Category: Graphic Design

Gabe Morales + Friends T-Shirt Design

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A few months ago I collaborated with my younger brother again, this time on a t-shirt design. If you’re new here, my brother, Gabriel, is a talented musician who has played all over Roanoke and other parts of Virginia with a host of other talented musicians. I’ve also worked with him on the design of his business card, debut album, and a few gig posters (Blues for the Holidays / A Brief History of the Blues). Check out his website for more info: www.gabemoralesmusic.com

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Our goal for the design was to create something simple, but bold. We eventually went with this pedal board design. I drew it by hand in ink first and then turned it into a vector. I was able to play with textures and patterns inside of the geometric shapes and then Gabriel played around with the color scheme and placement of the text.

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The design was printed on soft white cotton t-shirts by local printing company, Press Press Merch. For now you can purchase a shirt at any of Gabriel’s shows, but they will be available online soon. Click here to view his upcoming shows.

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Thanks for reading! xoxo

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Project: Banda Magda T-shirts

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I’ve been sitting on this story for several months, but now I can share it with you! So there’s this amazingly talented international group of musicians called Banda Magda. I know of them through my musician brother, Gabriel, and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform live at Jefferson Center in September of 2013 and I felt like I had been transported to another place. It was such a beautiful and entertaining show.

Magda Giannikou, the band’s tireless leader (pianist, accordionist, singer, composer, orchestrator, songwriter, music producer, etc.), is constantly creating and working on new projects. Last year she and her band put out a new crowd-funded album titled Yerakina. During the crowd-funding campaign, she also released a call for illustrators who could help design T-shirts. My brother told her about me and we were soon Skyping and sending messages back and forth talking about goals and ideas. I was a little nervous about the project since I had limited experience in graphic design work, but Magda had faith in me and was very supportive.

I whipped up a couple preliminary sketches based on Magda’s vision and we discussed style, color, and other content. Magda wanted the shirts to be quite bold, but simple and also educational. We decided to create two different shirts and each would feature a different musical instrument (vibraphone and pandeiro).

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Once I had the final drawings done, it was time to make them digital and add text. This was the most challenging part of the project. I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and I was learning as I went, which is a great way to learn, but also very time-consuming. I learned how to create a vector and I played around a lot with color and placement. Many changes were made along the way, but the designs were eventually finalized and t-shirts were printed! Now many of the people who helped fund Yerakina own one of these shirts and you can also purchase them online here. The shirts have been traveling around the world as Banda Magda tours.

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Speaking of tours, Banda Magda’s last stop on their most recent tour was Jefferson Center this past Tuesday. I saw them perform again (SO GOOD!), and I also finally met Magda in person. She is so sweet and she exudes creativity and passion. I feel so lucky to have worked with her and seen her perform live. What an amazing experience!!

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Banda Magda is working on their third album, Tigre, which will also be crowd-funded. Click here to check it out and consider supporting them! As always, thanks for reading. xoxo

LINKS
Banda Magda Website
Banda Magda Shop
Tigre Pledge Fund Page

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Gabe Morales and Friends Album Art

Hey! Today I’m here to share something that has been in the works for a pretty long time. I mentioned a while ago that my younger brother (an active musician) was going to release his debut album soon and it features my artwork. The release date has finally been announced so I can now share the artwork and all the info about the release!

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This album cover was my first big photoshop project that I did on my own (as in I didn’t really know what I was doing), but I began the project with more “traditional” media: pencils, ink, and paint. I painted several small paintings, fiddled around with some stylized lettering, and did a pen drawing of a potential cover. I then played around with two of these images on photoshop, layering them and using a variety of effects. After a lot of experimenting and tweaking (and I mean a lot), this is what I came up with:

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If you live in the Roanoke, VA area, you should totally come out to the release concert and show your support. This album came to life thanks to several bands and individuals including Talk is Cheap, The Jamie McLean Band, The Fat Daddy Band, Carlos Aranguren, and Cameron McLaughlin. The album was funded by a grant from the Blue Ridge Blues Society and recorded inside the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA. A ticket to the release concert includes a copy of the new album.

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The release concert is taking place on Saturday June 21st at 8pm in the Rehearsal Hall at Jefferson Center. To visit the Facebook event page and see more info or RSVP click here.

Thanks so much for reading!

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A Brief History of the Blues: Promotional Artwork

Last year, I mentioned that I’ve been working on my graphic design skills. My younger brother is a musician and I made a promotional poster for his holiday show last year. He has another show coming up at the end of May so I made another poster for him. The process was much smoother this time around and I learned lots of new techniques and shortcuts. If you’re a beginner Adobe CS-user, I strongly suggest watching tutorials on YouTube and then trying out things yourself. Watching videos helped me out a whole lot.

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If you’re in the Roanoke area and you enjoy great music and food, then you should definitely come to the show. I guarantee you will be impressed and entertained! As always, thanks for reading :]

Links:
Gabriel’s Facebook Page
Gabriel’s Website
Event Page

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Graphic Design

As an artist living in a culture that relies heavily on technology, I’m realizing more and more that I need some graphic design skills. There is a need for graphic designers in so many fields whether they’re art-related or not. When I interviewed for the teaching job I have now, the man interviewing me said that computer arts skills are basically a requirement for being an art teacher today.

Ever since I was a student at JMU, I’ve been dabbling in graphic design. I took a computer graphics class as a sophomore (or maybe I was a junior…) and I was introduced–key word introduced–to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and In-Design. I learned a ton of information, so much that I forgot most of it after a few months because I didn’t use the programs anymore.

In the past year however, I’ve been getting those skills back and then some. My younger brother, a talented musician, has kept himself very busy with his music and is working on an album release and some shows here in Roanoke. I designed his album cover (hopefully I get to share that with you guys soon) and I just designed my first promotional poster for him:

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I’ve used Photoshop and Illustrator for both of these projects and the trial and error process is basically how I’m coming to understand them better. It’s a slow process, but the results are rewarding. You can expect some more graphic design projects in the future! Thanks for reading :]

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