Star Ship Comparison – Remastered

Some would say he was ‘a madman’, others ‘a visionary’, some would even curse his name for not including their favourite ships. However you view him, Dirk Loechel created what can now be considered one of the most authoritative infographics on the various capital ships across a multitude of Sci-Fi films, TV-shows, Anime and games. These include iconic ships such as the Star Wars universe’s Star Destroyer… A mammoth ship you would think, but how wrong you are! Remember how dwarfed these ships were compared to Darth Vader’s infamous personal command ship, the Super Star Destroyer – Executor, over 19000km in length. Whilst certainly within the top tier of capital ships, its by no means the largest with other non-canon Star Wars ships overshadowing that. These themselves standing side by side the intricate gothic beauty of Warhammer 40k vessels, amid a host of quite literally hundreds of other ships representing a sizeable ensemble of those individual universes ships.

Indeed the chart is so large and the scale so massive that Dirk had to draw a line of anything below 100m ruling out the various starfighters such as X-Wings and Tie Fighters.

To give a sense of scale against mankinds actual accomplishments, Dirk included in a small box to the top of the chart an image of the International Space Station (ISS). At 100m it is but a tiny speck to the colossal imaginings of those universes designers.

In 2015, Dirk seems to have called it a day, though musing on a bucket list of vectoring the text. Having wanted to mount this as a large acrylic on my wall, I decided to add the text as a vector before exporting as a JPEG nearly as big as one of the ships on the chart. I’ve wanted to share some of my efforts so with the image zooming capability of Micrio, I have uploaded and embeded the resulting image below for your viewing pleasure.
(if you’re viewing this in the blog page, click the post title for a larger view)

As the initial upload, there’s bound to be some mistakes I have made in the descriptors of each ship and would appreciate your feedback to perfect what will ultimately grace my wall (much to the lament of my wife!)

As an experiment I also attempted to find a large image of one of the smallest ships which on the original had become a blurry mess due to jpeg compression. Vectoring it as best I could, I then matched it against the original image. You can find this in the bottom left hand corner and I think you will agree, there is potential to make this image even more awesome than it already is. However with a full time job and family, I would advise you not to hold your breath. Finding decent resolution jpegs of the ships alone is time consuming to the point of impracticality.

Well, I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback.

PS. You may be thinking that this whole escapade is an attempt to promote myself as a graphics designer. Due to other commitments, that side of me (which was done more for pleasure than money) is hibernating like an Exogorth.

PPS. If you liked this then I recommend watching this Youtube Infoshowcase of 3D rendered ships.

3D Snapchat logo with face!

More Snapchat shenanigans

This time with the gradient mesh tool.

For anyone who has tried using Adobe Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh tool, it can be a bit of a nightmare and as soon as you try to do something creative with it, your masterpiece can quickly turn into a bit of a dogs dinner. Some masters can create photo-realistic images of people let alone fruit etc which is just ludicrous as it is no easy feat and very time consuming. Still, its a testament to peoples skill and so kudos to them.

With simple shapes the Gradient Mesh tool is relatively intuitive, you click in your circle or square and lo and behold, various meshes appear with each anchor point either on the image boundary or at intersections allowing you to change the colour and blending to match its neighbours. When you get to slight more complex shapes, things get more difficult when you think they shouldnt be.

Take Snapchat’s logo even with its symmetry, Gradient Mesh inserts some unfathomably interesting grid lines which without judicious implementation of more grid lines, give you limited scope to quickly create a 3D shape. Whats really annoying is that any attempt to move the end point of the gridline just alters the boundary ie the shape of the object which is not what we want.

In the end you have to manipulate a lot of mid anchor points to go where you want and move aside other grid lines to avoid folds in the gradient (e.g. where the colours dont blend due to proximity or crossing with other lines.

In the end, Im quite happy with how it turned out. Theres hope for this tool yet!

Snapchat meets Star Wars

Star Wars Snapchat logos

Check out these Star Wars meets Snapchat logos.  Purely a personnel project, I just see the hollow Snapchat ghost as a helmet and thought, why not. After a couple of experimentations, these two were definitely the cream of the crop. I tried Chewbacca, but it just looked to cartoonish and I didnt really like R2D2, even though the dome fits perfectly.

Therefore, I ended up with a Stormtrooper and everyones favourite villain, Darth Vader – now in Snapchat!

I don’t actually have a Snapchat account yet, but rest assured, when I do, one of these beauts will be gracing my profile!


Excellent logo design for nuimmortal webblog

nuImmortal Logo

I was approached to create the identity package for a new webblog that covers breakthroughs in longevity research, immortality and transhumanism (I had to look that one up).

With branding comes selecting a name and with that comes whats almost a limitation, is it available as a domain name. Obviously there is enough top level country code domains floating around along with .orgs .me’s and so on but at the end of the day if you want a global domain name, then .com is still the way ahead.

With that in mind, it never hurts to check for available domains. Just because it sounds popular and therefore common, doesn’t mean that everything is taken and with a bit of wordplay you can definitely find something unique for your business.

Whilst thinking of your identity, it helps to think of a logo design to go with it at the same time. Maybe you just want a text based logo in which case design is more about font selection and colours. In this instance, with the idea of immortality in the back of my head, I thought about the symbology that goes with it. Inevitably you’re left with two well recognised (which we want for customer identification) symbols for immortality, the Egyptian Ankh (looks a bit like a cross with a fattened head) and the infinity symbol also known as the Ouroboros (serpent eating itself).

Next, I wanted to incorporate the concept behind the website itself, ie were living in an age of such technological and medical advancement that longevity is no longer the stuff of fiction and could well be attainable within the next 30-40 years… so were all potentially new immortals (see where im going with this?)

Thus with some application of phonetics we settled on ‘nuImmortal’ with the infinity symbol forming the ‘n’ and ‘u’ of this particular logo. As a subtle twist, you’ll notice a slight difference in the font strength of the ‘Im’ and the ‘mortal’ as a mental hook to remind the reader that immortality isnt a foregone conclusion yet with some long way to go… but at least we dont have to drink the blood of virgins anymore (well maybe we do, apparently its called parabiosis and Paypal millionaire Peter Thiel apparently drunk some).

With regards to the background of the logo, being purely web based, I got to forgo some of the more basic design principles such as considering how it would look in monotones etc. The starlit nebula background provides a good platform for the white text and gives it that long term futuristic feel.

Well hope you like this logo design. To see its execution, visit the website here