design projects

Find the outline, things will tell you their name.

Finally I can show you some stuff my Arn has been working on these past few weeks.

SonyBMG 2-in-1 Series

These four albums from SonyBMG are just the first batch of a series of 2-in-1 cds that feature the music of 90s bands like Yano, Sugar Hiccup, Sandwich and Color it Red. Don’t mistake them for greatest hits collections though – they’re actually a repackaging of two original albums per artist1 that came out in the last decade. So buying one cd will actually give you two albums for the price of one2, neat-o!

When we first learned that it was gonna be a series, we decided to lay it out similarly to the Eraserheads Anthology album so that they can be sold all together as a box set in the future. So now the challenge for Arn was how to make them all look similar yet different – like in Anthology, each illustration should also convey each band’s style and personality.

Arn did a pretty swell job, don’t you think? The illustrations are fab3 and he just kept amazing me everytime he whipped out a new drawing.

The cds go for P285 each, and please stay tuned because there are six more coming.

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As for me I’m still busy with the upcoming issues4 of WE but I’ll try to squeeze in a blog entry here and there as much as I can 😉

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Again, don’t forget to visit Blow-Up Babies at the Gateway Mall! And because we’re talking about 90s bands this week, here’s a bit of trivia:

Veda and Atari

These two pretty little girls are the daughters of two members of a now-defunct but still very popular 90s band5. Can you guess what band it is and which members they are?

Photos courtesy of Blow-up Babies!

  1. I had just told some friends that it seems so cosmic that Arn is doing the repackaging of some of the albums I originally designed – for instance, the 2-in-1 Sandwich album contains “Grip Stand Throw” and “4-Track Mind“, both of which I did the original inlays for.[ back]
  2. and buying 4 will get you 8![ back]
  3. I wish I could post larger images but piracy, music and design-wise, has become quite rampant lately.[ back]
  4. Yes, issues, in plural form, you read that right. Please wait and see.[ back]
  5. Super obvious clue: Their rockstar daddies are bandmates in “Cambio”[ back]
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Today’s the day that all the world will see.

Guess what, this blog is turning 5 years old by the end of the month! To mark this milestone (well it is for me, anyway), I’ve decided to turn the substance factor up a notch and post more graphic design-related entries*. And by that I don’t mean sitting idly and blogging about pretty things like I usually do so I’ve decided to make a new category called “What’s the Story Morning Glory” because believe it or not I was once an Oasis fan I want to give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the design process of certain projects I’ve handled**. A lot of the time, people perceive design as just that – eye candy. What they don’t know is that every work of art has a “story” behind it and with this project, I hope to communicate that most artists don’t just throw paint on canvas for no reason. Hopefully it also helps students who ar looking at being in the design biz someday.
*After all, that’s what I do 95%* of the time when I’m in front of the computer . The other 5% is spent surfing favorite sites, downloading music, answering email and playing Snood. **By the way, this is also the concept of the presentation I suggested to Liga that we do for last month’s MBD where I presented the story behind my design for UltraelectromagneticJam.

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I originally intended my first WTSMG entry to feature the evolution of the design for my web portfolio but unfortunately (or fortunately, hah!) I didn’t keep screen grabs of what past incarnations looked like. You can satisfy your curiosity via The Wayback Machine but the earliest record that they have of my site is dated November 1999 and they didn’t keep earlier records of my circa 1997 Geocities and 1998 Tripod sites. Oh well..

BUB site index

So instead, I’ll just talk about the design for the spanking new Blow-Up Babies site.

1. Background: My good friend Quark called me up to say that they had a new shop opening in Gateway and that they needed a website for it. I was neck deep in work for WE but how can I say no to my kuya twin? 😉 And besides, what’s not to like about the project? It’s a recipe for everything I like: Unique product concept, check; Art and design-appreciative client, check; … Who also happens to be people I like, check.

2. Briefing: So k.t. Quark and Lia showed me the existing designs of their logo, membership card, passport and flyers which I honestly found very hip.

3. Development of Studies: I then developed a couple of studies that mimicked the look of their existing materials. I wanted the site to (1) showcase the kind of photos they took, and (2) communicate the rawness/freshness of the overall concept so I took inspiration from the look of Lomo photography:

BUB - initial studies
4. They got back to me and said that yes, they’re nice but that the site design doesn’t have to follow the look of their existing materials. Kuya twin’s exact words – “Go wild, we want ‘Cynthia’ to shine through”. That encouraged me a lot to go all out and come up with something different yet familiar. So I developed this, which all of them liked:

BUB - second study

Ok, I realized that it was kinda wild, was not reader-friendly at all and gasp, will take a whole lot of time to execute so I fixed it.
5. Finalization: And here’s the cleaner version.

BUB study 2 - clean

The text was written by Quark and the first line “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” reminded me of a Dr. Seuss book and since the site would feature photos of kids mostly, I thought, why not lay it out like a storybook? I wanted to retain the raw quality so I chose handwritten type and playful frames. I also learned a bit of Flash to showcase the beautiful photos without compromising space in the layout. The little retro royalty-free drawings accompanying the text adds a friendly touch and, I thought, also injected the kind of wit and humor the shops owners have.

And that eventually evolved to the one you’ll see here.

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So please, please go visit Blow-up Babies at the Cinema Level of Gateway Mall. I told you a little about it in my previous entry, but I forgot to mention that they also take pictures of grown-ups! (Yup, blown-up grown-ups teehee). They have really creative layouts and a selection of uber-cool props so if your barkada wants a one-of-a kind group photo, or hey if you’re getting married anytime soon and don’t want the run-of-the-mill sunset-backed prenup photo, do drop by and see what you’ll end up with!

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More Andong, more projects…

AA

Please please please buy my Arn‘s book Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat: now available at Comic Quest (Megamall, SM City North Edsa) and by now it should already be at National Book Store, Powerbooks, Fully Booked and Filbars. Less than a week after it’s release, we were excited to have found exhaustive online reviews here, here, and here, and a few plugs and mentions by friends and colleagues. Thanks so much guys 🙂

AA
1) Arn with Angel Ace/KIA/Kunoichi Boy creator Marco Dimaano; 2) and with the Nautilus/Cast Comics boys Elbert Or and Jamie Bautista.

Andong Agimat is published by our very own Tala Comics, and is distributed by the nice folks at Nautilus.

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Gerry's Elmer
Gerry’s Elmer. On the right is the fan art that Arn submitted.

What an exciting time it is for Pinoy-made comics! Our friend Gerry Alanguilan is releasing his self-published Elmer this April:

ELMER is a window into an alternate Earth where chickens have suddenly acquired the intelligence and consciousness of humans, where they consider themselves a race no different than whites, browns or blacks, and push to recognize rights for themselves as the newest members of the human race.

Gerry told us some of his ideas the last time he and Arn met for a yet-to-see-fruition project and turned us into instant fans of his chicken stories. Check out the teaser pages.

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AA
First it was Shei, now Tips has a journal too, yay! In pic: Tips and hubby Ito Ocampo.

Calling all girly-girls, fashion-watchers and brides-to-be out there – my good friend Tippi Ocampo now has a journal! Tune in regularly for fashion advice and creative inspiration. Don’t forget to watch out for her Summer 2006 Collection (resort wear with more than a few twists – and tucks and flounces) at Fashion Week – more details here.

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Aside from our almost-everyday shoots for the next issue of Wedding Essentials, the design and development of these websites have been keeping me busy. Hope you can support both businesses 🙂

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A week ago, I was supposed to formally present our graphic design group Liga Grafica along with our founder (and my good friend) Lizza and our mentor (my former teacher too!) Robert to the design community at the re-scheduled Murder by Design conference at 70’s Bistro. The three of us prepared a video presentation of the creative process behind three projects each of us worked on – the Hit Productions website for Lizza, the Alabang Town Center for Robert, and UltralectromagneticJam for yours truly – which turned out to be good idea because when the event had to be rescheduled, Robert and I couldn’t attend because of previous engagements we couldn’t back out of. Hurray for Lizza who ended up showing the video and representing us by herself – some pictures of the Liga presentation are here.

If you’re interested in joining Liga Grafica, please send me a note using the form at the bottom of this page. 🙂

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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino watercolor artist & graphic designer. I live in QC with my graphic novelist husband Arnold and our friendly marmalade tabby Abbas. This blog has been chronicling my life, likes, and loves since 2001. [ more ]

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