Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Power of the Sketch

November 16th, 2009

wanken shelby white sketch

wanken shelby white sketch

wanken shelby white sketch

The sketches above are a few of many pulled from two recent projects of mine. Just over a year ago, sketching concepts was one of my least favorite things to do. It seemed less time consuming to go straight to the computer to try and bring my concept to life. The truth was though, that it took two or three times longer to come up with my concepts than it would have taken to sketch by hand.

The reason it’s faster to sketch is because we can think faster from our brain to pencil than from our brain to computer. In a sense we can compare it to talking. An example would be that we use our voice to communicate; it’s far more effective than communicating digitally and there is little room for misunderstanding. This is my point exactly. Talking is natural and sketching is close to natural (the cavemen did it). When trying to use the computer to hash out our ideas, there seems to be a physical communication barrier that, no matter how good you are with computers, stunts your creative drive.

Being able to provide two or three-minute sketches to clients or the design firm you work for is a valuable asset, but only if you understand the principles of proportion, spacing (type), and ingenuity. In the sketches above, you can tell which ones were the 2-3 minute, 10 second, and 45-minute sketches. The 2-3 minute sketches are the ones you should focus on. The 10 second sketches don’t have the direction they need and the longer, 45-minute sketches are too timely (unless you’re creating an art piece). The 2-3 minute sketches help myself or my client envision the evolution of the project in the design phase. If I were to immediately show my client refined sketch, it may give them the impression that this is the final product. It’s also a safeguard to make sure you don’t spend too much time on an idea that may not be the best solution.

It’s funny sometimes what areas of a project get sketched the most. For example, the HH Annual Report project had more sketches about binding the book, than the design itself. Some of my other projects–a project for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington–started with word lists instead of sketches and eventually moved on to sketches of the photo-driven concepts.

Sketching has helped me spend less time staring endlessly at my monitor so I can spend more time making progress on my personal projects. Since I feel pretty strongly about the power of sketching, I’m curious to know what your thoughts on it. What is the balance between pencil and pixel in your work? Share with us.

NR2154: Stamp Design for Post Danmark

November 5th, 2009

NR2154 is an amazing multidisciplinary design studio established by Jacob Wildschiødtz and Troels Faber. This series of stamps mark the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. It’s a shame that there isn’t more of a write-up for these pieces, but I believe its fair to say that this design speaks for itself. Also, I would have to say I’m a huge sucker for the Danish style, especially that of NR2154’s.

Expo Designspiration + Raoul Ortega

November 4th, 2009

The Seattle World Fairs and Century Expositions have been inspirations to me in the past, so when seeing this nicely done poster from Raoul Ortega, I couldn’t help but stop and read his post. Raoul’s use of the central ‘EXPO’ mark make this poster work very well.

See more pictures and his post here.

Felix Wiedler’s Book Cover Collection

October 19th, 2009








Some great book covers from Felix Wiedler’s book cover collection. These are a mix of different types–some Swiss and some German. I simply love the uncomplicated design and use of color in each of these pieces. My favorite would have to be the “DIE TRAUM FABRIK” cover. The combination of metallic ink and diecut cover is gorgeous.

Check out the 17 pages of books and their history indexed at the website.

Selfridges A to Z by Wieden + Kennedy

October 16th, 2009

Selfridges & Co. is a chain of high end department stores in the United Kingdom. Selfridges commissioned Wieden + Kennedy to create an A to Z of products of the future to fill its windows. One letter however, was left blank–X. Selfridges’ shoppers were asked to submit their own ideas for a product that might prove essential come the year 2109 and beginning with the letter X. A model of the winning idea would be displayed in the London store’s windows, alongside W+K’s efforts for the other letters, which are supposed to represent “essential objects that may become commodities in the future”. Read more at Creative Review.

Exclusive Process: Dave Danioth + A Mothers Promise

October 12th, 2009

Dave Danioth is an instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle and is one of the very best. He is an extraordinary artist, particularly with his hand-design skills and airbrushing. His conceptual thinking ability is also extraordinary. His Second Book, A Mother’s Promise, written by Lisa Humphrey and released in 2004 shows a very clever concept–something I had never seen before. The book was a finalist for best children’s picture book by USA Book News.

When flipping through the book after Dave’s explanation of his concept, it was apparent that I needed to get the exclusive process posted here on the WANKEN Blog for you. From here down the process is being explained in Dave’s original words.

From the Record Factory Part II: Tonpress Designspiration

October 8th, 2009

I can’t seem to get enough of polish design. Last night was lost to my desire to sift through hundreds of archived record sleeves and album covers in search for great polish record sleeves. After nearly three hours I had found nearly 30 good covers. I’ve narrowed it down to the following records, all on the 1980 polish Tonpress label.

Check out part I of this post for more covers.

FRAME BY FRAME: The Helly Hansen Annual Report

September 23rd, 2009

Wanken Shelby White Designographer
Note: This project was completed as a class assignment at the Art Institute of Seattle. This was not done directly for Helly Hansen (though it would be very rad if HH took a liking to it). I hope that in some way the sharing of my process may be of inspiration to you.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been showing sneak peeks of projects that I’m working on via Twit-pics and now its here. If you’re just tuning into the blog, you can follow on twitter to see things that don’t make the blog.

The Objective

Before diving into the process, let me define the project. The goal of the project was to choose an existing company and create a minimum of 28 pages, bound, and at least 6 x 7″ or larger publication. The publication was to be an annual report about the company; presenting who they were in the industry and their financial success. The financial section of the project was required to have at least 6 to 7 pages of tabled financial data.

The company I chose was Helly Hansen and there were several reasons why. Every project that I do for an assignment (if I have the opportunity to choose), I like to choose companies that are easy to work with based on their branding. I also like to consider what options I have when working with their logo as well as the photography of the project.

Wanken Shelby White Designographer

Art & Copy Trailer

August 21st, 2009

YouTube Preview ImageAlongside Objectified, the design documentary film by Gary Hustwit, comes Art & Copy, a film about advertising directed by Doug Pray. Judging by the trailer, it looks to be a very interesting film and can’t wait to see it later this month.


“Art & Copy is a powerful new film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray (Surfwise, Scratch, Wise!), it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time — people who’ve profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry. Exploding forth from advertising’s “creative revolution” of the 1960s, these artists and writers all brought a surprisingly rebellious spirit to their work in a business more often associated with mediocrity or manipulation: George Lois, Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney and others featured in Art & Copy were responsible for “Just Do It,” “I Love NY,” “Where’s the Beef?,” “Got Milk,” “Think Different,” and brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents. They managed to grab the attention of millions and truly move them. Visually interwoven with their stories, TV satellites are launched, billboards are erected, and the social and cultural impact of their ads are brought to light in this dynamic exploration of art, commerce, and human emotion.”

Hit the jump for the Seattle screening times.

Seattle Times
– Friday, Aug 21 at 07:00PM
– Friday, Aug 21 at 09:00PM
– Saturday, Aug 22 at 07:00PM
– Saturday, Aug 22 at 09:00PM
– Sunday, Aug 23 at 07:00PM
– Sunday, Aug 23 at 09:00PM
– Monday, Aug 24 at 07:00PM
– Monday, Aug 24 at 09:00PM
– Tuesday, Aug 25 at 07:00PM
– Tuesday, Aug 25 at 09:00PM
– Thursday, Aug 27 at 07:00PM
– Thursday, Aug 27 at 09:00PM

Experimental Jetset Designspiration

August 19th, 2009

Wow, such great designspiration this morning from Experimental Jetset. Check out more of their great work on their website.

Canon’s Balsa Wood 1d Mock-Up Tutorial

August 5th, 2009

So you’ve always wanted to make a camera out of balsa wood, I mean who hasn’t. Here is Canon’s step-by-step tutorial on how to make your favorite Canon camera out of wood. They even use these mock-ups for some of their lens designs. Check out more interesting articles at the online Canon Museum.


Font or Typeface?

August 1st, 2009

font or typeface by wanken
Last week over at the ISO50 blog, Alex Cornell wrote a great post about narrowing your font list down to bare necessities. I myself am guilty of installing nonsensical fonts and I am in the process of cleaning out my font book. I bring this up because towards the end of the post Alex mentions the use of “font” and “typeface” interchangeably.

I believe that one of the biggest issues in talking with other designers is being able to speak the same language. Through time we’ve pushed around these two terms so loosely that I would say, the majority of young to middle-aged designers probably can’t tell the difference.

Hit the jump to read the differences.


Select page:
The end