Outland Entertainment recently announced the release of The Barry Blair Library of comics and I was fortunate enough to get to design a logo for the launch.
You can read all about it here:
The main thing I needed to consider before I started was how the BBL logo would be incorporated with the current line of OE comic book properties and what that treatment would look like since we had already come up with a layout for the OE line.
Here’s a recent cover for MARS 2577 with the OE footer treatment.
We wanted the BBL logo to balance out with the Outland Entertainment logo, so I decided to go with circular layout. I chose a font similar to the font used in the OE logo to keep a consistent look across the brand, but I also needed to come up with something uniquely it‘s own to reflect the uniqueness of the books and wholly set the logo apart. The fonts I used are ITC Franklin Gothic Heavy and Acropolis. I liked the idea of the using the letter “B” back-to-back to represent the “Barry Blair” in the logo. I tried this with a bunch of dierent fonts and settled on Acropolis because I felt it formed a unique looking letter form. A sigil that lead me to think it represented a unique language all of it’s own, much like Barry and the catalog of comics he created.
Here are couple of the final looks I came up with.
I submitted these for approval and the final logo was approved.
Here‘s what the cover treatment looks like on the newly announced ELFLORD title.
Read all about ELFLORD here: http://outlandentertainment.com/project/elflord/
Until next time…keep on, keepin’ on.
So, recently I had the pleasure of doing some design work for Goodman Games on a couple of different Dungeons & Dragons 5E game modules: Glitterdoom, The Fey Sisters Fate, War-Lock, and The Pillars of Pelagia.
I had to come up with a cover dress and interior page layout. For the cover dress a title, sub-title, and 5E icon were needed. When working, I always start with font selection to try and nail down the right feel for everything. In this case I was going for a classic “fantasy” feel. I used a mix of font families: Mason, Adobe Garamond, and ITC Franklin Gothic, so I could have all of bases covered when it came time to do the interior page layout. I recommend using a font family that has multiple font options: regular, book, italic, semi-bold, bold, heavy etc. This helps in keeping a consistent professional look throughout the work.
After fonts were finalized, I chose colors and fooled around with some different layer effects in Photoshop to come up with the final layout for the cover. Once the first layout was approved, I set up a layer template in Adobe Illustrator with all of the elements in place making it easy to do a simple edit and replace with each of the cover art pieces and then editing the copy on the title text, module number, level, and author name. I exported each cover from their individual layers and sent them out for edits/approval.
The interior page layout was a little different in that I didn’t have any actual content, but had to cover all of the various instances where a different font style would be used. I used a two column format, looked at examples of existing modules, and created a header and footer for the page. Look at the fonts used on the page layout image to see all of the options I provided.
All in all it was pretty straight forward cover and page layout. If you have any questions about my process or design in general, feel free to send me a message. I would be more than happy to lend a hand.
Until next time…keep on, keepin’ on.
I recently had the pleasure of working on re-branding the logo for Matt Forbeck’s epic Noir/Fantasy setting SHOTGUNS & SORCERY. We initially had a solid direction that incorporated a crossed magic wand and shotgun with letters wrapping above and below. (see below)
But, after a few attempts we realized it just wasn’t working for us. The Outland team bounced ideas back and forth for a bit and decided we needed a logo that really captured the essence of the NOIR elements of the setting, and still have that FANTASY feel. I tried a bunch of different noir and fantasy fonts combined with some graphic elements, but we still felt the logo wasn’t quite there. I went back and forth for a while trying different fonts, different layouts and effects. Here are a couple of looks that we came up with in the middle of this concepting phase. (see below)
When I am designing a logo the first thing I like to do is really get a handle on the look and feel of the letters/font to use. Once we had decided on the letters and how they were laid out, (in this instance it was a toss up between stacked or inline) we added multiple outlines, fills, and stroke weights to move the logo one step closer to finished. We went with an inline design as we felt it would be a bit more versatile for layout and design purposes. The final step was to tweak the curls of the S in sorcery to really pull everything together. So without further ado, Outland Entertainment is proud to present to you the new SHOTGUNS & SORCERY logo. We hope you dig it, as much as we do.
Until next time, stay frosty.
Hello and welcome to my first EVER blog post. Bare with me as we figure this out together. So, I’m going to talk about design and my design process to start. In future posts we will cover in detail a variety of design topics from logos, to lettering, to page layout, but if there is something specific any of you have in mind, feel free to let us know. We will do our best to accommodate.
Recently, Outland partnered on a very cool comic book project titled BLEEDBACK (feel free to check it out here: www.embreate.com). After talking to the creator and getting all of the technical details sorted out, we determined he needed a logo and layouts for 5 pages. Before getting into the nitty gritty of starting the actual design work it is usually a good idea to get the technical details nailed down first. By technical details I mean: page sizes, bleed/no bleed, full color/black & white, file types, due dates, printer, etc. Once all of that is sorted out the real fun begins, design! When starting a new project I find it best to talk to the client to get as much detailed information about what they are looking for going in. This helps me find what I like to call the “design vibe” of the project. I like to think that all projects have them, some are harder to find than others.
For BLEEDBACK, the client had a few different fonts picked out for the logo, a full-color cover and 4 finished pages for me to pull inspiration from. In addition, he provided a concept sheet of setting and story to really give me insight into what BLEEDBACK is all about.
The images below are some of the font choices provided to me for logo creation.
The logo design was straightforward since the client had a clear vision of what he was looking for. I started with the font choice provided “FIRE DOOMSDAY”and went from there. Using Adobe Illustrator I typed BLEEDBACK, adjusted the kerning (that’s the space between the letters), converted fonts to outline, and used the pathfinder tool to slice everything up, and shift individual pieces of the letters to give it some“motion distortion”. There’s a bit more that goes into it, but for now lets stick to the nuts and bolts.
Below are a couple of initial looks with color and effects before we settled on the final design as seen on the cover to issue 1.
Here is a closeup of the final logo on black for detail.
One technical aspect I will comment on is the difference between designing in Illustrator vs. Photoshop – Illustrator is a vector-based program which uses a series of points and mathematical equations to create objects. Photoshop is a raster-based program, it uses pixels. The benefit of using vector vs. raster is scaleability. When you create a logo in Illustrator you can make it as large as you want with no degradation of quality. In Photoshop, you will start to lose image quality when scaling up more than 150% of actual size. I am sure most of you have seen an image or logo with a jagged edge, that jagged edge is pixelation and should be avoided if possible, unless the design calls for it. Low resolution images or logos are detrimental to the look and quality of any project.
As I mentioned before I like to determine a “design vibe” for all of the projects I work on. BLEEDBACK has a definitive look and feel that jumped out at me when reviewing the source material – futuristic/tech. The theme I picked up on right away was the “bright blue” color running throughout the work. I used that as my base direction to start page layouts. First, I set up a page template to the actual trim size of the book, plus bleed. Making sure you have everything set up to the correct page size before starting will save you a lot of headache on the backend. Searching online, I found a few different futuristic, vector-based backgrounds, sampled a bunch of fonts that I felt fit the look I was going for – I chose the font “EUROSTILE”, placed the backgrounds in the page template, copy and pasted all of the text provided for the page, then formatted it all to fit. Once everything was to my liking I sent a couple of versions to the client for a first look to get feedback, suggestions, and to see if the design was heading in the right direction.
Here are 2 initial layouts for the Inside Front Cover that were sent to the client.
Final Inside Front Cover Spread – Note the bright blue color in the artwork for Page 1.
Again, this is just a quick nuts and bolts overview of my design process and how I work, not a “be all end all” to design. I hope it was helpful. Remember, if there is a topic you would like to see covered in a future post or if you have questions leave us a message.
Thanks for reading.