Page 1


mind issue 1


graphic design illustration design tips Tutorials

Creative mind Director Diogo Dantas Editor Diogo Dantas Design Diogo Dantas imdiogodantas Colaborations Sara Blake Chris Spooner Fabio Sasso Cover Design Diogo Dantas Subscrive


index 10 / 17

Selection of the some best artists. In this section, you can see artists like Sara Blake, illustrator, fรกbio sasso, designer and chris spooner also working as designer.

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Our favorites studios of this month are present and ready to show to you their amazing work

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We give you some tips followed by some of very imporant designers



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See how they made their amazing work

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Selection of tutorial that will help you innovating your work

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Our selection of the best technology stuff of this month









Sara Blake


Fabio sasso


Chris spooner




Sara Blake Interview: John Markel Local: 2nd Avenue When: 03.03.2012

New York (USA)

I’ve been drawing ever since I was a kid...

1. How long have you been an illustrator/ designer? I’ve been drawing ever since I was a kid, but when I left my full time job as an interactive designer last August I really started full steam ahead with digital illustration. As a kid and in college I mostly did fine art, but I think the interactive side really showed me how computers can be a great illustration tool as well. 2. What inspires your work? Pretty girls, fashion, fabrics, typography, textures and graffiti around New York City, MUSIC, beautiful mistakes, tattoo art, and a smorgasbord of other illustrators, designers, and photographers.

01 - Picasso

3. What media do you work in and why? My work is a mix of pencil, pen, pastel, watercolor, and digital photographs and PhotoShop. This sort of happened by accident though. I think I started to feel limited or frustrated with my skills on paper. I could never get to a place that felt finished or polished. As soon as a started bringing them into PhotoShop and adding textures I suddenly felt like something had clicked. “Undo” and “Erase” has also forever changed the way I work. I have more freedom to play.

4. How would you describe your style of design? Freestyle. Ha! I can sometimes scare myself out of working because I’m petrified of failing some sort of expectation for what the finished image is supposed to look like. When you freestyle and run with it, you don’t have that problem. The whole point it to not have expectations. Plus it’s way more fun. You have no other option than to be surprised with yourself.


artists our favorits

1- Girl 1

2- Octo

3 - Girl 2



4 - Cock

5 - Owlie

6 - Girl 3 CREATIVE MIND 13

artists our favorits

Fabio sasso Interview: Adelle Charles Local: 3rd Avenue When: 04.03.2012

1 - Vintage Effects

Porto Alegre (BR) I’m a graphic and web designer from Porto Alegre, Brazil. I have been working creating and developing websites since 1999, however my first experiments with this new media started a little bit earlier, around 96. In 2004 I started ZEE with a great friend of mine and architect, Fabiano Meneghetti. At ZEE we help companies to have a better presence online through well crafted websites. Besides ZEE I’m the founder of Abduzeedo, a personal project that has become the biggest promoter of my work. Abduzeedo is now one of the design world’s most sought after blog for inspiration and tutorials. In 2011 I moved to San Francisco, CA to work as Senior Designer at Google in Mountain View.



1. What is the best part about being a freelancer? I think it’s the freedom to do the things you want to do the way you want to do it. Not that you will forget about the client completely but I mean organize your projects the way you think is best for you. I’ve always had problems with that when I was a regular employee. 2. What are your best methods for finding/ attracting clients? The best way is having a very good network and let people know about your work. The promotion is the most difficult part of the process but as soon as you

get a client and you do a good job, they recommend you. Also there are so many good sites to find jobs and even different ways to get work like writing tutorials for example.

“...a personal project that has become the biggest promoter of my work.”

3 - Nike

2 - Tron

3. How did you start your blog? Abduzeedo? Where does the name come from? Abduzeedo started in the end of 2006. My office had been robbed and I had lost my computer and all my backups for the past 6 months of work. It was really tough and I had lots of experimental works in my computer, all of which were lost. I then decided to start a blog to promote myself and backup my experimental work, which became the tutorials I do now. The name is quite complicated to explain, but it means abducted in Portuguese, but the spelling is wrong. As my company is called Zee,

4 - Zee

my business partner and I were always trying to find words with the ZEE sound so we could replace to “zee�. Abduzeedo was one of them, the correct spelling is abduzido. 4. How did you get started? Did you study something in particular or are you self-taught? I have a degree in Graphic Design, but the tools I use like Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, CSS and some programing languages were all self-taught.


artists our favorits

Chris spooner Interview: Iaroslav Lazunov Local: 4th Avenue When: 05.03.2012

Sheffield (UK)

“I’ve cut off the majority of client related work in order to concentrate on my blogs.” 16


1. Hi Chris.Do you have a basic design education or have you learned it on your own? I’m Chris Spooner, I’m a designer/blogger from Sheffield, UK. I studied Art and Design throughout School, College and University and ended up with a BA(HONS) in Art & Design. Although despite my educational background I’ve picked up the majority of the skills I now use on a daily basis through self teaching and experimentation. 2. Besides that you keep a few design blogs, do you take orders? Right now I’ve cut off the majority of client related work in order to

1 - Skull

concentrate on my blogs. I find it much more fun to create work for myself than it is for other people! 3. How do have time for everything? Do you plan your working day, or do you work based on inspiration? I tend to work on jobs as they need doing. I don’t really plan out a specific schedule. Some days I’ll be in a really creative mood and manage to complete multiple jobs in one morning, other days might be a little slower and I hardly get anything done.

4. What do you think about social network websites today? I understand that you prefer Twitter, why? Twitter has now become a great way of just keeping in touch with designer friends. I used to use it for discovering awesome design content but it seems the level of people actual posting links has dropped over the past year or so. Twitter is the one network I check routinely, but I’m also fairly active on Facebook, YouTube and Dribbble.

3 - Vogue Girl

2 - Brass Balls Bobbers

4 - Abstract Poster

5 - Chemical Imbalance CREATIVE MIND 17

Studios T h e s pa c e w h e r e s o m e o f o u r fav o u r i t e c r e at i v e s w o r k








IS-Creative STUDIO




studios selected studios

Heydays Oslo (Norway)

Hey­days is a dynamic and effec­ tive design stu­ dio founded in 2008. We are large enough but small enough to fol­low projects from start til end. In our cen­tral Oslo stu­ dio we pro­ duce visual iden­ti­ties, dig­i­tal designs and excep­ tional print work for a wide range of clients, both com­ mer­cial, cul­tural and orga­ni­za­ tions. Since founded we have been rewarded with both nor­ we­gian and inter­na­tional design awards. Hey­ days was founded by Math­ias Had­dal Hovet, Lars Kjel­snes, Mar­tin Sanne Kris­ tiansen, Thomas Lein and Stein Hen­rik Haugen.

Anorak is a cre­ative agency devel­op­ing strate­gies and solu­tions for ad cam­paigns. They pride them­selves on being cre­atives first, work­ing close with their clients through­out their projects. We wanted to visu­al­ize the cutthrough atti­tude that rep­re­sents their approach towards their clients. An ener­getic green line divides every sur­face, cre­at­ing two equal sur­faces — Anorak and the client they’re work­ing with. This green line appears in numer­ ous ways, mak­ing each sur­face a new rep­re­sen­ta­tion of this relationship.

1 - Anorak

2 - Heydays Business Card



3 - Black & White Are Not Colors

4 - Anthon B Nilsen

5 - M. Wol足land

6 - Veg足ard Kleven


studios selected studios

TAKT 1 - Gabriel Saunders


2 - Gabriel Saunders

Takt Studio develops creative ideas for new and existing brands. We work closely with clients from strategy development to project implementation. We focus on creating clean and direct communication, wheter it’s not for a international company, as agency small business or small not-for-profit.



We focus on creating a strong open relationship with clients. In our experience this leads to a more open, collaborative process that brings stronger results.

Takt was asked to create a brand that was simple and clean, pitchd towards both creative agencies and property developers. Communicating a high level of class and sophistication was the primary focus for the brand. The brand needed to look curent but have the flexibility to outlast the latest trends. The brand identity is simple, communicating the partners’ names on a strong foundation with the clean and direct type reinforcing strength.

4 - James Newman

5 - Mystery Wine Cellars

6 - James Newman Promo

7 - James Newman CREATIVE MIND 23

studios selected studios


1 - Herri Ixilean / Exhibition

IS Creative Studio is a Madrid-based design consultancy, operating in a global marketplace. Founded in January 2010, by RIchars Meza, the concept and goal of IS Creative Studio is to be an important platform for creativity and design with simplicity as the operating philosophy. We deliver print and digital graphics, products and environments for businesses, art institutions and other organizations around the world. IS stands for Ingrediente Secreto, that unique “thing” in the soul of anyone driven to create with real passion, real originality.

2 - Ficciones Asiáticas

3 - Espacio para Disfrutar



4 - Alejandro Castellote (BC)

5 - IS Creative Studio (BC)

6 - Getxophoto 2011

7 - Ficciones Typeface


studios selected studios


João Oliveira is a Portuguese designer multifaceted, employing all their knowledge in various artistic categories, or illustration, video, print ...

ONrepeat Porto (PT)

2 3

Onrepeat studio can offer you unique creative solutions and exciting visuals – a creative vision that will result in a final image that really connects with it’s audience. Being primarly an image maker, Onrepeat is specialized in creating incredible, memorable and vibrant images by always aiming to surprass expectations, driven by the constant challenge of creating better work. Typography is something I like to use and is a key element in most of the projects I work on, by combining type and image the concept can be reinforced and enhanced.

Digital Publishing - 01 Owl - 02 Street Lights - 03 Typographic Explorations- 04








TIPs really, you can be day by day a better designer


Planning Your Own Design Studio






efficient communication



Planning Your Own Design Studio by Jake Rocheleau

Getting started in freelance web design is an exhilarating process. Along with the added stresses of daily work you actually become your own boss, set your own hours, and even choose who you will work with. It’s truly a great way to earn a living! Now consider the steps required to move from a freelance artist into launching your own design studio. Under your own brand name you can land much higher-quality projects and build up a solid portfolio of works. In this guide I would like to share some tips for planning out your own web design studio. How

should you begin such a project and what are the most important tasks to complete? Well there is certainly a laundry list of answers here, so I’ll focus on just a select few. But we should begin with discussing your first steps in getting started.

Creating a Brand

Build What you Can

When sitting down to plan your business model you’ll have to consider a number of factors. Of the most important ideas is your studio branding. This would include your company logo, domain name, and possibly alternative references(logos, mascots, etc).

The biggest factor in failure rates of startup design studios is overextending your workload. If you plan on starting out on a solo venture then you’ll be performing all of the web work by yourself. This includes wireframing, prototyping, building the design and coding the frontend interface in HTML/CSS/JS.

The official branding for your agency may only take a few hours to complete. Except not a single brand was created and popularized in a day – or even a week or a month! Plan to be in this for the long haul if you venture into working professional design. Below are just a couple more ideas to consider when building your company branding:

Custom profile avatar photo Accounts on social networks(Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) Business cards

Be realistic with yourself and your clients. When first getting started keep focused on one single project at a time. You’ll feel a lot better as you complete the work and you won’t be distracted by stress and looming due dates. It may be worthwhile to overestimate the initial time frame to give yourself a bit of room for slack. Working on demanding client projects is also the best time to force yourself into new areas of web development. We are all constantly learning new things and this requires a lot of patience to keep up. Don’t be afraid to accept a project which requires you to work in a new area such as PHP, MySQL, Flash, or even smaller topics like designing e-mail newsletters.

Contact e-mail addresses


tips all we need them

3 tips to be productive when working from home by Francis Tan

The days of confining jobs to bricks-and-mortar offices are over. Working from home has become common nowadays, in fact, that’s how most of us at The Next Web work. Having the ability to work from the comfort of your own home introduces many advantages. Unfortunately, it also brings about many disadvantages that can cause problems when it comes to productivity.

comes with a price. People who work from home often face distractions from family members, errands, and, believe it or not, comforts all around the house.

The benefit of reducing commuting time and expenses to virtually zero and having a flexible working schedule

1 - If you don’t have goals, you won’t get anything done. As professionals, we can’t always bank on lightbulb moments and sparks of inspiration to get work done. The first and most important thing to do before getting things done is knowing what your end results should be. Make SMART goals — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Believe me, it works. Then again, what good are goals if you don’t stick to them, right? That’s why making schedules and committing to it is equally important. Treat your days like “regular” work days. Many people have found that a 9-5 or 10-6 schedule really helps keep them on track and productive.

2 - Take some time to socialize with your co-workers. Just like in a real work environment, establishing good relationships with colleagues is just as important when working from home. Why? Because it can be motivating to get feedback from people you work with. Working from home could get a little lonely so it’s good to have healthy distractions as well. 34


Share interesting stories with your coworkers. Collaborate and help each other out when needed. Whenever someone does a good job, acknowledge it, or better yet, celebrate successes together. Not only will it help you do your job better, it can also make “going to work” every day enjoyable.

3 - Start the day properly. Don’t just jump on your work desk unshaved and in pyjamas, start the day properly and treat yourself as a professional. Have breakfast, take a shower, and get dressed. It would definitely help too if you could invest on a good working space and an ergonomic chair. These little things make all the difference to your state of mind.

6 tips for more productive brainstorm sessions by Isaac Gube (Design Instruct)

1 - Create a Positive Atmosphere for Your Brainstorming Session It’s easy to think of meetings as boring, dreadful, painful and anxiety-inducing periods of time. Oftentimes, as a meeting participant or facilitator, you wish you could be doing something else. Sometimes people get called out, put on the spot, and fingers get pointed. Meetings are frequently perceived to be boring because they’re repetitive and drudgingly systematic.

idea born out of a brainstorming session also inherits that same clarity. At the end of your brainstorming session, you’ll be left with a few really good ideas, and the only decision you need to make is to pick out the best ones to move forward with.

If you want to conduct an effective brainstorming session, it’s important that the atmosphere is fun, positive, welcoming and judgment-free. This way, the meeting participants won’t hesitate to share their ideas for fear of ridicule or reprimand from their peers.

3 - Don’t Overlook Ideas that Aren’t Everyone’s Favorite

2 - Lay Out the Ground Rules

As long as an idea adheres to the objectives and the goals of the project, it should be considered as a viable option.

Clarity. It’s sort of become a buzzword around the office for us. Clarity is a virtue. It’s the starting point for most of what we do. It’s often said that there are no bad ideas in brainstorming. This is true. But there are ideas that just waste time and produce no actionable outcomes at all. These are the “ideas” that people throw out there to be funny or to add levity with no real substance. Remember this: Respect the process of generating ideas. Otherwise, you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

At the very least, you should look at an idea as a jumping-off point for other ideas. Or you can take all these not-so-good ideas and synthesize them into one really good one; a sort of Frankenstein’s monster of an idea.

You have to keep brainstorming focused. Do this by clarifying the objectives and the goals of a new project, and have everyone start from that point of clarity. If what we’re trying to achieve is clear, then every CREATIVE MIND 35




tips all we need them

efficient communication in a freelance design team by Francis Tan

Working as a digital professional in any field is tough. You have to constantly push towards gratifying clients and rushing through deadlines. Managing tasks in a team allows you to divide up the work much more evenly. However this also means it can be difficult getting everybody on the same page. Communication is the key to building a powerhouse freelance team. In this guide I’ll share some tips for keeping an open communication with your partners. Freelance designers and web developers especially need to express their ideas clearly. Keep everybody talking amongst each-other and make it a point to stay on task!

If you have a small team of 2 or 3 members this idea may not be as important. But understand that each person in your team is specialized in working one area or another. It can be great to have one person helping with design and HTML and backend coding. But truthfully this would be way too much, and your team will burn out sooner than later. When initially accepting any freelance project make sure you contact everybody on the team in advance. Have a sit-down discussion where everybody can look at the project details and assign themselves with roles. This is the most straightforward approach since you can have everything organized well before even starting the design process.

Schedule a Meeting Space Working together is such a different environment compared to working alone by yourself. You can’t magically read everybody else’s thoughts, and they can’t read yours. The best course of action here is to schedule specific meeting times to congregate ideas. It’s good to plan anywhere from 30-60 minutes, or even longer if needed. Make sure that everyone’s ideas have been expressed and all pertinent issues are discussed. It also helps if the meetings are held in the same area each time. It offers a more familiar space where everybody can feel comfortable joining into the conversation.



Keep Everybody Updated Even if your team is working remotely in different areas of the world, your communication should not pay the price. There are plenty of free instant messaging services including Skype or Google Chat. These also let you send files or other important project data between computers with relative ease. When focusing on your specific area of the project it’s all too easy forgetting to keep everyone else on the same page. This can lead to problems where one team mate was waiting on your work before proceeding, and now the project is behind deadline. Or even if this isn’t the case it can’t hurt having everybody on the same page.

Use Common Workflow Practices On the topic of web design there are many common practices we see among professionals in the community. Graphics designers and illustrators understand organizing their .psd and .ai files into separate groups and layers. Naming conventions are also important so that you can easily identify which layers contain which details. Aside from the graphics you also have to consider working on the frontend code. Most freelance projects contain both a design and coding aspect. Be pertinent and document block areas of the layout which may be confusing to others. This is crucial in a team setting where you may be handing over HTML pages to many different people. Inline JavaScript and CSS blocks are way too confusing and take up much more space than needed. Always move your custom stylesheets into separate files and organize them accordingly. Inline comments are perfect for delineating areas in your code which style targeted elements such as the body, inner wrapper, or content page text.

Creativity Abroad The best project works will always be inspired by creative endeavors. Never limit the aspects of creativity until you have tried and exhausted all other ideas. I find that teams with more than enough expendable energy can build some fantastic ideas without even touching a computer. The best tips for this method of productivity include a healthy lifestyle and mentality towards your work. Be sure that you are eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep at night. Focusing on each project is important in its own time. But you must also be vicarious with your leisure space and inner creativity.

Office hazards to avoid Messy floors Slips, trips and falls are a big problem, especially when people are busy working to deadline - it’s easy to split on split coffee or a floor tha’s been mopped but not dried, or trip over trailing cables on boxes. People often leave things where they not supposed to be. You need good housekeeping and you should make sure you know where to find a mop or cloth if it’s needed.

Hot drinks Liquids are a big issue with keyboards and electrical equipment, especially if they’re sugary. You can take out a laptop with a cup of thea. It’s not just an aquipment safety issue, though: if you mix liquid and electricity, you are risking your personal safety as well. In addiction, be careful not to overload electrical sockets, especially if you work from home.

Heavy boxes Be careful with manual handling as this can lead to back pain of you con’t do it correctly. Always be careful when lifting and moving objects, or when putting things up at a height or reaching down to shelves. Poor manual handling puts you at risk of developing back pain and other muscularskeletal problems, so avoit it.












making of the process

Brainstorm9 Sketches nice link with the previous logo, but there was a big problem: the number 9 wouldn't work well along with that symbol.

Writted by: Abduzeedo Team

Selected Idea Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials.

The first idea was to keep the # symbol and add another element. In this case the lightning bolt.

First Idea

After having some interesting ideas on paper, it was time to go to Illustrator and work on the symbols. Below you can see one of my ideas, mixing the # and the lightning bolt.

Even though the first version came out quite nicely, I decided to work on another version, trying something different and using the number 9. With that in mind, I decided to mix the number and the lightning bolt symbol.


Exploring the idea of looping, I played with some characters, mainly in the word Brain. It was a nice idea and a good symbol in my humble opinion. It had a 42


The Final Result

I really believe that the new logo achieved the goals we had set in the very beginning of the project. A simple and iconic logo, relating to the Beatles song, Revolution #9.




Also I worked on the web site, but that's another story for perhaps another post in the future.

Braincast, the Brainstorm #9 screencast. CREATIVE MIND 43

making of the process

MENTAWAY Sketches Writted by: Eduardo Sasso

Selected Idea

Hello worls, my name is Eduardo Sasso, I’m from Porto Alegre, Brazil and I’m the type of guy that like have ideas all day long for the next “killer project”.

The first concept I explored was using an arrow in the lettering. Similar to the Fedex concept but using the A and the Y.

From The Team: Abduzeedo

First Idea

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials.



After sketching I went to the computer and tried to come up with something based on those ideas. It turned out that it wasn’t a very solid concept, it was hard to apply it in the lettering especially because the A and Y would have to be aligned in a way in order to make the arrow visible. Plus I thought it didn’t have personality and uniqueness. The Mentaway logo had to be something with a symbol in my point of view.

I wanted to use the compass but not exactly the same representation, so I created a 3 point compass only. After that I noticed that playing with negative spaces I could make that symbol looks like a direction sign as well.


With the symbol pretty much done it was time to choose the typeface and colors. In my point of view a good logo is that one that can be very recognizable in either color or back and white. Below you can see the logo in black over white background and vice-versa.

The Final Result

The Colors

For the colors the goal was to make it super friendly and also a bit colorful, like when you travel and you get a map of the subway or train they always have the different colors for the routes. With that in mind we chose 3 colors for the 3 main directions, Blue, Yellow and Red, but less saturated hues.

The Type

The final concept. I am still working on the logo, especially adjusting the proportion and sizes, the best way to do that is by optical adjustments using a grid. But as we needed to release the splash as soon as possible I completed the final concept with two variations, vertical and horizontal.

PUB The typeface is always something that always takes a lot of time looking for and testing. Below you can see some of the fonts I tested.


making of the process

HOMESPUN CHILI Sketches Writted by: Sean Farrell

Hello worls, my name is Sean Farrel. I currently specialize in projects for small to large sized companies. Design is my passion. I put every ounce of effort into each project, giving my clients unique results. I also accept subcontracting and retainer proposals upon request.

You can see I circle the ones I want to pursue because I believe those are the best options. I usually never show my concepts to the client for a couple of reasons; one being that they are pretty rough sketches and it usually freaks out the client and two, you never know if they are going to just take your sketch images and claim them as your own to hire another designer (usually not the case but I’ve seen crazier things).

The decision

After these we made the decision to just use the background color for certain mediums and use no background for other mediums.

From The Team: One Person



Brandclay is the online design persona of yours truly, Sean Farrell. After the client had a chance to look at these three concepts over, we talked out the possibilites and decided that concept #2 was the best direction to go. He did have some revisions for it so here they are: Revision 1 – In this revision he wanted a couple of things: Tea colored background with rounded corners, curvature to the chili pepper, an artsy border, and to implement the tagline. 46


So, after all these steps, this is the final result.


How to be a better designer More tips to help you




forget the perfect logo


how to be a better designer


should you work for free?


how to be a better designer more tips to help you

forget the perfect logo

Mads Jakob Poulsen A graphic designer from Copenhagen, Denmark, Mads’ iconic style brought him to New York where he now works with major brand identities at Wolff Olins. In 2010 he received the Young Gun Award from the Art Directors Club where he now serves as a juror.


A brand is defined by all the elements of its design system, says Mads Jakob Poulsen, so leave the logo in the corner.

to break out of a world confined by rules and grids and push to create designs based on a living, breathing system.

Throughout my first years at college studying visual communication in Denmark, I was like a sponge absorbing everything that I could about the world of rules. I lived for grids, guidelines, kerning and design manuals from the 60s. Every project was about creating some delicate design elements for a brand and making damn sure nobody would mess with them, ever! After a while, my perception of the world changed. I stopped and changed direction. I got into system-based design, which wasn’t based only on one rule, but on a combination of elements and how they behave. During a school trip to Amsterdam I heard the term ‘huisstijl’ or ‘house style’ (I think while visiting studio Lava or Solar Initiative). It might just be the Dutch word for visual identity but they used it in a new way, and this new understanding made me aspire

I’ve continued in this direction ever since, creating designs that open doors, instead of closing them. By designing systems that blossom instead of stagnating, my clients can actually grow with them after we’ve finished the project – maybe even redeveloping or improving them over time.


Recently I gave a talk, presenting my work, at Parsons New School of Design in New York. Next to one of my identity projects I had scribbled in my notes the phrase “not the little thing in the corner” to remind myself to talk about my approach to visual design. Identity and packaging design used to be dominated by that little thing – the logo in the corner. This is no longer the case. An identity or even a brand is defined by all the elements of the design system. The logo is no longer the shining

star it once was. It has faded into the background and its supporting elements – colour scheme, typeface, graphical elements, language style and photo style – have become the stars. This even extends to the way a brand handles itself in the public domain, including the language and voice used in advertising, online and social media. Stop just focusing on making the perfect logo. If you’re designing a logo for a beer label, make the whole system act like a logo. Create a custom typeface that can be used on the labels as well as online. Be iconic. Stand out! Instead of spending all that time creating a logotype for a client to put in the bottom corner of a poster, spend the time designing their posters, the content and the words. Make these elements have just as much an impact as the company logo, if not more – make the posters the logo.

how to be a better designer

Daniel Gjøde Daniel is creative director and founder of Danish digital design company Stupid Studio. His work combines true passion with a remarkable ability to fuse visual images with communication that epitomises the zeitgeist.

Daniel Gjøde spares us the slick quotes to deliver his top 10 down-to-earth tips for being a successful designer Dear designer: just like you, I’m flooded on a daily basis with super inspiring, life-affirming, pocket philosophical and wise impressions from the design world. Everything has gone global and it doesn’t require much more than adding ‘designer’ to your email signature for you to become one (I’ve been there). I’ll therefore spare you the references to Sagmeister’s books and the ShitMyDadSays Twitter feed. Instead, I’ll humbly give you 10 down-to-earth, practicable tips on how to become a successful designer. One: love the process. I simply don’t agree that life as a designer is dull until you get to work for Coca-Cola or Nike. That’s bull. The process behind any new project is valuable and educational, so let go, feel the moment, explore the detail and try to truly understand the projects you’re working on. The more you’re

involved, the more you’ll come to love the process and the result – no matter the name of the client. In short: you have to like what you’re doing to do it well. Two: forget about your own taste. This isn’t an encouragement to make ugly stuff; rather it’s a reminder that if you’ve used the same three colours for the last three identity projects, then an alarm ought to go off. Forget about your own taste. Love the premise and your client’s hideous logo. As a designer, you’ll know your client’s needs, and you’ll know how to align design and content to make everything cooperate. When you forget about your own taste, you can start making great designs.

more creatively competent than the client you’re working for. Learn to argue for your design decisions. Go crazy and experiment, but make sure you put it all in order at the end. Don’t be afraid of a bit of craziness, but alongside the process remember to pin out what it’s teaching you about your client and the product. Four: don’t hold yourself back. Make sure you know how to play, even though you’re a grown up – if you don’t know how, you need to learn – otherwise you’ll be holding yourself back.

Three: everybody is creative, right? As a professional, you’re capable of more than just making smashing things. However, how often do you start off with the words ‘I think…’? When you say, ‘I think green is prettier than yellow,’ you seem no CREATIVE MIND 51

how to be a better designer more tips to help you

should you work for free?

From logo competitions to creative pitches, is spec work really devaluing the work of professional designers? Last September, notepad maker Moleskine decided to hold a design competition. The idea was to get hundreds, or even thousands of its customers – many of whom are designers or creatives – to come up with a design for its Moleskinerie blog in return for the chance to scoop a €5,000 prize (approximately £4,280). In doing so, the company might as well as have thrown a grenade on a bonfire. The problem? Moleskine – unwittingly or not – fanned the flames of a strong feeling that many designers have about spec work: that it’s used to source a huge array of creative work and ideas on the cheap, while 52


also seriously undermining and devaluing the talent, dedication and professionalism of the designers and agencies that take part. By running a competition to source a design, many took Moleskine to effectively be saying that it doesn’t value the work of creative pros. The competition, as originally envisaged, assumed copyright over all the submitted entries, whether they went on to win the top prize or not. Moleskine was, in effect, asking its best customers to work for free. The reaction from designers was swift, sharp and fierce – and Moleskine’s Facebook page took something of a battering. But it was only by the time of its third apology that Moleskine finally appeared to have understood what it had done to attract such anger from across the creative industry.

This is just one example of seemingly innocuous design competitions where the winner produces a piece of commercial design work. Moleskine probably should have known better, but the truth is that the company isn’t alone. The designboom site, which hosted Moleskine’s contest, has a whole section dedicated to crowdsourced competitions including those from household brand names like Electrolux, Renault, Fiat, Fujitsu and Porsche. Spec work isn’t always bad, especially when it supports good causes like ‘Peace One Day’. D&AD is giving contributors the chance to win a prestigious White Pencil, its first new award for 50 years Crowdsourced design has also proved to be very big business for a growing number of Web 2.0

companies, including the likes of 99designs, CrowdSPRING and MycroBurst, with each positioning itself as a source of cheap, highquality designs ranging from logos and mastheads to T-shirts, website templates and more. In practice, such sites work by enabling clients to run competitions for a fee, with the promise that they’ll receive thousands of submissions from hundreds of designers, who’ll all sign their rights away for the small cash prize that they might be lucky enough to win. 99designs – which was “started by designers for designers” – has even caught the attention of the British government, which has listed the website alongside the Design Business Association and the Chartered Society of Designers on its Startup Britain site for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, this form of crowdsourcing or spec work is riddled with problems, as Matt Williams, creative director at design outfit Uberkraaft explains: “I think it’s indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of what design really should be. It seems to prey on those people who believe that design is about simply creating something pleasing or pretty to promote a business or an idea. It exploits clients who do not understand the full benefits of design – people who are unable to discern between good and bad work – and it exploits the designers, paying a pittance to only the

successful designer who happened to create something that the naïve client just happened to like.” Mark Collins, creative director at creative agency Inspired Design and founder of the AntiSpec campaign, argues that there are other dangers of crowdsourcing designs: because participating designers know there is little or no prospect of being paid, some enter as many competitions as they can while also cutting as many corners as they can – often by using existing clip art and stock images, or by simply reusing other designs that may have appeared elsewhere. That might be fine if you own a one-man local business with few plans for expansion, but you could just as easily end up inadvertently infringing another company’s trademarks or find yourself in court answering charges of copyright theft. Microstock photography provider iStockPhoto, for example, explicitly forbids the use of its images for company logos, but that hasn’t stopped some competition entrants incorporating them into the designs that they submit.

or not. Moleskine was, in effect, asking its best customers to work for free. The reaction from designers was swift, sharp and fierce – and Moleskine’s Facebook page took something of a battering. But it was only by the time of its third apology that Moleskine finally appeared to have understood what it had done to attract such anger from across the creative industry. This is just one example of seemingly innocuous design competitions where the winner produces a piece of commercial design work. Moleskine probably should have known better, but the truth is that the company isn’t alone. The designboom site, which hosted Moleskine’s contest, has a whole section dedicated to crowdsourced competitions including those from household brand names like Electrolux, Renault, Fiat, Fujitsu and Porsche.

By running a competition to source a design, many took Moleskine to effectively be saying that it doesn’t value the work of creative pros. The competition, as originally envisaged, assumed copyright over all the submitted entries, whether they went on to win the top prize CREATIVE MIND 53







craft vectors with style


create photoshop brushes


tutorials learn new things


Chris Spooner is a designer who has a love for creativity and enjoys experimenting with various techniques in both print and web.

Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to create the popular retro style pattern design made up of lots of colourful squares and triangles. The process is pretty simple, making this a

good tutorial for newcomers to Adobe Illustrator. We’ll be using tools to accurately align our elements, then see how the Pathfinder can easily create custom shapes.

Open up Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. Select the Line tool and draw a vertical line down the left border of the artboard, then hit the Enter key to bring up the Move options. Enter 20mm in the Horizontal field then click the Copy button. Repeatedly press CMD+D to repeat the last transformation until the width of the artboard is filled with evenly spaced lines.

Repeat the process, but this time with a horizontal line. In the Move options window enter 20mm in the Vertical field then repeat the transformation to fill with the artboard with a grid pattern.

Next, draw a diagonal line at 45 degrees across the artboard. Be sure to make this line long enough to cross the whole artboard, even at its widest point.

Zoom right in and toggle outline mode (CMD+Y) and carefully align the diagonal line so it accurately intersects each grid point.


tutorials learn new things Hit Enter to bring up the Move options and enter 20mm in both the Horizontal and Vertical fields. Repeat the transformation to make duplicates to cover the artboard.

Draw a selection around all objects then hit the Divide option from the Pathfinder tool palette. This will split all the lines into individual shapes.

Right click and select Ungroup to split up the objects then draw a selection and delete any shapes beyond the edge of the artboard.

Now let’s add some colour! First we’ll need a basic palette to work from, here I’ve picked out a mix of gree-ns/blues from ColourLovers. com. Begin by randomly selecting a bunch of shapes while holding the Shift key.

Continue selecting empty shapes then give them a colour fill using the next swatch in the palette.

As more colours are added the design really starts to take shape…until eventually the whole design is filled with colour. Make any adjustments if there’s any dense areas of a single colour, or sparse areas that lack one of the other swatches. 58



tutorials learn new things

craft vectors with style In this tutorial I’ll explain a technique that I developed to treat a logotype supplied in vectors by the creative team at The KDU. The project started with an all-member call-out to help promote a fashion trade show called TMRW. The technique we’ll walk through here effectively involves creating an analogue version of Photoshop’s Layers panel. I

hate having a blank piece of paper and starting each piece of work from scratch, so to overcome this peeve I have started using a lightbox to develop workthrough layers, deciding what I needed to add along the way until I have a fairly polished artwork.

Choose a background and a model. I like to use a paper texture as a background as it gives you a lot of options to work with. Look out for fashion-related models, as they tend to have good poses with lots of attitude.

Print out your template. If you have an A3 printer, aim to have the art sitting nicely in the middle with about 35mm clearance to the left and right. If A4 is your maximum, print the art as large as you can on the page, and then stick it on top of an A3 sheet of paper. Now make a stencil out of your printed artwork. With your scalpel and metal ruler, carefully cut out the forms of the lettering. Make sure you keep the negative space elements to hand (the centre of the ‘R’, for example).

For this particular project I chose to draw an intertwining mass of organic forms, but there’s nothing stopping you from choosing anything you like to work into this space. Is there a particular subject you want to tackle? Just make sure there’s a fair amount of detail to work with in the later steps. Now you need to make a paper sandwich. Grab a fresh piece of sketch paper (if you’re not using a lightbox, use tracing paper) and tape it along the top of the sketch you completed in the last step. Now attach the lettering stencil to the top of that and place it on the lightbox. 60


More commonly known as Ginger Monkey, Tom is an independent letterer, illustrator and designer. He has worked extensively over the last seven years for clients, large and small – notably Nike Air Jordan, Heston Blumenthal, Coca-Cola and Mercedes-Benz.

With a 0.3mm fineliner, begin at the base of the first character in the stencil. Start dotting tightly over your sketch, and create a fairly dense mass. As you move steadily up through the character, begin spacing out the dots, creating more and more white space visible between the dots.

Don’t be afraid to release the bottom sketch layer and move it around to bring in particular elements you like or that you think will fit in better. Begin sparsely: as you start to build up the shadow and highlights, you’ll see where you need to concentrate the density and where to leave it clear.

Once you have a good covering and you’re happy, remove the stencil and the bottom layer. Now step back from the artwork and assess your piece. Select areas that you think need more density to create more rhythm and legibility.

For this particular project I chose to draw an intertwining mass of organic forms, but there’s nothing stopping you from choosing anything you like to work into this space. Is there a particular subject you want to tackle? Just make sure there’s a fair amount of detail to work with in the later steps.

After scanning your handmade artwork, reposition the separate scans so that your artwork is back intact. Now let’s create more contrast using the levels. First merge the two layers (Cmd/Ctrl+E). Go to Image>Adjustments>Levels and use the sliders to pull them closer to the middle, adding more contrast.

Go to Select>Color Range and use the Eyedropper tool to select the black parts of your image. Make sure that Fuzziness is set to near full and hit OK. A selection will now be visible on your artwork. Create a new layer, hold Shift and press Delete. Choose Use>Color, select black and hit OK. CREATIVE MIND 61

tutorials learn new things

How to create photoshop brushes There is a huge collection of great Photoshop brushes here at WeGraphics. But what some don’t realize is that most all of our brushes are created by hand and then scanned and converted to brush sets. There are simply no Photoshop filters to reproduce what you can do by hand with brushes and paper. Below is a walk through of my process for creating a brush set, down to the paper and paint to the scan and final prep work.

The Materials For this set I used Strathmore Newsprint for the paper. I like newsprint for some techniques because it’s very soft and thin and almost like cloth. It can be soaked with liquid and then dry without being totally destroyed. I’ve gone so far as to completely dunk a sheet of newsprint into water, and it still stayed in tact.

We want to thin the paint down in order to splatter it. I used just a bit of water to get the paint to the consistency of ink. You can see from the above photo that the paint is much thinner than what’s originally in the bottle.

Nathan Brown

He is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan’s works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.

Time needed 1-2 hours



Next, I poured a little bit of bleach onto the newsprint. Be careful here, we don’t want too much, just a nice puddle that we can add our paint to. Okay, now for things start to get fun. I dipped the brush into the paint, and held it an inch or two above the bleach puddle and used my finger to “flick” the bristles.

Now repeat this several times in slightly different directions, and don’t be afraid to mess up. This is not an exact process, just keep working until you are happy with the result.

You can see from the above photo that the paint behaves different over the bleach puddle and on the bare paper. Word of caution… You’re going to get messy. That’s part of it… And you might smell like bleach for a day or two. All in the name of art, right?




Contests The European Fashion Award FASH is an international annual competition held by the German Fashion Industry Foundation since 2005. Thanks to its tradition, fairness, authentic industry focus, challenging tasks, international jury, complex selection process, refined documentation, as well as the subsequent success of former award winners, FASH has become one of the most important sponsorship award for fashion design students.

Felice News is the world’s largest and most popular positive news media outlet. Started in 2008 as Weekend News Today, Felice News has covered some major news events like the 2010 G20 summit and Vancouver 2012 Winter Games and hosted interviews with international icons, the Dalai Lama, Lady Gaga and US President Barack Obama.

Time to Design - New Talent Award, a design prize aimed at young design talents in the beginning of their career, is now open for submissions. Professional facilities in well equipped workshops, qualified guidance? What about possibility to show the public and potential manufacturers the design objects you have created? And of course time and room for your work.

One Condoms feature more than 200 different designs, with many created or voted on by customers like you. Since the first One Condoms Design Contest in 2004, innovative designers have helped push the One brand in exciting new directions, and inspired people to think about condoms in new ways. Since the first One Condoms Design Contest in 2004, innovative designers have helped push the One brand in exciting new directions, and inspired people to think about condoms in new ways.

Solsonica and are announcing a competition with the aim of selecting innovative projects involving an electrically assisted bicycle and a photovoltaic shelter to protect and recharge it. The two products (the assisted bicycle and the shelter) must constitute a single project that exhibits continuity in terms of functionality, usability, and aesthetics, and which can embody the values and identity of the Solsonica brand.



Annamay Illustration Competition We want you to draw AnnaMay! she represents not only anime, but otaku (anime geek/fans) as well. AnnaMay can be kind and gentle, bossy and arrogant, aloof and cold at different times. She represents every female anime character out there but all in all, is just an ordinary otaku girl. Be as creative, or as reserved as you want. Use any medium you want – you can even create a clay model of her. Put her in any setting, you choose the pose.

Art Of Brooklyn Film Festival Poster Contest Calling all artists, graphic designers, photographers and everyone who loves to create: The Art of Brooklyn wants to see how you see us. So we’re holding our first competition to design the official poster for our 2012 Film Festival.

The Open Photo Contest The Open is a worldwide search for the greatest photographers of our generation. It features both online and live events and delivers one of the largest prize purses in the photo industry. The Open is comprised of five categories (Action, Street, Nature, People, Open) and two separate events.





technology we need it





D800 not living up to your low-light performance standards? You could always jump ship and pick up the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III instead. At its heart lies an all-new 22.3-megapixel full-frame sensor that delivers stellar images up to ISO 102,400. $3,500

They might not be the best-sounding headphones — we honestly don’t know — but they’re definitely among the best-looking. Parrot Zik Headphones ($TBA) are designed by the renowned Philippe Stark, and feature an elegant, simple design, an active noise canceling system, Bluetooth A2DP stereo and NFC support and others. $250



Looking to add an external display to your shiny new Thunderbolt-equipped Mac? The Apple Thunderbolt Display isn’t just your best choice — it’s more or less your only choice. Thanks to the insane capabilities of Thunderbolt, a single connection to your MacBook or iMac gets you 27 additional inches of screen real estate. $1,000

This flexible, affordable drive offers up to 3TB of storage (depending on the model) and includes USB 2.0, eSATA, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 ports. It can also be daisychained with other FireWire drives to form a small office server, if desired. $199.99


And one more thing. Steve Jobs

SENSU BRUSH We’ve seen plenty of awesome painting apps for the iPad, but let’s face it: no matter how good the app, you’re probably still just finger painting. Unless you’re using the Sensu Brush. This smart tool combines a rubber-tipped digital stylus with a capacitive paintbrush in a single, sleek, silver package that gives you all the feeling and responsiveness of a real brush without the mess. Available in May. $30



Tired of carrying a tangled mess of charging cables in your bag? Let Aviiq Ready Clips straighten things out for you. These pen-sized cables feature a built-in clip that holds them securely in place, a flat, tanglefree cord, a standard USB plug on one end, and your choice of mini USB, micro USB, or Apple 30-pin connectors on the other, ensuring that there’s one to work with your device of choice. $20-$30

Speaking of Kickstarter, it’s also been a terrific proving grounds for innovative laptop stands. The Prop Laptop Stand is no exception, designed to be portable and affordable without compromising style, the Prop consists of two lovingly curved pieces of responsiblysourced plastic, which promote better typing angles and increased air circulation, all while accommodating laptops up to 17-inches in size. $18 CREATIVE MIND 69



ON THE CD In this first issue we give you a free premium font for your designs and a exclusive interviews with exclusive content.



How they made it



Kelsey is a young creative with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Is a wellrounded individual, having experience in print, interactive, web, and packaging design .She’s very passionate about design and strives for strong concepts in all the work she doesand is currently a Jr. Art Director at BVK but is always seeking to collaborate with other creatives on side projects or willing to do freelance work.

Making the basis Covering the basis and painting Putting all together Testing some light effects The Final Result

This project was a collaboration between 4 of us at BVK. It was done for a competition for our local ad club, the United Adworkers. After concepting and designing, we used inspiration from Dana Tanamachi and turned our design into a chalk creation. “Adworkers has always maintained their identity of being honest, hardworking, and true. We’ve designed a membership card that not only

represents these characteristics, but utilized each of them in the actual creation process. We honestly think our idea is awesome. It took a lot of hard work, and beers, to chalk the design. And we truly enjoyed making this project from start to finish. Adworkers is about bringing the advertising community togetxher, so it’s fitting that collaboration between all of us made this membership card design possible.” CREATIVE MIND 73

how they made it See the designers process

How they made it



“I graduated as an industrial designer in 1999. In 2000 I started the furniture brand JZUZ LIVINGELEMENTS together with Steven Brouns. In 2002 I started the graphic firm WERKMANNEN together with Stijn Segers. In 2004 I started working as freelance art director for design agency Creneau International. Besides my work for Creneau International I am doing freelance work for several other clients. Whenever there is time left I like to make stuff I feel I need to make. “

I created a 3 dimensional type in balsa wood and other materials, leds are used to light the thing up. In total 14 different set ups were created; the front and back of the album and 12 spreads for inside the album book.

Making the basis Covering the basis and painting Putting all together Testing some light effects The Final Result CREATIVE MIND 75

How to choose a typeface Tips that can help you

How to choose a typeface by Douglas Bonneville

Choosing a typeface can be tricky. The beauty and complexity of type, combined with an inexhaustible supply of options to evaluate, can make your head spin. But don’t be baffled — and don’t despair. While there are no easy-tofollow rules on how best to choose a typeface, there are many tried-and-true principles you can quickly learn and apply to make an appropriate typeface choice. If you work systematically through the options below, you’ll have a winning typeface choice in no time. Let’s get started. What Is Your Goal? The first thing you have to do in order to choose a typeface is form a strong impression in your mind about how you want your audience to react to the text. This is your goal, and it will guide the process. You might provide this impression, or it might be dictated to you by your client, or it may be determined by your audience. Whatever the case, your choice of typeface needs to strike a good combination of both legibility and readability, while remaining appropriate for the audience and the message. Each of these characteristics requires some degree of independent consideration. As you may already know from experience, it’s easy to go about this the wrong way and get 76


overwhelmed. This problem can be compounded as a design evolves. Perhaps the hardest part of breaking down the typeface selection process is understanding which parts are more subjective and which parts are more objective. After reading and digesting your client’s text, it is easier to start with the objective aspects of typeface selection because they — by default — make subjective decisions for us. There are no fixed positions on the spectrum from subjective to objective. However, we know that legibility is more easily quantifiable than a mood. Let’s start with the two most objective attributes — legibility and readability. Legibility It may seem at first glance that legibility and readability are the same thing, but they are not. Legibility refers to the design of the typeface, as in the width of the strokes, whether or not it has serifs, the presence of novel type design elements etc. It is easy to tell one letterform from another in a legible typeface. For instance, decorative typefaces have low legibility because they are primarily meant to be seen at a glance, rather than read at length. Conversely, typefaces designed for novels or newspapers have very high legibility. You need to design a specific, overall legibility based on

the function of the text. Consider this example where the left block of text is set in Tobin Tax, a decorative serif typeface. Compare it to the same text set in Sabon, a classic and highly-legible serif typeface. Where does your typeface choice fall between these two extremes? Quick tips for great legibility: Choose typefaces with conventional letterforms. Letterforms composed of unique shapes, artistic deformations, excessive ornamentation or other novel design elements cause the reader to have to process what they are looking at first, instead of just taking in the message. Novelty always comes at the cost of immediate comprehension. Choose typefaces with generous spacing. Tight tracking causes the eye to fill in visual gaps between the various shapes that make up different letterforms, thus slowing down the time it takes to both recognize letterforms and word and sentence structures. Generous spacing allows the eyes to proceed as fast as the cognitive skills of the reader will permit. Choose typefaces with a tall x-height.


How your typeface is set, combined with the basic legibility of the typeface, yields a certain level of readability. Readability is the dynamic interaction of the type style, size, tracking, leading, color and other properties all combined into one overall impression. They add up to a certain typographic style which has a quantifiable degree of readability. For instance, you could use a style that has an intentionally low readability that is part of the message. Or you could focus on designing a high readability because your message is complicated, and you don’t want your type style to hinder the audiences’ understanding in any way. In most cases, communication comes before style, so resolve readability first. Let’s take our previous example of Sabon and alter the readability. On the left, we have taken the text and decreased the font size, altered the tracking and leading, lightened the color, and set the block to full justification. It’s now a mess with unattractive text rivers. On the right, we’ve left the unaltered for an obvious comparison. Changing several independent factors, as you can see, can add up to quite a difference.

“Force-justified” text, or hyphenless justification, always creates ugly rivers and awkward spacing which causes the reader to lose the natural flow of the text as the eye has to make various leaps and jumps to complete words and sentences. Currently, there is no proper native support for hyphenation in CSS, but you could use Hyphenator.js for a proper client-side hyphenation online. Make sure your line height is greater than the point size of your typeface for multi-line texts. It’s difficult for the eye to track across a line of text and stay “on track” if the lines above and below it are too close to it. Our eyes are easily confused especially when wrapping from the end of one line of text to another. How many times have you read the same line of text twice on generously-spaced lines of text? Probably once — of course if the content is easy to understand as well. Don’t make your readers work harder than they have to. With the two most subjective factors out of the way, let’s move on to appropriateness.

The beauty and complexity of type... Quick tips for great readability: Choose typefaces that were designed for the purpose you are using them for (display fonts for headlines, body copy typefaces for body copy, etc.). Choosing a font designed for display purposes, like headlines or posters, means that it will not function very well as a body text typeface where larger quantities of text will be read. Conversely, a typeface designed for extended reading loses its impact in relation to how large it is blown up. Align text to “right ragged” for comfortable word spacing online to avoid “rivers”.

Aspects of Appropriateness

Some typefaces are more suitable for a design task than others. Appropriateness is something you can learn by both experience with a typeface, and by other attributes of the typeface, including its history and original purpose. Here are four attributes of a typeface you can consider.


Print techniques Let’s learn it



Print techniques by Diogo Dantas

But... how to make it?

Letterpress printing is relief printing of text and image using a press with a “type-high bed” printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image. It was the normal form of printing text from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the 19th century and remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century. In addition to the direct impression of inked movable type onto paper or another receptive surface, letterpress is also the direct impression of inked printmaking blocks such as photo-etched zinc “cuts” (plates), linoleum blocks, wood engravings, etc., using such a press.[citation needed] In the 21st century, commercial letterpress has been revived by the use of ‘water-wash’ photopolymer plates that are adhered to a near-type-high base to produce a relief printing surface typically from digitally-rendered

1 Set type in composing stick

2 Put it in a chase (frame)

Insert a sheet of paper


Push down handle

Moustache - 01 Beer - 02 Rustic Fete - 03

Voila! A print! CREATIVE MIND 79

Hand Lettering Learning More This is where I first roughly sketch out what I have in mind for the piece. Often, I will start by using a ruler to draw in some lines with a pencil to serve as guides. For most of the pieces I do, I like to justify the text within a box. As you’re drawing out your guides, you want to know which words will be on each line and be picturing how tall the line height

is based on the length of the line. For example, if you have a single word (such as ‘Expediency’), you’re going to need a fairly tall line for the word to fill the entire width of your box. In the case of a longer line (such as ‘should never come’), you’ll end up having a fairly short line height as you’ll have to write small for it to fit all in one line.

Make sure to account for leading between lines when you make your pencil guides. Notice I have have a pencil guide at the x-height of the second line. This keeps it grounded so you don’t start floating off of the baseline. Below the inked word, ‘should’ you can see that I started to pencil in the third line. You can

Now comes the fun part: seeing your design come to life. Often times, I don’t have an exact idea of how I want to execute the letters stylistically when I’m sketching, which is why I like to leave room for exploration in the inking phase. Typically I’ll go over the outlines first, if it’s a



be as detailed as you want in the pencil sketches, but the most important thing is to get the letter width set. Your kerning should be completely done at this phase (there’s no tracking adjustments once ink hits the page!)

sans-serif, and then decide what I’m going to do with the fill. In this case I thought micro stippling fill would look nice.

After you have the basic forms inked, I like to go and add extra detail. Notice if you compare the word ‘AT’ in the previous step with this one, I’ve added a drop shadow to give an illusion of depth. I’ve also given the first serif word, ‘EXPEDIENCY’ a detailed fill. I left a sliver of white on the left and upper parts of the

blackletter word, ‘EXCELLENCE’ to give it the look of a shine and add further depth.

Finally, once you’re happy with your work and done adding detail, you need to remove your guides and pencil marks with an eraser. Unless you think leaving them makes you look cool and impressive or something. In

which case I say to you, “GET OUT! GET OUT OF MY OFFICE YOU HIPSTER!” Ok, not really, you can keep them if you want. If you do this often enough, you definitely need to get yourself a big eraser.


You want to learn more about hand lettering? by Sean McCabe



I’m regularly asked about how I got into lettering, if I have general tips for hand lettering, or maybe a list of resources I use and other similar questions of that nature. This page is a § and re-written collection of my many responses to various questions that have been asked in the past. Previously, my responses have been fragmented and scattered all over the place, and this is my attempt to change that. I’m publishing this in a self-interview format to make some cohesion of it all. Also, because I think it will be fun.

Blur - 01 Music - 02 Learn & Never Quit - 03


How did I get into lettering? I’ve been really into lettering most of my life. For some reason I’ve always been drawn to letter forms. Many people don’t really notice letters. Letters make words, and most people see words and derive meaning from the words and hardly even notice the letters themselves. I tend to be captivated by the little-noticed details in life. I see letters as individual glyphs rather than only words as a whole. Glyphs full of character and curvature, each with it’s own distinct beauty with almost limitless forms of expression—yet with the restrictions of legibility that I am so fond of. I always thought I was a bit odd as a kid in middle school drawing letter forms when most other artists I knew were drawing still life or other illustrations (more about that). I was overjoyed to discover, as I got older, the world of typography—which to my delight was everything I ever loved and was fascinated by, all packaged into one nice classification.


Where did I receive my classical training and degree? Ahh, trick question see? This is why I like writing my own interview. I’m entirely self-taught. I didn’t go to school for this, I didn’t received any fancy certification. What I did do at a very young age was learn how to learn. If you go to school and you don’t learn how to learn, then you’ve learned nothing. Your knowledge will be complacent and your education stagnant. If you learn how to learn you can do anything. Don’t let anything stop you, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re no good because you don’t have a degree. Do you think people see my work and ask where I was certified? No, they hire me based on the work I do.


What is my process? Typically, my process now involves a very rough (smaller) sketch to formulate a type arrangement, and then depending on what it is I’ll redraw it usually a little larger (still using pencil here), erasing and refining as needed. I usually keep the pencil sketches pretty light so I can get a general idea, but not have it set in stone yet. Once I tweak, I’ll go over it again with a heavier pencil stroke to give it a solid outline. Finally, I go over the primary lines with a light/medium tip Micron. After that I use a medium/heavy tip to create the heavier strokes and shadows, and finally a fine tip for details.







4 Have a Nice Time - 01 The Doups & Os Metro by Eurico Sรก Fernandes - 02 Happy Birthday by Iacopo Boccalari - 03 RockParty by Michael Rubini - 04


Gallery inspirations for you






6 4 5

Love Food by clagnut - 01 Le grand cirque des lettres by LavĂ­nia Carvalho - 02 Comedy Night - Center Street Pub - Oct. 23rd, 2009 by Simon Hartmann - 03 R Design Curitiba 2012 by Bruna Andrade- 04 Good typography is invisible by Craig Ward - 05 Boundless by Lauren Goldblum -06


Gallery inspirations for you

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Ready Set Type by D McArdel - 01 Mikey’s First Lecture by Mikey Burton - 02 Picasso & Letterpress by Svetlana Lomakina- 03




index 6 / 11

Our selection of the best art images.

12 / 14

Learn what you need about hand lettering



16 / 17

Learn print techniques by our special guest, Diogo Dantas

20 / 23

See how our favourits professional done some of the most espectacular works.








mind issue 1 All you need know about typography

Creative Mind  

Magazine about design and illustration

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