Posts Tagged ‘Behind The Project’

Behind the Project: Repair Rather Than Replace

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Katie Tonkovitch is a San Francisco based designer. Her other projects include branding for San Francisco dive bar, The Makeout Room as well as timeline based packaging for those trekking through the Himalayas. We spoke with her about her recent project, Mend.

What was your inspiration for this project?
Most of my projects have an element of sustainability to them. The final form was both inspired and limited by existing within those parameters. I think the creative challenge of
balancing aesthetics and function, of striving for both beauty and reusability, was a lot of what made this project successful.

The limited materials I chose drove the design to a high degree. One of the first things I did was hunt down the reusable containers and recycled papers, and make the decision that I was only going to use black ink. Discovering what typefaces and design elements played nicely within those parameters was a large part of my inspiration. For instance, the choice to use colored thread to color-code the different kits was born out of the fact that I limited myself to a single color of ink.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
The design brief was the primary challenge. This was a fairly open-ended student project, so I really wanted to have a fully fleshed-out concept before I even began sketching. I wanted to do something in the world of sustainability, and spent considerable time brainstorming about how buying a new collection of stuff could possibly be a sustainable act. It then occurred to me that if that stuff helped you mend what you already had, it would be preventing you from buying things you didn’t need. The driving concept became: Don’t buy more stuff; mend what you have.

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Behind the Project: Explosive Emotions

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Coming Soon is a Belgian based design and branding studio. Their other projects include chalk-drawing branding for  Jameson Whiskey as well as an exploration of what goes into producing a 3-D Comic. We spoke with them about her recent project, Emotion Series, a collection of expressive portraits for a cultural center. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
One of our clients is a cultural center in Belgium and we did a full rebranding for them, from logo to magazine and website. For over 3 years we have been doing the campaign images—the concept is culture with impact . Every year we make a new series of 5 images. This year we wanted to work with pure emotions: emotions people feel when they go to the cultural center during a concert or performance.


“For over 3 years we have been doing the campaign images—the concept is culture with impact . Every year we make a new series of 5 images. This year we wanted to work with pure emotions: emotions people feel when they go to the cultural center during a concert or performance”


Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Since we were working with emotions we had to find nice characters. We did a casting, where we selected 30 people from a group of 200. We shot the photographs over three days. We even picked up people from the street in the end, like they do on street castings.
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Behind the Project: Dreamy Swim-scapes in time for Summer

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Yuku Shimizu is a New York based illustrator. She has won numerous awards for her work (and was named one of Newsweek Japan’s 100 Japanese People the World Respects). Her other projects include illustrations for the New York Times Book Review as well as a collection of commissioned illustrations repurposed to create “slightly demented children’s stories.” We spoke with her about her recent project, Into the Water, a collection of images focusing on swimming and the water.

What was your inspiration for this project?
This is actually a collection of illustrations I have made over the years for various clients.  Since I got an account on Behance, I’ve been thinking about how to present my work in a different context than on a personal website. What I have started doing lately is to put together different projects under a theme. The weather had gotten warmer in New York, and summer was about to start, so I decided to put together a theme of swimming and underwater.
I make a lot of images that fit this theme; I think it’s because I have severe hydrophobia. I never learned how to swim properly, and going into water deeper than my chest scares the hell out of me. But in my drawings, I can go anywhere. These are sort of my fantasy illustrations. Whenever I can use a water theme, I sneak it in!


 

I never learned how to swim properly, and going into water deeper than my chest scares the hell out of me. But in my drawings, I can go anywhere. These are sort of my fantasy illustrations.

 

 


Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Each project is completely different. They are all published work, so some of the themes were very open ended and let me do whatever I wanted, while others were more art directed. Usually the process of illustrating begins with receiving the story to illustrate. Then, I come up with some concepts and create an ink drawing based on an approved idea, and I finally finish the image with coloring on Photoshop.



Some images and projects do come easier than others, but some come harder than they should be, which can be a struggle. Easy or hard, finishing an image or a project gives me a sense of accomplishment like no other. I guess that’s why we’re artists!


Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
I am always very excited when a project I’ve posted gets featured; I’ve also received so many encouraging comments to continue producing work. This is a very supportive community, and I really appreciate that.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
I do a neurotic number of thumbnails. For me, composition is just as important as the images or the concepts themselves. So, I do plan every little bubble in the picture. Sometimes move them around in the coloring stage till it feels right. Some images and projects do come easier than others, but some come harder than they should be, which can be a struggle. Easy or hard, finishing an image or a project gives me a sense of accomplishment like no other. I guess that’s why we’re artists!

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?  (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc).
This got picked up by multiple blogs and sharing sites within a day or two of being posted. I did get more phone calls for jobs since I posted, and some are new clients, but I didn’t ask them where they found me.  I am thankful for that there is an audience for my phobia turned into images. It is very humbling. Thank you.

Behind the Project: A More Playful Packaging

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Steve Simpson is a Dublin, Ireland based illustrator. His projects have ranged from an award –winning projects based on sign language to a children’s book. We spoke with him about his recent project, Illustrated Barcodes, a playful take on a portion of product design most take for granted. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
A few years ago, I was given the chance to design and illustrate a packaging project for an Irish hot sauce company, Mic’s Chilli. I’ve done some graphic design, but I’d primarily been working as an illustrator; to me the 2 disciplines were quite different. So, I decided to treat the design as one big illustration.
By looking at the project from a slightly different angle, I was able to question things I’d previously taken for granted—namely the humble bar code. Did it need to be so ugly? What could I do to make it blend more with the rest of the packaging? I searched the web for answers and rules and was surprised to find very little information on what you could do and what you couldn’t. For the most part it’s been about experimenting and it’s surprising just how far away from the white box, black sticks and digital type face I’ve come.


 

By looking at the project from a slightly different angle, I was able to question things I’d previously taken for granted—namely the humble bar code. Did it need to be so ugly?

 


Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I had collated all the illustrated barcodes from a variety of projects to show as examples to a new client. I hadn’t initially planned on putting them up on Behance but the thought occurred to me that it would be handy to have them all in one place.

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
No, not at all. I was quite shocked to see how quickly the appreciations racked up. Shocked, but delighted.

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Behind the Project: A Transit App For Seasoned Commuters

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Martin Oberhäuser is a Hamburg, Germany based information and interface designer. After working with various large agencies and freelancing, Oberhäuser founded the oberhaeuser.info design studio in 2011.  Oberhäuser’s passion for data visualization is apparent in projects that range from encyclopedia infographics to an app that monitors and tracks online mentions.  We spoke with him about his recent project, nextr, an iPhone app that helps users navigate German public transit by providing intuitive, essential information and directions.

What was your inspiration for this project?
My inspiration was initially personally motivated. I use public transportation services in Germany pretty frequently and I was never satisfied with the available transportation guidance apps. I felt like there was a lot of room for improvement, especially for heavy transit users like myself. Most people I know that use these apps are familiar with the public transportation systems in their cities. They only need quick access to some important use cases, for example “when does the next train depart from the station closest to my home?” So I focused on this user group and provided this easy access combined with the ability to drill deeper for more information if necessary.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I decided to play around with some initial ideas and concepts for a more intuitive app. After a while I came up with a structure based around the current user position on a map and easy access to nearby stations.

I approached my iOS developer Marcus Wermuth with this concept and some initial layouts and asked if he’d be interested in and capable of developing the app. Fortunately, he was excited to work with me on making this concept a reality. Of course, we had other running client projects and had to earn some money, so it took us a while to reach a working prototype, and then a fully functional app.
This project continues to be pretty challenging because we are working with real time data and geolocation. The real challenge, however, was to initially achieve the right amount of simplification—asking “what information is really relevant for the user and what is our main target audience?”

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?  (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc).

We used Behance as the main tool to advertise the launch of our app and the reactions have been phenomenal. A few hours after we published the project many blogs were writing about it and it soon became the second best selling app on the German App Store. We are also getting many interview requests from blogs and tech magazines. I can’t say exactly how big the impact of Behance was, but it definitely played a big role.

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Behind the Project: Branding a Family-Owned Ski Resort for a Modern Era

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke with Bureau Rabensteiner, an Innsbruck, Austria based graphic design studio. Their designs range from thermo sensitive business cards to branding bakeries. We spoke to them about their recent hotel branding project for the Trofana Alpin.

What was your inspiration for this project?
The Trofana Alpin was the very first hotel in the winter sports resort of Ischgl (a small village in Austria). The hotel is family-owned and builds the foundation of the von der Thannen family history and tradition—a fact that turned this project into something personal and very close to our hearts.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
The client emphasized their family history and how everything started out with a humble Bed & Breakfast. We were also provided with a number of historical items related to the von der Thannen family history, like an old photo archive. After rethinking the project we came up with a branding concept that referred to the origins of their family business. We redesigned the look and feel of the brand with a focus on the von der Thannen family’s exemplary ability to balance tradition with modern convenience and understated luxury.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project? (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc).
Yes, many people have contacted us, for very different reasons, because of our projects on Behance. Some have questions concerning type, papers, photography etc., while some very nice ones simply get in touch to tell us how much they like our work. Ultimately though, it turned out that Behance is a really good platform for receiving serious requests.

We were also lucky to get an immediate feature on Design made in Germany an important German design blog. Also Page Online, one of Germany’s graphic design magazines, featured us within an article. We are really thankful that a lot of other bloggers helped us by sharing our work in recent years. That was more than we could have hoped for.

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Behing the Project: “What-If” Movie Posters

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Peter Stults creates movie posters reimagined for another time and place - like, what would the “Spring Breakers” poster look like if it starred James Dean? Although when Stults first released his work to his personal networks, the response was “like crickets in an awkward silence,” he became an overnight sensation on Behance, going completely viral. He was even recently commissioned to create a movie poster for an upcoming Paul Schrader (of Taxi Driver) movie. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
Since 1999 I’ve been playing with the idea of “what-if” oriented concepts. It first started with making movie posters for books I was reading. Then I was doing posters based on concepts – like what if you had Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves in some religious thriller? The next step in evolution was making posters for movies featuring a star who was going to be cast, but didn’t get up getting the role. For example, Jack Nicholson as the father in “A Christmas Story” or Tom Cruise as Iron Man. Friends of mine later forwarded me the work of Sean Hartter who crafted the “different era” concept, which greatly inspired my What-if poster making process.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Much of it is brainstorming. I’ll be on the subway or walking around, and I first think of a movie, then think of the setting and genre, then the actors. Once I’ve got the concept, I loosely sketch out the poster’s style, thinking about things like horizontal or vertical orientation (depends on the Era). Once sketched out, I look for photographs and images of the actors. I have a collection of pulp fiction books and old magazines and newspapers that I use to derive texture, aged effects and reviewing color spectrum and type face. Most of my posters will start in Photoshop, but I incorporate Illustrator, scanning things in, and even hand-drawing some parts.

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
I was absolutely not at all ready for the popularity. I had first passed some of these posters around on Flickr and Facebook and it was the equivalent of crickets in an awkward silence situation. I remember being super proud of my Avatar, Fifth Element and Inception posters, but barely got any “likes.” So, when creating my Behance profile, I did not think anything of them. I was crossing fingers my illustration-based work would get some traction.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project? (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc).
When the posters went viral, a whole wave of things took place. The famous fashion store Colette, based in Paris, France, contacted me about doing a show on the posters. I had never done an art show before, so my first show being an international one at a well-known fashion store was not too bad.

Then, I was contacted to create the promotional poster for the upcoming movie “The Canyons,” which is directed by Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull), screenplay by Bret Easton Ellis (author of American Psycho and Less Than Zero) and starring Lindsay Lohan and adult entertainment star James Deen. So, my first professional movie poster offering being “The Canyons” was pretty phenomenal.

There has been a wave of freelance work I’ve been a part of that have resulted in some cool projects. I’ve been covered in various blogs and online news sources (Huffington Post, Elle, Slate, Premiere, Fast Company, Business Insider, Yahoo Movies, BuzzFeed, Daily What, Flavorpill, Paste Magazine, Laughing Squid and many more). And the results haven’t slowed. I do a “What If” poster each month for the French movie magazine “So Film.” I’m working on a show in England right now and recently I got contacted by a gallery owner in Brooklyn, all for the “What If” posters.

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Behind the Project: Facebook Redesign

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Fred Nerby designed a Facebook redesign concept that has absolutely exploded on the web – over 300,000 views, 15,000 appreciations and counting! He streamlined the experience, adding responsive panels, splitting the News Feed into two columns, for example. Take a deeper look into how this was created below!

What was your inspiration for this project?
As funny as it may sound, the project was not actually inspired by visuals or UI work created by other platforms, but more so a deeper understanding and a personal interest in user behavior. For a while I’ve been researching Systematic Design and what it actually represents and how it’s best applied in the digital space because it’s changed the making of media in the modern world and also how digital agencies are now working.

Understanding behavior and the psychological success behind a platform such as Facebook is crucial before you get in to the creation or execution of design. People around the world are already connected on a personal level with the platform (or the brand that is Facebook) for many different reasons; main factor is that it’s fulfilling a need in people that wasn’t there a few years ago. If you understand the power of systematic thinking then there are ways of drawing that emotional connection out of people with clever design that will make the experience even more powerful and engaging for the user; and that is where it all started.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
First off, when dealing with a platform such as Facebook, which is heavily focused on a suite of behaviors you need to get an understanding of how to actually design for that. The process of thinking is very different from how people have worked in the past at more traditional agencies. It’s important to understand that most traditional agencies are coming from a pure narrative space where the idea is to interrupt you to think of a brand you haven’t thought about and connect you through a story. Their greatest challenge in the modern world of media right now is to recognize that you can be creative within “Systematic Design”.

For example, the world is embracing the products and media invented in places such as the Silicon Valley (Apple) and the innovation that has been driving such places forward is NOT the innovation of narrative, it’s the innovation and more importantly the understanding of systems and behavior. And today; that has become a creative discipline! Companies like Apple and Facebook are focusing on creating platforms and it’s a new world where you “invent media to frame behavior”, which in itself means that the production is now creative and your relationship with the “making” is very different. If you want your UI to be successful you need to have a solid understanding of all this before you move on to architecture and design when taking on a platform.

All in all, the setup was thought through before I got into the making of design so the overall process of creating the artwork went fairly smooth with a few minor hick-­‐ ups on the way. Again, you can’t jump straight in to a design of such a project without understanding the user behavior and then try to figure things out as you go along. That will never work!

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Behind the Project: Obama Mosaic Illustrations

Of all the art forms that might have you asking – “how’d they do that?” –  mosaic art might be one of the most mysterious. Charis Tsevis, a Greek visual designer, has made a career out of his unique creations – for clients like IKEA, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, and many more. Over the past few years, he’s created a series of immensely popular Barack Obama portraits, contributing illustrations, posters, and graphics to his campaigns in 2008 and 2012. Go behind the scenes and discover the inspiration, and step-by-step process to creating these. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
The inspiration was Barack Obama himself. Obama as the person, the politician, the idea.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
The main idea behind all my Obama-related works is ‘Unity’. Obama consistently repeats himself with the phrase of “Out of many we are One”. Moreover, the relationship between the whole and its parts creates a fundamental base for all my work.

Once I have found the idea, I collect the various parts that are going to form the whole. I like to carefully select the right elements between many photos and graphics. I spend a lot of time carefully preparing all the small parts. Photographs have to be cropped, corrected and enhanced so they can express the specific meaning I want to emphasize. Typography has to be selected carefully. Verbal and visual content has to be in harmony. After that I select the portraits of Barack Obama that express what I want to say. Although I have bought various photos from different photographers, I still need to work on them. The most important aspect for me in a portrait is light. I want the person to be illuminated in a symbolic way.

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Behind the Project: Dream Sequence

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke to Madame Peripetie, whose work with fashion, sculpture, and the human body is inspired by everything from Dali to Hitchcock to 80′s post-punk.. In a newer work, “Dream Sequence” (soon to be published in a book!) see her signature aesthetic in these sculptural, truly unique pieces.

What was your inspiration for this project?
The project started in 2009 as a commission for one of the NY magazines and turned into a long-term project that I have been photographing infrequently ever since. It was inspired by the Salvador Dali dream scene from the Alfred Hitchcock’s film Spellbound and is closely connected to archetypal dreams (investigated very closely by Gustav Jung) that occur in a transitional period of one’s life and often leave you in a sense of awe and reverence, staying in your mind long after you experienced them. The main idea was to create unconventional characters that radiate the contemplative and poetic artificiality of Sugimoto’s wax sculptures, the hallucinogenic beauty of abstract surreal objects and incorporate physicality and intangibility at the same time. The hypnotic visual experience is being intensified by ephemeral flowers, hazy light and illuminated black background.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
It is a very analytical approach towards a very specific color palette and a strong composition involving both solid preparation – costume and model-wise – and experimental approach on set where the magic happens! It is a mixture of theatrical images that has been composed fully by myself and also in collaboration with a stylist Rolf Buck. The 2012-2013 part is being created together with a stylist Stella Gosteva and make up artist Marina Keri, who both understand my vision completely and implement the ideas with an immaculate precision and skill. It is difficult to say how exactly a character will appear and evolve – sometimes it is the garment I see somewhere that inspires me, sometimes the texture and shape of the flowers that capture my attention or an unusual model that is being transformed into a bizarre persona. In the end, the interaction of all elements constitutes a final result.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
The project fluctuates, the characters transform, the light set up differs from time to time and it is becoming more and more mosaic and complex to tell the same story with a surprising, bold twist. I find myself comparing the actual part with the older one – but it is pointless in a way because I see it as a perpetual creative process with heterogeneous evolutionary stages connected by the architecture of proportion and chromaticity.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?

The series is planned as a book and exhibition this year and i will take it from there and see if it can evolve into a video work.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?  (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc). 

You contacted me for this interview! Yes I have been receiving plenty of emails and messages, I shot a campaign and met several inspiring and very talented people. I had a pleasure to collaborate on the new set of dream sequence photographs with a fantastic team from BOO. design (Ana&Amy) that created beautiful paper pieces especially for this project.

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