Posts Tagged ‘Behind The Project’

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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Behind the Project: Epic Infographic of Sony Music’s Timeline

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 Alex Fowkes, a UK-based graphic designer who received a monumental brief: celebrate Sony Music’s 125 years by creating an giant infographic (containing the name of every artist who ever signed with Sony throughout their history) to go on Sony’s office walls. The result is incredible. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
The inspiration for this project was mostly the brief and the content itself – that drove a lot of how it needed to look and function. The layout of the type came down to me deciding that I wanted to deliver the content in columns, much like a newspaper. This was due to the vast amount of information that needed to be displayed and most of all understood.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
The project was 6 months from first meeting to the press releases going out. I pitched for the project with my ideas, and once I was chosen, the biggest part of the process was for filling my proposal. With only myself to set almost 1,000 of the music industries biggest names, there was a large mountain to climb. I spent over 2 months everyday setting names into the columns and drawing images for the bigger names artists. Once all the artwork was completed and signed off it was off to the printers to be made and then one long weekend to install. Read more →

Behind the Project: Day of the Dead

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 John Rees, a photographer in Austin, Texas about his photo project “Dia De Los Muertos” – named for the Mexican holiday that remembers deceased friends/family, marked by unique costumes. With a great inspiration behind the work, learn more about his process and execution of these striking shots.

What was your inspiration for this project?
The inspiration for this was – quite simply put – my mother.  After her unexpected death, I was creatively paralyzed for quiet awhile – but I did this work for the sake of doing something creative again, and in that way it is a tribute to the strong will and sprit of my mother…

I worked with a fabulous hair and make-up artist by the name of Brittany Troche, whom I also consider a dear friend, and collaborate with on projects from time to time.  We both share an interest in “Dia de los Meurtos” imagery and what it celebrates.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
It was all quite organic. I was in Salt Lake City doing client work, and both Brittany and the talent (the model Caitlyn) were available. It all came together quite naturally, which is what almost always happens when you surround yourself with such talented people. I’m fortunate to know so many generous, talented people.

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
I didn’t have any expectations about this body of work.  It was pure catharsis and I didn’t have any real intent beyond that.  Creating just to create again.  So, yes I’m surprised that it has received any attention at all.  Since I posted it on Behance, It has been published in Mexico in a publication called, Origama, I have had request for other uses as well.  It’s really nice that there is movement around work that is so personal to me.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
No – I shot them all in one day, We just kept mixing things up as we saw fit throughout the process, adding things and subtracting others as we saw fit.  It was purely an emotional response to how things worked or didn’t

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Behind the Project: Human Sculptures

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 Julien Palast, a photographer in Paris. His “SKINDEEP” offered a unique, eye-catching rendition of humans as sculptures. Take a deeper look into his process below.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I wanted to create instant bas-relief (a type of sculpture) with live bodies, like ephemeral sculptures of the human form. i got inspired by the scenes you can find in the front of churches or antique monuments.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I wanted to retain the sculptural form of the body without the personal identity of a model. I tried with body painting in the past, but it is a very long process that always needs a lot of on-stage and post-production retouching. So I was searching for a technique that would avoid all this. I started by experimenting with different materials and techniques. I did several trials before coming up with the right technique. it got improved during the photoshoots, and is still improving!

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
No, i wasn’t expecting it to be so popular, I was happy with the outcome but I was very happy to see that so many people appreciated it.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
I did a first version of the SkinDeep project in 2010, but the material was not the same and the outcome was more abstract, less accurate, which was nice too but I wanted to explore a different side for this second version. In between these two series, I tried out with several different materials and techniques before finding the one that I found more suitable.

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