#91 Hot & Spicy


#91 Hot & Spicy
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Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Hola.

Things will be Hot & Spicy at the Latin Festival I’ll be attending this weekend.

There will be hot & spicy salsa (the kind you dance to), hot & spicy salsa (the kind you set your tongue on fire with), and homemade guacamole, hopefully not too hot & spicy.

Here’s the poster I designed for the event:

 

Sabroso 2016

One thing that might not be so spicy, but definitely hot, hot, hot, will be the 100 degree weather.

Adios, amigo.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.


Production notes for #91 Hot & Spicy:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Aka Hoggle
Ampersand: Hot & Spicy Chili Peppers
Credits:
Chili Peppers: graphicstock.com
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#17 This & That

17-This-&-That


#17 This & That
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This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

There’s nothing much to say about this AmperArt piece #17, This & That, except that it follows the criteria for the series:
1. Common phrase
2. Contains the word “and” or an ampersand
3. Makes for an interesting story (well, This & That fails There)

If you have an idea for a future AmperArt concept, please comment here.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.


Production notes for #17 This & That:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop (I have no idea why this wasn’t created in Illustrator)
Fonts: Helvetica Bold Condensed, Helvetica Black
Ampersand: Helvetica Black
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#2 Red White & Blue

Click to download hi-rez poster


#2 Red White & Blue
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-quality printing & framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

If you wish to comment (and I hope you do) please comment here.

Flag Day’s 100th Anniversary

American-Flag-Waving large free

June 14, 2016 celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Flag Day (United States), which was established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which occurred June 14th, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Red White & Blue is the second AmperArt piece I created, way back in 2011. I don’t know if it was influenced by Flag Day or the 4th of July. I don’t even recall the concept behind the artwork (was the ampersand supposed to resemble a character from an old parchment document?). Regardless, I recently discovered it was never officially released. So here is AmperArt #2, Red White & Blue—finally unveiled on the 100th anniversary of Flag Day.

Clever concept, clashing colors

I have several opinions about the design of the American flag—from a conceptual standpoint, to a color standpoint, to a branding standpoint. In order to get this “lost art” published today, Flag Day, I’ll save those comments for later, & will add them to this article right here (& let you know when that happens, if you subscribe to AmperArt.com).

But one thing I must state now, because it is fascinating to me as a designer, is the dynamic nature of the flag’s design, evolving as the nation grows; & how cleverly the stars have been (nearly impossibly) arranged to accommodate the ever-increasing number of states. I applaud the cleverness of each iteration. (I wonder if Betsy planned on that.)

38_stars2Here is a complete chart of the flag’s iterations. Quite interesting are the 1837 “Great Star Flag,” the star configurations for the years 1847, 1877, & the 1890 43-star flag which must have caused the designer to pull out some hair. The next year, 44 stars, was most certainly a welcome simple challenge.

Planning for the future, you can also see the 51-star flag if a new state is added (hmm…who would that be?)


PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the
United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

The Pledge of Allegiance, written by Francis Bellamy, a baptist minister,  was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. In its original form it read:

I pledge allegiance to my Flag
and the Republic for which it stands,
one nation, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

Note there is no reference to America nor to God. Bellamy anticipated that the pledge would be used by any country, not just the United States.

In 1923-24 “my flag” was changed to “the flag of the United States” & in 1924 “of America” was added (so immigrant children would know which flag they were saluting).

In 1942, the pledge’s 50th anniversary, Congress adopted it as part of a national flag code. Some state legislatures required school students to recite the pledge. In 1943 that requirement was dropped, as some religious groups were not allowed to idolize a such a symbol.

On June 14, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill approving the words “under God.”

Bellamy went on to become an advertising executive.

Read more about the Pledge of Allegiance, including the debate over the words “under God,” at Smithsonian.com, which provided the above historical information.


If you wish to comment (and I hope you do) please comment here.

Flag Day is everyday (somewhere)

June 14 is Flag Day in America. I’m sure all or most other countries have designated days to celebrate their flags. Flags in general are meaningful, colorful, symbolic & fun. So here is a compilation of the world’s flags to enjoy as a piece of art in itself, also to give hope that we can all live in harmony someday:

Flags

If you wish to comment (and I hope you do) please comment here.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.


Production notes for #2 Red White & Blue:
Original size: 10×15 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop
Font: unknown
Ampersand: Custom design by Chaz DeSimone
Credits: 
Flag against sky: stock
38-star flag: UShistory.org
Flags of the world: GraphicStock
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#99 Laurel & Hardy

Click this image to download hi-rez pdf:

Laurel & Hardy AmperArt


#99 Laurel & Hardy
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing & framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Joe RinaudoAmperArt #99, Laurel & Hardy, was inspired by my best friend of fifty years, Joe Rinaudo, whom I met in seventh grade. We were both into “old stuff”—I collected & refurbished old office machines (mimeographs & typewriters) & Joe collected 16mm films of early cinematic comedy—Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Keystone Cops, Fatty Arbuckle , & of course Laurel & Hardy. I sure had fun going to his house & watching those old films. As a teenager he already had a large collection of 16mm films, both silent & sound. Later, Joe began investing in 35mm silent films & acquired a Power’s 1909 Cameragraph Model 6 Motion Picture Machine which he restored to pristine condition. He also became an expert at restoring the old films & acquired vast knowledge about the early cinema industry.

Visit SilentCinemaSociety.org, Joe’s new website for old entertainment.

Today, besides running Rinaudo’s Reproductions, his Victorian lamp business which reproduces & custom designs superb lighting fixtures of the Victorian, Craftsman & Art Deco periods (you’ll find many of his lamps throughout the Disney parks—yes, those massive chandeliers in the Emporium are his), Joe Rinaudo continues to collect, restore, & host itinerant shows of the silent era, as that is his ultimate passion. He frequently lectures & hand-cranks his beautiful antique projector at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences—to producers, directors & stars, many of whom have little knowledge of how their industry started. They are always in awe when Joe presents his shows (in full turn-of-the-century costume, no less). He also hosts smaller itinerant shows, similar to when projectionists would travel from town to town where there were no formal theaters & project at a hall, church, or even inside a tent —hence the term “tent show.” Twice a year Joe teams up with able assistant Gary Gibson & organist extraordinaire Dean Mora at the Mighty Wurlitzer to present a spectacular show complete with colorful glass lantern slides at intermission (or when the film breaks). This event is held at the Nethercutt in Sylmar, California, usually in October & February.

Most recently Joe has formed an organization called Silent Cinema Society “for the preservation & presention of the art & technology of silent cinema.” (It was originally named SCAT—Silent Cinema Art & Technology—but we’re still trying to obtain that domain.) I had the pleasure of creating Joe’s website, SilentCinemaSociety.org, where you’ll find most interesting & entertaining information about the art as well as the technology of the silent cinema era. Be sure & subscribe to his newsletter, “The Newsreel,” to learn of upcoming silent film shows & news in general. (It’s always exciting when a 100-year-old lost reel is found in a storeroom or attic, usually pristine but so frail that it must be handled gently & with the greatest caution, as old nitrate film is spontaneously combustible.)

See Laurel & Hardy in Burbank June 4, 2016

Joe’s upcoming Classic Silent Comedies itinerant show will be held in Burbank, California, Saturday June 4, 2016, at 7pm. Joe will hand-crank his 1909 Power’s projector as Scott Lasky embellishes each scene with live piano accompaniment. Gary Gibson will project glass lantern slides of the era. The show is nearly 2 hours with light refreshments for sale. Admission is $10. Full details here.

Joe Rinaudo is especially excited about this show, following the surprising turnout for the show in March. The audience was a lively, young crowd interested in this old technology & art form, the results of promoting the event on Facebook. More on that story here—& a bizarre scene of a dancing pig.

Adding sound to silent…

Joe Rinaudo playing his American Fotoplayer. Plug your ears!

Although early films were silent, as in no dialog or recorded music, there was plenty of sound in most theaters. Large theaters employed an orchestra. Smaller theaters & those with lower budgets relied on a photoplayer. The photoplayer (“photo” from photoplay & “player” from player piano) was built specifically to provide music & sound effects for silent movies. These machines appeared around 1912 & were used in medium sized theaters. Photoplayers were inexpensive to operate because you didn’t have to be a musician to play them—they were also playable by way of player piano rolls. But the person at the bench did change rolls & add the sound effects, as you can see in this demonstration.

Joe Rinaudo is playing his American Fotoplayer in the video above, which was featured on Huell Howser’s California Gold.

The photoplayer used a fascinating combination of piano, organ pipes, drums, & various sound effects designed to narrate the action of any silent film. Pedals, levers, switches, buttons, & pull cords were all used to turn on the xylophone, beat a drum, ring a bell, create the sound of thunder, or chirp like a bird.

When sound films came into being in the late 1920’s, the photoplayer became passé. Of the thousands of American Fotoplayers made during their heyday, sadly less than 50 survive, & of those only 12 are known to be in playing condition. One of those 12 is in Joe’s living room. & his neighbors ask him to leave the door open when he’s playing the instrument, as they love the happy sound.

Joe discusses the American Fotoplayer in depth, with video & photographs, here.

Intermission

Laurel & Hardy: greatest comedy duo of all time

Quoted from The 25 Best Comedy Duos by Martin Chilton at The Telegraph:

Writer Kurt Vonnegut once said that his favourite comedians were Laurel & Hardy. “I used to laugh my head off at Laurel & Hardy,” said the author of Slaughterhouse-Five. “There is terrible tragedy there somehow. These men are too sweet to survive in this world & are in terrible danger all the time. They could so easily be killed.” What survives of the comedians – American Hardy died in 1957 & English-born Laurel died in 1965 – is 107 films released between 1921 & 1951. Their catchphrase was: “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!” & their mixture of slapstick, wordplay & utterly charming comedy makes them the greatest comedy duo of all time. The Music Box, which depicts the pair’s hapless attempts to move a piano up a large flight of steps, won the first Academy Award for Live Action Short Film (Comedy) in 1932. “Those two fellows we played,” Oliver Hardy told an interviewer, “they were nice, very nice people. They never got anywhere because they were so very dumb, only they didn’t know they were dumb.”

Above all, Laurel & Hardy are wonderfully, upliftingly, silly:

Ollie: “Call me a cab.”
Stan: “You’re a cab.”

(Another Fine Mess, 1930)


 

D'oh!D’oh

Laurel & Hardy’s influence is alive & well in The Simpsons. Homer’s repeated use of the word “D’oh” was inspired by Jimmy Finlayson, the mustachioed Scottish actor who appeared in 33 Laurel & Hardy films.


 

Another fine nice mess (d’oh)

The famous catch phrase of Laurel & Hardy, from Another Fine Mess, is often misquoted as “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.” The actual phrase in the film is “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.” 


 

Laurel & Hardy

This scene is from “The Stolen Jools,” a short made in 1931 “with more prominent stars than have ever before appeared in any one feature” as stated at the beginning of the film. The stars appeared as cameos to help raise funds for the National Variety Artists tuberculosis sanitarium. You can watch the entire film here on YouTube. It’s great to see all the old stars in one film & there are some funny lines & gags.

Who is your favorite comedy team with an ampersand?

Laurel & Hardy? Abbott & Costello? Burns & Allen? Lucy & Desi? Martin & Lewis? French & Saunders? Tom & Jerry? Wallace & Gromit? Any others?

Comment here (or below if you see a big blue box).

Finis


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.

#67 Few & Far Between

67 Few & Far Between


#67 Few & Far Between
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Few & Far Between is said about a lot of things:

Fine restaurants in this town are few & far between.

Good movies are few & far between.

Gas stations on this highway are few & far between.

Jobs for a time were few & far between.

Our relatives are few & far between.

Exceptionally talented & professional designers are few & far between.

The expression “few & far between” originally was used very literally for physical objects such as houses appearing at widely separated intervals (mid-1600s). Today it is used more loosely.

Lately AmperArt releases have been few & far between (but I still churn out at least one per month).

What has been few & far between for you lately?

Comment here (or below if you see a big blue box).


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.