Category: Typography

The 20 Minute Album Cover

August 16th, 2010 at 7:19 pm


I did the fake album cover above with this fun little challenging design exercise:

Screen shot 2010-08-16 at 6.44.01 PM

1) Band Name

Go to wikipedia and hit the random link. The title of the first article you get is your band name.

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2) Album Name

Go to Random Quotations and select the last 3 to 5 words of the last quote.(i linked to a different random quotes site, the other one i used sucked at randomization)

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3) Photo

Go to Flickr and Explore The Last Seven Days. Pick the third photo, if it’s just completely lame or unusable, grab the second or fourth. If Flickr won’t let you save the photo, take a screen shot.

Screen shot 2010-08-16 at 7.06.18 PM

4) Typeface

I’d say this is a typographic design exercise more than anything, finding the right typeface and treatment to go along with the name and photo is where your design sense comes in. In this instance i decided to go with the lovely fashionable Didot, designed by Adrian Frutiger.


5) Texturing / Coloring / Vignetting

This step is optional, but i think it adds a nice touch to color correct or colorize your photo (Photoshop’s Hue & Saturation and Levels), add some vignetting, or play with texturizing. In mine i added some vignetting to make the text more legible, and the photo less flat. I also used the above texture from Lost & Taken in the overlay blend mode.

This one took me about 20 minutes. Time yourself and see how long it takes you to do something you’re happy with.

L’ outsider

May 12th, 2010 at 6:47 pm







L’outsider is a street artist from france. I don’t know a whole lot about him beyond his work. But what he does resonates with me deeply. He has taken the effected piecing style graffiti, and meshed it with a very Herb Lubalin typography. Looking through his sketchbooks you’ll fine he’s an extremely creative individual with his type, using negative space really well. His abstract art is also well crafted and fun to look at.

Them frenchies keep killin’ it!!

One thing about graffiti i find interesting, is it’s basically a career created out of a calligraphic / typographic study of one word, spanning over years and years. Funny to think about, considering all the different words designers set and manipulate through their career.

Spring Cleaning

March 30th, 2010 at 2:49 am


So i was doing a little spring cleaning on my computer this evening and I found this little poster i did back at my old agency. It was a belated secret santa gift for my good friend, and office manager, Brian Kerr. This last christmas i made an exodus to arizona and totally ditched the office festivities, and soon after my return, i was showered in well deserving guilt. Thankfully i was able to mend the friendship with a little extra time at work, i don’t think i’d be able to endure the holidays every year with the secret santa shame.

Brian also runs a great indie music label called Two Syllable Records, i recommend checking them out. They’ve got some great bands like New Villager on their roster.

Vintage Foundry & Print Shops

March 26th, 2010 at 2:09 am







Found these gorgeous old promotional materials for some ancient type foundries and print shops. They are so detailed and ornate, to think it was all hand made back then is amazing! The designers back then did have some analog assistance though, the machine illustrated in the last image is a curving machine, used to make brass rules to get those perfect curves, and this was before Si Scott!

Also, the H. Berthold card is legendary! The foundry established by Hermann Berthold in Berlin. Responsable for Helvetica’s forefather, Akzidenz-Grotesk. They were also responsable for reviving such heavy weights (and i don’t mean bold / oblique ) as Garamond, Caslon, Baskerville, and Bodoni.

Found via:

Still Kickin’

March 15th, 2010 at 3:51 pm



I know this blog has been super quiet lately, but it certainly hasn’t been out of laziness. I’ve been ultra busy with my new position at the almighty R/GA in NYC (responsible for the genius Nike + campaign). I’ve been hired to work on their Nike account, which has been very fun. Tons of great talent here, very inspiring, i’m going to make some posts introducing some of the talent soon. A few of the designers I work with here have been contributing to Typcut, which has been on fire lately, the pieces above I did recently.

From Toy To King

January 5th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Picture 4

Picture 3

From Toy to King from kreisone on Vimeo.

Really well put together typographic animation about how to become a writer. What is also nice is that each letter is hand drawn and then vectorized.

Mario Hugo Updates

March 26th, 2009 at 12:39 pm


Mario Hugo, one of my favorite artist / designers, has just updated his portfolio with some great work. I’ve been following this gent for a while, and he’s always made me spring towards my paper & pencil or wacom & mac, i know i’m not alone on this either, Christopher from Change The Thought would definitely agree.

I love trees and anything organic, this Decemberists sleeve is really singing to me. If you’re in NYC today, you might check out his lecture for AIGA

Grid Systems

March 19th, 2009 at 1:48 pm



The Grid System, the ground rules for typography and layout. Josef Muller Brockmann, the swiss designer who heavily advocated use of the grid with that lovely orange book above, Grid Systems in Graphic Design, has become synonymous with this set of design guidelines. When i went to school for design, the majority of my studies were based in learning software, thanks to these great resources i’m sharing, i’ve been able to educate myself with these universal processes of design, something i feel is seriously lacking in my generation of designers due to the technology we use today.

I also just discovered this rich online resource for grids, The Grid System, it’s a great compilation of articles, tools, books, and templates.

Modernly Guilty.

September 16th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Above are some amazing album cover concepts for Beck’s latest album, Modern Guilt, which i ran into the other day on Mario Hugo‘s website. I, was blown away at how great these are (love the wood block typography!), and i was also even more blown away they used what is shown below instead:

When i first saw the cover i immediately had a slightly negative reaction. Not that it’s horrible design, but it seems like they decided to go with that “cheap” look you find on a lot of all jazz and rock records from the 60′s and 70′s, which can be cool, but i don’t feel it stands up to Mario’s work.

This comes as a surprise after reading in Wired some time ago about how Beck was into creating memorable, unique artwork for his previous release, The Information.

As for the album, it didn’t quite grab me as much as The Information, but it’s still quality Beck, i enjoyed it. Was i influenced a bit by the art work? I’m sure, i think the art certainly has a part in the gestalt of an album, the first thing that hits your senses before you even listen to the music…..branding???

Random Type Inspiration

September 16th, 2008 at 12:02 am

Was getting lost on ffffound as usual, and wanted to share this typography. Didn’t bother to check who did the second image, but the first image file was named Alex T, so i’m assuming it’s Alex Trochut, looks like his work.