#100 Milestones & Goals

100 Milestones & Goals

 #100 Milestones & Goals
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.

We did it! We hit the 100 mark! 

Thanks to you, ampersand fan & loyal subscriber, AmperArt #100, Milestones & Goals, is the one-hundredth issue of an AmperArt poster, for which my goal has been one per month since this project began in June, 2011. 

I have issued, without fail, one AmperArt piece per month (even if it meant stretching the month to the last hour in a remote time zone that hadn’t yet reached midnight, such as Baker Island & Howland Island, tiny outlying islands of the US).

Until now.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Ironically, I missed the deadline on this milestone achievement, the one-hundredth creation of AmperArt, Milestones & Goals. This was to be issued during April, 2017. It never made it. 

Why? Because I could not come up with an appropriate title for the theme of “one hundred.” Should be easy, right? A big, important number like that?

On the other hand, I’ve had #101 in the works for months. That one’s easy: black spots all over a white background, alluding to one of my favorite movies of all time, especially for the snappy pencil-drawn stylized effect—and the first to use the Xerox process for animation which gave it that distinctive style.

Isn’t 100 supposed to be an important number?

A title for #101 is easy. But #100? I figured there would have been a surplus of phrases, idioms, themes, ideas that allude to the number 100. But Google was practically dry. There’s the 100th Anniversary stone, the diamond. And the anniversary color, purple (not my favorite color; can’t use that). There are plenty of news stories about 100k marathons. But nothing all that significant about the number 100 itself. I thought & thought & thought, but just could not come up with anything. 

April 30, 2017 came & went, and the string of one AmperArt per month was broken. Frantically, I tried to think of other titles to celebrate the 100th issue: Grin & Bear It, Deadlines & Quotas (that wouldn’t do—I missed the deadline), Day Late & Dollar Short, Slow & Steady, Congratulate & Celebrate…on & on. 

Finally, I had to rely on the philosophies of Live & Let Live as well as Patience & Determination; just let it go until I come up with the appropriate title. I’ll issue two pieces in May.

Finally, a milestone

Yesterday I hit on the word “milestone” and realized that would make a nice title. Not about the number 100, but about an important milestone. So, what to pair that up with? Milestones & Achievements? Milestones & Deadlines? (After all, it was each monthly deadline that kept me on track to achieve this milestone, even though in the course of most projects & business teachings it’s the milestones that lead to meeting the deadline.)

I had Milestones & Deadlines all set to go, when I came across the phrase “goals & milestones.” That sounds sweeter to most people than “deadlines.” And it’s really what I am trying to accomplish: my goal is to keep churning out one AmperArt per month (okay, on average) until I’m dead. So, I guess “deadline” would be meaningful afterall, but I chose to rewrite the title as “Milestones & Goals.” (Goals & Milestones makes more sense, but it sounds weird & looks weirder.) Finally, here’s the April 2017 AmperArt, #100 Milestones & Goals…in May.

Our little secret

I feel defeated about missing the deadline on such a milestone piece, and I hate to be dishonest. So here’s the deal: You, my dear AmperFans, are privy to the truth. But between you & me, no one else has to know that I blew it. It’s just easier to continue boasting “I’ve issued one edition per month since the very first” than confessing “I’ve issued one edition per month since the very first except I missed the deadline for the one-hundredth which was such a milestone piece I feel like a worthless piece of crap.” Or maybe I’ll just admit I’m human. We’ll see how it goes.

 Please comment here.

Why I love Photoshop

Reviewing several photos for Milestones & Goals, I was focused on some sort of rock or boulder…until I saw this beautiful old wood post to which was attached a modern sign, against a gorgeous background. The blue of the sign is my favorite color blue, a cross between cyan, cerulean, turquoise & my all-time favorite, Crayola Blue-Green. So that one got downloaded (and paid for, by the way). I guess it’s also significant that I chose this image to represent Milestones & Goals, as I used to own a sign company. That business was a milestone to where I am today.

I didn’t care for the dullness of the signpost, being it was backlit. Photoshop to the rescue. Here’s the before & after. I toned down the background blue haze just slightly, but really brought up the light on the post & sign:

 
Original photo
After retouching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are probably criticizing the lousy “photoshopping” on the edges of the sign, right? Quite obvious that it was plastered on top of the original image, correct? Well, I thought so too—that the photographer did a half-assed job of copy & paste (no, it wasn’t me). Guess what, though—it’s the actual photo. Upon enlarging (see below) I discovered the sign is a piece of sheet metal to which a decal is pasted. With the slight border of the metal showing around the decal, it sure does look like a crude retouching job. But no, it’s real. (Click to enlarge.)

Clever one-piece sign

The final deadline.

Now that we’ve achieved this milestone of AmperArt #100, it’s onto #101, #102, and so on, creating a new piece each & every month (maybe with a little time shifting here & there) for the rest of my life…the final deadline.

 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 #100 Milestones & Goals:
Original size: 12×18 inches

Programs: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Bank Gothic, Ebrima
Ampersand: Ebrima
Credits:
Kilometer Pole Photo: © Afhunta | Dreamstime.com (modified by Chaz DeSimone)
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!

#87 Cold & Flu

87 Cold & Flu

 #87 Cold & Flu
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.

What happens when you have 3 deadlines to meet, you have the cold & flu, you’re sneezing, have a headache & you just feel like crap?

The computer crashes of course & you have to start all over on a huge project.

But I interrupted the “paying” projects to get a special one done—this month’s AmperArt—just for you. Coming up with the title Cold & Flu was super easy as I’m living it! The typestyle & colors are based on typical packaging & store signage for the cold & flu season.

And yes, I really was 90% complete with a huge board game design project when Photoshop unexpectedly quit & I lost all that work. That hasn’t happened in years. So once again: save, save, save!

The upside of catching a cold & flu? I love the taste of Nyquil, Luden’s honey-licorice cough drops & Pine Bros. gummy cherry lozenges.

smith-brothers-cough-drops-14ct-box-14One fond memory is that of Smith Brothers Cough Drops, both Wild Cherry and Black Licorice. I loved those! In fact, that was the very first cough drop. Sadly, they have been discontinued. (For those of you interested in marketing: By chance, the word “Trade” appeared under the picture of William & the word “Mark” under that of Andrew. Thus, it happened by a mere coincidence that the famous Smith Brothers’ trademark was born and the Smith Brothers became known to generations of Americans as Trade & Mark.)

Another favorite, and I don’t recall who made them, was  a long hard candy-type cough drop with a peculiar honey-horsehound-medicinal flavor. They were a brownish color & tasted so bad they were deliciously addicting.

Stay warm & dry this holiday season. Try not to catch the cold & flu, especially if you’re on a heavy deadline.


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 #87 Cold & Flu:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe InDesign
Fonts: Helvetica Compressed
Ampersand: Helvetica Compressed
Inspiration: Sneezing, Coughing & Aching Bones
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!

#65 Black & Blue

65-black-blue


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.

My favorite colors are black & “charlie blue.”

Black is actually my very favorite color & yes, it is a color. (See “chaz sez” below.) “Charlie blue,” as my friends know it, is anything between Crayola Blue Green to cerulean to turquoise to cyan (one of the four printing ink colors). AmperArt #65, Black & Blue, features CBG as I call it, cyan, and one other blue which I’ll get to later. All my favorite blues are somewhere in-between CBG and cyan.

I am not fond of sky blue, navybaby blue nor royal blue. They are cold. (Yes, I know, my very favorite color—black—is definitely freezing. But we’re talking blue here.)

There is a very deep blue that does tingle my color bone. That’s cobalt blue. My first memory of that color is my father’s blue cuff links. Also the knob on his steering wheel to help turn the tires before power steering (that accessory became illegal because when the steering wheel snapped back the knob could remove a finger or two). & the cool red tail lights with the blue dot in the middle, which created a magical color effect.  They’re popular again today but I remember the originals on my dad’s 1950-something automobile. Probably no other recollection of cobalt blue is stronger for me than the bottle of Vicks VapoRub. That stuff felt ice-cold as the color of the bottle it was packaged in. I’m also partial to cobalt blue because it is the favorite color of my mother and my brother Rob. So that is the other blue in this AmperArt piece.

Vicks-jar-with-lid-circle

Just looking at this Vicks jar opens my sinuses! Other products in cobalt blue bottles were Noxzema, Phillips Milk of Magnesia (sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?), Bromo Seltzer, Nivea and Blue Coral.

In fairness to navy, royal blue, sky blue & all those that are not my favorites, combine them with various other colors & they create outstanding color schemes. Of course, the same could be said for poop brown.

I am releasing #65 Black & Blue during the playful days of summer, because that’s when I recall we’d get the most bruised up falling off our bikes, skateboards, or just playing in the backyard. I did, anyway. I was a real klutz. Still can’t ride a skateboard.


listen up! Black is a color! Not the absence of color, nor the combination of all colors. It is color. So is white. So why do people say it’s all the colors or no color? Because they don’t know the definition of color. “Color” means the description of the hue, value & tone. Pure yellow is a color that has a hue somewhere between orange & green on the color wheel, a very light value (high-key, or very bright compared to very dark such as navy blue), & minimal tone (grayishness; mauve & sage green have medium tone).

The color black is defined by no hue (red, yellow, blue, etc.), the darkest value, & zero tone. White is defined by no hue, the lightest value, & zero tone. So you see, black & white have no hue & no tone, but they are both colors.

If you want to have some fun with all the other colors, check out the Crayola website, especially the history & the Crayola Experience where kids (including big kids) get to play & create among all things Crayola, & see how they are made. If you can’t make it to the factory in Easton, Pennsylvania, watch this video: How Crayolas Are Made.

I love Crayolas. (I won’t use any other brand; the colors aren’t as pure, they’re waxy & they just aren’t Crayola.) I remember when the box of 64 premiered, with the awesome Built-In Sharpener. I probably have the few stubs that are left of my original set somewhere, but today I have The Ultimate Crayola Collection—152 different colors!—on my desk. I use them frequently, & always to sign important legal documents. For that task, of course, it’s Crayola Blue Green.


PRODUCTION NOTES:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: Illustrator
Lettering: Hand-lettered by Chaz DeSimone
Colors: Cyan, cobalt blue, Crayola Blue Green & black
CREDITS:
Vicks ad: flickr.com/photos/28153783@N08/ “SaltyCotton” has nearly 2000 photos of vintage ads in pristine condition. An ad designer’s or collector’s eye candy overload!
Vicks jar: Joe Corr on pinterest.com/pin/274930752225672732/ and etsy.com/shop/owlsongvintage Beautiful collectibles and antiques.