Walking by Honest Ed's on Saturday and had to stop to grab this shot:
Honest Ed's was a massive department store, here in Toronto, that was part of the cultural landscape for decades. It feels like every immigrant family I know has a story to share about their first trip there. Everyone knew who Honest Ed was. You couldn't miss the huge side show attraction on the corner of Bloor and Bathurst. But times change, as do shopping tastes. The store closed it's doors last Christmas (2016) and is being redeveloped. It's difficult to explain how big a cultural touchstone Ed's was, but this sign hints at it. The poster is an interesting nod to the importance of Ed's and a bit of cheeky humour at Drake's expense.
After blowing up the photo I spotted Apologies.Ltd in the corner. Here you go https://apologies.ltd/ Get the poster on a shirt.
I'm glad I found my Wacom. I really missed it. I've been fussing around with it quite a bit lately, trying to create a decent brush archive. I think I've created a series that seem to work well for my style - between 28-38% opacity, 25-37% flow with build up and wet edges. This gives me the colour and feel I'm looking for.
I'm still cheating on the startup - I'm still doing a hand line trace of the photo, but excluding elements I don't want in the final product. I'm also trying to do a looser outline, with more a hint of the movement in the background. And that's were the real fun begins. It's interesting using different brushes and colour buildups to give the illusion of a train flashing past. I didn't do any blending this time around, I wanted a rougher feel to the movement. It's still Photoshop paint by numbers, but eventually I'll get to the place I want to be. I've begun sketching with pencil, similar scenes. So far, yeeks. My sense of perspective still screws me around. Might help if I didn't keep getting left and right mixed up.
All in all, I'm rather pleased with this:
Original photo was taken at the Union Station TTC platform on a warm afternoon. Northbound to Finch, Line 1.
A friend spotted this and posted it on his FB feed:
After my initial knee jerk reaction passed, I settled down into a deep loathing of the idea, as did pretty much everyone I polled. It's a disasterous digital marketing concept that should have the plug pulled before it even gets off the ground. The concept is straight out of a scammer's wet dream. Create a little video of yourself promoting your product/self/company and use it as your email signature. First, the pitch should be in the email itself, not a superflous link that takes me to an external site so I have to listen to more blather. It's bad enough the internet is littered with autostarting video ads, now this?
Second issue comes from my perspective as a computer consultant. I teach my customers to be wary of links in emails. If you don't know the person, don't click. You never know where that link will take you. There's a lot of scams out there so better to be safe than sorry. I know others who do the same.
"If you’re on a customer-facing team like sales or customer success, a video email signature can help you connect with your customers on a more human level"
Well, if you have your video professionally done, maybe it might work. But emaills littered with thumbnails of Joe Blow standing against a weird patterned background with bad edit cuts isn't going to cut it. I've watched a lot of promotional videos and ones done without the benefit of editing skills come off looking unprofessional or creepy.
Look, if you're a sales team, you don't want to irritate people. It isn't a "pattern breaker", it's a one trick pony that will cause audience fatigue rather quickly. Unless you are 100% sure that customer will enjoy your video, DON'T. Signatures should be to the point - give me the info I want - name, phone #, email, website. Leave off all the fancy doodles, artwork and videos. There is already a serious sense of email overload out there and this is adding to the problem. If I start seeing this show up in my inbox, I'll assume it's more spam and toss it without ever giving the person a chance.
How about using this as your pattern breaker - be concise. Don't add to the fatigue.
Are you old enough to remember being terrified of being skewered by a lawn dart? You know, those metal pointed, weighted darts that look like miniature javelins with fins? In any other dimension, they’d be treated as a weapon, not a game for children. I’m periodically stuck on the subway with nothing to do but let my brain wander through a tangled landscape of ideas and half written articles and during a rather epic delay underground recently, I began thinking about lawn darts and wondered why I no longer saw them.
We had a neighbour, years ago, who owned a set, decades ago, and I hated them… the darts, not the neighbours. Their kids where a bit cavalier about launching them into the air and woe to anyone who got in their way. The metal tipped missiles created havoc when they went astray. I looked for the original lawn dart patent from sometime in the 1950s, but had no luck. I managed to dig up an old Hasbro patent application from 1970 that reworked the design a bit.
Toronto based theatre company, Canadian Stage is in the middle of their summer season.
I stopped so hard to look at the season poster at my local coffee shop, I nearly fell over. Above is their earlier volunteer poster, I couldn't find a straight up season poster anywhere to download. I tried to snag a photo of the original, but it was too high and the photo looks like crap. So, we'll look at their similar offering. It has the same font and images, and conveys the same message. I adore it for many reasons! The rich colour balance, clear fonts that promote readability and the undeniably adorable chipmunk in a crown pretty much scoops any audience in. Unless you are a chipmunk hater, there's no way you can pass this poster by and not feel the itch to check out what it's selling.
The photoshop job on the crown is excellent. The shadows, placement and integration is well done. Kudos to the graphic artist. Getting back to the font, (another huzzah for the graphic artist), it was a good choice. There is a lot of written content on the poster, but the choice of the clean sans serif and spacing promotes incredible readability. It's an example of how you can include lots of vital information without feeling cramped. The poster that caught my eye, was about 5"5" up (way above my eye level) and over a counter. Despite that, it was easy to read.
As far as a selling point, well, it wins on many levels. First and foremost, it makes Shakespeare feel approachable, which is no easy job. It also conveys two ideas - theatre and nature. For those not familar with High Park, it is a 400 acreswath of green in the heart of Toronto and a perfect place for theatre in the park. Anyone in Toronto will instantly catch the reference. Nicely done. Finally, the obvious - cute sells, no doubt about that.