Archive for February, 2010

Beijing Nights

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

After a long day of work I decided to hit up my favorite noodle restaurant. On my way I stopped by my apartment to drop off my work bag. Hearing the fireworks blast and boom outside reminded me to grab my camera. Like I’ve said before, everything in China is a picture opportunity.

I took my usual route to the noodle restaurant. On my way I passed family after family lighting off fireworks. I skipped taking pictures. I was starving and wanted to get to the restaurant before it closed. I arrived at the noodle restaurant and noticed it was pretty empty. People with suitcases sat at one side of the restaurant. I walked in and asked for a table, only to be told they were closed. Noooo!! These noodles are so delicious. I’ve been craving them since the start of Spring Festival. Argh!

I walked back to my apartment snapping pictures. White lights wrapped around trees illuminating the sidewalks. Rows of red lanterns hung in the trees, giving the streets a holiday feel. I also snapped a picture of a customized VW Jetta. This car had a sweet dragon decal, body kit, rims and a spoiler. Too Fast Too Furious: Made in China.

On my way home I made a few stops. I splurged on a pack of firecrackers (I’ll blog more about this), then stopped at two of my favorite places. I purchase my fruit at a small, family owned fruit store. They have the best fruit, and some of it I’ve never seen in America. I bought four apples, three pears and a Snickers bar for only 21 RMB, or $3. Outside the fruit stand the family lit off fireworks. They have a boy who is roughly seven or eight years old. He squatted over the fireworks, struggling to get the lighter to work. His dad and grandpa kept encouraging him to try again. As soon as that sparkling tank lit, he booked it!

I made my final stop at my favorite restaurant. I ordered my usual dishes to go. As I waited for my food to be prepared I snapped some pictures and made small talk with the waitresses. I think they’re starting to know me, I eat there once a week! The restaurant has a giant fish tank. When you order fish they take it from the tank, weigh it and kill it right there. Talk about fresh. I thought the old fish scale would make for an interesting photo. Before putting my camera away I snapped one more picture of the exterior of the restaurant.

That is my typical Saturday night in Beijing. I would like to go out more, but it’s no fun to go out by yourself. Taking pictures and doing yoga is probably better anyway. So where am I right now? I’m sitting in bed trying to sleep, but it’s hard with fireworks still blasting and booming. Awesome.

♥ BB

New MDA Logo Sparks Debate

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I meant to post this sooner but I’ve been so busy with logos it slipped my mind. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), a division of the U.S. Department of Defense, recently updated its logo. The logo is causing quite a commotion among Americans. Some people say it’s a conspiracy theory, others say it’s just a star and stripes.

I tried to access the Missile Defense Agency website to see the logo for myself. Unfortunately it is “unaccessible” over here. From research I gathered online, this new logo is not supposed to replace the old logo. It will be used for recruiting materials and the public Web site. Richard Lehner, an MDA spokesman, said the logo, “was used prior to the 2008 election and has no link to any political campaign.”

I follow a branding website called Brand New that compared the new logo to other similar logos. From a design perspective I can certainly see the similarities between the new MDA logo and the Obama logo. Blue crescent. Three red stripes. Gradient on the horizon. But what about similarities between more controversial logos? Similarities between this logo and the Iranian Space Agency are causing a stir. Do we want a Government logo to remind us of a tyrannical leader that hates America? Again, from a design perspective, it does share similarities with the symbol of Islam as well as the Soviet Union’s hammer and sickle flag.

During the 2008 election Pepsi changed its logo, some said to get behind the Obama campaign. It’s one thing for a private company to back a politician. If people disagree with the company they do not have to purchase their products. However, this is a government agency. Who do you think paid for this design work?

Politics aside, I find it hard to believe TMP Government, the logo design company, could not come up with a better logo. Why not modernize the old logo? Emphasize the idea of protecting the earth. Use similar colors like red, green, blue and orange. Is this the best they could do?

What do you think? Is the new logo just stars and stripes, or is it something more?

♥ BB

Capital Logo Progress

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Monday we meet with Capital Airlines to show our progress. I didn’t even mind working on a Saturday. Time flew by. I’m competitive and I want my logo chosen! Here’s how it’s evolving.

The wing type logo received the most feedback from friends and family, so I decided to work with that. Kurkie told me to think of my logo in a new way. Think about old China meets new China. History meets the future. I feel these logos meet his idea, as well as the criteria for this logo.

Thanks again to everyone for your feedback. You have no clue how much I appreciate it. Logo designs are so time consuming, I had no idea. I’ve been here for almost nine hours working solid. I think my brain is going to explode! Maybe it’s time for a noodle break :]

How do these make you feel? Comments or criticism? Do you see history meeting the future? If you saw just the logo, would you envision Capital Airlines?

♥ BB

Halftone Designs

Friday, February 26th, 2010

This week I’ve slaved away on logo designs. Today is no exception. After six hours, my brain needed a change of pace. I popped in my “Best of Photoshop User” DVD and started studying halftone effects.

To create a similar effect choose a picture with minimal details and a basic background. I picked a photo from my “Chinese Celebrity” photo shoot. Begin your design by selecting the foreground and cutting out the subject. In my design this is my leg and boot. Select a background color and apply a fill. To add more effect I created a new layer, applied a gradient and then a blend mode. You can also use textures to create different background effects. Coming up is where things get tricky. Select your top layer (in my case the shoe) and press “Q” to activate the quick mask. Under filter select other, minimum, expand. Play around with the number of pixels and apply. This is how much your halftone will expand. Go under filter again and apply a strong gaussian blur. Go under filter one more time, select pixelate and color halftone. Drop each channel to zero and make your maximum radius around 15. Press “Q” again to exit the quick mask mode and create a new layer. This is where I had problems. Make sure your new layer is below the image you want viewed! On your new layer the pixels should be selected. Press option and delete to fill your selection with a desired color. Add a drop shadow or text for additional flair. I used a few other Photoshop techniques to make my legs smooth and boots pop. Read through previous design blogs and see if you can find which tricks I used.

I really enjoyed learning halftone designs. I’ve done some halftone work before, but applying it to photographs is fun. It gives your design a retro vibe. What do you think? Where else have you seen halftone effects used?

♥ BB

Now Playing: 04 Mindestens in 1000 Jahren


Thursday, February 25th, 2010

If you want to know what my blog title means you’ll have to watch the movie! :]

♥ BB
Movie on 2010-02-25 at 03.31