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Illustrative and Surreal Work of Takeshi

Emeric Trahand also known as Takeshi is a New York based art director and artist from Saint Etienne, France. Emeric's illustrative work is renowned for its surreal feel, the quality of its photomontages as well as the light treatments and colourful compositions. We also have already feature one of his works for our Wallpaper of the Week. Although Emeric has had a rather short career, beginning as a freelance illustrator in 2006 in France, he has already been commissioned by a diverse array of major international clients: Ubi Soft, Emi Music, TBWA Helsinki, Adidas, Cacharel, Grimbergen, Toyota, Swatch, Chase Bank, Bank of America, ASICS, Subway, Aquafresh, Lays, Radio Shack, Spike TV, VH1, Asher Roth, the Cool Kids, Cuervo, GrandPrix de Montreal, English National Opera, Société Générale, Maaf Insurance, Groupama Insurance, Ventury Paris, Cacharel, and Sony BMG. Decembre Cream Pigeon Promotion material for the band G-SHOCK vs Takeshi Blind - Depthcore Cita NOIR For more information about Emeric, visit his Web site at http://cargocollective.com/stillontherun

The Greatest Brandversations

This is a project created by Stefan Asafti, a designer from Romania and it's a project is about brands - the great brands of the modern world - which have build quite a history for themselves as the years went by. The branderversations is the creation of each logo using their rival logo. What? I know, check out the post and you will understand and appreciate it better. There have always existed disputes among the competing parties, divergent opinions, while the fans of each brand were convinced that theirs was the best product. Last, but not least, the rivals have even conducted ad campaigns against the competing brands. This project mostly approaches the visual "conversations" between the company logos and the ways that they influence each other, hence the name of the project, Brandversations. It is a parallel between the modern and the old, some of the slogans dating back to the 40s and 50s. I have switched the slogans of the brands amongst themselves, the goal of this being to give them further meaning and to create a sort of a confusion. It is surprising how logos can influence other logos. The truth is that each pair of rivals has something in common, that something which has helped them to build one identity upon the other, this way becoming the biggest brands. Completing this project has taken a lot of time and a lot of patience on my part. Each little bit of the final image has been moved and resized manually in order to maintain a correct and balanced composition and layout of the elements. For more from Stefan Asafti, go to behance.net/stefanasafti Pepsi vs Coca Cola Apple vs Microsoft McDonald's vs Burger King Nikon vs Canon Firefox vs Internet Explorer

Corporate and Brand Identity: Taiama by Roger Oddone

Corporate and brand identity is much more than just graphics, it's all about the strategy and image a company wants to express to their audience. Creating this type of work requires knowledge on an array of design subjects including, color theory, typography, form and materials. For this post I would like to feature the work of a great friend of mine, Roger Oddone. It's the brand identity for a business called Taiama. Roger says that Taiama is the name of a bird that flies low over the water surface with the lower part of the beak skimming the water foraging for fish. The shapes and colors of the bird served as inspiration for the stylized symbol of Taiama. The typeface was based on circular forms that follow the same visual language of the symbol. About Roger Oddone Roger is a branding and graphic design based in San Francisco, California. He is Senior Graphic Designer at Google in Mountain View. His work has been featured in magazines around the world and also he is one of the top Behance users in Branding. For more information about Roger visit his Web site at http://www.rogeroddone.com.br/

New work by Pete Harrison

Pete Harrison aka Aeiko is a digital artist and designer from the UK and also a member of the Depthcore crew. He sent us an email early last week informing us of the latest updates to his portfolio, of which we were happy to feature here. Some artists create with pens, others a paint brush, and today many more with a computer, but I am the only artist that renders my images with the deadly, but dazzling coloured illumination of my Jedi light-saber. Each stroke I summon by the strength of the force smears beautiful streaks of light across my canvas, until the end result is a frame filled with flashes and flares that burst from the depths of a deep black galaxy. Check out more from Pete over at his site.

Justin Maller Updated Work

Justin Maller was the first designer/digital artist we had the chance to interview on Abduzeedo, it was back in 2007. After these 4 years are even more fans of his work and everything he has done also running Depthcore. That's why everytime he updates his portfolio we feature some of his new artworks. For more information about Justin Maller visit his Web site at http://justinmaller.com/

Introducing John Mark Herskind

He's a young 18 years old freelance graphic artist from Columbia, South Carolina. He's also a staff member at SlashTHREE, as well as an artist at Intrinsic Nature. On top of that he's the founder and creative director of Designers Against Child Slavery (also known as DACS), a non-profit art group aimed at using art and design to restore the lives of women and children victimized by the commercial sex trade. What's common for creativity is that it comes from inspiration. Inspiration found in the world we live in, and the people we live with. Its found when we share with them, building on what's given from the diversity of peoples thoughts, and perspectives. So try and drop the assumptions that you know how to do things, and already know the solution. Stray away from the direct path. Take risks. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.John Mark Herskind You can check his work on Johnmarkherskind.com , follow his work on Behance.net or follow him on Twitter @jmherskind . You can also check his previous feature on Abduzeedo about the Designers Against Child Slavery Abduzeedo.com/DacsUnited2011.

The Work of Diftype/Niklas Lundberg

Today's featured artist is the swedish graphic designer & illustrator Niklas Lundberg. Since 2006 he works under his alter ego Diftype. Where to find him on the web http://www.diftype.com/ - website & portfolio http://source.diftype.com/ - blog

Abduzeedo Book: Story and Giveaway

In 2006 Fabio started Abduzeedo with the idea of backing up his files in the cloud after an ugly robbery where all his equipment, and work, were stolen. He never thought it would grow or expand from the online world. Luckily his predictions were wrong. Now after almost five years we are entering in the realms of the printing world with the releasing of our first book, the Abduzeedo Inspiration Guide for Designers. The idea of publishing a book goes back a few years...I mean, who hasn't had that idea? But the dream started to come true in a raining evening in San Francisco where I was invited to attend a cocktail. It was at that cocktail that I met Rebecca Gulick from PeachPit (who would later become my editor). I shared my book idea with her and she really liked it. The book includes interviews with Cris Vector, Chuck Anderson, Erik Johansson, Justin Maller, James White, Karl Kawnsy, and Nik Ainley and features work by Adrian Romero , Aiven (Yvan Feusi), Alex Varanese, Alexander Lataille , Anako, Ari Weinkle, Benjamin Low, Carlos Lerma, Diego L Rodriguez , EL Nombre, Ed Lopez, Erik Schumacher , Evan Bohringer , Felix Ajenjo, Floris Hermsen , Gaetan Weltzer , Genaro DeSia Coppola, Guilherme Marconi, Horacio Lorente, Jeff Huang, Karan Singh, Mart Biemans , Michaelo, Neil Hanvey, Nicolas Monin-Baroille, Olli-Pekka Jauhiainen, Perttu Murto, Pete Harrison (AEIKO), Przemek Nawrocki, Rob Shields , Sergei Vlasov, Simon Duhamel, Sorin Bechira, and Ollipekka Lauhiainen. Brazilian designer Fábio Sasso, who has wildly popular design blog Abduzeedo, has created the definitive guide to design. This book features interviews with designers and offers tutorials on various design styles, an extension of what he does with his site abduzeedo.com. Each chapter addresses a particular style, e.g., Vintage, Neo-surrealism, Retro 80s, Light Effects, Collage, Vector, and starts off with an explanation about the style and techniques that go into that style. Next, the Abduzeedo Design Guide shows images from different visual artists illustrating each style. Fábio interviews a master of each style, such as, in the case of 80s, James White. Then he wraps up the chapter with a tutorial showing the elements and techniques for creating that style in Photoshop. Meant for beginning to intermediate designers as well as more experienced designers looking for inspiration, the book focuses on styles that can be applied both to web or print. We'd like to give a big thanks to everyone who helped make this dream a solid reality: the crew over at PeachPit, the Abduzeedo team for setting aside time and dedication to both the blog and the book, and finally you guys, the readers, without all your support throughout these almost five years none of this would have even been an option. Thank you. Giveaway Rules Here comes the good part! We're giving away a copy of the Abduzeedo Book to two lucky winners! All you have to do to participate is leave a comment on this post mentioning ideas you may have for the next book or things you'd like to see in it, and tweet about the giveaway. We'll announce the winners here next week so don't forget to check back. Good luck!The book is also available to buy on Barnes & Noble and Amazon for you impatient few ;)

Interview with Graphic Designer Strange Program

Today I would like to share with you an interview I've done with designer StrangeProgram, an artist with an extensive gallery on deviantART that shows a colorful and interesting style. Check out the interview! 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? Hi, no problem! I started doing art because my mom did a lot of art. She was constantly doing either watercolor painting, or sketching, or anything, really. So early on in my life, my greatest artistic inspiration was her. As time went on I began to explore interests in graphics design, particularly forum board signatures, and began trying to make them. I constantly wanted to expand my technique and eventually I shifted to larger canvas sizes to improve the potential I could do with the work. I think what made me do it at first was just the excitement of learning new techniques and expanding on styles. 2 How did you come up with your style, what made you explore more this style and what in your opinion is the main characteristic of it? Well, I really wanted to create a style where the true stars of the show were the colors, the textures, and the contrasts. To create something pleasing to the eye using these utilities as your main device is a lot of fun! So eventually I started coming up with more and more ways that I could use them to my adventure to sync with my techniques. As time has gone on, I've been able to develop more interesting techiques to apply. I like expressing myself using the color, the texture, and the contrasts - it isn't so obvious that it is my emotion expression, but that is a good thing to me. I think the main characteristic to my work is how comfortable I am with expressing myself using it - It always flows so naturally with how I feel and what I am thinking. 3. How's your workflow for your projects? How would you break down your workflow in steps? As my mom has been doing artwork for her entire life she's always stressed the importance of defining your values with your darks and lights and balancing them in the piece of artwork. I always try to begin with some brainstorming, trying to get some idea of where the light source is going to be, what the values are going to be and how I am going to distribute the light shades and dark shades evenly in the piece, and where the negative space is going to go and how I am going to use it. I'll come up with a basic idea of what and then slowly work my way up, distributing detailing evenly. I like to decide where the real impactful stuff is going to be early on, and plan what I'm going to do to separate this piece from the last. I always begin with which colors I am going to use in mind. I would say that my main resource for planning is my imagination. I try my best to visualize what is going to happen. 4. What's the importance of the computer in the creative process? Really the greatest advantage of the digital age for the artist to me is just the sheer amount of directions that you can go with it, and how much different things you can work with to create one piece. The ability to illustrate in one program, 3D model in another, and paint in another and then put it all together really is a phenomenal combination of different techniques that the artist has chosen to apply into the completion of one single project. The capability that an artist has to utilize all these different programs and all the different tools available in them is limitless. 5. Apart from the profits, what type of satisfaction do you get from your work? And how much this matter in your life? The satisfaction of expression is one thing. It is my favorite way to communicate, without ever having to tell anybody anything. It feels like a release sometimes. In a less abstract way it also just keeps me interested and gives me something to pay attention to. There is a lot of enjoyment to be had completing something and being proud of it. The way it helps me express myself is important to my life - it's a craft that I have come to build up and enjoy working with. 6. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Google.com - This is probably the most important and took for granted. For research, just looking at pictures of things (Not using them!), or researching something that has to do with the work that I am doing. Having a search engine available is also a great advantage of the computer in the creative process. Deviantart.com - There are a lot of resources here, in the resource and stock images part of the website. It is also where I upload a lot of my artwork. Also a great way to keep track of other artists whos work I enjoy. sxc.hu - Free stock image site. A lot of good stock photos here. Depthcore.com - Essentially an inspiration portal for me - a lot of very inspiring and talented artists who release artworks on a regular basis together as a collective. Kular.adobe.com - I was a little hard pressed to think of another one, but even though I don't use this website very often, I have used it before and it is no doubt very useful for coming up with combinations of colors that work well together in design. 7. Advice for those who are starting out their career. What kind of references are important for those who want to work with this kind of style? The best advice I can probably give is to really get comfortable with your tools. Get comfortable with the tools in all the programs you use. You can do this through tutorials, or, you can do like I did, where I essentially just always kept trying to use a new tool with every new project I made. Sometimes the results aren't in your favor, but once you come to learn and master a lot of the tools in the programs you use that'll be your greatest asset in really developing a comfortable relationship with the work you do. I use a lot of geometric references and have been trying to introduce some perspective based techniques into my work, so I guess the best starting point for someone trying to work with a style like mine is to try to come to some technical foundation that you can apply your creativity to. Where to find this artist http://strangeprogram.deviantart.com/ More work of this artist

Stop the Violence Collab

I find quite delightful when collaboration takes place amongst designers. The power of creativity gets multiplied and the possibility of something awesome being born is just too great to handle. When photographer Francois Robert's pics met Rick Valicenti from 3st, a design collab, it was just inevitable for this book to be conceived. Francois came up with a alphabet made solely out of bones for the photography exhibition "Stop the violence" and Rick did an awesome job designing the book and also producing a 60 sec video to promote it. It is pretty impressive and outstanding. Nicely done, guys. For more information on this, you may visit 3st's website (also check out their other sets of works). I hope you enjoy these! Cheers, and stop the violence. ;) Stop the Violence from thirst / a design collaborative on Vimeo.

David Mascha's New Work

David Mascha has updated his portfolio with some new work and of course his new pieces deserve a feature here on Abduzeedo. For those who don't know David, he is a Vienna based designer and illustrator. Since 2005, he has been working for several design studios in Vienna as well as developing projects for international clients, fashion and design labels, magazines and books. For more information about David, visit his website at http://davidmascha.com. Also there is a great interview that David did for the DEPTHCORE collective, check it out. TypeTreatments 2011 AT&T IBM Systems

12 Paradoxes of Graphic Design

These 12 graphic design paradoxes were designed and written by Tobias Bergdahl and it's great advice for young graphic designers out there. Each piece has it's own paradox followed by an important message. Check it out! For more from Tobias Bergdahl visit www.tobiasbergdahl.com Which Paradox did you like the most?

Great Album Cover Designs

We often feature lots of album covers here at Abduzeedo, but that happens for a reason: we're all music lovers, and as designers, it's pretty natural to mix these ingredients together here. So I went looking for more great album cover designs and found some classic ones, and also some that I had never seen before. Here are my picks, and I would like to know what are the album cover designs that you like the most and don't forget to drop the link. We'd love to see them. I hope you enjoy these. Cheers! ;) Meat Loaf - Bat out of Hell III Rise Against - The Sufferer & the Witness Pink Floyd - The Wall Foo Fighters - In Your Honor Keane - Under the Iron Sea Green Day - Dookie The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon She & Him - Volume Two Muse - Absolution Sonic Youth - Goo Pink Floyd - The Division Bell Michael Jackson - Dangerous Land Of Talk - Cloak And Cipher Architecture in Helsinki - Places Like This Dinosaur Jr. - Farm

Awesome Typography Works by Andre Beato

I came across André's work because of the Daily Inspiration and was really stunned about his typographic work. I really dig the concept and the choice of his colour palettes in his works. André Beato is a Portuguese Graphic Designer & Illustrator currently based in London. His work is mostly vector based graphics, illustrations, corporate identities and typefaces. You can found more about him on his website.

Interview with Manipulator Alexander Lataille

I featured Alex a while ago here on Abduzeedo; since then, he has improved quite impressively. He’s got a couple of new artworks that are surreal and intriguing. I sat down with him for a quick chat about everything he’s been up to. Alex, tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to get involved with graphic manipulations. I am 21 years old and attending Bryant, a business school, in New England on the East Coast of the United States. I started becoming interested with digital art on a text-gaming site in the spring of 2005. Creating simple avatars was my focus; some members would make their own in Adobe Photoshop. I started borrowing some off the internet at first, and then started making my own… That lead to signatures for a year or so, and after that I started some manipulations in which I would knowingly use some copyrighted images, though was not familiar with the repercussions. I was motivated by competition of friends and other artists, striving to be one of the best, even though I was far from it. I began with manipulations because it was the only artwork I was capable of. I started applying to slashTHREE since its second pack, and would apply every few months but continued to get rejected. In June of 2008, I was accepted into IntrinsicNature. After creating a few works at IN, I continued to improve. I finally passed the application process for slashTHREE after eight applications; I created two works for their following pack, and have continued submitting. Moving onto your artwork, what sort of time and creativity goes into the designing process and how do you go about creating your artwork? I'm not sure how I get the ideas and concepts contained in my work. Sometimes I'm about to fall asleep and some idea pops into my head; it just depends if I have enough motivation to write it down. Like other artists, the ideas don’t end up as planned; I never sketch my ideas, I can picture them clearly. I strive to create original and surreal concepts in order to differentiate myself from other manipulators. I never create trendy manipulations, such as a woman in a pretty dress, in a pretty background, or scenes with castles, waterfalls, many abstract effects with a dancer; there are plenty of other common manipulations as well. I always try to use stocks of the highest quality, and freshness. Freshness: meaning they haven't been seen or used before. There are plenty of manipulations that are instantly dismissed by most viewers because they contain stocks which have been used countless times. My advice is to learn how to handle critique, accept it, and make the necessary changes and know why you make those changes. Because next time you may encounter the same problem and you will know how to deal with it. If you could take one advice from this interview, it’s that exchanging critique and being able to accept negative comments will start to improve your works or improve them faster. My “Recreating Love” piece is a good example of my concept/ideas, as well as the creation process. The entire process of this piece probably took about 60-70 hours of total work time, excluding the time looking for stocks. You obviously enjoy what you do, are you looking for manipulation to be a hobby or a profession? For now it's just a hobby, and it will probably stay that way, I do them for fun. I’m going into finance, but I have thought of creating some type of business which incorporates digital art. I am graduating in May this year, and I am looking to do financial analysis or project management for any advertising agency. During slow working weeks, I’m sure I could talk to the artists at some agency, show them my work, and have their artists amazed by what some finance guy can create. I’m sure they’ll be quite impressed! How has college helped you to excel in the art industry? Well college hasn’t helped me much, considering there is not one art class here except for one class. But college gives me more free time than over the summer when I’m working, and certainly freer time than what I had in high school. Very interesting, I see that you work in a bunch of collectives, how's that going for you? The art collectives have helped me to stay motivated, and become a much better artist. The critique I receive accelerates an “ordinary” artist’s improvement. I also have many contacts on MSN which allows for a better understanding of the critique provided, because you can always ask questions if you’re unsure about what the other artist is talking about. I highly recommend anyone who practices manipulation, matte, painting, drawing, 3D, illustration, photography, music, or video to join one of these groups or collectives. I think it’s more that many artists aren’t aware of these groups and the benefits they provide, such as exposure and improvement. I produce work for IN and slashTHREE which I’ve mentioned earlier. These art collectives have standards for joining; if they let everyone who applies join the group, the art works produced would have a high variance in quality. Viewers wouldn’t get the same euphoria or inspiration after looking at an art pack; they would feel inspired by one art piece and the next could totally ruin that effect. Within the groups, there are standards for the work produced for these packs and exhibitions. This is determined by a consensus vote of the artists’ work in a particular group. These standards continue to push my art further every time, because both of these group’s standards have been going up as well. For the most part, if you look at each pack it progressively gets better and better, and shows how a team of artists can learn and grow with one another. A team is always important, great to have people who know where you’re coming from. Are there any artists in those collectives that motivate or inspire you? I wouldn’t say any inspire me; I don’t really get inspired by art anymore, although I guess some movies give me inspiration. Here’s a prompting question, what's in store for you in the future? My future work dream is to get out of college and start making $50-60k a year. After 3-5 years get a boost up to $150-200, if possible, then, if I like the particular job a lot I will stick with it, but if not, then drop to a state or local job, and start a business as an entrepreneur. That way I’m still earning some money from the easier job, and by then I will have built up some assets, credit, and savings to the point where I’d know how to invest it and earn higher returns on what I’ve earned. But who knows if I will still hold the same interest in art ten years from now. What advice do you have for any aspiring artists or readers? Like I said earlier, make use of critique. Don’t annoy other artists, but get what you can. Don’t follow the trends if you want to stand out from the crowd, and yes sometimes that is difficult, but obviously don’t do it to the extent that you don’t enjoy producing art anymore. Another word of advice which pertains to manipulations; don’t let other people tell you manipulations are stupid, easy, or just art that everyone does starting out. Manipulation is becoming ever so popular because of the growing commercialization of that type of work. I’ve been told many times to paint my entire work, and that it isn’t good enough unless it’s painted; or doesn’t have a unique style. Don’t allow opinions like that to get through to you and impact your motivation to keep producing work. If you can, use them to stay motivated and prove those people wrong. Everyone wants others to appreciate their work; don’t deny it, we all do. Manipulated works are unique when you execute ideas in a way that haven’t been done before, such as my “Adrenaline Rush” and “Sleep Deprivation” pieces. This last piece of advice is mostly for artists who have recently started digital art; the most important attribute for an art piece is the creativity. You can always learn technical skills, but some artists just never have enough, or don’t develop enough of an imagination or creativity to produce some unique art on their own. Your imagination is a powerful tool, express it! There are many artists that create works just because they want to be popular, and love the satisfaction from the popularity, even if that means doing what everyone else does. Any last words for our readers? Try your best to never give up on a unique idea or concept, even if that means putting it off to a later date. Thanks Alex!

Introducing: Chris Halderman

As we mentioned several times, we really like to present new artists to our community, artists that are young, creative, recently arrived at the design field and stuff like that. Today we will present the work of Chris Halderman, a 19 years old graphic designer from Netherlands who is also our reader. Chris is currently following a Graphic Design course at the Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht, but has been working with Adobe Photoshop for a while and used the help of several blogs and tutorials to improve his skills. Check out some of his artworks and also visit his Flickr Gallery for further pieces. Check out more about Chris at his Flickr Gallery and follow him on Twitter.

New & Inspiring Artworks from João Oliveira

A while back we showcased an Interview with João Oliveira, a portuguese graphic designer and illustrator based on Porto, Portugal. João has been working in various creative fields of graphic, print, editorial, web and motion design and he has some new and inspiring artworks that we would like to share with you. Born in 1986 João is currently taking a degree in Communication Design at Escola Superior de Artes e Design (ESAD) and working as a freelancer. With a strong style that mixes colors, typography, nice shapes and some hand drawn lines, João has worked with clients from various industries such as magazines, record labels, television and others. He is also a member of the Keystone Design Union and Depthcore collectives. For more information/artworks from João Oliveira go to his website, onrepeat. Enjoy. ;)