Sparrow Builders

We recently just wrapped a fun logo/business card project for Sparrow Builders, a new general contracting firm headed up by our cousin John Paulsen. John wanted something with a simple, modern and clean aesthetic, so we played around with different styles within those restrictions. The wireframe design was one of the last options we provided and ended up making the cut as the final logo. After the design was green-lit, the fine folks at Mandate Press (check this out) took over and delivered some pretty amazing letter-pressed cards on 110# Cranes Lettra stock. Follow Sparrow Builders and Mandate Press on Twitter.

Flatstock 27

We’re excited to have a table at the upcoming Flatstock 27 at Bumbershoot Festival next weekend, Sept. 4-6th. It’s always a great hang with fellow poster peeps and an excuse to publicly drool over so much great art. Oh, and just to get this out of the way before it starts: No, we don’t have any Phish or Southern Culture On The Skids posters. Hope to see you all out there!

From The Alfred Paulsen Files, V.3

These 3 pieces are some of my favorite from the AP vault. Not only are they a fun batch of mix-n-match monster features, but visual proof that buried somewhere deep within my DNA lies that love of creating monsters. My beloved grandmother recently just turned 86, and as my mom put it – we are ‘attempting to mine her memory as much as possible’ in regards to grandpa’s work. There is just a lot she doesn’t remember. My uncle states: “I’m not sure what the purpose was. He may have used them as examples when he was negotiating or demonstrating options to a client”. Ahh, character comps. Sounds familiar.

Grandpa was always larger than life to Ryan and I. His career laid the foundation for our love of art. Unfortunately during most of our youth, we lived in different states and didn’t get to see him as much as we would have liked. We grew up in Central Oregon while our grandparents lived in a little town called Oroville, about 90 miles south of Sacramento. I remember the yearly visits and the family gatherings at Christmas, but like most families at that time, we didn’t have the money to travel often. Unfortunately, my memory of art conversations with him are fairly limited. I just remember always being in awe around him. He had a deep, soothing voice that commanded the attention and respect of everyone nearby. And I remember him always smiling and laughing. I like to think that had something to do with loving his ‘job’. But on the other hand, I’m not convinced that artists really differentiate ‘job’ from ‘life’.

In 1989, my father landed a new job in Sacramento. Relocating from a sleepy town in Oregon to a larger city was a big culture shock for me. And ironically – shortly after that, grandma and grandpa actually relocated to Washington state. Grandpa passed away in 1995. I was 20.

At the time of his passing, I was playing music and touring. Being in a band was my life. Art (visually at least) was on the back burner . I knew that it was something I was going to circle back to, but it wasn’t in my immediate future.

Now that I’m 35 and have been doing this ‘professionally’ for almost 10 years, you can imagine how many questions I wished I would have asked him. It’s something I can’t spend a lot of time thinking about because of the obvious reasons.

I am grateful to have most of his pieces that he left behind, and the many family members who are helping to remember/research where and when these amazing illustrations came from. Many, many, many more to come.

Thanks, grandpa.

City With No Children

Here’s our new poster for Arcade Fire, a band that we haven’t been able to get enough of lately. I was inspired by the song ‘City With No Children’ from their new album, ‘The Suburbs‘. Available in the shop on September 27th. See it larger.

The Way It Was #001

I had the idea a while back to post about the perils of modern design, specifically in regard to rebranding, the evolution of a particular design and things of that nature. I’ve decided to finally pull the trigger and go for it. As my brother has begun posting a series dedicated to our grandfather, I thought this might be the right time. After all… the time period in which our grandfather was designing will often be the era in which my postings will refer to.

“The Way It Was” will be a study (and occasional pseudo-rant) about a particular design of the past, and a directly (or at least somewhat) related piece from recent years.

TWIW #001 is based on an email conversation I had with a few like-minded friends a couple of years ago. The subject in this case is a box of Trix cereal. Target had announced that it was re-issuing old General Mills cereal box designs for a limited time, (God bless design-savvy corporations) and in being reminded of that classic old box design, I couldn’t help but dissect the modern design and suppose what it’s trying to tell today’s consumer. Here are my thoughts:

1. The logo, once simple and bold, is now 3-dimensional, has a white stroke, yellow bevel, and emboss. ALL of which have gradients. Somehow this “pops” more.

2. Since brand loyalty is dead, the nice big General Mills logo at the top of the box (which I’m sure used to assure people of the reliability and integrity of the product) is replaced by a very small GM logo, overpowered by a “whole grain guarantee” and a list of other nutritional values. Not that nutrition is anything to shrug at, but let’s be real- this is Trix.

3. The cereal itself isn’t enough anymore, so there has to be added incentive to buy. In this case, there’s an ad for “fruitalicious” games on the back of the box.

4. The fun-loving bunny on cute roller skates is replaced by (honestly) what seems to be an INSANE rabbit, literally throwing Trix at you.

5. Lastly, and probably most importantly, the modern box has a disclaimer sentence that reads something like “cereal shown not actual size,” because people are so stupid (or assumed to be so stupid) that they can’t comprehend that the 1″ macro-lens-photographed meteor puffs on the front of the box are bigger than they actually are.

The Bonfire Sessions

Here’s a fun project we recently wrapped with the fine folks at Creature and JanSport. Catch the bus to see The Cave Singers – performing at an undisclosed location. A quick synopsis of the event:

‘This summer, JanSport presents the first installment of the Bonfire Sessions, a free concert series celebrating the epic memories that can only be made outdoors. Here’s how it works. The hidden location of the concert is kept secret until the day of the show. All August long, check in here at Unzipped , as well as Facebook and Twitter , to get clues about the band and where to hitch a ride on the 28th. We’re taking a mere two busloads of people, so you’ll want to stay on top of the bus stop spot. And get your best lining-up/dancing shoes on.’

The poster was designed in 2 sizes: 24″ x 36″ and 18″ x 24″. 8 colors, screen-printed.

Zakk Attakk

Check out your local newsstands now for the new issue of Revolver Magazine, featuring Zakk Wylde. We did the photo-illustration work for the cover and the feature, which meant many hours of cutting out little demon people to create the elaborate scenes. The cover image itself pays homage to recently deceased Frank Frazetta’s classic artwork.

Swap Of The Yeti

I first met Nate Wragg shortly after I stumbled upon his brilliant work for the film Ratatouille. Namely the ‘Your Friend The Rat‘ short and his great books that were inspired by the film. Many of you are familiar with his fun illustrations and epic character work for Pixar and now DreamWorks. We began chatting as we seemed to share an obvious affinity for all kinds of misc. critters. Namely Sasquatch and the elusive Yeti. It was only natural that a trade was in order.

It took me weeks to nail down an idea, but decided that a ‘biker Yeti’ may be a funny prospect. I quickly started sketching and ‘Freddy Mushyeti’ was born. He may look a bit menacing, but I guarantee he’s harmless. As for the rest of the ‘Mushyeti’s’ crew, I can’t exactly say the same.

Nate had the idea that we’d just surprise each other with the Yeti’s and ship off the framed pieces without a clue as to what we’d be receiving. It was a great idea and I can’t tell you how cool it was to unwrap. I think I may have even injured the UPS man as I ripped it out of his hands. I absolutely love it.

Next year: Swap Of The Sasquatch.

Nate’s Yeti: ‘A Break from the Snow’ / 10″ x 16″ / Acrylic & Paper Collage / 2010
My Yeti: ‘Freddy Mushyeti’ / 17″ x 23″ / Digital / 2010

Mastermind

Just wrapped up the artwork for the new Monster Magnet album “Mastermind”. The cover features the band’s mascot, the Bullgod (which graces several of the band’s covers) in a surrealistic painted style. See a short press release here.

From The Alfred Paulsen Files, V.2

Here’s another one from the files. Most likely late 1970′s. Post NASA freelance. Looks to be something for ‘Butte County’. Possibly a small local newspaper.

It’s A Toy!

It’s official. We’re dropping our first toy through the mighty Super 7 in December. Just in time for those stockings. Join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter for updates and shipping info. More to come …

ABOUT

Founded in 2006 by Don & Ryan Clark, Invisible Creature is a
multi-disciplinary design and illustration studio based in Seattle, WA.

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