I develop icons all of the time for software applications, apps, and favicons for web sites. I recently learned that the apple OS has developer tools to help with this. I also learned that you can embed several sizes into one .ico file which is very convenient as it uses whatever size the device needs.
For branding Eclipse RCP Applications one need to have different kind of icon files. Mac OS X comes with the application Icon Composer to easily create icns (and ico) files from png files. To start the application use Spotlight > Icon Composer (the actual application is located /Developer/Applications/Utilities/Icon\ Composer.app)
To create other icon files like
xpm (for Linux) as well as
ico files one can use Gimp (Note Eclipse RCP requires a special kind of ico file that
Icon Composer cannot create).
To create an ico file containing the icon in different sizes proceed as follows (assuming you start with a png):
- Open png file in Gimp (ideally you take the biggest image you have)
- In the layer toolbox right click on the current layer and choose
- Resize the new layer just created via right click on layer and
- Continue for all sizes required
- Export to an ico file by
- Ensure that you use
.icoas file extension and click
- An export window will open as follows
Save to finish
I also ran into an issue with apple’s Lion operating system not having the developer tools. If you run across this issue you can download the Graphic Tools for Xcode. This package includes additional graphics tools formerly bundled in the Xcode installer. These tools include: OpenGL Profiler, OpenGL Shader Builder, Pixie, Quartz Composer, Quartz Debug, and the CI Filter Browser widget for Dashboard. These graphic tools support running on OS X Mountain Lion.
I do a lot of pro bono work for companies and charities that I believe in. Whitestone Motion Pictures is a company that creates short films. They originated from 12 Stone church creating their promotional short films and have since went out to make their mark. Being a part of their “protege program” I have developed some graphics and promotions for their short films. A recent one I created was for “Fear Itself”, which is an homage to Alfred Hitchcock and his films.
They obviously wanted a promotional to reflect the style and period of Hitchcock. I designed a tabletop of common items you might see in that era. There are a few subtle things in this design. One being random bird shadows on the table. I wanted to give the feeling that there were birds you could not see flying around in the room. Also, if you mouse over the birds on the typewriter they will fly off and randomly come back. Notice that the watch hands are moving erratically. Another vague item is Hitchcock’s famous profile that is watermarked on the book.
I had a lot of fun creating this as I do not get be so creative at times with my clients. You can see the live promo here.
Logo’s are an important part of every business. They brand the business and need to strongly represent the character and integrity of the client. Some logo designs require more work than others as they are so subjective. I always try to get a feel for what the client is looking for before I start creating on that blank page. Some client’s have a good vision of what they want and some rely on me to give them what they don’t know they want.
This logo developed itself fairly easily. I knew Maynardville was a fairly small city with deep roots of family, community and natural beauty. The client and I thought this simple design was a good representation of their city. I recently designed their business cards and letterhead which I was able to give them a consistent brand with their identity package.
I was asked to design a logo for a girls group named the “A-Team”. They wanted something elegant and delicate or “shiny and sparkly” as the client said. The smiley face on the “a” in team was something they originally used and wanted incorporated into the design. The client was pleased with the final design. I feel the logo is a good representation of their team.
Occasionally I will bid on freelance projects on site like Guru and Elance. My favorite projects are for designing movie posters. They are rare and hard to find on these sites but once in a while I find one that is posted. It’s also difficult to win the project as the bidding war is very competitive. Many “designers” will put in ridiculously low bids as their estimate represent their skills. Many individuals and businesses will be attracted to the lowest bid as everyone I know has a shoestring budget, yet you usually get what you pay for. Sometimes I will initially give an estimate that is competitive to get the project as I know that after the client works with me it will potentially lead to more projects.
When I ran across a project for the design of a movie poster for director Jim Wynorski I jumped on it. Jim directs B movies like Chopping Mall and “Return of the Swamp Thing”. His newest film was named “Monster Cruise” and I wanted this project. Not that I follow or respect Jim and his films, but my passion is designing for movies and I do not get the chance to do this very often. I was excited when my bid was accepted and I was awarded the project.
The client originally said they wanted an illustrated look similar to the Animal House movie poster. The design guidelines progressively changed as the client wanted to add every character on the poster. The worst part was that they did not give me many reference photos of the actors. After several revisions and busting my hump to do everything that was asked of me, the client decided they were not happy with the progression of design. I was very disappointed and angry as I did not ask for a deposit and the project was a wash. I bend over backwards for my client’s and it is frustrating for me when I can’t make them happy.
I actually lost money on this project as I had spent money on some stock photos since the client did not supply me many to use. Oh well, live and learn.
I love designing for films. Whether it is a movie poster, promotional website or as in this case a DVD cover. I was contracted to design two DVD covers for Laguna Films. The movies were “25 to Life” and “El Padrino 2″. Apparently “El Padrino I” was Laguna Films most popular movie and they were making a second one n which they needed artwork for. The first movie had a cast of actors such as Damian Chapa, Jennifer Tilly and Faye Dunaway.
Although the subject material was mainly based on gangs and the mafia, I had a really great time designing for these films. I am not sure when or where these films will be released, but keep an eye out for them.
I often have clients that come to me and want to redesign their web site or want a face lift on their current site. Recently I redesigned my client and friend’s Real Estate web site. Cheryl Iski obtained her Brokers license and wanted to start her own Broker/Real Estate Business named Bulldog Brokers. We started with a new logo design and then created a new web site. Cheryl’s previous site was CherylIski.com which I designed for her a few years back.
Because Cheryl wanted some bells and whistles I suggested designing a web site with WordPress. I have been working with this open source blog tool for a while and see it’s potential with cool widgets and plug-ins along with the ability for the client to manage their own web site. I thought this was a good fit for Bulldog Brokers and it’s needs. The result was a great redesign with large aesthetically pleasing images. I also included the ability for each Realtor of the business to upload files that they can access anywhere. The final result can be seen at BulldogBrokersGA.com
If you ever need an awesome Realtor, contact Cheryl or one of her staff at Bulldog Brokers.
I do many web designs, including occasional ones for friends and family. I used to have a strict rule of not designing anything for friends or family as it blurs the lines of the relationship. It’s hard to tell everyone “NO” all of the time so once in a while I bend my own rule and will make time to do something cool. I only do this if I am comfortable with not charging any money as money and family don’t mix.
Whimsey Heirlooms is a web site I created for my wife’s sisters jewelry business. She creates some really unique custom jewelry. I wanted to help brand the uniqueness with something that I feel would match her personality. Check out the Whimsey Heirlooms web site and browse these creative jewelry pieces.
Great communication and easy to work with. Highly recommended. Exciting movie poster project. Constant professional and would be an honor to work with again.
- Jason Toler, Sunrayz Films
Michael is a talented designer and works very quickly. He was very positive with change requests and delivered a very nice design. I highly recommend him as a web designer.
- Jennifer Thoden
With minimal information, Anything Design delivered beyond expectations. Good understanding of what I needed. Excellent communications and very fast turn-around of the movie poster project. Will recommend them to anyone and use them again.
- Eddie Aldridge, Stone Sailing Club
Great employer. Excellent follow-up and fast turn around when revisions were requested.
- Chandler, Toba Communication
WARP-SPEED turnover! Great communication! We were VERY impressed with the result! First proof was so good, there were hardly any changes made. Thanks again!.
- Casanova Entertainment
Thanks so much for the *awesome* concept work and graphic design for a recent post card campaign I put together for a client. I’m not sure how you were able to take a few descriptive sentences and create a graphic design for our postcard that was exactly what I couldn’t quite visualize–right down to the background color and font. And when my client decided to make changes at the last minute, you were able to turn the project around faster than I had any right to expect. All this and for such a reasonable fee! I heartily recommend your design services and will definitely be calling on Anything Design for help with any marketing campaigns I manage in the future.
- LeAnne McDaniel, Write On Communications, LLC
Completed all work to exact specifications on a very tight deadline. Highly recommended!
- Break Through Media
OMG! What a great job. I was shocked when I saw your work on my web site, so was my family. This is much better than I ever expected. Fantastic work!
- Dana Fortugno
Michael has done a fabulous job on my web-site; helping me to create a fresh look to drive business to my door.
The design and work provided by Michael was creative, professional and just what we needed as we began a new year.
- Sherri Dumford, Three Bridges Consulting