Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Science Museum of Minnesota

I promise I'll get back on track posting about new art and design work soon. In the meantime...DINOSAURS.

A couple weekends ago I was in the twin cities for my cousin's high school graduation. Congratulations, Madison! At the last minute, I convinced my fellow carpoolers (my husband, brother, and soon-to-be sister-in-law) to stop at the Science Museum of Minnesota on Sunday morning before heading back to South Dakota. Fun was had by all. But probably mostly me...

"Fafner" the Triceratops

"Fafner" the Triceratops. You can check out his backstory here and here.

Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus.

Diplodocus

Diplodocus.

Camptosaurus and Allosaurus

Camptosaurus and Allosaurus.

Terror Bird and Glyptodon

Glyptodon and a terror bird (I don't remember which species).

Compsognathus

Compsognathus.

Diplodocus

I wanted a picture with Diplodocus. That's easier said than done. You either end up with a photo of you and its legs, or something awkward like this. I guess now I can see exactly how tall I am compared to this 82-foot-long giant.

Part of the paleontology hall was under maintenance while we were there. I peeked behind the plastic and the area was empty, but one of the signs I could see was about pterosaurs. I wish I knew what I missed out on! I'll have to visit again sometime when it's finished.

I did remember a few of the exhibits from visiting here as a kid, but not many. The tornado and the wave machine were very familiar. Surprisingly, I didn't remember much at all about the fossils.

I took quite a few photos - if you'd like to see more of the exhibits you can browse my Flickr set.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dino Brights!

Last fall I began going through some of my childhood toys that my parents have been kind enough to let me leave at their house all these years. My first project had been cleaning up my small collection of My Little Ponies and Fairy Tails. Next is a much bigger project: going through my ridiculous amount of various plastic animals and dinosaurs.

I'm starting small with these tiny neon-colored Panosh Dino Brights. Some of them actually say © 87 on the bottom - I would've been five years old in 1987 but I know I was older when I began collecting these. I remember it being more around when I was in second or third grade. My brother was also collecting them at the same time, which is why there are doubles of most of them. In fact, some of the doubles have permanent marker dots on the bottom, because, you know, heaven forbid I get my dinosaurs mixed up with the ones my little brother touched.

Panosh Dino Brights

Panosh Dino Brights

I think I remember these being sold in small sets. I'm also pretty sure they had human names rather than being identified by species, which I found to be very annoying at the time for the ones I wasn't familiar with. I really wish I still had any of the original packaging.

Panosh Dino Brights

Some of them are numbered on the bottom and say Panosh with the copyright symbol and year. Some of them are numbered and say China. Some are blank on the bottom. I'm wondering if the blank ones are knock-offs, or maybe some just weren't marked? I couldn't find much reliable information about these guys online. Also, you can kind of see in the photo above with two of the same model (supposed to be Styracosaurus I think), one is more of a matte finish and slightly different color, but both have the same markings that would suggest they're authentic. There are several of the doubles where this color and finish difference is apparent.

Panosh Dino Brights

Like all of my dinosaurs, these were pretty much played with to death in the mud, sandbox, pool, etc, and quite a few aren't in the best shape. The two above (some sort of spinosaurid?) are both a bit rough, but all the yellow ones in general are showing the most dirt and wear.

Panosh Dino Brights

I'm not sure what these are supposed to be with such a tiny head, but they do appear to be feathered. They won't stand up on their own. The waving green Ouranosaurus in the background was one of my absolute favorites.

Panosh Dino Brights

Just look at that winning toothy smile! So proud, as any good T-Rex should be.

These toys have great sculpted detail for being so tiny and there's such a nice variety of different dinosaurs, marine reptiles, and other prehistoric critters. I also love the bright neon colors rather than realistically painted detail for a change. Sadly, I can't seem to find one that I remember being a favorite of mine: a terror bird. Maybe it'll turn up as I keep going through everything.

I plan to soak these guys in some soapy water awhile to see if I can clean them up a bit and then take some better photos. We'll see if I get around to that in the not-too-distant future.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Deerhead Poster

Deerhead @ The Basement

This poster/flyer turned out all right for a quick little project. I ended up having to bring it from start to finish in less than an hour, eesh. Budget concerns are huge for these band projects, so as I've done in the past, it's black laser printing on colored paper (only 10 cents per sheet). The size is half (the long way) of standard 8.5" x 11" paper: 4.25" x 11" so we could get two out of each sheet. The tall configuration of the paper is less common, so a little more eye-catching I think. The actual paper is more of an orangey gold than this.

Working only in black and shades of gray is always a nice change from having unlimited color choices. I enjoy the challenge of trying to make the design just as dynamic as something in full color. Good design, of course, doesn't require lots of color. It forces me to focus even more than usual on the tiny details, especially with the typography.

One of my upcoming projects will be developing some illustrations for Deerhead so I don't have to keep recycling the logo as the only image. Fun!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Current WIP: Mark + Emily's Wedding

One of the projects I'm diligently working through now is all the print design for an upcoming wedding. My brother is getting married! I'm ecstatic about designing the print materials for Mark and Emily. They were open to very unique and non-traditional concepts, and after much discussion, we decided that an infographic theme would be perfect. They're both engineers (he mechanical, she industrial), and the techy mathy sciencey feel of information graphics is an appropriate and personal fit for them. The Save the Date postcards were finished and sent awhile ago:

Save The Date Postcard (front)

Save The Date Postcard (back)

I originally designed these with a thin brown outer border, but the test prints revealed that the print company I chose to order them through couldn't cut them evenly or consistently. Dropping the border was a safer choice since it's not near as noticeable if the edges aren't cut exactly right. Going forward, I need to do more research on local print shops. I think having more attention to detail with that kind of thing would more than make up for the higher cost (hopefully).

I'm now working on the invitations, and I can't say much about them yet. I'll share them once they're finished and sent out in the coming weeks.