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.