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While I love creating professional graphic design work, my innate aesthetic is abstract, expressive art...
Even though I've crafted a body of collage artwork, and am still doing so, over the last several weeks I've returned to one of my first loves, expressive line work.
i'm very much inspired by modern art, specifically cubism, futurism and dada. The emotion, unintended meaning that eminates from fluid strokes is exciting. I feel so much energy as I blindly, expressively, continuously draw with my stylus. Its's freeing to me.
Below is a small preview of the many I've created thus far.
#inktober #type #expressive #abstract #dada #cubism
Follow me on Instagram @tgalbiati
Robin Williams brought us joy and laughter as a comedian and actor.
Those who personally knew or worked with him are expressing how special he made them feel.
It's a shame he didn't have the ability to realize how special he was to all of us.
One thing is certain, no one knows what occurs in the heart and mind of someone battling their own personal demons.
RIP Robin Williams.
Your journey on earth may have ended, but your spirit and energy will continue to live on.
(note: as a designer, it's my natural instinct to visually communicate thoughts and feelings. As a fan of his work, creating this image was therapeutic as I believe many are experiencing similar emotions, tears of sadness for this amazing star. )
Image © Christina Galbiati, 2014.
I am proud to announce some of my wonderful students who recently won awards in the SPD (Society of Publication Designers) Spotlight Competition:
Check out their awesome work by clicking on the links below…
Nick Stover - Silver Medalist - "Paul Baker Still on Top" spread http://www.spd.org/student-outreach/2014/07/the-spd-u-spotlight-shines-on-18.php
Arren Dawinan - Merit Winner - "Alpacas: Still on Top" spread http://spd-u.tumblr.com/post/93197363200/spd-u-spotlight-2014-o-merit-winner
Amanda Schatz - Merit Winner - "Eo" magazine cover http://spd-u.tumblr.com/post/93218147964/spd-u-spotlight-2014-o-merit-winner-designer
The winning entries are from Kutztown University's Communication Design Department, junior level Graphic Design II: Editorial Design class, and were judged from hundreds of college and university submissions from across the country.
A big congrats to Nick, Arren and Amanda!
"What is SPD? The Society of Publication Designers is dedicated to promoting and encouraging excellence in editorial design. Our members are art directors, designers, photo editors, editors and graphics professionals. Since drafting its charter in 1965, the SPD remains the only organization specifically addressing the visual concerns of print and online editorial professionals. Editorial design plays a crucial role in shaping and documenting our common history; the efforts of the Society and its members also serve to educate and enlighten the public about the importance of magazines and online publications." http://www.spd.org/about.php
To join: https://spd.site-ym.com/general/register_member_type.asp?
Penn State Lehigh Valley presents the work of campus students who studied studio art during 2013 and 2014 in its Student Art Exhibition, which runs from July 7-Aug. 15. The annual exhibition highlighting excellent student work takes on new meaning this year as the campus recognizes one of art education’s talented artists and ardent supporters, Ronald K. De Long.
During the reception, to be held from 5-7 p.m. on July 23, the public is invited to celebrate the students; the generosity of instructor, advocate, artist, and now benefactor, Ron De Long; and the establishment of the Charles R. McAnall III Scholarship. The dedication ceremony and unveiling of the new gallery name begins at 6 p.m.
The exhibition features pieces created in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Metalwork, Sculpture, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Film and TV Broadcasting courses under the instruction of Chris Bonner, Katina Bozikis, Greta Brubaker, Ron De Long, Liz Keptner, Christina Galbiati and Ann Lalik.
The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 610-285-5000 or contact Ann Lalik at email@example.com. www.lv.psu.edu.
It was 1995, graphic design was in the thralls of experimentation, much thanks to the advancement of computer technology and the evolution of the Macintosh computer. With a "no holds barred" attitude, using unconventional fonts and breaking the "rules" of grid design, designers were embracing the Ray Gun / Emigré-esque design attitude, creating expressive work that embodied the 1990s postmodern era of design.
Design historians credit David Carson with bringing this unconventional age of editorial experimentation to the masses with the design of Ray Gun magazine, but another publication was breaking ground as well. Wahine, founded in 1995 by Elizabeth A. Glazner, was a wonderfully designed magazine that accompanied this experimental time period.
I do not quite remember how I came to know about Wahine (since the web was in its primary phase), but I did. And I became obsessed. Yes, I was not (am not) a surfer, but it did not matter. I purchased a subscription purely based on my love for this esoteric design period. After all, it was the '90s, I was a recent design graduate just learning and trying to emulate everything that was "in vogue" about this era. (I even wrote an email to the Art Director in 1995, Shari Fournier, telling her how much I was in awe of what she created. Much to my surprise I received a personal reply, which was so inspiring—as a young designer, I was so thankful she took the time out to answer my email.)
The inaugural issue (far right in the first pic) is apparently somewhat collectable.Regardless, I don't think I'll ever sell my collection as they are a wonderful keepsake to commemorate this amazing era of design.
Below are layout pictures of the first issue of Wahine. I wanted to share with everyone because this magazine has not received, in my opinion, the appropriate recognition it should have.
images, layout/design: © Wahine Magazine
I am excited to announce that I have a collage artwork piece featured in the 8th Street Bridge exhibition group show at Penn State Lehigh Valley.
Reception and community event: Sunday, November 17, 2013, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Artist reception, refreshments, historical perceptive by the Heritage Museum of the Lehigh Valley and a poetical perspective by the Lehigh Valley Writing Project will be part of the program.
This exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Albertus Meyers Bridge in Allentown.
This bridge that is commonly referred to as the 8th Street Bridge was dedicated on November 17, 1913. General Harry C. Trexler is credited for the impetus to build the bridge to enhance the economy of the Lehigh Valley as it connected the north and south sides of Allentown.
This exhibition features approximately 30 regional artists who have already created art about this well documented landmark or who were invited to create a work of art in their medium.
Rudy Ackerman, Edgar. S. Baum, Walter Emerson Baum, John Berninger, Greta Brubaker, Lee A. Butz, Sandra Corpora, Ron De Long, James Doddy, Adriano Farinella, Elizabeth Flaherty, Christina Galbiati, Rosemary Geseck, Lee Leckey, George Miller, Hans Milwald, Ramon Peralta, Jerry Quier, Alvena Seckar, Heather Sincavage, Mike Sincavage, Joseph Skrapits, Dana Van Horn, Charles Vlasics, Ann Yost Whitesell, Ann M. Williams.
It is intended that the work will offer diverse approaches to making art including various media as well as representational and abstract interpretations.The exhibition will also feature artists who painted in the mid-1900’s, some of whom were very influential artistic leaders in the Lehigh Valley at the time the bridge was built.
A full color catalog will also be available for visitors.
The exhibition runs October 28th - December 20, 2013.
For more information contact Ann Lalik, 610-285-5261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or the PSU-LV website:
I am excited to announce that my collage artwork is featured in a group show at Penn State Lehigh Valley.
The exhibition runs August 26th - October 11, 2013; the opening reception is Wednesday, Sept 11th; 5-7pm at Penn State Lehigh Valley.
This exhibition features artists who often use text to express visual images and ideas. The words are presented in a visual context encouraging the viewer to look closer into the image and probe their meaning.
During the exhibition, a mural will be created using text and images that will be fashioned and found.
For more information contact Ann Lalik, 610-285-5261 or email@example.com
Gallery Hours, call: 610-285-5078.
My artist statement: I am enamored with tactile forms of communication and have created a deeply personal aesthetic journey of photocopying words and sometimes images, to create unique patterns, then hand-tear the resulting paper palette to form my collage. The unexpected outcome of rough edges, uneven tones, broken lines and dot patterns that arise from the xerography process are intentional — my work symbolizes the importance of print media communication despite society’s increasing reliance on intangible, digital forms of communication.
It’s Friday night; you are out with your friends ready to enjoy a cold beer to cap off your long week. Do you choose that locally made IPA? Or perhaps smooth Stout? Maybe you settle for a longstanding national beer, the one your grandfather has been drinking for 50 years?
Nowadays, it’s not unheard of to go to your local pub, beer or grocery store to find a plethora of craft beers alongside major beer brands. The competition amongst breweries is fierce. Craft breweries are trying to cut into the market share that national breweries hold. In order to accomplish this, much time and attention to detail is devoted to the brewing process as well as the creation of the marketing and branding material – all initiatives must perfectly align in order to become established in the marketplace.
Conyngham Brewing Company (CBC) is a local brewery in northeastern Pennsylvania launching their first brew next week. Last year I met with the owner discussing his design goals for this new brand; how he wanted the identity and packaging to reflect the innovative and full-flavored line of beers he is creating, as well as his family heritage and the history of the quaint little town of Conyngham,.
With his comments in mind, I went to work, using this 4-step checklist of design initiatives to prepare several options:
Font: It was important to my client to incorporate an Old English-style font. The history surrounding a font of this nature is reflective of the calligraphic hands that were used pre-industrial revolution. This type of font is ornate, and if not utilized correctly, can be hard to read. In order to juxtapose the characteristics of the main font, I chose a simpler secondary font – together they complement the historic aesthetic CBC wants to convey. When you are working with your client make sure to show them how other fonts could work in concert with one another. Doing history and research, as well as talking with your client, will help you get off on the right foot to nail down font options.
Color Palette: In order to balance the ornate characteristics of the font, I introduced a bold, bright color palette, yellow, gray and black, which were also inspired by his family coat-of-arms. I also proposed a version with a muted color palette, but the font was getting lost, the overall identity was not strong enough to stand out. Also, by using tints and shades of the two main colors, yellow and black, helps to maintain brand consistency while still effectively creating depth and interest to the overall design. Keep in mind a balance that must be achieved in your overall design. Colors are just as important as font choice.
Art/Illustration: I applied the historic / modern concept to the main artwork, balancing out the ornate font by using bold diagonal lines and simple line art. Anything too detailed would compete with the font. The main art element (shield) is inspired by the family coat-of-arms concept, and is simple and bold as well. Overall, the artwork and fonts are working together, reading as one unit, instead of one overpowering another.
Grid Design: The first tap handle/label, Kolsch beer, is designed with all elements from the main company logo. Other labels will be designed using this grid template, changing colors in specific areas of the label to identify the type of beer. Because a grid has been established from the onset of this project, the brand could grow unencumbered. There is a method in place to continue to create a consistent visual identity, again reinforcing brand consistency.
The end result is a logo that is a balance of historical and modern design elements; it has the look and feel of traditional craft brewery designs, and is still visually powerful alongside national brands.
So now you have a plan of action to follow with the 4 design initiatives I mentioned above. But what about working with the client? Where do they fit in? How do you foster a great relationship while staying true to your design goals?
You’re working with an established set of parameters that your client needs to achieve. By listening to your client you are also saving time money, and essentially weeding out several design options you may have proposed if you didn’t listen to their concerns. If the trade off is making sure you use a font or art element they are envisioning, compromise. For example, with the CBC logo, I could have proposed an entirely different font style, but in the end if the client isn’t feeling it, then you aren’t doing what you are hired to do. Listen to their concerns and suggestions, and then use your expert skills to make them better.
You spend hours boiling down their company goals into several design options, but how did you get there? Designers are great visual communicators, but unless you could provide a synopsis, a few reasons behind your design decisions, you are missing an opportunity to show them that you are truly listening to them. Also, a client may not immediately ‘see’ what you are presenting, so sometimes you need to talk them through your decisions. Sure you are hired to provide a service, but you are also trying to build a relationship. The more you know about them, the more likely you are to meet their expectations. Perhaps you’ll be the go-to firm for other projects, all because you created an open line of communication, and built a solid relationship.
A client may not be thinking about their design goals five, or even ten years from now, especially start-up companies. But it is your job to ensure this logo, or any design project, will hold up over time in order to not recreate the wheel a few years down the road. The fact you were proactive shows the client you are invested in the project for the long-haul. You want to be the keeper of the brand, so do what you can to show the client you are thinking ahead, creating what is best for their company on a whole, not just the current project.
Cheers! – CG
Conyngham Brewing Company is holding a tasting event for their Kolsch beer at Cuz-n-Joe's, Thursday, August 1st, 6pm.
Stop by and sample some of this amazing beer. For more information click here to view CBC’s FB page.
Sometimes it's refreshing to escape the confines of working small scale. While I enjoy working on projects that are usually consumer and trade print projects, I equally enjoy the challenge of designing billboards and trade show designs. To the beginner designer working on their first project of this nature, a task like this could be overwhelming. After all, most college profs (including myself) teach students the basic principles for properly creating files for small scale print output. such as how to create hi-resolution / 300dpi imagery; the proper process for creating plates, working with Pantone colors and special techniques; and the proper way to use Adobe InDesign to create multiple page projects. But what happens if you are asked to design a project that is large scale. Are all of those same principles applicable? After a long career of having to design projects of this nature, I've accumulated a list of helpful tips that I want to share to help someone ease into the process of creating large scale files.
How important is hi-resolution imagery, especially for projects that are going to be shown several feet in width and height?
A. Hi-resolution imagery is important for our industry. Most printers (for traditional print projects) request the resolution to be, at full size, 300dpi. However, for large-scale projects (billboards, trade-shows, large scale packaging displays, banners) this is not necessarily the case. It would almost be impossible to find images that are 300dpi in feet. The truth is that it is not necessary to have 300dpi images at full size for these types of projects. Why you may ask? How is this possible? Well the answer is quite simple, the distance at which you are viewing a hand-held print piece is quite different than viewing a large scale billboard or trade show design. Since you are viewing these from a distance, the slight pixelization that occurs from working with what would normally be considered a lo-resolution image is not evident.
So then, what size imagery is necessary?
Well, they still need to be rather large in file size, but most request a file to be designed using anywhere from 100dpi-150dpi (depending on project/printer specs). This is the case for any image that is created using the pixel based design program, Adobe Photoshop. If you are creating artwork using the vector based program, Adobe Illustrator, then you do not need to concern yourself with any dpi whatsoever. In fact, Illustrator is quite accommodating when it comes to large scale production because it is vector based, the images could be scaled to a very large size without any distortion.
How do I know if my photo is large enough?
This is quite simple to check. All you need to do is open up the photo in Photoshop and go to the menu - Image - Image Size - to bring up a dialogue box that has all of the pictures details, resolution and size in pixels and inches. So for instance, if I have a photo that is 120.8megs @ 300dpi (see diagram below), all you need to do is change the resolution to 100dpi BUT keeping the file size the same.
(ABOVE) You could see my original hi-resolution image was 23" x 15 1/4" @ 300dpi. This is more than enough for any print collateral project. In fact if I wanted to use this at full size, I could create a poster that is 15" high, give or take 5%, without compromising any image quality.
(ABOVE) In this screen shot of the dialogue box, I changed the resolution to 100dpi BUT I kept the Pixel Dimension (also commonly referred to as 'File Size') in tact. So now I have an image that is 69:" x (almost) 46" in size, which equates to being able to use this file for a trade show that is 5 3/4 feet by 3 3/4 feet is size.
Billboard imagery works using the same principles, but what they do is give you a proportion to work with. For example a 30' x 10' billboard would need to be created usually at 1/4 size in proportion, to the final size, using the 100 or 150 dpi pixel dimensions. Since they enlarge your file during the printing process, much pixelization occurs but, because of the principles I mentioned before on how you are viewing a billboard image, at a distance, the viewer never sees this. Also important to mention, most billboard companies have been doing digital billboard spaces instead of printed poster bulletins of late. Essentially, digital billboards are prepared with an even lower resolution, 72dpi, because that is the screen resolution for any digital project. Make sure you review the billboard options and specs directly with your billboard rep, as there is not one set billboard size, usually several to choose from. When choosing a billboard space, you must consider the location and price (higher traffic locations usually are more expensive), as well as the time of year it's available (planning several months in advance to reserve a specific location is necessary).
What color mode should I be working in?
You must check with your printer for detailed specs on what mode they would like to receive the files in. But most require files in rgb mode. This is the direct opposite of what you do for normal print production where you are preparing files in cmyk mode. Also, special techniques (varnish and Pantone Spot colors) are not acceptable for large scale projects. Even though these are printed projects, they not printed on traditional offset printing presses, rather large format digital presses. The paper or material comes in a roll, and is usually vinyl or a heavy material appropriate for the project, and this material can't be used in for offset printing, because of the thickness and size.
What is the proofing process for a large scale project? How do I sign off on a proof that will be printed so large for final production?
Usually a digital pdf proof is given for sign-off. Unlike print production projects, where I normally advocate against signing a digital print because you are viewing a rgb file for cmyk printing, since these files are created in rgb, reviewing a digital proof is acceptable. You still should be aware of how your screen is calibrated and may want to ask for their monitor profile settings, but the color quality should be almost exact to what you sent. If you are truly concerned with reviewing a digital proof, then you could certainly request a print proof, they will provide a small print out on the actual material it is going to be produced on. Some companies may charge a small fee for this proof, you should discuss this with the account rep at the onset of the job.
Some additional tips:
Below is a recent example of a trade show display that I designed for a copier distributor company. The middle panel is slightly large in size and the white area in that panel represents a projection area (a video stand goes in front of the middle panel and displays the company powerpoint presentations).
I kept in mind the same principles as outlined in this blog, making sure that no important information is near the bottom of the design. Also, because we knew this project was an extension of their initial print collateral materials that were being designed before the trade show creation, I requested the background photos to be shot at the largest file size possible. When working on any branding or ad campaign from the beginning, make sure you talk about the client's future objectives for the designs you are creating. There is nothing more time consuming that re-creating or shooting image files for large scale print projects because you did not have them from the onset of the campaign.
Remember to plan ahead and check all the final specifications with the company you are working with. Whether it's your first or second or 20th time creating files that are large scale projects, it is necessary to consider these principles in order to make your final projects both technically sound and graphically interesting. I hope you find some of my tips and tricks useful to your process.
For Christina Galbiati’s art/Illustration site click here.