Adobe Illustrator CC Tutorial + Poster

Last year we received a call from our favorite software company, asking us if we’d like to preview the soon-to-be-released Illustrator CC. The one caveat was that we had to create whatever we wanted and document how we did it. Our answer? A resounding ‘Awesome!’ and “Uh-oh, what are we going to create?” There were no guidelines, save for a few key words: Modern, fearless and reborn. Adobe’s theme for the new release.

Since we had just recently bought a farm outside of the city, we were in the thick of having our normal lives turned upside down – yet at the same time, we were having a blast with our new lifestyle. ‘Reality. Reborn.’ is inspired by that personal transition … blended together nicely with the amazing new features of Illustrator CC and Adobe’s willingness to give us carte blanche on creative direction.

We’ve been using Adobe’s products for almost 20 years now and rely extensively on their tools to create our projects. Huge thanks to Terry Hemphill and the Adobe team for asking us to do this. We had a lot of fun with CC’s great new features.

Without further ado, download Adobe’s awesome iPad magazine, Inspire to check it all out – or read it online. And to top it all off, grab the mega-huge uber-limited 25″ x 46″ poster in our shop now.

Read about how we went from sketch phase to final color blocking … and how our process always evolves as we work.

One of the coolest new features in CC is the Multiple File Place tool, allowing you to adjust the size of your file before dropping them on the artboard.

CC’s new Touch Type tool is especially great as well, allowing you to manipulate and edit individual characters without creating outlines.

Those are just 2 of my favorite new features. Read about the rest. A few details below:

… and pick up the giant 25″ x 46″ poster in the shop now for only $40.

Blowfish Birthday

Our Blowfish Birthday GiftCard for Target is now available at the Bullseye! A.D.: Ted Halbur / Brian Holt / Heidi Anderson

 

Gift Maker Toys For PNC

We are excited to announce the launch of a fun new project we just finished up with the kind folks at Deutsch NY. Deutsch commissioned IC to create 12 unique character toy designs based on the classic song “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” for PNC’s infamous annual PNC Christmas Price Index. Beyond the task of creating 12 original characters based on the song, we also designed multiple interchangeable parts for each character – over 100 pieces in total. Partridge In A Pear Tree, Turtledove, French Hen, Calling Birds, Golden Rings, Geese-a-Laying, Swans-a-Swimming, Maids-a-Milking, Ladies Dancing, Lords-a-Leaping, Pipers Piping and Drummers Drumming.

The PNC Christmas Price Index site is loads of fun and allows you to create your own toy by selecting various heads, legs, arms, bodies and accessories. When you are done creating your character, PNC calculates the total cost of what your selection would be in 2013, as well as how much it has gone up or down since 2012.

But the coolest part? For 12 days, PNC is selecting 24 lucky winners per day to receive a 3D-printed gift in time for the holidays! Using Makerbot desktop printers, winners will be chosen randomly and selected each day. The more gifts you build, the more chances you have to win. Read more about that here.

We had so much fun with this project, now it’s your turn!

More about PNC Bank’s Christmas Price Index:

The PNC Christmas Price Index® shows the current cost for one set of each of the gifts given in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

It began 30 years ago when the chief economist at PNC Bank decided to figure out how much it would cost to buy each of the gifts. Little did he know, he was starting a holiday tradition that continues to this day.

The PNC Christmas Price Index® is similar to the Consumer Price Index, which measures changes in prices of goods and services like housing, food, clothing, transportation and more that reflect the spending habits of the average American.

The goods and services in the PNC Christmas Price Index® are far more whimsical. And most years, the price changes closely mirror those in the Consumer Price Index. It’s a fun way to measure consumer spending and trends in the economy. So even if “pipers piping” or “geese-a-laying” didn’t make your gift list, you can still learn a lot by checking out how their prices have gone up and down over the years.

Deutsch Credits:

Partner/ Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan
SVP, Group Creative Director: Jeremy Bernstein
Senior Copywriter: Matt Moyer
VP, Creative Director: Qian Qian
EVP/Director of Integrated Production:  Joe Calabrese
SVP/Director of Digital Production: Suzanne Molinaro
VP/Executive Digital Producer: Jennifer McBride
Senior Art Producer: Hillary Jackson
Producer: Jillian Cornette

Production Companies:

MediaMonks (creative digital production)
Invisible Creature (toy design & packaging)
3D Printer Experience (3D printing the toys)
ShootersNYC (intro/outro video production)
Director/DP: Craig Needleman
Executive Producer: Jim Huie
Senior Editor: Anthony Marinelli
Account Director: Amy Sweeney

IC for Xbox One

We had the pleasure of working on a number of User Profile and Achievement illustrations for the brand-spankin’ new Xbox One, which happens to be out today. IC was commissioned by Xbox to create 30 gamerpics for users to choose from on the new system. Monsters, space scenes, animals, objects and more. We were also asked to create 5 achievement illustrations that would be displayed once a user accomplishes a specific challenge. 10 Hours Of TV, 25 Hours Of Movies, etc.

This project was a blast, and it’s exciting to see some of our gamerpics end up in the Xbox One: Invitation spot (see below). Big thanks to our A.D.’s Ramiro Torres and Michael Guss for the opportunity. Now I just to need to get my hands on one …

IC Speaks At LEGO

We had the great privilege and honor of speaking at LEGO‘s internal Design Camp last week – a day away from the office for the creative team in beautiful Enfield, Connecticut. Scott Decoteau, along with the talented and generous crew at LEGO, were gracious hosts during our time in New England. Highlights of the trip included the LEGO HQ tour (wow), dangerously delicious indian food, bowling and sharing sentimental stories about the infamous drawstring denim LEGO bag.

To commemorate our talk, we decided to make some things. One of them being a poster of us creating our new mark out of 4,236 bricks – flown in from all over the world. After 2 hot days, 1 broken mallet (don’t ask), 6 iced coffees and 3 blisters, the mosaic came to life. Extra special thanks to LEGO for supplying the baseplates.

Unfortunately these posters and prints are not for sale, but who knows – we may throw some in future IC poster orders …

LEGO_3

IdN Magazine Feature

Is there still a role for designers in the music industry? We’re honored to be amongst 7 studios interviewed and featured in IdN’s Music Graphic issue.

Recorded music has always been packaged, from the very earliest days when wax cylinders came in cardboard tubes, and has therefore always involved designers. In the palmy days of vinyl LPs with sometimes stunning cover art and often erudite liner notes, the presentation was almost as important as the product.

But with the industry morphing so rapidly into the field of digital-download delivery, where do the graphics come in now? This is a burning question for all those working in the area of visually representing music. To see what their answers are, read this feature story, which solicits the views of seven specialist music designers.

Featuring: Telegramme Studio | Invisible Creature, Inc. | IWant Design | Daniel Reed | Matteo Meta | Leif Podhajsky | Giottographica

// Grab a copy here.

IC x LEGO x SDCC

Comic-Conners! Head over to the LEGO booth and check out the FREE 2013 SDCC Exclusive Superhero Minifigures! We had the pleasure of designing and illustrating the packaging, 2 for Marvel (Spiderman & Spiderwoman) and 2 for DC (Superman & Green Arrow). Each carrier folds out to create an action-packed city backdrop for your Superhero. From what we’ve heard, these go pretty fast – so Tweet or Instagram us if you grab one! Gigantic thanks to Scott Decoteau and the team at LEGO for the super (get it?) fun project.

Spacehack Mural for Facebook

A few months ago we were approached by the kind folks at Facebook, asking if we’d be interested in creating a mural for their offices here in Seattle. It sounded like heaps of fun, so we signed up. They gave us a few keywords that represented the culture and atmosphere at Facebook. ‘Making The World More Connected’ and ‘Hacker’ got the most votes internally, so we dug into those ideas as our direction. Inspired by Ben Barry’s in-house postings, we based our piece on combining both thoughts – the idea of going beyond the ‘world’ being more connected intrigued us. Facebook existing outside of planet Earth seems like an attainable goal, so that’s where we landed. Once again we worked with our friend Don Rockwell on the application of the mural and it turned out pretty spectacular. See our quick and fun ‘Making Of’ film below:

Spacehack_3

 

Gennadiy

We’re extremely thrilled to take part in the campaign for a new film titled Gennadiy. Our friends, Steve Hoover and Danny Yourd, the visionaries behind the powerful and moving Blood Brother documentary, have been hard at work on this incredible film and are now looking to finish the project with a little help from you. Visit the Kickstarter campaign here, where you can view the trailer, read about the film, and learn all the ways you can contribute to ensure its completion!

Once the campaign reaches $10,000 the poster that we created for the film will be revealed.

Dog On A Hog

Fire up the V-Twin and pick up our new Biker Bullseye Gift Card for Target – in stores now. Complete with ultra-cool chromium reflective foil stamping technology in person! Below are a few initial sketches we provided the client before we began illustrating the final card — but see the whole process here.

Illustrator: Don Clark / Sketch Artist: Doug Oudekerk / Art Directors/Designers: Scott Gilson & David Ledsinger / Writer: Aaron Muther / Production Designer: Sarah Schroeder / Creative Manager: Ted Halbur

2013 South Lake Union Block Party

Oh Summer, where art thou? It’s always a pleasure working with Josh Lackey and our friends at Vulcan Real Estate. Here is our poster art for the 2013 South Lake Union Block Party, happening Friday August 9th and benefitting The Center For Wooden Boats. Printed on 80 lb. Cougar Opaque stock. See you at the beer garden.

 

Heartwork 2013

We’re excited to announce the launch of Heartwork 2013! We’re so thankful to all of the artists that donated their time and talents this year.

What is Heartwork?

Heartwork is a project designed to raise money for art supplies within the art room at Target House — this wonderful home-away-from-home for the families of children facing long-term treatment at St. Jude® Children’s Research Hospital.

The whole idea started simply enough. We, along with a few other creative individuals, were asked to work on various design projects for the St. Jude Target House. But, in the process, we were so deeply moved by the experience that we didn’t want it to end. We witnessed firsthand the special connection the kids had with the art room in particular. It was a place where we saw kids at all stages of health just being kids. So, we began to wonder, “What if we could create a ongoing way to support more and better art supplies for these children?” It was then that Heartwork was born.

Every year, a group of talented artists create a series of 11″ x 14″ giclee prints to raise money for the art room. Each of the prints feature an interpretation of the word “Hope” and each edition is limited to only 10 pieces and signed/numbered by the artist.

Print details:

Archival giclee – printed with pigment inks on archival cotton rag paper
Size: 11 inches x 14 inches with a 1″ border for framing
Signed & numbered editions of 10

Purchase the prints here.

2013 Artists:

“Hope” by The Heads Of State

“Black Rhino’s Forge Ahead” by Always With Honor

“Wild” by Jolby

“Flower Friends” by Tad Carpenter

“My Robot Friend” by Kevin Tong

“Thick-Lined Valley Of Love” by Aaron Draplin

“Growth” by Mike Perry

“Create Yourself” by Don Shank

“Upswing” by Invisible Creature

“Hope Mobile” by Julie West

Kern and Burn

We’re honored to be part of the fantastic new book Kern and Burn: Conversations With Design Entrepreneurs curated by Tim Hoover and Jessica Karle Heltzel. Featuring Aaron Draplin, Heads Of State, Arman Vit and many others.

‘Kern and Burn: Conversations With Design Entrepreneurs’ is a beautiful two-color book that features candid conversations with 30 leading designers who have founded startups, channeled personal passions into self-made careers and taken risks to do what they love. In this book they share their failures, successes, and perspectives. Our hope is that you can learn from them — not to follow in their footsteps, but to chart your own course in parallel, one that allows you to thrive, add value to the world and love what you do.

The entire Kern and Burn project was brought to life by a successful Kickstarter campaign, but here’s where it all started. Tim and Jessica’s spirit and passion for this book is an inspiration, pick up a copy if you can!

 

Rescue & Restore

abr_rescue_cover

Here’s a look at the recently completed cover for August Burns Red’s new album, Rescue & Restore. The album will be available June 25th on CD, double gatefold vinyl, and limited edition vinyl box set. Pre-orders available soon! We had an absolute blast putting this together. Thanks to JB and the guys for their trust and letting us run crazy with it.

Austin City Limits

Last February, the kind folks at Austin City Limits Music Festival commissioned us to design key art and assets for their infamous 6-day event, which is happening October 4-6 and 11-13. We graciously accepted their request and the new look is now out in the wild. We had a blast compiling all that there is to love about the iconic festival, the city of Austin … and even a little of their historic bat and flag culture. Oh, and Depeche Mode is playing?!

 

Holy Rebel

New posters for Holy Ghost! and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club for this year’s Sasquatch! Festival. Available for purchase at 10AM on May 20th. See them on display at Vermillion in Capitol Hill starting May 18th, 7PM. 21+.

Target Build-A-Plane!

Our latest product for Target is in stores now … and it’s a fun one. Captain Bullseye’s Build-A-Plane! Gift Card is a whopping 21 pieces of snap-together awesomeness. Complete with accents of metallic silver, a spinning propeller and a display stand that doubles as a cloud/Gift Card holder. See more here and purchase here. As always, big thanks to our A.D.’s Ted Halbur and Brian Holt. You are now free to move about the toy shelf.

 

From The Alfred Paulsen Files, V. 12

Misc. editorial work.

2012 Holiday Giveaway

As we celebrate IC’s 6 year anniversary, we are thankful for 2012 (our bestest year yet!) and the amazing projects we’ve had the pleasure of working on. So we thought we’d spread the joy a little by creating “The Lookout”, a sequel (of sorts) to 2010′s Snowballer print. With every purchase over $25, we’ll be sending out a signed 11″ x 14″ giclee print until December 20th, which also happens to be our last day of shipping before Christmas.

Special note – International orders: Due to shipping costs, we are only able to send “The Lookout” with poster and print orders. Offer doesn’t apply to T-shirt or toy orders. Sorry!

We’ll have the set of 2 available to purchase after the holidays. Go in peace!

KidQuake!

Here’s our cover for KidQuake!, album #4 from Seattle’s mightiest pre-K heroes : The Not-Its! See for yourself – these guys know how to start a serious circle pit.

 

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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