Tuesday, February 26, 2008

HOW Toot'n Good!

My 'zine covers have been spotted over on the HOW Blog!
Thanks, Bryn!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Seen the Zine? ---> HZ11!

What a reward it was to see the end result from the contributors to the 11th edition of the HOWie Zine. For those who don't know, the HOWiezine is a limited edition, handmade collaborative book project created by HOW forum members, also known as HOWies. There is a theme and participants create two pages based on their interpretation of that theme. Only the participants are guaranteed a copy of the book, which makes it all the more special.

As you may have read in my previous post, I was in charge of creating the cover design for the 11th HOWie Zine, for which the assigned theme was the Alphabet. When I opened mine up today, there was such an amazing array of work that I knew right away that a single blog post with a few photos would not be able to do it justice! For a more in depth look at the inside of HZ-11, I've created a special gallery on Flickr, so everyone can see the top-notch work submitted by all the HOWies who participated.

Huge props have to go Pad Thai (zine creator!) and to the following HOWies who made the assembly line for HZ-11 run oh-so-smooth: ksavage, LadyLuck and HowKom. This crew did a fantastic job on the binding, and added little personal touches for each HZ-11 participant. When I opened my zine today, it was clear that this crew worked hard to custom tailor the packaging to each HOWie...and several little gems were included throughout. Each zine was carefully wrapped in Braille paper from the latest edition of Harry Potter, and secured with a sticker for each HOWie's first and last initial. One special HOWie will even find their zine wrapped in the HP cover! And then wrapped up, were two pins...featuring the A and Z photos from my cover design. (And yes, Zoey is excited at her new found social status!)

More surprises laid beneath the Braille paper, as there were box letter beads attached to the binding that would spell out each HOWie's name. The binding was a very effective choice, as it made all the pages easy to view (plus photograph!) and allowed the book to lie flat during viewing.

Here's a glimpse of my pages playing their starring role...

Here's some of the inside pages featuring work by HOWies Christian, darcylea, aikohead, SAW, fantomas, Delineate and creative bean....

HOWie Zine creator Pad Thai and assembly woman ksavage took their pages up a notch and created a Collaborative Music Book, which came accompanied by a special 2 disc cd-set. The cd's were HOWsed in a specially designed disc jacket complete with a little HZ-11 beads and tassle. Within the book, Pad Thai covered the first half of the Alphabet, and ksavage covered the second half of the Alphabet.

The far left photo is one of Halftone Dot's pages, which had a black envelope attached containing a cryptogram, and a tool to help solve it. Once the crytogram is solved, it directs you to a hidden location online where you may retrieve a reward.

All the work by the HOWies was so diverse in style and interpretation, that I hope everyone checks out the rest of the photos over on Flickr.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Photographic Alphabet!


I had so much fun with the Robots HOWiezine, that I signed to create the cover design for the 11th edition of the HOWiezine. The theme this time was the Alphabet, and right away I had a fair idea of what I wanted to do. Right away I thought of doing something similar to this photography project from when I was in college. Unfortunately, a death in my family and the rapidly declining weather forced me to put a bit of a different spin on my idea...which ultimately wound up being a bit more challenging, as well as pay homage to my father who passed away in December.

Instead of finding letters within objects, I decided to find objects around the house that started with each letter of the alphabet, kind of along the whole ABC's book we all had as children. All the objects chosen were photographed with a DSLR, with an aim towards more macro shots, and then thumbnails were created of each letter and arranged along a grid in AI to form a "from A to Z " photographic cover. The extra space in the center of the grid was filled with a special shot that I composed, featuring some of the most basic tools a designer uses (especially at the start of their career) and included the HZ edition number.

HZ-11 Center shot

The front and rear cover designs were essentially the same, with the only difference besides the orientation was that the center shot on the front, which also represented the letter "H" (for HOW, of course!) was replaced by the photo for "Q" on the back, so that my grid would be effective...and to poke a bit of fun and make everyone think and flip back and forth between the covers to (hopefully!) notice the subtle difference.

Without further adieu, let's take a look at the front and back covers:

Front Cover of HZ-11

Back Cover of HZ-11

I wanted to have a variety of shapes, colors and textures across the covers so a few images were scrapped along the way to include one's that were more visually appealing and working in the overall appearance. The photos went as follows:

A - Apple
B - Bear
C- Candle
D - Dishes
E - Eraser
F - Film
G - Grass
I - iPod
J - Jeans
K - Keys
L - Lamp
M - Markers
N - Newsprint Paper
O - Orchid
P - Paintbrush
Q - Q-tips
R - Rollerskate
S - Saw
T - Tacks
U - Umbrella
V - Velvet
W - Wrench
X - X-acto
Y - Yashica Camera
Z - Zoey

As mentioned earlier, several of these items paid homage to my Dad. The bear was one of the few that kept him company while he was in the hospital after surgeries. The keys were his. The ladder is the paintbrush photo was passed on to me when I started painting murals. The saw is one he bought me a few years ago to add to my toolbox. The umbrella is from my grade school years, with my name carved in the handle by my Dad. The wrench was one of his favorite tools, and he helped me pick Zoey out from the pet store last summer.

I decided to keep the interior of the covers tied in to the exterior by picking two of the thumbnails, and showcasing them at their full size. I labeled each photo with their description in Helvetica, taking into consideration that Helvetica is one of the first fonts a designer uses when starting their education. I liked the texture in the "G" grass photo and the combination of color and composition in the "U" umbrella photos the best, so they were my choices for the interior.

Interior front of HZ-11

Interior back of HZ-11