A Reliquary and Other Poems

Since we were on the topic of typography, it got me all excited and wanted to share more pieces that I have designed that was soley based on type. This book here is a collection of poems by Daryl Hine. This was his last book and I wanted to give it a superior type treatment.

This composition is basically graphic design 101. I used many different types of contrast ranging from size, texture, colour and movement. Since its Daryl’s last book, his name has to be more dominant and bold but contemporary.

The title is what captures me the most because there is a high level of contrast being presented here. They’re colour, san serif/serif type and size. To top it off I gave it movement, starting from the left and leading all the way to the right. The whole title flows very well.

But like all designs, I felt that I could have done better due to the fact that the cover stock is textured. Thus the black text disappears a little bit, you need to see it with detail in order to read the beautiful set type.

If you are interested in purchasing this book click here (Amazon).

As a bonus, here are some initial ideas that I had for the book that did not make it. Which one do you like?

Cheers

1 2

Now or Never

Coming back from a long weekend and getting back to work was always a tricky shift. Especially when you come back sore and bruised from snowboarding at Blue Mountain.  I had such a great time that I didn’t want to come back but it is time to work again.

This week I want to share this piece with you. It is an expressive typography composition that features the quote “now or never.” I was greatly influenced by Tim Burton during my years of design school and I wanted to reflect his style in this piece.

project2

The composition comprises of two different typefaces. The now is a serif type that is slowly transforming into a custom never san serif typeface that reflects nature and a grudge kind of feel. To top it off, I illustrated some very rough, straight vector drawings that benefits the marriage of the type.

Till this day the piece still speaks to me and I look back on it from time to time for inspiration.  

Mian Fan

I think its time to take a break from my book designs and talk a bit about some of my identity projects. Mian Fan was a project that I worked on during the summer of 2013. I received a panicking phone call form one of my design friends at HoK. She basically told me that she needed a logo within 5 days and briefed me with the client’s needs and wants, then she hung up.

I was a bit confused but felt privileged to work on such a project. It is a noodle house that sells Shanghai cuisine in the heart of downtown Toronto. I did some research and started to sketch out some ideas.

I wanted to emphasize on the noodles but didn’t want an overwhelming logo. The idea was to give a very minimalistic but modern design that would be timeless.

Pages from Mian Fan Concepts Pages from Mian Fan Concepts-2

The first idea that I rendered was a noodle that transformed into a bowl. Followed by a pair of chopsticks to give notion that they are noodles and also I felt that it personalizes the composition a bit more. The red and yellow represented warm, tradition and energy.

The second idea was more of a word mark rendering. The serif typeface gave a traditional/historical feel and I decided to illustration the “F” with the combination of noodles and chopsticks.

After I got feedback from the client, here is what we pushed forward with.

Pages from Mian Fan Concepts 2

Mian Fan Rendering

The rendering was done by my friend so I cannot take credit for that but the final logo consists of the red shape bowl and it conveys the warmth of the product. The gradient orange to yellow noodle speaks depth and the chopsticks that compliments the composition.

Althought Mian Fan isn’t officially open yet, I am looking forward to the day of the tasty noodles.

Dumb Luck

The best days are snow days because books become your automatic best friends. And today is one of those days. The whole publishing house was sent home due to extreme weather conditions. As I sit here panting and wondering what I should do with my afternoon, I figured, this is a good place to start.

This was one of my first books that I had to design where I was the model on the front cover. Even though there isn’t much to see, it was still a good one. The story begins with a boy falling off a tree. He gets sent to the hospital for treatment and is told that he is lucky to be alive, like they all say. He buys the lottery and wins a ton of money. Through this, he goes through a lot of phases of who is his real friends and who just wants to be friends with him for his money.

The composition here is basically design 101. The idea of having certain elements from the book (boy, tree and lottery) and pasting it on a canvas to create a directional story. The upside down tree represents falling and confusion. The boy is dumb founded about where his life is going and to make matters worst, the lottery ticket represents obstruction. The direction starts from the top of the tree then leads the eyes down the book for the rest of the elements.

The interior stays consistent and remains clean for the eye of the beholder. Dumb Luck is one of the stronger novels in the Red Deer Press book list and continues to be a time less design. 

You can purchase Dumb Luck by clicking here (Amazon).

Bye, Bye, Butterflies

Ever since I was a kid, I have always said that picture books are the easiest books to read. Till this day, I still feel the same but designing them is a whole different story. This was one of my first picture books and certainly not the last one of its kind.

I love the fun illustrations and the engaging story about how butterflies come to be.

When I first laid my eyes on the artwork and rendering, it gave me a very comfortable vibe. The chosen palette of colours was so vivid and soft. The drawings were very unique and fresh. What it was missing was interactive typography.

The interior stays true to the cover artwork and has an abundance of playful characters. I designed the story in a way that compliments each illustration, making it more fluent and adventurous!

The most challenging part was designing the activity at the back of the book. Children would get a chance to educate themselves and share fun filled games with friends. It was challenging because there was so much information to micro manage and I needed it to be clean and informative.

If you are interested in buying the book. Click here (Amazon).

Pies Anyone?

Aside from designing and sports, I do have a culinary side of me. I really like to bake macarons and cook for my friends and family. When I received this first project of re-designing a cookbook for my publishing company, I was ecstatic. I already had the vision in mind on what type to use and an idea of the type of composition.

This is Pies. A book filled with colourful, warm and detailed images of many different pies. Throughout this design, I wanted to keep the images to dominate most of the composition. In my opinion, it wouldn’t make sense to box the beautiful full images and not give it a full bleed effect.

The instructions are clearly divided in two. The highlight black column is the essential ingredients that you need in order to bake the pie, which I found very important. Contrasted with the black is the white column, which highlights the instructions. The crisp san serif type really reminds me of the flaky crisp crust that a pie has and I wanted to reflect that meaning through the use of the san serif typefaces.

I am very proud of my first cookbook design and this is actually a series of books. On the way are more cookbooks from the same author that I am currently working on. Actually, its at the printers already. I will fill you in once I receive my copies!

Carbon Rush

Every designer’s dream is to do good work and of course, design for a special cause. I have finally been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of something awesome. What is this book about?

I quote from The Carbon Rush website:

Hundreds of hydroelectric dams in Panama. Incinerators burning garbage in India. Biogas extracted from palm oil in Honduras. Eucalyptus forests harvested for charcoal in Brazil.

What do these projects have in common? They are all receiving carbon credits for offsetting pollution created somewhere else. But what impact are these offsets having? Are they actually reducing emissions? And what about the people and the communities where these projects have been set up?

THE CARBON RUSH takes us around the world to meet the people most impacted. They are the least heard in the cacophony surrounding in this emerging “green-gold” multi-billion dollar carbon industry.

The aim for this design was to portray a greedy, harsh environment and industrial feel. It was achieved with the help of textured typography, married with a splash of envy green.

The interior of this book carries a lot of high resolution images that can be recognized from the film, making it an interesting and easy read. Typography dominates in areas where points of interest arises and is almost the bench mark of all chapter headings.

You can purchase The Carbon Rush here at Amazon.com

What do you think of the book? Let me know and leave a comment below.

Thanks!