanced photoshop gomediazine vector tutorial

advanced photoshop gomediazine vector tutorial

advanced photoshop gomediazine vector tutorial

Weapons of Mass Creation Interview: Geoff May

Welcome to the second installation of the Weapons of Mass Creation video interview series. Not sure what this is all about? Read the kick-off article to get caught up!

Our first interview was with Richard Minino, otherwise known as HORSEBITES. If you missed it, you can watch the first interview here.

The second interview is with Geoff May. We’ve got 8 minutes of revealing video for you to watch! Inspired by all the negative comments about audio quality on the last interview, we’ve once again transcribed the interview for you to read along with! You’ll find both below.

Geoff May: My name’s Geoff May, G-E-O-F-F, and the design community would know me for merchandise design. I’m all over the board with bands I’ve worked with. I mean, I was doing Bee Gees earlier in the week, and then Guns & Roses at the end of the week – so it’s kind of all over the place. But, yea, people would know me through that.

GoMediazine: So what’s your story? How did you get started?

Geoff May: I was working a job as an illustrator for this gaming company. They’re the biggest bingo distributor in the world, and uh, it sucked. It was so corporate. I quit and said “yea I’m just gonna freelance”. I was doing print & web design and hated it.

I want to do band t-shirts & album art & skateboards & just, cool stuff! And one day, I just contacted some merch companies. I thought maybe I’ll hear back from them, maybe not. Well, I heard back from them. I kinda fell into it that way.

It’s cool, but what’s funny is I contact all these record labels, and none of them replied. None. And after I’d been working for the merchandise companies, all of the sudden these record labels were contacting me. These same ones who never replied to any emails or anything.

GoMediazine: Oh, yea, now you want me?!

Geoff May: Like, now? Really? C’mon, where were you six months ago?

GoMediazine: So what’s been your best project?

Geoff May: Anything where there’s no production, and it’s just like “do something” I like to draw, so anything hand drawn. I was talking about doing Guns & Roses this week. They said “do whatever – make it 80s rock style, but do whatever”. Yea, I’m making skulls, snakes. It’s fun when you have free reign to do whatever.

GoMediazine: So you were talking that you’re excited that Chad’s (DiscordantArt) here, Angryblue’s here. Are these guys you’ve drawn inspiration from? Who else has inspired your work?

Geoff May: Yea, if you’re gonna talk more industry known – merchandise design known? Yea, Chad’s Killer. And the kid’s only twenty, which just makes me sick. Angryblue is big. Jeff Finley & Oliver Barrett – those guys are giants too. Who was a big inspiration, Illustration wise? Todd McFarlane Derek Hess.

GoMediazine: Do you have any current projects you want to talk about? Are there any you can talk about right now?

Geoff May: It’s all hush-hush. All lock and key. No, uh, right now there’s Guns & Roses that I’m working on and I’m pretty stoked about that. I had to put some stuff on the backburner, like this design for Trivium, coming up which I’m pretty stoked about. It’s Kali Ma, which is a Hindu god. She’s blue with four arms & wears a necklace of skulls & a skirt of arms – you know, severed arms. It’s pretty gnarly, and I can’t wait to get back to doing it because I think that’s going to be a fun shirt.

GoMediazine: So, unrelated question: What’s the story of your tattoos?

Geoff May: odd McFarlane. 50s pin-ups. I love 1950s art and 1950s ads.

GoMediazine: So is that another inspiration of yours?

Geoff May: Yea… it doesn’t transfer over to what I’m doing really. But I like the aesthetics of it. Now and then I do do more graphic design based stuff. I always think about that. The 50s stuff was real cool & clean. And the artists were phenomenal. I mean, there wasn’t clip art. You had these guys like Gil Elvgren (http://tinyurl.com/yatcoo6), fucking hand painting these images. You don’t see that anymore.

GoMediazine: So you said stock art. That brings me to a question that we wanted to ask you. And you seem ready! It can almost get philosophical. What’s your opinion of stock art and design resources.

Geoff May: I’m a huge fan of it. I have a lot of Go Media Vector Packs. What I’m against is people just taking something & slapping it on, and making that the main image. That’s not really… you didn’t do anything. You took something that somebody else did. But – there’s plenty of uses. I use a lot of the distressed vectors & splatters & stuff like that. I like using those because it takes my art and enhances it. And it saves me a ton of time! I could pull out the ink & brushes & make splatters. Or I could just go & use some & they’re right there. I save a ton of time & it’s the same result. There’s plenty of people using that stuff in creative ways. And there’s also a ton of people abusing it, slapping a bunch of it together & calling it art. There’s something to be said for found images, and repurposing, but uh–

GoMediazine: It’s a thin line almost, isn’t it?

Geoff May: There’s a really thin line. But I’d say I’m definitely for it, because I use the stuff all the time. On my latest project I was using Go Media Vectors. I think: I don’t have time to draw these wings, these are cool wings & they’re not a main focal point of the art. These will fit perfect for what I was going to do, get the point across. It’ll save me a ton of time.

It comes to saving a time. I want to get something done as quickly as possible, because I get a flat rate, not hourly pay. But it still needs to be quality. So, I could either spend two hours drawing this image, or I could use theirs – which is the same quality. It’s what I need.

GoMediazine: So do you have a lot of ebbs & flows in your work right now? Jobs coming in & out?

Geoff May: Yea, yea. I’m constantly busy. And that’s important. It’s to the point now where people contact me, I don’t have to look for work. Which is really nice. I think that anybody, in any profession, want people to come to you. I have the ability to turn down projects. If it’s not something I want to do and I don’t really need it, I’m like “I’m not going to do it”. I’d rather do something cooler.

There’s times. If things are slow I’ll whore myself out. Yea, I’ll do Backstreet Boys, why not? I mean, it sucks, it’s not going to be in my portfolio! But I’m still going to do a great job. I don’t treat it like any less of a project. I mean, my name is still attached to it. I still want to do a good job. I’m not going to put up shit just because I don’t like the band or whatever.

You’ve just got to treat everything like that’s going to be the one that your name is always going to be attached to. Some random project. It’s always going to be one you don’t like. You’ve got to try to do your best work always.

User Showcase Highlight Round 14

Since the last User Showcase Highlight post the Go Media User Showcase Pool has ballooned from 1142 images to 4,672! Our members are up to a healthy 1181 and growing.

After browsing through dozens of pages of great submissions, two stood out among the crowd.

All Good Things

by: Michel Bütepage (aka kid grandios)
Congratulations Michel Bütepage!

Michel did a great job with this poster; thoughtful hand-made type that fit the subject matter sold me. I wanted to know a little more about the artist, so I tracked Michel down to ask him a few short questions:

GoMediaZine:Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? Work? School?

Michel: I’m a 19 years old graphic designer from Bremen, Germany. After 13 years of education I finished school, and accomplished the diploma from German secondary school, qualifying me for university admission or matriculation. By now I’m working as a freelance designer under the Design Core label.

GoMediaZine: How did you become interested in design?

Michel: I started working on graphic designs since 2007 after doing some minor projects like invitations or party flyers.
However I always loved art and design especially artworks, covers and poster-prints. Soon I got more involved in design by creating some personal art prints and wallpapers.

Before I started working with Photoshop I got a collection of 5 to 10 small programs to do different styles of art. Doing some tutorials I learned to handle the different possibilities of Photoshop CS3. After a long time of practice I decided to publish my work on different design networks like flickr.

GoMediaZine: Are you actively freelancing now? What are some of your latest projects?

My latest projects are a Design Core wall print with a new logo presentation and some personal poster designs. Most of my work is already printed and available as a full-size poster.
By now I’m creating personal work to upgrade my portfolio.

Cartaz Drops

by: Guilherme Dossin
Cartaz Drops

Guilherme did a great job using a limited color pallet and communicating some strong emotions in this piece. My only suggestion would be to decrease the size of the logo tag at the bottom & make it a flat instead of embossed.

I tried to contact Guilherme for an interview like Michel’s, but I was unsuccessful. Guilherme, if you see this drop me a line!

Congratulations to Michel and Guilherme, great job! Also, everyone that’s submitting to the User Showcase is producing good work; it’s been difficult to pick out pieces to showcase here on the GoMediaZine. Keep up the good work!

Discussion: Design year in review

The past year has been a fantastic close to a decade filled with great design advancements in all media, but especially on the web. New artists, new firms, new techniques, styles & trends. We’ve seen a lot of stuff that we like, and some that we don’t – but it’s all been a thrill to live through.

The White Stripes tugged the young decade into nostalgia for the 1960s, The Strokes reacted with tunes reminiscent of the 1970s, and The Killers rounded off the pattern making music that borrows from the 1980s. The mood and intentions of creative people seem to move in harmony around current culture; Designers started putting out work with a nod toward vintage aesthetics. Then in 2009, the shapes & color palettes of the 80s seemed to be especially popular.

Trends are inevitable and not inherently bad. But eventually, we all get tired of patterns and similar-looking designs. Here’s a handful of (web design) trends as identified by our friends at Smashing Magazine. This list is just to refresh your memory – let’s not limit the discussion to these design trends only.

  • Letterpress
  • Big Typography
  • Modal Windows
  • Carousels (slideshows)
  • Big footers
  • 80s colors & shapes

What do you think?

So this is topic is now open for discussion. Let’s chat in the comments about what you think are the some overused trends in your area of expertise? Whether it’s design, web, illustration, etc. What do you think?

Help us decide: What Templates are next?

Hey readers, you probably know by now that Go Media makes really cool t-shirt templates. We often get emailed suggestions for new mockup templates like pullover hoodies, jeans, cd packaging, etc. So we’re going to run a poll here to figure out for sure what you folks want. But first, why do we even need these templates?

Well, impressing our audience is a huge part of what we do. That means friends, bosses, department, clients, or the world. We’ve got to be able to turn heads and make people say “wow” about our latest work.

This is complicated stuff, and there’s no magic bullet. But one thing we’ve found to be true is that people are sensitive to how we present our work.

Imagine: If we’re designing a CD cover, which do you think makes a better first impression: A 7x7cm square JPG, or photo of the finished CD in plastic wrap on a shelf at Best Buy? Presenting our design in a realistic mockup helps people imagine the final product, and all the warm fuzzy feelings that come along with it.

Luckily, we can pull off a photo-realistic presentation like that in a few minutes in Photoshop with the right tools. And we’re going to build those tools. But first we need your help to decide what to do next.

There are so many different Mock up Template possibilities that we’re asking you to help make the decision: What’s next? What would really help you out day-to-day? Which of these templates do you think could help a client say “Yes – that’s what I want it to look like!”? Which templates could help you get clients excited about a project?

If you see think of a type of presentation template that isn’t included in these categories, you can add your answer. Please be cautious about adding answers, or this poll could get out of control. We can’t wait to see what you think.


Also feel free to leave a comment with ideas about presentation style, or how to impress clients during the proofing process.

Weapons of Mass Creation Video Interview: Horsebites

Welcome to the first installation of the Weapons of Mass Creation video interview series. Not sure what this is all about? Read the kick-off article to get caught up!

Our first interview will be with Richard Minino, better known as HORSEBITES. We’ve got 10 minutes of awesome video interview for you to watch. We’ve also transcribed the interview for folks in a hurry who’d rather scan than watch! You’ll find both below.

Go Media: Just start off by telling us a little about yourself, and how people would know you.

HORSEBITES: My name is Richard Minino, and I go by the moniker of Horsebites. I guess people would know by that name more than anything, because it’s a dumb name. It sticks out & they remember it.

Go Media: How did you pick the name Horsebites?

HORSEBITES: Actually there was a punk band I used to love when I was younger, they were called DI. They were from southern California. They had an album called “Horse Bites, Dog Cries”. That was my email address when I was delivering pizzas and doing no design at all. I thought I would deliver pizzas for the rest of my life – biggest loser! So I had that as my email, and I started getting little jobs here and there. I was doing shirts for some merch company and the guy there called me “Horsebites” instead of Richard, because he always forgot my name. I thought “I kind of like the sound of that”, and it actually has story and meaning behind it. I thought, “Screw it, I’m going to start something”.
Go Media: So who are some of your clients?
HORSEBITES: Right now I’m doing a lot of stuff for The Fest in Gainesville, which is always fun. This is the third year in a row that I’ve done stuff for them. I’m pretty proud of that. I also just got a KISS hoodie approved, which is awesome, because it’s one of the greatest rock bands ever. I do work for a lot of smaller bands too that just need help getting a good design, like the Polar Bear Club and Strike Anywhere. I work for bands that I would probably listen to, which is always rewarding.
Go Media: Can you tell us a little more about The Fest and how it is you got involved in that?
HORSEBITES: I’ve played in it every year so far, so all eight years. It started off with one of my bands, New Mexican Disaster Squad. We played it because we were friends with a ton of people in Gainesville. Like anything that’s new, it started off bad and there were just a few people – but we did it because it was just hanging out with friends. And every year it got better and better. Now, it’s something that seems almost out of control, but they keep it under control somehow. I love looking forward to that every year.

Go Media: So, Jeff wanted to know specifically, on behalf of Go Media – how did you involved with No Idea records?
HORSEBITES: Actually because the guy who started The Fest, Tony Wineman, he works for No Idea Records. He was always a fan of the band I was in, but more so we were just friends. And Florida, it’s weird; it’s a big long state but a lot of people know everyone. It’s smaller than you think. Especially the punk community – it’s really tight. So, knowing No Idea and being associated with them, it was a natural thing. If you’re just a Florida resident and you’re not playing music to get big, but just to have fun. They’ll usually pick up on you, or you’ll pick up on them.
Go Media: So why did you come to Weapons of Mass Creation?

HORSEBITES: I was paid lots of money! Just kidding. No, well, I was promised lots of pizza. No, I met Jeff [Finley] before the website Emptees came along. And I knew him a little bit before that because he would MySpace or email me. We would talk about each other’s designs and gush about each other’s work. We instantly got along. I’ve known him for a little while now when he asked me to come up. I didn’t know if I could because it was going to be a busy month for me, but I knew this would be so much fun. And honestly, it’s so hot in Florida right now that this is like winter for me. It’s like 65 degrees! I had a jacket on all day. Of course, now I’m sweating because I’m on camera!
This is cool to actually meet, like physically meet, people that I’ve looked up to, or just seen their work. I don’t recognize them by face because I only know them through the internet.
Go Media: So coming here, and knowing a little about Jeff and Go Media, what is your opinion of what we do, and what is your opinion of stock art and resources?

HORSEBITES: I think it’s awesome, especially for a lot of people that either could be starting out, or for companies that just depend on it. The possibilities are endless, especially for what Go Media does. It’s so broad and covers so much of the bases. I think designers like me and web design people look up to this company so much because we think: Wow, they really made something out of something that’s hard to make living out of, let alone building a tiny little empire of just Go Media stuff. Your fingers are in just everything! It’s really respectable and cool.
If a kid wants to start out designing, and he can use the illustrations you’ve provided as stock art. Even if he uses it at first and doesn’t use it later, he’ll always remember that he needs to make it as professional and high quality as what Go Media puts out. I think it’s great.
Go Media: So then, what is your ideal project?

HORSEBITES: I guess it would be working with people I like to work with. I like collaborating a lot. It’s pretty much what I’m doing now! I’m in a company with four of my other good friends. Getting paid to do this is phenomenal – I just can’t believe it’s reality!
And then having the option and the confidence to start up another business with someone and put out a little series of things. I would have never thought that would have been possible five or six years ago. It’s just awesome. I’m “living the dream”!
Go Media: You said you gained the confidence. What inspired you to feel confident to get you where you are?
HORSEBITES: it was when bands actually took notice. They would say “make a shirt for me” and it’d be a band that I looked up to. I’d be so nervous. I had no confidence. I’d think “how am I going to do this?” I didn’t know how to use a computer – I started out doing everything by hand. Drawing and painting was my true art. I didn’t know how to do stuff on a computer. It was getting pushed by bands like that, and then having other people react like “oh, I love this!” I thought “Okay, maybe I can do this.” That’s what gave me the confidence: Bands telling me “it’s cool.”
It’s still weird to me.

Interview Series: Weapons of Mass Creation

This past September, fourteen fantastic designers, animators, web developers, strategists and illustrators visited Go Media’s studio to be part of the Weapons of Mass Creation art campaign. It was exciting for us at Go Media to meet people that we’ve known and respected only through the wonders of the internet. We thought it’d be selfish to keep all the fun to ourselves, so we pulled out the video camera and chatted it up with our guests!

For the next couple of months you’ll find a new video interview every week right here on the GoMediaZine. For now, watch the trailer and whet your appetite for our upcoming interview series: Weapons of Mass Creation.

Video edited by Katie Major

Get ready for upcoming video interviews with these leading artists, designers, and entrepreneurs!arrow

Adelle Charles

In late 2007, Adelle Charles started Fuel Your Creativity, a fast-growing design & creative inspiration site that is now the flagship of the 11-blog network. The Fuel Brand Network, which includes such titles as Coding, Writing and Illustration, is aimed at creative professionals.


Under the Angryblue moniker, I design posters, art prints, album art and do way too many shirt designs full of strange imagery. Though I’ve mainly done aggressive work for metal bands, I also do merchandise design for Genesis and Ashlee Simpson as well. I am an art whore.

Brad Colbow

Brad spends part of his days wondering how to combine his two loves, comic books and easter eggs. The rest of his time he spends trying to design killer user interfaces.

Chad Lenjer

Chad Lenjer is an illustrator from the outskirts of Cleveland who focuses on line-work and and amalgamating techniques and conflicting themes. He creates unsettling, sometimes macabre depictions, for the hardcore/metal music scenes he’s worked in for the last six years.

Dave Garwacke

Owner and Creator of IFYOUMAKEIT.COM. I also play drums in Halo Fauna, Thousandaires, Golden Age of Radio, Kudrow and Air Raid Barcelona.

Geoff May

Geoff is a graphic designer, illustrator, guitar god, Cleveland sports nerd, and day dreamer hailing from Cleveland, OH, whose main focus is merchandise design in the music industry. He also likes curling up on a bearskin rug before a roaring fire with a fine bottle of merlot.

George Coghill

In addition to being editor of the GoMediazine, George Coghill is a humorous illustrator and cartoonist who specializes in cartoon character design for logos & mascots. He loves to share what he’s learned from his 10+ years as a professional freelance artist.

Haley Saner

I am a designer, animator, creator and co-owner of nah design. I am always looking for new and exciting clients and projects. Feel free to contact me for any reason.


My name is Richard Minino aka HORSEBITES, born and raised in Orlando, FL, and full time designer for about 5 years. I teamed up with some of my best friends in the design world to form The Black Axe which will be melting faces for years to come.

Joshua Smibert

Joshua Smibert directs his creative passion into the Fuel brand, where he oversees marketing and strategic direction for the company. Australian by birth, he loves travel and is the quintessential entrepreneur: intense, sleep-deprived, passionate and forward-looking.

Mark Weaver

Mark Weaver is a designer and illustrator living in Atlanta, GA via Boston, MA. He has worked for clients such as Wired Magazine, Good Magazine, and Paste Magazine. He currently works from home with his wife, Jessie and their dog, Sgt. Pepper.

Nicole Sciacca

Web designer and developer interested in web applications, identity and advertising campaigns. Interested in front end design implementation as well as back end administration. Has experience working with advertising agencies, corporate clients and independent artists.


My name is Aaron Sechrist. I design within the realms of print, web, apparel and broadcast. I like to make things look cool, and the fact I get money and occasional high fives for that is a great bonus.

Freelancers, what’s your largest business expense?

freelancing expenses

It’s nearing the end of the year. Americans are out hunting turkeys and folks around the world are pinching pennies in preparation for the winter holiday season. So, I’m curious:

Where are you spending the most in your freelance business? Where do you think you could afford to save a bit? Should you cut back on a few subscriptions to magazines or web services? Buy year-old computer gear instead of the latest & greatest? Or hey, maybe business is booming and you could care less about expenses right now.

Whatever the case, cast your vote in the poll and share your thoughts in the comments!


*Update: Two categories were added late, and so are horribly unscientific: Insurance & Travel.