Articles by: Heather Sakai
Free Fonts for Designers.
Sorry guys. I know it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure – this free font thing, but here at Go Media, we love providing designers with products they need.
I learned really early on that I can’t please everybody all of the time. If this ain’t your cup of tea, kindly look away. Mmkay?
Phew! They’re gone.
Ok. Let’s get to the good stuff. First off, check out my previous posts:
Now onto more free font-age:
Remember to proceed with caution and use fonts as directed!
Rockin’ Roller Coast Me.
Guys. If you know me, I bleed Cleveland through and through. And although Sandusky is an hour away, I still consider it part of our great city (just give it to me, will ya?) I mean, I grew up piling into the minivan heading up to the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point, and just loving the hell out of life.
I haven’t stopped. I won’t stop.
Cedar Point, to me, represents everything great about America, about summer, about life. Inside those golden gates are thrilling rides, elephant ears, cheesy singing & dancing shows and questionable fashion choices. I mean, be still my beating heart.
Well, I recently had yet another adventure with my Cleveland Design compatriots at Go Media and we went balls to the wall as usual, which included such memorable moments as this:
We also admired the wealth of typography Cedar Point offers, which I have collected via Pinterest and Flickr. Which one is your favorite? Want one to be the jump off point to your new logo design? Share with me in the comments below.
See you next year, Cedar Point!
By now, you’ve all heard the news. My colleague, mentor and friend, Jeff Finley is taking his talents to South Beach, break-dancing bravely into the great unknown.
After a tear or two, I pulled myself together and realized that this wasn’t a time for sadness but of celebration. Not only was Jeff being granted the ability to pursue his next dream, but I mine. Thanks to Jeff, I have been been offered what I consider to be the biggest and best opportunity of my life – to be the director of Go Media’s Design conference Weapons of Mass Creation.
With this fiery torch a blazin’, I’m already off and running. I hope you’ll come along.
Let’s Back Up.
My Stance on Weapons
& The Future
A Little Background on WMC for me & Why I Love it So Darn Much
Two years ago, my friend and Go Media President Bill Beachy asked me to help volunteer at Weapons. “Three Days that Will Change Your Life,” he said. I thought, ‘Okay, sure, I’ll do a good deed and help a friend out.’
When I stepped onto the scene, I soon realized that this was not just any festival and that those involved weren’t just any other folks. I knew right off the bat that this was something special. I felt an electric energy in the air and immediately I felt as if I belonged in a very authentic way. Experiencing this was a breath of fresh air for me. In a dead-end job, I had all but completely given up on myself. I had, like Jeff, battled depression and was stumbling way more than successfully getting up on my feet.
I left the Fest completely envious, wishing I could live the lives of those happy, creative, seemingly ballsy people I met at the festival. Days later it hit me. I could be one of them. I mean, as a creative myself (I hold a Masters degree from Case in Modern Dance), I had part of the equation, I just needed to get the other part nailed down.
Hit with a sudden spark of determination, I realized that it was time for me to turn this thing around.
With a new fire in my belly, I asked Bill for a job at Go Media. Having no graphic design experience, he was hesitant to say the least. But, thanks in part to busting my ass as a Fest volunteer (dawn to dusk) and other random, continued and relentless efforts to join the team (spending weeks painting the entire second floor of Go Media, for one), they finally gave the underdog a shot.
As I had never opened Photoshop, I was relegated to cleaning the back office during my first week. Fair enough.
Well, you know what? Inspired by the Fest and with unbridled passion, I cleaned that back office until you could eat off of the floor. I quickly moved from the back office to the front and I got my very own desk. I thought I won the lottery. I put in time purchasing supplies and answering phones. Day after day, I showed that I was capable of handling more, and thus I was given more. And more. And more. With each responsibility, I grew prouder, more confident, more inspired.
Fast forward to a year and a half later, I am now responsible for all of Go’s social media, for running sites MockupEverything.com and ShirtMockup.com and for managing artists and launching all products on our ecommerce site, the Arsenal. I have even met the pen tool and spend a good portion of the week doing some basic design. And now, I’m adding WMC Fest to my list. Bill jokes that I’ll one day just take over Go Media completely.
I have truly defied the hand I felt I was dealt.
Nailed the Slogan, Jeff.
Here’s what I’m trying to say. This “Change Your Life” thing – well, that hasn’t just been a slogan for me. Weapons of Mass Creation Fest has transformed my life in so many ways – giving me the confidence to pursue the career of my dreams, for one. Further, I look at the world differently since Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 3. My ability to survive an extremely tough year, including my mother’s passing and brain surgery for my one year old niece, I credit to the sense of hope and fortitude I gained, not to mention the friendships formed during the Fest.
I believe wholeheartedly in Weapons of Mass Creation Fest because it has given me so much and continues to do so. It also allows me to feel at home and be my true authentic self. This is not something I feel often, so when it happens, I hold it dear.
If you couldn’t tell, I believe the Fest is life-changing and love everything it represents. I am beyond honored to carry the Fest torch. I know that I’ll make Jeff proud, and I have promised to lead the charge for as long as I have the 100% drive and enthusiasm to do so.
Where it’s going
As mentioned, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest has served me so well, so I do not see it changing in any major way. Why mess with a good thing?
I will, though, bring my own spunk and fire into the Fest. I have my own personality and ideas and I hope that you contribute too. I want to include each and every one of you in the Fest. After all, it belongs to all of us. Please always feel open to email or tweet me your thoughts, opinions and suggestions.
I really do hope that you’ll give me the chance to lead the way, because I have all the passion in the world for everything it represents.
Stay tuned to wmcfest.com in the coming months for announcements about next year’s date, team members and line-up. It’s sure to be exciting for us all. I look forward to your support as I embark on this exciting adventure. Chat with you all soon!
Before diving into my position at Cleveland Design Firm Go Media, I knew the basics of personal branding.
My understanding went something like this:
1. Figure out who you are
2. Package it up nice and neat
3. Show it off to the world
How to do all those things, I must admit, was a little vague — until now. Let’s just say, I’ve just been enlightened by Michael Cavotta, certified personal brand strategist and professional headshot photographer. As it turns out, there’s more to it than a shot in the dark and a nice photo.
“Personal branding,” explains Michael, “is the external expression of the authentic self, which is by definition a unique and powerful commodity. It’s the ability to tell someone else—to show someone else—in words or an image—what it is that simultaneously sets you apart and draws others to you.”
[Tweet ““Personal branding is the external expression of the authentic self.””]
Whatever your role within an organization, Michael emphasizes without an authentic personal brand, your success is on the line—both as a business and an individual.
“In my former life as a venture catalyst, I learned no one invests in business plans—they invest in the people behind it,” Michael recounts, making a strong personal brand a fundamental element of entrepreneurial success.
But personal branding isn’t limited to the world of business. It’s for anyone and everyone who wants to walk a little taller in their own shoes.
“No matter if you work for a company or you’re out on your own as a musician, an artist, a designer…everybody is their own salesperson—their own branding agent.”
“Some people do a really shitty job of branding themselves,” Michael chuckles, “or worse, they’re completely unaware there’s a job to be done. Instead, they’re out there floating, confusing their function—what they do for a living, with their fire—who they really are.”
What kind of fire? “It’s that thing that gets lit up and effortlessly erupts when someone’s allowed to just be themselves, in their element—without friction, without limitation and without a sense that they need to be something else in order to succeed.”
From Function To Fire
Michael’s process hinges upon the idea of freeing yourself from an external sense of self driven by what you do for a paycheck. It begins with a deep drive to find the authentic you, the exceptional person people are drawn to both in business and in life. Accomplish this, and you’ve got the core of your own personal brand.
3 Words Exercise
Addition by Subtraction –
Michael recommends an exercise he calls 3 Words, clients are asked to identify the three words that “unmistakably, irretrievably, undeniably” describe themselves. This process isn’t one to be taken lightly, and if done right, can take weeks or even months. Michael notes, “Start by writing down words that describe someone in your profession. In the case of a designer, these could be words like creative, visual, passionate. When you’re finished, go ahead and cross them off the list. What you’ve just described is a brand tied rooted in function, rather than fire. You can’t set yourself apart by saying me too.”
Build Your Tower
Michael is big on imagination. He’ll ask you to “think of yourself as a Jenga tower, where each block is a facet of you with a word associated with it.”
You start by building your tower with blocks/words connected to your powers, your passions, and your purpose—the things that make you extraordinary and set you apart from the rest. “Don’t worry about what I do; let me tell you about me.” Suddenly, the conversation is no longer about the mundane expectations we have about someone in your field, it’s about activating the things that are most engaging about you.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take your time building your tower. “You have to see the whole before you can touch what is essential.”
Pull the Pieces
Just like in the real game of Jenga, once you build, you start pulling pieces. Except in this game, your job is to figure out which three blocks are the keystones that can’t be removed without the entire thing falling apart. You’ll know when you’ve found them when you get to the point where no meaningful conversation about you can happen without them.
OK, Now What?
Finding your 3 Words is really just the beginning—the point where a process becomes a practice. “The only way to work, live and love authentically is to be mindful of where you stand. Whenever you’re presented with a challenge or an opportunity, stick your finger in the air and check which way the wind is blowing. Ask yourself, ‘is it taking me closer to or further away from my authentic self?” If the answer is no, Michael asserts, “the result will be neither lasting nor exceptional, since any effort engaged in the absence of authenticity is doomed to mediocrity.” But the converse is decidedly more optimistic. “When approached from a foundation of authenticity, there’s nothing that you can’t do.”
[Tweet ““When approached from a foundation of authenticity, there’s nothing that you can’t do.””]
One Good Reason poster designed by Go Media
Gig Poster Designs
As you may well know, we love a good gig poster design here at Go Media.
Our designers know the keys to eye-catching, clear, crisp poster designs. We love to create, but we also appreciate great design when we see it.
Below you’ll find some most excellent gig posters we found over gigposters.com. A huge shout-out to Clay Hayes, founder of the site, for maintaining such an inspirational site!
Click on each image to be taken to the poster on gigposters.com.
August 2014 Flickr Pool Showcase
Hey Everyone! We’re not only excited to show off our next round of outstanding Flickr Pool Showcase Designs this month, but we’re ready to up the ante next month…who’s game?
Enter for your chance to Win a $50 Credit to the Arsenal:
If you are new to the Flickr Pool Showcase, check out the instructions below for how to sign up.
- Login to your Flickr Account (sign up if you don’t have one)
- Join the Go Media User Showcase Group (only group members can contribute)
- Upload your designs to your own profile
- Make sure to allow us to actually embed these image into a post, not just link to them. This can be done from your Flickr settings.
- Click on your newly uploaded designs then click the button “send to group” above your image and choose the Go Media group.
Pro Tips and #winning
- Allow your images to be shared!
- Put your best foot forward! Every month, we’ll be sharing our favorite designs right here, on our ‘Zine. And each and every month, we’ll choose our favorite design. The artist who created that design will be rewarded with a $50 credit to the Arsenal. For real!
* Winning designs will be chosen by Go Media’s Design Team based on best use of an Arsenal product and all around inspirational awesomeness! Up your chances by noting which Arsenal product you used to create your design in the caption on Flickr.
Go get ’em tiger!
The August Showcase
Now go create and good luck everyone!
Ice Bucket Challenge
We were challenged to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and, of course, accepted…
with a twist…
We are also happily donating $160 to ALS on behalf of Go Media.
Free Arsenal Templates & More: Vector, eBook, Mockup Template, Font and Textures Freebie!
Hello Go Media Faithful! We have got to say, our Arsenal customers are the best around. We’re constantly inspired by what you create and consistently moved to produce new products due to your brilliant suggestions. We want to say thank you with this, a small token of our appreciation. Download our free Arsenal Sampler, including Free Arsenal templates and more now at arsenal.gomedia.us!
Tennery Font (Light)
iPhone in Hand Mockup Template PSD
Right Lower Arm (for Tattoo) Mockup Template PSD
Zipper Hoodie Mockup Template PSD
1 Vector Sampler
Design Tools Freebie
Drawn to Business eBook Sample
As well as 2 Coupons good for: 1 Free Pro Month of Mockup Everything
& $25 Arsenal Credit (off of a purchase of $75 or more)
Go get it now at arsenal.gomedia.us!
As with life, rules in both the lands of lettering and typography are made for a reason.
In many cases, it’s best to stick to the books. However, in other cases, it’s quite alright to bend (and even break) the rules.
Illustrator and Hand Letterer Darren Booth points out that following rules too stringently can negatively affecting lettering work. He says, “I fear (rules) negatively affect my hand-lettering work. I typically approach my hand-lettering like a standard drawing – with shapes and forms, and I keep going until it feels right.”
We asked some of our favorite hand-letterers, calligraphers and typographers which rules they love to follow and those they love to break. Read on for their pro tips and leave your recommendations in the comments below!
Do Mind Hierarchy
In any project using typography there will always be a hierarchy. Hierarchy is so important because it can completely change the context or readability of a piece if the wrong word or words are emphasized. I always look for ways to create a more visually interesting piece or try to communicate a message by using hierarchy, but you have to be careful that you are not sacrificing any readability or else your message can be lost or completely misunderstood. – Jeremy Teff, Designer, BLKBOXLabs
I have more of an illustrator’s approach than a graphic designer’s approach to lettering. My words form a picture to me and I tend to go by eye rather than follow rules of kerning, etc.! I say, start loose and experimental – play with brushes and materials, make a mess before you hit the computer – there is time to tighten things up further down the line. – Kate Forrester, Freelance Illustrator & Calligrapher
Work towards Harmony
When customizing type, be aware of each letter and its neighboring letters. Making a few small adjustments to one letter can potentially disrupt the flow and balance of the word as a whole. The goal is for all the letters in the word(s) to work together in harmony. – Bryan Patrick Todd, Graphic Designer
Think: Less is More
The idea of “less is more” works on numerous levels, but it’s a rule I love breaking as often as possible. It’s wise for logos and branding, it’s ideal for effective speeches and slogans, and it’s necessity in many ways to product design – a specialized product that does less is almost always better than something that “does it all”. With all of that considered, less is not always more. When I’m commissioned for a label design or a t-shirt design, I absolutely love it when a client says to go crazy with it and make it as detail intensive, intricate and ornamental as possible. I’ve heard plenty of quotes that say good design should be virtually invisible and that things should be reduced to their most basic purpose and function which is fine most of the time. However, I also believe that design can and should be beautiful, toiled-over, and something that makes someone stop in their tracks when they see it. – Jason Carne, Freelance Designer
Keep it in the Family
I would say: If you’re not confident yet in your ability to judge a high-quality typeface from a bad one, check to see if it’s part of a type family that includes other weights or styles (Think bold, italic, light, etc.). Typefaces that have a family to back them up are not only more flexible for your projects, but they also tend to be better designed, so you’re less likely to look back at your choice and cringe in a couple years when your eye for type has improved. – Alison Rowan, Graphic Designer
Understand the difference between calligraphy, lettering and typography.
Calligraphy is the written letter, lettering the drawn letter and typography the arrangement of typefaces. Our written language has its basis in writing and different tools create different styles of letterforms, for example a chisel tip for blackletter, a brush for brush script and a pointed pen for copperplate. If you are interested in getting to know typography then the best place to start is with calligraphy, to establish what authentic forms look like and from there you can experiment with lettering and gain a greater appreciation of which style of typeface to use in a given context. – Ged Palmer, Graphic Designer
Begin with a Sketch
I always begin with a quick sketch on paper. No matter what the the project is, I find that this is the best way to establish whether an idea or composition works. – David McLeod, Graphic Designer
The one rule I always follow is to sketch and draw the idea always. Every visual in your mind translates into a drawing. And the one I often break is not sticking to the original drawing. The mind keeps getting ideas constantly and more often than not the final outcome is quite different from what was originally in mind. – Sabeena Karnik, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Typographer
Make it Visible
At school I remember a teacher once telling me that the best typography is that which is invisible. Maybe this might makes sense when it comes to way-finding labeling perhaps and conveying sterile information. But on the other hand, when it comes to communicating a concept or an ideas with layers of complexity through type, its treatment can enhance the communication of a particular emotion or tone which to do effectively in many cases requires that the typography be anything but invisible. – Luke Lucas, Graphic Designer, Typographer
Keep it Loose
Over the years, with practice and research I’ve learned some basic rules that help with readability or where a letter’s thick variations should be, but I prefer to let the concept or composition drive the letters. Concentrating on rules to follow could make my work feel contrived. My one important rule to follow when it comes to lettering is to keep it loose and build a piece up more like a painting than creating perfect letters that spell something out. – Mary Kate McDevitt, Hand Letterer and Illustrator
Don’t Get Lost in the Details
Try not to get so lost in the details that the lettering becomes hard or impossible to read. Believe me, it happens sometimes. It sounds silly, but zooming out periodically to see how the details are affecting the piece helps keep perspective. – Bryan Patrick Todd, Graphic Designer
Don’t Stretch or Squeeze
Never, and I mean never stretch or squeeze type. Type designers by nature are super obsessive down to the smallest detail while remaining “big picture” thinkers. If type has certain proportions, it was made that way for a reason, even if it’s not readily apparent to you. Think of it this way – to everyone with a good understanding of type and how it should look, your stretched type looks about as good as a stretched out collar on a shirt. If a typeface isn’t working how you think it should for a certain application, either research more typefaces and find one more suitable to your needs or go the extra mile and create something custom for the job at hand. – Jason Carne, Freelance Graphic Designer
Consider cultural and historical meaning
Comic sans on a gravestone would look a little strange, no? Style of letterform carry a lot of meaning and these meanings are normally associated with the cultural and historical roots of where they came about. That said the 26 letters from the roman alphabet have gone largely unchanged in 2000 years. So by breaking down the essential nature of the forms and then experimenting with subtle changes you can adapt these ‘abstract forms’ to communicate an intended message. – Ged Palmer, Graphic Designer
Push the Legibility Rule
Given the opportunity I like to push legibility. As long as the message can still be read, I’ll manipulate character forms or break words over multiple lines if it will add to the image. – David McLeod, Graphic Designer
So. What rules do you live by? What ones do you love to break? Share with us in the comments below!
Learn more about our contributors:
BLK BOX Labs | Dribbble | Behance | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Vimeo
Kate Forrester | Twitter
Bryan Patrick Todd | Twitter | Instagram | Behance | Pinterest | Dribbble
Jason Carne | Behance | Instagram | Dribbble | Facebook | Twitter | Lettering Library
Alison Rowan | Twitter | Facebook
Ged Palmer | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Dribbble | Behance
David McLeod| Behance | Instagram | Facebook
Sabeena Karnik Behance | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Luke Lucas | Behance | Twitter | Instagram
Mary Kate McDevitt | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Dribbble
Darren Booth | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Dribbble
All cover image photos courtesy of Ged Palmer
Poster Contest from our friends at the National Poster Retrospecticus
Let’s talk for a minute about how much I love John Boilard, Producer of the National Poster Retrospecticus, a traveling show of over 300 hand-printed posters coming to Cleveland for this year’s Weapons of Mass Creation Festival.
No, I haven’t met him yet, but I’m already smitten.
Because all signs are pointing to this: John is as passionate about WMC Fest as the crew here at Go Media. And that’s pretty darn kick-ass if you ask me.
You see, in the weeks leading up to the Fest, John has been nothing but enthusiastic. He’s gone above and beyond to share everything he can about his poster show with us here on the ‘Zine. As the editor, that makes my heart go pitter pat.
Look! There’s More!
Guess what, my friends.
John is here with the treat of all treats, if you asked me.
The National Poster Retrospecticus Poster Contest
To celebrate the National Poster Retrospecticus coming into town August 15 – 17, John has kindly offered up three sets of posters to you, my dear readers.
How do you win? It’s easy. Simply comment down at the bottom of the post and let us know why you’re dying to attend this year’s Weapons of Mass Creation Festival.
Three winners will be chosen at random on Monday, August 11.
I recommend that you come back and see if you’ve won, just in case my Facebook message gets sent to your other folder, or such nonsense. Good luck everyone!
Here’s What You Can Win:
Prize 1: National Poster Retrospecticus Full Poster Set
Prize 2: Spring 2014 Set
Prize 3: Little Friends of Printmaking Poster
Freebie Wallpaper Alert!
You may or may not know that I am obsessed with all things super kawaii. (that’s a super cute way to say for super cute if you didn’t know).
So when I stumbled upon this heavenly project on Behance, I died a little inside.
That was it, I decided. I needed to know the folks who created this deliciousness.
I shot an email out just to say “I love what you do” and within moments, an email reply popped into my inbox.
My new-found friends at Chocotoy kindly sent over some wallpapers for our enjoyment, asking nothing in return.
Pretty sweet if you asked me.
Interview with Robert Carter of Cracked Hat Design
As you all well know, the Cleveland pride is bursting through the walls of Go Media, where we sit only 2 miles from Quicken Loans Arena, new (and old) home to LeBron James.
On July 11, we sat with bated breath, awaiting the news of his possible return to our great city.
Then there it was.
Sighs of relief filled the office. (Particularly mine). He was back.
Saturday came and we were in for a different treat, this a designer’s dream.
While folks say print has come and gone, this, the LeBron coverage in the Plain Dealer proves to us yet again otherwise. With something so moving and electric in your hands, it’s hard to say print will ever be irrelevant. Nothing like it.
Josh Crutchmer’s post on snd.org reveals the painstaking process the folks at the Plain Dealer went through crafting up these 20 pages I read, then reread with intensity last weekend.
The story starts with the mindset of any Clevelander: some hope filled with a lot of doubt.
As he notes in the snd post, “Even as buzz built and rumors swirled that James might be serious about a return, we kept it at arms’ length.”
With more information gained, including “open speculation that there was no backup plan for James,” Josh and the team realized that it was time to get serious. T-minus 60 hours.
At the 60-56 hour mark, the concern to Josh and team was The Plain Dealer cover. What would it be and how would it get there?
They immediately decided that the cover stray away from a simple remake of the iconic 2010 cover, “Gone.”
Enter Robert Carter:
Once the 2010 cover was out of the picture, Josh and the team decided that instead an illustration might suffice. They called upon Robert Carter of Cracked Hat design to see if he might be up for the task.
He reflects, “I like to think my style is why they hired me in the first place. I think really for any artist it’s their unique signature that a client or fan is drawn to and the reason they want to work with or purchase or be part of that person’s art. It always blows my mind when every once in a while I’m asked to paint or illustrate something and they’re like ‘We really love your work but can you do it in ‘this’ kinda style.’ Style didn’t come into discussion with Josh, he knows the kind of work I do, and expects to see that. Nobody wants to hire you based on your established style only to be surprised by something completely different.”
After a quick email back and forth, Carter was in. Now the Plain Dealer had to wait for word that LeBron was, too.
Still, time was of the essence, and Carter wasted no time getting to work portraying one of basketball’s greatest. “I think even more so than his likeness (which is usually the main concern in portrait work) in this case it was to get the right feeling of impact, drama, that this was something big! The iconic pose and stark black backdrop, those are the elements that sold the piece more than anything I think,” he says.
“After being contacted by Josh and talking back and forth a bit about the piece, I got to work on the rough around 1:00pm. I sent it over for approval around 6:30pm, which thankfully it was. As they didn’t know exactly when James would make the announcement, Josh asked if I could have the final to a point where they could use it if absolutely necessary by 10pm! Scrambling to get as much done in that time as possible I sent them what I had. It was missing a lot of detail work like his tattoos and other things but it was enough that in a pinch it could have been used.”
“Thankfully they didn’t need it that night so had until 6:00 pm the next day to take it to completion. I was pretty burnt out by that point so I called it a night and picked it up again in the morning. By 6:00 p.m. I delivered the final piece.”
The Final Hours
In the final hour, the unbelievable happened. Word came in: he was actually coming home.
With only a few hours to go, and the final illustration in place, the Plain Dealer team cranked out the print piece I thought would never be.
Read Josh Crutchmer’s story, 60 Hours in Cleveland: The Plain Dealer’s LeBron Section
LeBron Illustration courtesy of Robert Carter, Cracked Hat Design
More about Robert:
Robert Carter is a multiple award-winning full time professional freelance illustrator. Born in St. Albans, England, he moved to Ontario, Canada, at an early age. Robert began his journey into the world of art from the get-go, constantly doodling and sketching anything and everything. Robert went on to study Art and Illustration, graduating from the prestigious Sheridan College School of Art and Animation.
Robert has been working constantly as a professional illustrator for more than a decade. Combining a strong foundation in portraiture with a unique sense of visual and conceptual problem-solving Robert creates striking, vibrant, and textured illustrations and portraits with subjects ranging from the realistic to the surreal. With a background in traditional oil painting Robert applied those skills to the digital realm and taught himself the digital painting medium, which is now his preferred method of working for it’s speed and flexibility.
Taking a short hiatus from illustration in 2013 Robert went back to Sheridan College, this time to study Computer Animation, graduating with honours.
Robert would like to continue to explore and expand his work, continually striving to improve himself and his art. Robert now lives and works as a professional freelance illustrator in Baden, Ontario, Canada.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for my life to be changed. I need a breath of fresh air, like now.
But until then, I have a friend or two I’d like you to meet. Let’s start with one of the designers who will be struttin’ their stuff this year at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 5, Mr. Scott Williams.
Scott Williams is a Chicago-based graphic designer who has been making things around town a little more beautiful since 1996. He’s created numerous show posters for the Annoyance Theatre, I.O. and the Second City in support of Chicago’s talented comedy and improv community. For the past five years, Scott has been designing gig posters, and has been commissioned by artists including Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, JD McPherson and Numero Group. Scott is also a part of Soul Summit—a three-man DJ collective that hosts a monthly dance party at the Double Door in Chicago’s Wicker Park. As Art Director for Soul Summit, he creates a fresh poster for every party.
Let’s hear from Scott for a bit about his background and what inspires his work, shall we?
So Scott, can you tell us a little bit about how you got started in the field and about any pivotal moments that brought you to where you are today?
As far back as I can recall, I’ve always been into drawing. My grandfather had a ton of old letterhead after he retired. He’d give me a box of it and I’d just draw on it. I’d draw everything I was into as a kid, which was usually sunken pirate ships, old castles, sword fights or anything Star Wars related. I was really encouraged to keep at it growing up and into high school. I went to college and got my BFA in painting and drawing. I was into Surrealism and Realism, painters like Chuck Close and James Valerio. My goal was to get my Masters at the Art Institute of Chicago and then teach at a collegiate level. But after moving to Chicago in the early/mid 90s, that didn’t really pan out for me. The Art Institute is expensive! So instead, I got a job at a record store. Standard pivot move from the life of academia. That was the turning point for me. Everyday I was seeing graphic design in the form of album covers. Working there was like being immersed in a graveyard of thousands of ideas in graphic form. That inspired me. A LOT. So I started doing tiny side jobs for bands. For example, I painted large tour banners and backdrops for bands like Man or Astroman, which really got me thinking about graphic design as a full time gig. I then went and got a degree in computer graphics and cut the record store hours in half. After I got that degree, which I really needed for the computer skills, things started to click for graphic design and me. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to work in the field for 20 years and counting.
What is the main style and or theme of your work and how did you develop that over time?
I’d say some of my biggest influences come from my own record collection, old magazine ads and from artists like Art Chantry or Tooth. I’m really inspired by folks who really fuck with the way we perceive imagery and font stylings. Very gritty, distressed, but simple and clean at the same time. The bulk of my gig poster work comes from a very successful Soul & Funk night here in Chicago called Soul Summit. I wanted to create posters that had a punk edge to them and not just revue styled Soul posters which were super prevalent during what some might call the “Soul Revival”. After a couple years doing those I got tapped by groups like Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears for work.
Where do you find daily inspiration?
The Internet for sure. It’s corny to say, but it really provides a great avenue for Artists to share their work (if they’re online that is). Endless inspiration. Big portal sites like gigposters.com is good in that way as well. Other than that, it’s record covers, books, magazines, etc.
We look forward to seeing your work at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 5! What should we look forward to seeing and what should we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully a lot more art work! I think the WMC is a great concept and i’m very excited to be a part of it this year! Thank you!
For more Scott: Scott Williams Design
And don’t forget to:
Poster Inspiration: Graphic Design Goodness
Hey designers, want way more inspiration? Attend our all-inclusive soul-fulfilling three-day design retreat, WMC: Off-The-Grid, this October 5 – 7th. To learn more, head to wmcfest.com.
Who’s ready for some poster inspiration: graphic design goodness to get you going? Let’s talk about something really quick first. I don’t know about you, but to me, this poster is everything:
not to mention…
All hail the great Hayao Miyazaki!
Below you’ll find some designs I’m loving as of late. Some are old, some new, others in between. All are to be loved just as they are, if you ask me. If you missed my latest collection, make sure to check it out here:
…and don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest to stay up to date on all of the illustrations, typography, posters, posts and freebies we find and collect just for you!
Let’s take a peek at the posters!
Free Textures Freebie Alert!
While going through folders the other day, I stumbled upon all of the textures I submitted to the lovely Liz Hunt for Texture Set 5. To be honest, when creating the pack, I went texture crazy. Needless to say, there was some material that doesn’t appear in the final product. Since it’s just sitting around unused (and also because I love you guys), I thought I would share some of it. Yes, that means free textures just for you.
Here’s what you’re getting:
Download the free textures now!
Or buy bits and pieces as you wish:
Inspirational Creative Quotes That Will Recharge You Now
Feeling overwhelmed? Down on your luck? Uninspired? Sometimes a word of wisdom is just what the doctor ordered. We’ve collected some of our favorite inspirational creative quotes on our Pinterest page. May they give you the inspiration you need today.
Click on each image for its source: