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 →
This month we have the new Hot Cherry Overdrive from Dang! Creative Services! This overdrive is the second stomp box in our Funktronic line of effects pedals. A clone of the classic Marshall Bluesbreaker, this pedal is a great example of a somewhat transparent overdrive. I brings a nice, natural sounding distortion with out bringing too much crunch to your tone.
These pedals were also finished in bright red by a friend of mine using a really fantastic automotive-grade two-stage polyurethane finish. Coupled with the cool, retro graphics, brought to you by Dang! Creative, the results, again, are absolutely stunning.
Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it?
Pronounce the word artist, to conjure up the image of a solitary genius. A sacred aura still attaches to the word, a sense of one in contact with the numinous. “He’s an artist,” we’ll say in tones of reverence about an actor or musician or director. “A true artist,” we’ll solemnly proclaim our favorite singer or photographer, meaning someone who appears to dwell upon a higher plane. Vision, inspiration, mysterious gifts as from above: such are some of the associations that continue to adorn the word.
Yet the notion of the artist as a solitary genius—so potent a cultural force, so determinative, still, of the way we think of creativity in general—is decades out of date. So out of date, in fact, that the model that replaced it is itself already out of date. A new paradigm is emerging, and has been since about the turn of the millennium, one that’s in the process of reshaping what artists are: how they work, train, trade, collaborate, think of themselves and are thought of—even what art is—just as the solitary-genius model did two centuries ago. The new paradigm may finally destroy the very notion of “art” as such—that sacred spiritual substance—which the older one created.
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.
Done to Death has just published a recently discovered collection of photographs of 70s daredevil, Evel Knievel. For any boy who grew up in the 1970’s, there are few cultural icons who could inspire as much awe as this red, white and blue clad madman. He would jump over rows of flaming cars on his Harley, strap himself to a rocket and shoot himself over the Snake River Canyon, survive horrible crashes, break bones and endure third degree burns only to get up and do it again. What mind of a 10 year old boy wouldn’t be blown out of the stratosphere?
At the height of his fame in 1972, Evel (real name Robert) was invited down to the Oklahoma State Fairground to wow the crowds by local businessman Jack Cooper, the owner of Cooperville Car Dealership. Four decades later Jack’s grandson Garrett Colton found a box of slides in his grandfather’s attic which captured that very special visit with vivid old school charm.
It was 50 years ago that Italian graphic artist Francesco Saroglia designed the iconic Woolmark logo. Since then, the Woolmark logo has become one of the most recognizable textile symbols in the world. Originally designed in 1964, the logo was launched in the USA, Western Europe and Japan. It has been used on end products in more than 100 countries across the globe.
For this anniversary, The Woolmark Company has promoted a series of celebrative events in Sydney, Australia with the aim to underline the historic relationship between the Australian wool industry and the application in most prestigious international fashion.
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 →