12 Hours of Sebring 2010

March 19th, 2010 by Matt
Sebring 2010 Logo

Sebring 2010

Sebring 2010 Spotter Guide

Sebring 2010 Spotters Guide

We’ve got some racin’ goin’ on this weekend… Saturday in fact. It’s the 12 Hours of Sebring, guys! This is probably the toughest race, physically, on the sports cars themselves. The Sebring circuit is notorious for its bumpiness and it is a severe test for the cars just to hold together for the entire 12 hours. And with a great grid lineup, (Aston Martin, Peugeot, Dyson, and Patron LMPs, Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, and BMW GT2s) this is a must–watch race!

To help with your car spotting/viewing enjoyment, the fine folks at SpotterGuides.com and andyblackmoredesign.com have come up with this great, printable, full–color car guide detailing the cars, liveries, and even the helmet designs of the drivers of each of the cars. And it can be printed BIG due to its 2500 x 1618 pixel resolution. The detail is great when printed at 11 x 17. I printed out one for my (almost) 4 year old son Mikey, and he loved it! (One is on my office wall at work, too. 😉 )

Tune in the 12 Hours of Sebring on the Speed channel (HD of course!) beginning 7:00 am Pacific Time, Saturday, March 20.

Now that the race has been run, congrats to Risi Competizione for winning the GT2 class at Sebring for the 3rd time in the last four years! And it did so against an extremely tough field, including the very fast Rahal/Letterman BMWs.

Posted in Cars/Racing, Fun Stuff, Graphic Design | No Comments »

WWII Historical Account “Will They Return”

March 15th, 2010 by Matt

Will They Return Book Cover

This was one of the most fun projects I’ve ever worked on. I was given complete creative freedom to do the cover and book design for a WWII non–fiction book called “Will They Return.” This is a terrific true story, with the names changed, of a young sergeant leading his buddies through harrowing battles in northern France and southern Germany towards the end of the war.

The author, Gilbert Rivera, was an amazing man, someone I am privileged to have known. He had some truly amazing (and harrowing!) experiences as a staff sergeant in Company A of the 71st Infantry Regiment in the U. S. Army in France and Germany during the last year or so of the war. Unlike many “war stories,” this book is written from the viewpoint of the common soldier, what he experienced on a day–to–day basis, the hardships, the horror, the camaraderie, the lighter moments. It is all there. If you are at all interested in World War II history, and specifically the war in Europe, go to LuLu.com and buy the book. You won’t be disappointed!

Posted in Good Reads, Graphic Design, The Web | 1 Comment »

Skunk Works Projects Illustration

March 15th, 2010 by Matt

Lockheed Skunk Works Projects

Famous Lockheed “Skunk Works” Projects

I like planes and aviation in general, and have a particular fondness for some of the famous Lockheed planes such as the WWII P-38 Lightning and that mach 3 wonder jet the SR-71 Blackbird. This illustration of Lockheed “Skunk Works” projects, in typical Popular Mechanics style, is very cool. This comes from an excellent article on Retro Thing about the famous “Skunk Works”. Read the full article here.

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The Art of Roger Bradfield

March 9th, 2010 by Matt


Trix are for Kids…Not!

“Who’s Roger Bradfield, you say?” Anyone who has eaten Kix, Trix, or Wheaties cereals should know! He created the great graphic art for the cereal boxes in the 1960’s, among many other projects. For a great blog post on Mr. Bradfield, see this article by Dan Goodsell. Very cool. Gimme some Trix!

Posted in Fun Stuff, Graphic Design, The Web | No Comments »

Dr. Seuss’ Advertising Art

March 8th, 2010 by Matt

Dr. Seuss Advertising Art

Dr. Seuss
Advertising Art

Yes, Virginia, Dr. Seuss was a genius even before he wrote his books. Take a look at his wonderful advertising art on display at UCSD. It will definitely make you smile! (In his list of clients is Stromberg Carlson, which was a well–known speaker maker. I remember the sweet sound these babies had from my dad’s hi–fi setup…Nice!)

Posted in Fun Stuff, Good Reads, Graphic Design | No Comments »

Hope Garden

March 8th, 2010 by Matt

The Hope Garden

The Hope Garden…Beautiful!

What a beautiful website and a great cause. The Hope Garden is an inspirational website focussing on people with cancer, their families, and friends. In this beautiful Flash–based “garden”, you can “plant” a beautiful flower with an inspirational message for a loved one that is battling this implacable disease. Visitors can also browse through the garden and read messages left by others. What a beautiful, thoughtful, and well–executed website. Kudos, Paul!

Posted in Graphic Design, Life and Living, The Web | No Comments »

Indiana Jones Trilogy Pixelmashes!

February 10th, 2010 by Matt

Here are links to David Court’s great work on the Indiana Jones Trilogy. Enjoy everyone!

Raiders of the Lost Ark Animated GIF

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The new year started off really well when I received a nice e-mail from David Court, of Star Wars Pixelmash fame. In a previous post, I said that I hadn’t figured out who the creator of these great Star Wars animated GIFs was. Well, David was kind enough to let me know, and now you do too!

Temple of Doom Animated GIF

Temple of Doom

David also let me know about his new Pixelmash collaborations…Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade! The Indiana Jones animations are in the same familiar, although slightly taller 129 x 94 pixel format as the Star Wars offerings, and if anything, they are even cooler and more detailed in their animations. There are tons of small animated figures and even more detailed facial expressions. The opening “Raiders” scene where Indy is being chased by the natives had me cracking up!

The Last Crusade Animated GIF

The Last Crusade

Finishing the Indiana Jones Trilogy, we have the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade pixelmash, “live and and in living color!” I love the zeppelin! Awesome job, David!

Needless to say, I’ve really been impressed with David’s efforts. Who knows what great stuff he’ll come up with next? Thanks again for the “heads up,” David!

Posted in Fun Stuff, Graphic Design, Movies and TV, The Web | No Comments »

Star Wars Trilogy Animated GIFs!

February 8th, 2010 by Matt

Back in 2005, David Court created a sensation on the web by recreating the Star Wars Trilogy in animated GIF form. These are works of art and deserve to be kept out there for everyone’s viewing enjoyment. In that spirit, here are links to the original Trilogy, as well as some I am housing here on my website, in the spirit keeping this great web–based art available to everyone.

I’ve corresponded with David from time to time and have enjoyed our brief conversations. He is a nice guy with a delightfully sardonic sense of humor. I wish him well.

Star Wars Animated GIF

A New Hope

This is too cool for words! I found a link to this on another blog and just had to mention it. This animated GIF file contains all of the main scenes from Star Wars IV: A New Hope, all in a 168k file! Awesome! My kudos to the designer, David Court!

Empire Strikes Back Animated GIF

The Empire Strikes Back!

Another fantastic GIF animation, this time it’s Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back! Man, it takes a lot of work to animate something like this, especially to do it this well!

Return of the Jedi Animated GIF

The Return of the Jedi!

The final piece of the puzzle! And once again, a fantastic GIF animation, Star Wars VI: The Revenge of the Jedi! Awesome!

Posted in Graphic Design, Movies and TV, The Web | No Comments »

For Better Type Display On PCs Using XP–ClearType

January 27th, 2010 by Matt

As a dedicated Mac user, I’m used to (i.e. spoiled by) the superior display technology that OSX gives me. And, as a web designer, I’ve always been frustrated by the pixelated, “jaggy” display of italic type on PC-based displays running Windows XP. Well, for those less familiar with the PC, here is a helpful (built–in!) little software utility by, gasp, Microsoft called ClearType that will help ban “the jaggies!”

Although this utility is built into Windows, it is set off by default. It also seems to me to be accessed in an almost “hidden” way, so you’re unlikely to run across it unless you are actually looking for it. To activate ClearType, access this FAQ and follow the instructions under “How do I turn it on?” The caveat is that you are not actually able to adjust ClearType settings with this method of activation. Its either on or off. Kind of bogus if you ask me.

Two better methods of ClearType activation that allow “tuning” of the settings are:

I personally prefer the latter. ClearType anti–aliases text, making “the jaggies” appear much smoother. Although designed primarily for laptop users with LCD displays, it also does a decent job at improving displays using traditional CRT (tube) displays. Be aware, though, that this is accomplished by decreasing edge sharpness, (i.e. blurring the edges of the characters) so try it and see if you like it. To me, the better display of italics outweighs the decrease in crispness.

As I stated before, I much prefer downloading and installing ClearType as a windows control panel. Why should you have to access a website to change your settings? I also had some problems on a couple of windows machines where ClearType wouldn’t activate via the website. Downloading and using it as a control panel worked like a charm. My big question is, why doesn’t Microsoft make this software completely accessible, in terms of both activation and tuning, in the first place?

Posted in Graphic Design, The Web | No Comments »

Excellent Web–Based Type Display Utility

January 25th, 2010 by Matt

Another great web design tool I have used off and on since 2005.

Here’s a great utility website from Marko Dugonjić. It’s called Typetester…and you’ll like it! With it, you can compare up to three online typefaces at once, then copy the resulting CSS code for use in your own websites. Cool!

Posted in Graphic Design, The Web | No Comments »

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