The body is a semi-hollow Masonite and plywood Flying V loaded with lipstick humbuckers. I bought the neck used on Ebay and finished the headstock to match the body. I pretty much set out to build the most un-metal Flying V I could imagine. The mid-century kitchen yellow was the most obvious choice for me. Oddly enough, I think that cutting the pickguard was the hardest part of the build.
El Cometa is our first attempt a designing a complete bass guitar. Inspired by the designs of DanElectro Guitars, Rickenbacker and Gibson basses, this bass combines design elements from may different styles of guitar. The result is an instrument with a look and feel all its own. Continue reading →
Fresh off the workbench is this pair of stomp boxes designed here at Dang! Creative Services. These beauties will be marking a couple firsts for us. Firstly, La Calavera is the first in a series of pedals completed under the Funktronic label. Last year, we built the Funktronic Envelope Filter and decided to keep the name as an overall brand.
Secondly, these pedals were finished by by a good friend of mine who owns an auto body shop here in town. He was kind enough to paint these using the same two-stage process used in automotive finishing. The results are absolutely stunning.
This is the first in a series of pedals that I think represent some of the best work I have ever done. The “Calavera” concept art was appropriated from the popular Mexican card game, Loteria. I actually designed and built these with a buddy in mind who plays bass in a local Gothic/Pshycobilly band.
The pedal itself is a clone of the now-defunct Ampeg Scrambler. The Scrambler is a really interesting octave up ring modulator/fuzz pedal that produces a really sick, synthy-sounding fuzz. What makes this pedal really great is the Balance knob that acts as a wet/dry mix – an indispensable feature if you’re using effects with bass guitar. The Texture knob sort of increases the amount of octave-like effect.
The Funky Popsicle has a really fun little design on the box that I recycled from another electronics project I did several years ago. I was looking for a retro graphic that was a both nostalgic and, well, funky and modern. The box itself is painted a really cool automotive metallic root beer color, that doesn’t really render onscreen well, but I think the image sort of speaks enough to communicate the look I was going for.
The pedal itself is clone of the ever-popular Electroharmonix BassBalls Envelope Filter complete with a few really cool mods suggested by Mark Hammer at diystompboxes.com. By itself, I always felt that the EHX BassBalls was more of a novelty than a useful pedal. It sounds really cool, but in practical use, it’s not really all that effective. However, with a few mods, it can be really cool. I highly recommend adding the Decay knob and the Mix knob (the Mix adjusts the emphasis between the upper and lower sweep). This adds a whole new realm of usable and dynamic sounds to the pedal. And with a Boss OC-2 Octaver before it – look out – synth bass ahoy! I also opted to keep the stock fuzz circuit, because after hearing the Bassballs demos, I actually liked the froggy vocal character it produces. Now mind you, the easiest, and most common mod is to mount the internal trimpots on the outside of the box, but after hearing a few demos and actually building the pedal myself, I felt that moving the trimpots isn’t a worthwhile mod. Most of the sounds aren’t very usable, and as far as adjusting the lower filter, there’s a really only small window of usability. Mark Hammer’s suggested mods, do include mounting the upper filter pot on the outside, and this does add extra dimension of cool tweakability.
Another little point I might add, this was my first stab at etching my own PCB. Initially, I tried using the more friendly vinegar and hydrogen peroxide method, but it didn’t work for me. I ended up buying some etchant at Radio Shack and it worked great! I hate the using nasty chemicals bit, but I love that I now have two extra PCB’s and another Funky Popsicle box on my workbench.
In the end, this is currently my favorite envelope filter pedal. It sounds great, and when it’s blended into my dry signal, it makes for a really fun effect. It can produce a lot of really cool sounds and it is intensely dynamic and responsive to touch. The li’l lady seemed to be impressed as well. When I first tested it, she happened to walk into the garage and she said, “I really like that – it sounds like coconuts!”
I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for band flyers – after all, I got my start as a graphic designer by doing band flyers. I always played in bands as a teenager and young adult, and luck would so have it that I was usually the guy in the band with a visual arts background. Back in the day, we didn’t have Adobe Creative Suite, so I had to make use of things like black construction paper, dry transfer type, old newspapers and magazines to create elaborate collages that would reproduce well on a black and white Xerox machine. I remember my friends and I hitting the streets armed with a staple gun and a stack of 500 fliers the thick, black toner still warm on the paper. We’d plaster all of the telephone poles downtown, only to come back the next day and find them all covered or torn down. Oddly enough, I’ve seem some of these old flyers for sale on Ebay for $10.
I’ve been getting a lot of requests for band flyers these days, largely because I recently started playing music again in a local band. Today, I’m pretty much doing the same thing – using old photos and setting type to create a visually engaging piece that exudes cool and says just enough about the music to make people curious enough to remember the name of the band. Photoshop hasn’t changed flyer design much, however, most of these flyers designed to be posted on Facebook or texted on a smartphone.
Band flyers I have always considered the fun part of my job. If you play in a local band and need poster for the gig or a cover for your upcoming CD, feel free to contacts us here at Dang! Creative Services. We’re always happy to accommodate musicians and work with various budget constraints.
Here’s a pair of cycling jerseys I did for a local bike shop here in Ventura, CA. The idea was to do one retro jersey and one that had more of an event vibe going on. The Great Wave jersey was also intended it be kind of “ladies” version, but a lot of the guys liked that one as we. I picked the Hokusai image to sort of represent the seaside feel of Ventura as well as pay homage to one of my artists in the process. A colleague of mine pointed out the the retro jersey had the same colors as the ’55 Bel Air.
This was a project of which I was really excited to be a part. Being an avid cyclist for pretty much my whole life, it was really great to do a job that was rooted in something that I really love. The best part is that the jerseys were a success! The client sold out of them and ended up buying another design which he has yet to have printed. I’ll update as soon as I get one.
Jesus Morales, a barrista at A.O.C. and Lucques in Los Angeles has been perfecting his mad painterly skills with steamed milk and espresso. Expect to see the face of Jesus in your latte or cats crawling out of your cappuccino. Morales has been experimenting with latte art for the last year and sees every cup as a blank canvas. Who knows? You may even see a miracle.
A pair of California-made hot sauces is the main course of a “spicy” exhibition that opened last week in Los Angeles. “L.A. Heat” explores the culinary and pop culture impact of Sriracha and Tapatio — two “hot-to-handle” condiments with very different origins that somehow managed to be a unifying ingredient in LA culture and cuisine. Continue reading →
The Lulu Popp business cards came in from the printer today, and boy, do they look great!
The cards were designed by Steven Magaña, and we set up the print job. Here at Dang! Creative, we have ton of experience taking your unfinished artwork and turning it into a print-read file. We can also provide you with some advice on how to give us work that is ready to go.
Lulu Popp is a Piru, California based photo and video production company. Lulu Bopp is available for all types of events and parties.
Perez Tile and Stone is an Ojai, California based tile installation contractor. Perez Tile contacted us about designing a logo for the company. Upon seeing the exquisite tile work in their portfolio, we knew here at Dang! Creative that their company deserved an elegant, yet bold logo. We chose a very masculine and readable san-serif font offset from the background by a series of square tiles to represent the nature of their work. Dark green seemed an appropriate color to bring a sense of class as well as a peaceful and soothing quality to the logo.