Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tim Bradstreet

Dark Country DVD cover and poster design challenge

Recommended Posts

Awesome, and no one is doubting all the hard work that goes into creating one of these puppies, that's for sure.

Anyone who has taken the time to go down the road knows it's a lot more difficult to knock this stuff out than it looks.

 

But I'm going to play art director here for a second because I think the creativity of the front cover demands that an equal amount of originality be considered for the back. That is a testament to your effort, not a criticism.

 

The reason I suggest switching things up with the back is merely so it isn't so derivative of the earlier Criterion incarnations.

The front sleeve is completely original in it's graphic design and layout and the back sleeve deserves the same. If you think about it then you know I'm speaking truth. The back sleeve should be just as challenging to create as the front.

 

There is no doubt that you re-typeset the text on the back to keep it crisp at size (the aforementioned samples were too low res for you to use them outright).

You mention that you "re-designed them from the ground up" but I would argue that all you did was reset the text and switch out a few of the graphic elements. That is not re"designing", that's retrofitting ;) When I mention "Move the shit around, mix it up, take the idea and run with it", THAT is a backhanded way of suggesting you DO redesign it. And the reason that I suggest that is because your front sleeve effort DESERVES a completely original take with the back sleeve.

 

This is not a slap on the wrist, far from it. It's a challenge! No reason to shortcut the process even if you already put in a shitload of time and you were exhausted ;) My point is that back sleeves may not be as fun to design as cover sleeves but they are every bit as important to the overall design.

In most cases I wouldn't interject and say a bloody thing, but in this particular case I believe that your effort WARRANTS a completely original design.

 

That's a compliment ;)

 

So here's what . . . You ain't gotta do shit if you don't have the time. What you did is cool and hey, nobody is paying you (or the rest of us).

But if you want to accept the challenge then the door is open. I'd love to see you take it all the way ;)

 

And by the way - To the rest of you. Anything that isn't a sized, full sleeve design will go in a gallery of fan art. That'll be cool as hell!!.

But if you want to see your work downloaded and printable for use as a replacement sleeve for the actual DVD then we need to have full size, full sleeve designs, that means front, spine, and rear sleeve as you see with the previews done by Dave and myself, also xNLx.

 

Savvy?

 

Thanks a ton for all of your contributions SO FAR. Tom's been really busy but he's tickled with the results and support. We both are.

Keep 'em coming we still have plenty of time.

 

And where is our other resident artist, NOELAND!!!??? LOVE to see you toss something out for us.

 

Cheers all - Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You be right Tim, you be right!

 

I used the word redesign... whooops :rolleyes: I should'a said remade.

 

I was tweaking it a little bit earlier today, and I'll be damned, you're right. I'm gonna scrap the back and do something different. I'll experiment a bit with the idea of the title running off the cover. My new goal is to make the back cover just as exciting as the front.... while still summing up the dvd (or fake dvd...). You lit a fire under my ass 'Street, and I'm determined to make yah proud!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You be right Tim, you be right!

 

I used the word redesign... whooops :rolleyes: I should'a said remade.

 

I was tweaking it a little bit earlier today, and I'll be damned, you're right. I'm gonna scrap the back and do something different. I'll experiment a bit with the idea of the title running off the cover. My new goal is to make the back cover just as exciting as the front.... while still summing up the dvd (or fake dvd...). You lit a fire under my ass 'Street, and I'm determined to make yah proud!

 

In the immortal words of Roy Batty, "THAT'S the Spirit!"

 

Yeah, check out some other Criterion Sleeves for inspiration, that's what I did.

There are more than a few that are easily found on a google image search for "criterion DVD" or "criterion DVD sleeve art"

 

I've got about a dozen Criterion DVD's here so I didn't have to go far to find my inspirato!!

As mentioned, there are dozens of different graphic design models that Criterion uses, dozens and dozens of different looks.

You may find something to spring off of that's 10 times better than the stuff I used. Rock N Roll.

 

Can't wait to see what you do!!!!

 

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest AdminGuyX
And where is our other resident artist, NOELAND!!!??? LOVE to see you toss something out for us.

 

I knew I couldn't avoid being pulled into this one! ;)

 

I just haven't had time to put the finishing touches on mine yet because of serious computer problems on the other mac I use to do design work on. One of the chips has stopped working so it's runs REALLY slow, and really annoys me.

 

But this weekend I'll finish up the 2 sleeves I'm working on. My first attempts to do DVD sleeves by the way.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WaaaaaaHooooooo!

Can't wait to see what you come up with Noeland!!!!

 

We're currently sussing out overall design and content of the dedicated Dark Country Website.

And we have another fan challenge to throw at you.

Maybe you're too daunted to join the fray on a DVD sleeve but this should be easy. . .

 

One of the themes in the film is missing girls or couples. We created several "missing" style flyers during the production that we scattered around the film, mainly on display at the diner in an early scene. Tom even wanted me to come up with a Missing poster for Gina for use as a Dark Country style "C" promotional poster. Here's a look -

 

DarkCountryMissingR1F.jpg

 

Allcock helped out too cause I swiped a few elements from the posters he designed for the film.

 

So here's what . . .

 

On the site we want to do a page that's covered in missing posters. We only have 4 or 5 but we'd like to get 10 or 15 to plaster all over the page we plan to make for this bit of content. We'd LOVE YOUR HELP. And in return we're going to publish these things as with the DVD covers so everyone who hits the site will see your work.

 

If you wanna take a crack at this then there are a few ground rules. Here's the specs.

 

1. Make your design dimensions 8.5"X11 - standard "letter" dimensions.

2. These don't have to be super high res or anything, as long as they fit the dimensions everything should be cool. At least 200 dpi and saved as a jpeg for delivery to me.

3. They can be color or black and white, your choice.

4. The subject of your missing poster must be a female, or a couple, no lone males. It must be someone who has no issue with us using their image. It could be your wife, your girlfriend, a pal, a co-worker, as long as you have permission to use their image and they have full disclosure on what it's being used for. We're trusting you. ;)

5. Do not use any picture or names of an actual missing person. We had this issue while doing the film too. We don't want to offend any families out there who are suffering through the horror of a missing family member.

6. Design it any way you want to.

7. Do as many as you want.

8. Please reference Detective Paul Trautman and the RED VALLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT in your posters as the contact. Also feel free to add www.rawstudios.com/darkcountry

 

Note: There are a TON of "missing" flyers available through a quick google search. Take a look to get you started. That should help you come up with the right design model. I used several as reference for the one I did. Just make sure you use your own names or make up the names. Better to use your own, that way we have no legal crap to navigate. That could also be how you get your credit ;)

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

Let the MISSING flyer challenge begin!!!

 

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Version 2, for some reason I can't get any Lauren German photo to look as good as the Tom one. And again I'm not artistically talented and as doing this on a basic paint program.

 

dc2.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Criterion 1.5...ish:

darkcountrycriterion2.jpg

 

I forgot the "E" in "PRESENTED" in the original, glad I caught that.

 

I'm going to play around with this a little more (might on the other one too), I'll have the files to yah here soon though.

 

Anyone think this would benefit if I made the Dark Country bit on the back side a tad transparent? I'm open to suggestions. I only have one Criterion (Fear and Loathing, though I do want to pick up F For Fake), and most images I've seen just have the front cover.

 

EDIT: Oh yeah, I intend to rewrite the plot synopsis (gonna mesh it with the other Criterion descriptions). That one there is just a place holder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gah! Double post, I suck!

 

Anywho, Criterion 1.5....ish....2.

 

darkcountrycriterion3.jpg

 

Perhaps I'm just talkin' out my ass, but when I look at this I get a little chill when I see the silhouette of the Stranger looking through the back cover. He's a little less obvious and a little more creepy when you don't know what is looking at you. You can even assume TJ on the front cover is looking for him -_- There's a guy obviously on the front, and one hiding on the back.

 

Thoughts? Anyone prefer the other? Do I get a cookie?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You get a big chocolate chip cookie ;)

 

I agree (pursuant to the first attempt - 1.5), I think the back cover element in top left is too strong and as such is a tad distracting.

Your second attempt is on the right track but it's my opinion that you should bump the opacity back up another 10 to 15%.

I do like how it matches the tone of the front cover TJ graphic but I think that matching the value should be secondary to seeing better what you have going on there. I liked it better without the blur too. If you wanted to split the difference on the value thing then I'd recommend bumping the opacity up like I mentioned above and then create a layer mask and paint it out (or erase, if you will)/decrease the opacity as you get closer to the top left corner. Like a gradient of dark to light.

 

Just my two cents. I'm sure everyone has an opinion. Consider what I'm saying but go with your gut.

 

Anxious to see if any of you have some Missing bills up yer sleeves!!!

 

News: We finally have a solid concept for the site ironed out and it's a doozy.

Wish I could share more but suffice to say this site is gonna rock yer socks.

It's designed by Allcock, me, and Tom's sister who is a fantastic web designer.

Should have the beta version ready in a few weeks.

 

- TB

 

PS - Also, Mike, I do like that a lot better with the white text, so much easier to read and it looks good with the dark blue. I wouldn't worry so much about the Gina figure. I think of it like less is more when you're going for simple graphics, bold shapes. If all you could see were her eyes and lips that would do the trick. Also, that you have her hair style/shape in the ballpark tells us it's her. All you need is the basic information. One question, I'm seeing some white "ghosting" or rough white edge trims against the black artwork . Is there any way to soften that or clean it up with the tools you have? Just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PS - Also, Mike, I do like that a lot better with the white text, so much easier to read and it looks good with the dark blue. I wouldn't worry so much about the Gina figure. I think of it like less is more when you're going for simple graphics, bold shapes. If all you could see were her eyes and lips that would do the trick. Also, that you have her hair style/shape in the ballpark tells us it's her. All you need is the basic information. One question, I'm seeing some white "ghosting" or rough white edge trims against the black artwork . Is there any way to soften that or clean it up with the tools you have? Just curious.

 

All I got to work with is a basic paint program, but hey if anyone wants to take and tinker with it, by all means they can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, Criterion doneish!

darkcountrycriterion4.jpg

 

First time I've actually used the Layer Mask (never knew what it did before). I also tweaked the other cover, but nothing drastic to need a preview.

 

I think I'm gonna have to sit out the Missing fliers, I'm gearing up to do a comic project, and all my time is going to that. Maybe Noeland can cover for me... we're both in Ohio, just as good ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this is the DVD cover they went with, disappointing. I mean the lower half actually looks alright, but then the floating heads just ruin it (and crappily done floating heads at that). Oh and the tagline is pretty underwhelming.

 

31968477.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do hate to be anti-supportive.

There is a line where standards separate. Above the line you have compelling visuals that demand your interest. Below the line is the retched refuse.

An endless sea of straight to video looking dreck where everything you look at is derivative and banal.

Looks like a TV Guide ad.

 

Dark Country may not be perfect but it deserves better than this.

Hell, we offered to GIVE it to them.

 

The tagline BLOWS.

 

Well fuckit. Download a real sleeve when the time comes.

 

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kwiat asked me to post this if I felt it worthy which I do.

Nice, simple approach.

Kwiat related to me that "I don't torture myself with the computer this way for just anybody."

Means a lot to us that you'd play around with some untried software and take the time to experiment just for little 'ol us ;)

Thanks Kwiat!

 

Here's the goods (I cropped this down for ya KS).

KwiatDCposter.jpg

 

 

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really do hate to be anti-supportive.

There is a line where standards separate. Above the line you have compelling visuals that demand your interest. Below the line is the retched refuse.

An endless sea of straight to video looking dreck where everything you look at is derivative and banal.

Looks like a TV Guide ad.

 

Dark Country may not be perfect but it deserves better than this.

Hell, we offered to GIVE it to them.

 

The tagline BLOWS.

 

Well fuckit. Download a real sleeve when the time comes.

 

- TB

 

The scary thing about the actual cover is that is the scene I would have used as imagery for the cover. (I recalled a quick snippet in the trailers, of Mr. Jane standing over a grave in a long 3/4 view.) I have to agree that the harsh chop line for the face close ups is absolutely bad. I COULD DO THAT and I would have used Microsoft Paint :)

 

Yeah The tag line is pretty damn stupid. At least could made it somewhat related to the movie. Cripes I can do better than that with references to the title...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the art work is that bad, it's the floating heads that make it really terrible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm happy that our covers are infinitively better than... that. And think about that, they own every shot in the movie, and all we had to work with was some stills and a couple posters from Tim.

 

That tag line is dumb. So, since WRONG and DARK are bold, we're supposed to emphasize it in our heads?

 

Kwiat, that's simple and I dig it! Especially the bit you added above the title, gives it a Twilight Zone feel.

 

And Tim, what are the specific pixel measurements you'll need?

 

I'd like to add a couple more cents to the proverbial piggy bank.

 

I don't even like that photoshop job. Jane looks like Will Ferrel from that angle, the highlights on them are completely off and wrong, and god damn does that country not look dark! This is purely a case of "let's see how can sum up this movie while being as complacent as possible." Let's see, we got a car, our two main actors (better throw in some close up shots so we can try and snag that Punisher and Hostel 2 crowd), and oh yeah, it takes place in a desert. Throw a cactus in there. I hope the artist that did this got a nice check, because that should be the only satisfaction they should have. Ultimately though, its the studio to blame. Why make something that stands out when it can just blend in?

 

At the end of the day, it should be the movie that sells the product, but you still have to hook those people. Word of mouth goes so far. If you're not worried about making any money on it (and with a cover like that, I don't think you are), then why not gamble?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kwiat, that's simple and I dig it! Especially the bit you added above the title, gives it a Twilight Zone feel.

 

Thank you. I was hoping by having my simple offering posted, other nonprofessionals would be more inclined to post their creative ideas.

 

On another note, I have a questioon about the storyline of DC. Do Dick and Gina make a wrong turn? I only know what I've read here, but I had never gotten that impression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tag line . . .

At The End Of The Road . . . The Nightmare Begins -

Actually makes sense because once Dick and Gina come to the "dead end", or more specifically, when the road they are driving on suddenly ends and there's fucking weeds growing out of the asphalt, THAT's when they start to get worried.

 

One Wrong Turn . . . Into The Dark ?

Umm, did one of the studio guy's kids write that?

It' downright sophomoronic ;) Hey, it inspired me to make up a new word!

Yes, they take a wrong turn, or a wrong exit but it's never shown, only discussed after they realize they are in fact 'lost'. So yes, they get lost in the night and it's dark.

Well guess what. The movie is called DARK country and they just used the word DARK again in the tag. Genius.

Let's be sure everyone knows it's DARK cause we didn't really understand that yet ;)

 

Perhaps they meant that DARK was another word for the terror, the horror that they are about to experience, or perhaps the DARK is that nightmarish place not unlike the Bermuda Triangle, or The Twilight Zone where weird shit happens. Great, but somehow I don't believe they were trying to be that mysterious with the word.

 

It's just disappointing. Especially so for the director who had no input or say in any of the marketing. He's just got to live with how they package it.

 

As for the artwork itself. No, the scene depicted is not terrible. Yes, it's not so bad. But it's also not very exciting. The angle is not so compelling, the concept is ordinary. But still, that is not so much the problem. Yes it's the lame block at top which plays like an afterthought. "Let's make sure our actors are completely visible!" I'm honestly surprised they didn't try to cram Perlman in there, but that would have meant making the faces smaller to accommodate them all. It's standard "We aren't putting any money or any real effort into this" fare. The artist/designer is not the one at fault. The direction is.

Again . . . Disappointing.

 

End of rant.

 

- TB

 

PS - Kwiat - They get lost, as I mention above that happens by either a wrong turn or a wrong exit. I actually think it's a little more existential than a simple wrong turn but you'll have to see the film for that to make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let me know if you have any questions.

Let the MISSING flyer challenge begin!!!

 

- TB

OK- this has piqed my interest as something I could actually do. How far back in time can these people be missing i.e. how far before 2005? Should all the people be from the same region (i.e Vegas/AZ/SoCal)? Anything else that the vics should have in common - looks, vehicles, etc?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, they take a wrong turn, or a wrong exit but it's never shown, only discussed after they realize they are in fact 'lost'.

 

So what you're saying is, that wrong turn tagline is giving something away before we've seen the story unfold.

Bummer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not going to ruin anything for anyone, it's a minor detail in the scheme of things, not really spoil worthy.

It's just not a very compelling tag line. We had a great one thanks to David Allcock but all for naught.

 

 

As for missing flyers -

 

"How far back in time can these people be missing i.e. how far before 2005? Should all the people be from the same region (i.e Vegas/AZ/SoCal)? Anything else that the vics should have in common - looks, vehicles, etc? "

 

They can go back as long as you want - 60s, 70's, 80's, 90s, 2000s. I think it would be cool to have one that was like 40 years old ;)

So yeah, carte blanch. Same region please - Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona-ish. Nothing else the vics have in common except we'd like you to focus on lost women, younger, between the ages of 22 and 28.

 

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim-- I can't believe they didn't use your bad ass "smeared" cover with the face in silhouette and the right ear peeling off. Really -- that one blew my socks off. I was fortunate to catch Dark Country last week. My hat is off to Tom and Tim and the rest of the crew on this one -- and a big scratch of the head as to why Sony isn't trying more with the film. TJ said they were expecting another SAW -- they didn't get that -- what they got is a Character Driven Mystery with an unconventional Hitchcockian story. WARNING! you have to THINK on this one goddamnit -- I know, stop shuttering at the prospect of being challenged in your movie going experience -- At any rate, don't read anything about this one -- skip the spoilers, skip the synopsis on the back of the box, skip the crappy floating heads on the DVD cover, rest content in the fact that you all created much better artwork and just watch it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WARNING! you have to THINK on this one goddamnit -- I know, stop shuttering at the prospect of being challenged in your movie going experience --

Here, here! I think this is what many of us on the boards want & crave.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...