Archive for September, 2009
September 30th 2009
Knocked this up tonight, was originally just going to do the vector drawing but got carried away learning how to do distress effects in Illustrator. I suspect as with most things, the more subtle the better so I’ll tone them down a bit for future efforts. Also the drawing I traced off an RAF plan and it was wrong – one wing was shorter than the other, so either the RAF has wonky plans or the plane came out of the factory lop sided. Made in Britain indeed.
I angled it going top left to bottom right as it’s supposed to give it an unnerving, slightly depressing feel, as opposed to the other diagonal which is meant to be uplifting. I started originally with a crosshair, which turned to a roundel, but then it looked a bit moddish, so I went with the anti-flash faded roundel, on a white background too so it looks a bit like its on the side of a dirty scuffed up plane. Also makes me think of the nuclear payload it could be carrying.
September 28th 2009
Daytime TV is generally pretty awful so I find myself switching to this channel called Dave which broadcasts Top Gear and Fifth Gear episodes throughout the day. I didn’t really rate the latest season of Top Gear but I can still happily watch the old episodes but I just find myself switching over whenever Fifth Gear comes on. It just seems so repetitive – how many crash tests do we need to see repeatedly from several angles in slow motion until we learn that newer cars are safer than older cars? Plus the head to head where Tiff drives 2 cars round some racetrack. Today it was two vans – I mean come on, Top Gear did that fantastic piece about racing a Transit around the Nordschleife and this was the best they could come up with? I know the BBC has some amazing licensing system which allows them to play any music they want, but surely Fifth Gear can manage something better than the horrid stock music that’s played in every episode? So I put my frustrations into a couple of infographics:
September 28th 2009
These are two things that really began to take effect in Britain in the 1950s. With the ending of rationing and the beginning of consumerism, companies began to take increasing care about their public image. At the same time, Europe was descending into the Cold War with Britain being caught in the middle between America and Soviet Russia. Due to America at first not wanting to hand over its new nuclear toys, Britain was forced to come up with its own nuclear deterrent. The answer became branded as the “V-Force” – three remarkable looking strategic nuclear bombers, deployed to protect our little island from the communist threat.
The fact they they still look amazingly futuristic today gives some idea how they must have seemed when they first appeared in the 1950s. To many people at the time, this was the iconic image of what a bomber looked like:
Now imagine how people must have felt when this came screaming over their heads:
September 26th 2009
I love Batman: Arkham Asylum, its ridiculously fun to play and it’s fairly obvious a lot of love went into it as it has been polished up and presented really nicely. As Batman you can pick off your enemies one by one, then disappear into the shadows leaving only bewilderment and fear. However it seems there’s one horror that even Batman is powerless against – that of bad typeface selection.
September 24th 2009
Heroic Condensed by Silas Dilworth at TypeTrust is probably top of my list of wanted typefaces. I like condensed fonts for infographic work and this has a nice retro feel to it whilst not being as sharp as the condensed Univers faces and narrower than Knockout’s offerings.
Museo by Jos Buivenga is a fun typeface with cheeky little serifs that I could see myself using on the odd occasion.
September 17th 2009
A little bit of vector tracing I did of an unusual bit of technology. This might develop further into something else.
September 16th 2009
September 14th 2009
September 14th 2009
I’m a bit of a car nerd so I loved Forza Motorsport 2. It’s probably the most played game on my Xbox and I have fond memories of taking breaks from my university dissertation to do a quick lap round the Nürburgring. I loved that they put in more common everyday cars alongside the supercar monsters of the game, and there’s even a version of my own car in there, which I bought and painted to be the same (and promptly supercharged).
So I’m pretty excited for the new version coming out this year, not only do the cars look amazingly good, the whole user interface design seems to have stepped up too. From a video I watched, the developers wanted to give the game the feel of a luxury car brochure and it definitely feels like it has matured from the previous version. We now have less brash colours – it’s the cars that deserve to stand out, not the interface – and it just feels much more pleasant and relaxing, although the music helps there too. There’s a lot more generous spacing going on, with the type being set more consistently.
I wouldn’t say that Forza 2’s interface was badly designed – I never had any troubles with its usability – but sometimes things felt a little crowded, a little over-designed and there was always a slight boy racer feel to proceedings.
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