Take it away, announcement bear
So, I’m having connectivity issues, and it’s hard to do anything. Case in point — this short post took me about 3 hours to make. So as they say in Canada…
Sometimes, I can’t help it. Things just get on my nerves. For instance:
Every now and then, I like to enjoy a refreshing beverage, and (while I usually prefer a fancy, micro-brew root beer) when I want caffeine and don’t want to deal with calories, I generally reach for a Pepsi Max. But lately a problem has arisen. I can’t stop staring at the logo.
Specifically the “MAX” part. It’s awful.
Let me break it down for you, so you can hate it as much as I do.
Right here, where the M meets the A, is a big problem. It’s like they couldn’t figure out how to join those letters, so they just set them near each other, and hoped it would work. Well, it doesn’t.
The M dips a little below the baseline, which I guess is fine, but if you’re going to dip below the baseline, you should commit. This is barely even breaking free. Also, the left side of the A is inexplicably raised slightly above the baseline! What the hell is that about? And then there’s that little “bloop” where they touch and dip inward. It distracts from the angles and futuristic feel of the rest of the logo, and it makes this part look like a soft, marshmallow butt.
Not edgy. Not Max. But that’s not even the worst part.
The M is the worst part. The whole M is a travesty. There’s something good buried in the AX — something dynamic. But, that M is doing its own dumb thing. The rounded corners have no rhyme or reason, and the line slants seem to be completely arbitrary. What’s worse is… it didn’t have to be this way. Hidden inside the current design is a seed of a much better one.
Just look at those green lines, and tell me what they have in common with that dumb M over there? Nothing, that’s what.
Those lines are good. They have a purpose and a direction. In fact, when I highlight them like this, they kind of look like another M…
That’s it — a better M! I’ll just move some things around, and…
Boom! New logo! Sharp, futuristic, bold, and in-motion. The main thing I did was flip that AX around to the other side, to make a new M that looks like it belongs. Also the M, A, and X now intersect in a pleasing triangle in the center.
And, check this out:
All those lines converge into a single point along the center axis. Not bad, eh? But wait, there’s more!
Every other line converges at another point. This whole logo is made out of radiating line segments from just two points!
So, there you go, Pepsi, I fixed it for you. Now, please update the can, so I don’t have to switch to Coke Zero to avoid graphics-induced migraines.
See you guys next week!
Animation always takes longer than I expect. So, while I’m zooming past the deadline this week, enjoy this idea for a product from the ol’ sketchbook:
Three jars of jam (red, yellow, and green), packaged and sold in a traffic-light-shaped box.
Maybe I’d drop some LEDs behind the individual jars to bring it to life. Is the jam any good? Who cares?! It’s got a gimmick!
See you next week.
Here in Seattle, it may suddenly begin raining during a beautiful day in the park. On the other hand, it may suddenly become sunny and bright during an otherwise dreary day. You must be prepared for any weather at anytime, and that is where my newest invention may help.
It’s called the Sporting Umbrella, and it easily converts from a standard umbrella into a walking stick and flying disc. Enabling you to go from seeking shelter to a game of ultimate frisbee at a moment’s notice*.
The idea came to me when I found a discarded and broken umbrella. Something had come lose, allowing the top to move freely along the shaft. It was unusable in its current state, but it made me think about how it was built, and I decided it would be cool to make an umbrella with a detachable top (really, for no reason other than to make it).
I needed to figure out Read more…
I picked up supplies for a larger project yesterday, but it’s going to take a while. So you get a drawing this week.
While trying to decide what to draw, my favorite new song by They Might Be Giants started playing, so I drew that.
“You’re on Fire” – TMBG
And here’s a time lapse video of the Photoshop process (with the song).
See you next week.
Man, nothing can make you feel old quite as thoroughly as throwing out your back.
I spent Thursday, Friday, and most of the weekend splayed out on the ground, recovering from a freak back injury. I had to do something to pass the time, so I started sewing.
As is often the case when I don’t have any ideas, I ended up making a milk carton. Maybe you remember Frank the Carton of Milk from the art tour I gave a while ago.
He’s an old favorite, and I thought it was about time to commemorate him in 3D form (albeit a simplified version).
So, there you go. A plush milk. I love it, and I bet you don’t have one.
I feel better already… Maybe it’s the drugs.
I’ve got another book cover design to share this week!
Bob, the guy who wrote the last book I designed the cover for, shared my info with a friend, and soon enough I had another job.
The book is Motor City Boys and it’s written by Raymond Wlodkowski. It’s set in Detroit in the ’50s, and tells the story of 5 close friends.
Raymond knew he wanted to feature a car in some way, and I had a fun time figuring out interesting ways of incorporating that element and the 5 boys.
We ended up going with this ’56 Chevy with the main characters reflected in the chrome.
On the back, I continued the car around, and cleared some room in the door for a summary and author bio.
I tried to capture the descriptions of the boys from the book in the silhouettes, but leave enough to the imagination so the reader can fill in his/her own images.
The entire cover is basically an illustration I made in Photoshop. It was really fun to get back to realistic painting, even if it was digital. That was something I hadn’t done in a while.
Shiny chrome is both hard and easy to paint. In some places I just made up stuff and it looks fine, but other places took so many reference photos and retries to look convincing.
Raymond delivered my copy of the book earlier this week, so I was able to finally stop holding my breath. I’m never quite sure how it’s going to look until I see the final product, because so much depends on the printing. The best I can do is set up the file the right way, and hope the printer knows what he/she is doing. It looks great.
Motor City Boys is available on Amazon, and once again, I got a mention for the cover design inside the book! Thanks, Raymond!
See you next week!
I was browsing Flickr for ideas this week, and I saw this cute little image:
The photo is by photographer Darren W. Ritson, and I think it’s awesome.
I love little round birds. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to animate it.
So, I did:
And that’s what I did this week!
Well, there you go. Let’s just forget this ever happened. Enjoy this picture of a panicking bear: