Monday, December 31, 2007

Logo Trends of 2007

For the past four years, Logo has compiled a list of the visual trends within identity and logo design in the past year. This year is no exception and Bill Gardner's article is full of accurate and careful observations. Read it here.

Interestingly, I've found that, after the publication of this article, there are often more logos with these visual trends, instead of less. Designers seems to embrace them and jump on the trend-bandwagon, as opposed to striking out for new ground. That seems counter-intuitive. After all, design solutions shouldn't follow trends, but should be just that: solutions, to the individual problems that each design opportunity presents.

My hypothesis for the increase in trend-ridden logos? I'm willing to bet that less capable designer-types often take inspiration from an article like Gardner's, and even go so far as to use it as a style guide. It's the same effect that occurs when Print or Communication Arts releases a design annual – shortly afterwards, there's a lot of work that looks pretty familiar.

My predictions for visual trends in 2007: ornamentation, colourful illustrative "explosive" backgrounds, flocking and Rococo patterning, and lastly, hand-rendered type. I hope to be all over that one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No Longer MIA

I'm here in Paris for the next month, and despite a large amount of contract work, am still managing to see some of the sights. Here's a shot from L'Église Saint-Eustache, a Gothic church in the heart of Paris.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


The Compendium's been a little bit quiet of late (two months!), but there's good reason for that.

First, I was here, hiking the steepest canyon in the world, braving (if, by braving, I mean screaming and running away) some of the largest spiders I've ever seen, and standing in awe as the day broke.

Then, I was here, checking out the nightlife, shopping, and enjoying one of the greatest cities in the world.

And mostly recently? Most recently, the Compendium shut down its North American office and decided to move to Europe. There's no scanner, but all the usual monkeys and robots should show up sooner or later.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stages of Ill-Repute

This post shall endeavour to explain the mysteries of facial hair, and the direct correlation between its length and the bearer's overall sketchiness.

Let's begin, shall we?

In essence, it is a simple equation. As the number of meetings and appointments decrease, the propensity to shave decreases, and consequently, the Scruffiness ratio, or ScruffR™, increases. In extreme cases, it was discovered that the consecutive number of days without social interaction was inversely proportionate to shaving.

This invariably leads to a state similar to the one depicted below:

Curiously, after a certain level of scruffiness has been achieved, the desire to shave skyrockets. We have dubbed this "curiosity shaving" as the individual is only interested in shaving certain areas. See figure three:

Bizarrely, this state of being somewhat scruffy (or, as we have identified it, somewhat shaved), is the catalyst for a temporary insanity or dementia. With his new facial hair, the subject, for reasons as yet unknown, takes on the mannerisms of a stereotypical Mexican gangster. Lab personnel report the subject repeatedly muttered under his breath the phrase "i'm gonna cut you, esé."

Thank God there was a client meeting today. I'm just saying. And, for the record, it was way worse than the last time I posted about this.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kevin Smith (aka Silent Bob)

Kevin Smith was in town on Thursday evening promoting his new book My Boring Ass Life. He made it clear pretty quickly that he was way more interested in a Q&A, and completely uninterested in signing books. In fact, despite his publisher's best efforts, Kevin prolonged the Q&A period three times – that's how much he hates signings, apparently.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


You might have noticed some new things here and there. There may even be a few more before it's all over. Stay tuned! Or, alternatively, just bookmark the RSS feed, and go from there. Actually, yeah. Just do that.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Diana Krall

This past Wednesday (the 19th), Diana Krall played a lunchtime show at Chapters Indigo to promote her new album. She was in great form – kept the crowd entertained and laughing, and signed autographs after her set. Photos from Diana Krall's show are below:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Photoshop Online

Gizmodo has some recent news about how Photoshop's headed online, and going to be free.

Here's to family photos and party snapshots having people with perfect skin and brighter than bright teeth. Also, let the abuse of filters begin! How about a stained-glass effect? Maybe some motion lines? Wait, Craquelure! YEAH!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Work in Progress: Roots

I'm updating my photo portfolio and thought I'd put this online. A full gallery will be available soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

At the Haberdashery

Good Lord! Some strange turn of events seems to have left our aristocratic simian friend without his usual topper! And his stalwart, but decidedly proletariat, companion Barbisol is nowhere to be seen! Well, first things first - a new hat to please the countenance. A quick visit to the haberdashery should do it....

Sunday, August 26, 2007


DALEKS! A mass gathering of the monstrous, Machiavellian, metallic machines took place in Manchester recently, in an attempt to create a new world record (a world record of awesomeness, that is).

Seriously though, the BBC has a small article here, and this Flickr user has tons of great photos. Personally, one of the most interesting aspects to the Daleks is how little the design has evolved over the past 45 years. In fact, the 2005 season introduced the first major change to the overall design, and it's still quite minor in the grand scheme of things. I'm impressed with the restraint the Doctor Who design team has shown.

Now, if only the designer of the new AT&T logo had taken a cue from them...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

In the Pipes

I'm working on a lot these days. I've been shooting more photos, both personal and professional, this year that I have in the past couple of years. I'm also trying to get a photojournalism portfolio together. And, all the while, I'm trying to put some finishing touches on my book.

But then I have these little ideas that I think will work, and everything gets interrupted. Sigh. That's the problem when you have a cubbyhole mind (and yes, I suffer from the Mojo effect).

Anyway, here's a little something I've mocked up, hope to get into production, and am thinking of selling alongside the book. They're little cardboard stand-ups of some of the illustrations from the book.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter Madness

In order to promote the Saturday release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapters Indigo shut down the block of Bay street just south of Bloor, here in Toronto to transform it into Diagon Alley.

Elle and I were both impressed by the effort and creativity that went into the execution. Amongst other things, there was a snake handler, an inflatable bouncy castle, two kinds of duelling areas, a giant slide, fire jugglers, stilt-walkers, an owl, a double-decker Knight Bus, a magic show, a band, a DJ and a green-screen setup where you could see yourself flying on a broomstick. It was the best kind of madness.

View a gallery of photos from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows launch.

View the full gallery

Friday, July 20, 2007

Operating Behind the Scenes

Here are some behind-the-scenes production stills from a recent photo shoot I did. It was a lot of fun, in no small part because we were shooting in a hospital operating room, and as such, had to wear scrubs.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bryce Kulak

Photos from the CD release party of the enormously talented (and dashingly handsome!) Bryce Kulak.