I was commissioned to make a logo for the European Go Journal.
The quill represents the written word. It draws a line on the go board, symbolizing the creativity and inspiration we take away from the journal, ready to be used in our own games of go.
Artem Kachanovskyi and I brainstormed about the design: it was to be simple but easily recognizable in different sizes, since it will be used on the new website for the journal as well as on the cover of each edition. We sent sketches back and forth. My initial idea was to have a fountain pen draw a go stone on a board. My second idea was for the pen to shoot or drip drops of ink that would shape into go stones. Artem preferred a classic quill over a fountain pen and showed me a picture of a quill drawing a line. This gave me the idea of the quill drawing one of the lines of the go board, which form the intersections on which stones are placed. This felt like a better metaphor for the journal, with the quill "preparing" the setting for us to play on.
I wanted the font of the text to represent the classy, old-fashioned atmosphere of the drawing and after confirming with Artem, we chose "Quintessential" for the job.
I made a color version and a black and white version for the logo. In the end I think I prefer the b&w one, as its go board feels less defined, which makes the movement of the quill more apparent.
Artem also asked if I could design a favicon for the website, which ended up as a cross-cut shape of four go stones. This was a shape that he had suggested during the creation of the logo as well, and it is very characteristic for the complexity of the game of go, because it usually indicates a difficult fight.
Artem and I are currently working on the fourth edition of the magazine, the May 2021 print, which will be published in the beginning of June.
If you are interested to get a copy of the European Go Journal, have a look at its Patreon page.
One of my customers on Etsy, William Sheehan, was happy with his order and asked me if I'd consider doing a private commission for him. William is 54 years old and has 20+ years of experience in chess under his belt. Only recently, about two months ago, he got into go and has already reached the level of 14 kyu. Previously William ran a chess club and as he is now fully submerged into go, he plans to start a go club. He showed me the logo of his chess club that he made himself (see picture below), in which he incorporated the blue and red colors of the flag of Chicago. The stars in the top left corner are taken from the same flag and the buildings in the background form the skyline of the city. We exchanged some ideas and soon I understood that the go logo was to be quite similar, but that I was free to include my own wittiness. William told me that he lives very close to the Midway International Airport, and that's where the name of his club comes from. Soon after, I got the idea to include an airplane in the design and have it lift off from the go board. William had also mentioned the tarmac of the airport and this gave me an idea for the go position: the go stones shown in the logo form a ladder that resembles a tarmac and emphasizes the movement of the plane. The ladder is good for White: White is in atari, but can move out with the next move, connecting up to his corner stones and breaking free, just like the plane. We ended up chosing a mechanical-style font for the letters, called 'Noise Machine'.
If I'm ever in Chicago, I look forward to dropping by at the Midway Go Club.
During high school one of my classmates introduced me to Italian playing cards and in specifically to the glorious game of scopa. I immediately liked the artwork of the cards, with its denari (coins), coppe (cups), bastoni (clubs) and spade (swords). I've been playing the game ever since with my girlfriend and close friends. Whenever I go on a trip or a holiday, the deck of Italian cards always travels along. I've long had the idea of creating my own scopa deck, and talked about it many times with my friend Jan Hootsmans. We used to draw and write together during high school and we decided we're finally going to take this project seriously. Jan lives in Canada, so it's logistically a bit challenging, but we'll make it work.
Above is the first step: a design for the coins, perfected in Photoshop from a sketch I did many years ago, when Jan was still living in Amsterdam.
I made a logo for IGLO - Internetowa Go Liga O!
IGLO is an online go league that was started around the time the covid-19 pandemic began. The league was created by Cezary Czernecki, supported by the Polish Go Association, and is now running its 9th season with 57 players competing. Participation is free of charge and most participants are from Poland and Ukraine, but anybody is welcome to take part. Each group consists of 8 players, in which each player plays against seven others, one game per week, The players compete to promote to the higher rated groups and, when results are suboptimal, can also fall down to the groups below. When a new player joins, he/she will be placed in a suitable group relative to their playing strength. IGLO includes regular lessons and game commentaries by top European players Stanislaw Frejlak 7 dan and Lukas Podpera 7 dan.
Previously, I designed a disc golf winter logo for the guys from Next Move in Groningen. This time around, they asked me to make a logo for Disc Golf School, a new initiative to teach disc golf to kids and grow the sport throughout the Netherlands.
I had two concept sketches that I pitched to Next Move:
- A basket with chains that grow out like the branches of a tree, forming new baskets as fruits of labor. Trees are often used as a symbol of wisdom and physical and spiritual nourishment. The multiplication of the baskets is a metaphor of the passing on of knowledge and the creation of new disc golf players.
- A teacher and a pupil in a disc golf environment. The teacher shows the student where to throw and the pupil executes the shot. This was my literal translation of the idea of a school.
Although Next Move liked the idea of multiplication, they chose the second design because of its more professional feel. I added trees, a teepad, some details, colour and of course the text. Next Move also requested a black and white version. No problemo guys, roger that.
I made a footer for the website of Frisbeewinkel. On request, the footer incorporates designs I previously made for the category buttons on the site of Disc Golf, Ultimate Frisbee and Dog Frisbee. This represents the range of frisbee sports the company stands for and the articles the website sells. The green mountains in the background have a similar colour to the thumbnails I made and are in line with the colours of Frisbeewinkel's logo.
I made more thumbnail designs for Frisbeewinkel, the biggest frisbee store of the Netherlands. These are visible on the website when you hover with your mouse over the banner with product categories at the top of the screen.
This is the third category that I am making designs for: Ultimate Frisbee. Previously I made the thumbnail designs for the categories Disc Golf and Dog Frisbee. Those were easier to make because the titles of each category were self-explanatory and part of a consistent set: For "Putters" I drew a man throwing a putter into a basket, for "Midrange Discs" I designed a figure throwing an up-shot and "Distance Drivers" asked for a design of a person driving a disc, and so forth. The Ultimate Frisbee category was a bit different: the five titles of this category are "Logo, Star and Tribal Prints", "Junior Ultimate Discs", "Custom Frisbees", "Ultimate Accessories" and "Sand Socks". These titles are more varied and less in line with each other, and it did not make sense to try and directly translate these into a visual equivalent. Instead I decided to use ultimate frisbee players in action, in line with the 'action shots' I used for disc golf and dog frisbee, to form a consistent visual story throughout the website. The last two titles "Ultimate Accessories" and "Sand Socks" felt too out of sync if I used in-action-designs as well, so for those I used two characteristic products, a cap and a sock!
#ultimate #ultimatefrisbee #frisbeeshop #frisbeewinkel
I am always grateful when friends and acquaintances reach out to me for art commissions. This time I was approached by my friend Tim van Vliet and his wife Huifang "Jenny" Deng (邓慧芳).
Jenny asked me to design a cover for her PhD thesis, titled Source attribution of human toxoplasmosis - A quantative microbial risk assessment approach.
Quoting the thesis: Toxoplasmosis, known by its Latin name Toxoplasma gondii, "is a single-celled zoonotic parasite, which has a worldwide distribution. It can infect virtually all warm-blooded animals, including humans, mammals and birds. It was first discovered in Tunisia and Brazil in 1908 and named a year after based on its crescent‐shaped morphology (Toxoplasma means ‘arc form’ in Greek) and the host species in which they were detected (a rodent, Ctenodactylus gundi) (Dubey, 2008). It belongs to the phylum of Apicomplexa together with other species, but is the only known member of the genus Toxoplasma."
This parasite is also strongly linked to cats. Wikipedia reads: "Toxoplasmosis is usually spread by eating poorly cooked food that contains cysts, exposure to infected cat feces, and from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy. Rarely, the disease may be spread by blood transfusion. It is not otherwise spread between people. The parasite is known to reproduce sexually only in the cat family."
The main objectives of the thesis: "To identify and prioritize successful prevention strategies, it is important to attribute the burden of toxoplasmosis to specific sources. QMRA is a useful tool to collect all available data on different aspects so that the data can be used for source attribution. In this thesis, we focused on the assessment of relative attribution of different sources (namely different meat products and soil) to human T. gondii infection in the Netherlands by using a quantitative microbial risk assessment approach. In addition, we implemented the QMRA model of meat-borne T. gondii infection from the Netherlands for the mainland of China, where consumers have different consumption habits."
Jenny had recently seen my drawing of a go playing cat and knew that I previously designed a PhD cover for another friend of mine. After our initial brainstorm session, the first concept was to have cellular shapes of the parasite on the cover and to incorporate a leopard skin pattern, based on a Chinese saying: 管中窥豹，可见一斑。Translating to: "Look at one spot on a leopard and visualize the whole animal - extrapolate; conjure up the whole through seeing a part of it." An interesting metaphor in relation to microscopic research and the prevention of parasitic infection spread, both zooming in on small areas in order to understand the bigger picture. Jenny also asked if I could draw a small cat for the back side of the cover. Soon we figured out that it should not be just any cat: why not her cat, Ruby?
Ruby is a funky cat with an intense and crazy stare, so I looked forward to capturing her in a drawing. I started working on the cover and I used a scientific drawing of the parasite that Jenny sent me to create the outlines of basic shapes. I used the characteristic banana shape of the parasite, multiplied that and filled them purely with leopard skin patterns, but it looked too abstract. I realized that the link between the leopard skin and the parasite itself had to be explicitly visible to make the metaphor work, so I combined the leopard skin shapes with the scientific drawing of the parasite. The link became evident, but something was still missing, so I decided to take the idea of the cat on the back side of the thesis and put it on the front instead: the parasites + the host. I made a crude first sketch of the cat and started playing around with the positioning of the cat versus the parasite-shapes, until I came up with the idea of the "thought bubbles" that you see in cartoons: the balloon in which the thoughts of a comic's character are drawn. I aligned the parasite-shapes in such a way that they started from the top of Ruby's head and grew from small to big. Now it looked like the cat, with its intense eyes, was actually spacing out and thinking of parasites! Fitting also in a sense that parasites can change the mental behavior of their host, but that's more of an afterthought, something I realize now that I'm writing.
Jenny liked this idea for the cover, so I started working on the drawing of Ruby, which I did fully in Photoshop. The main things I focused on were her fluffy hair and her big, green eyes.
The cat for the cover of the PhD was done, but I liked the idea of a cat in the corner of the back side as well, so I decided to draw a second Ruby. This time a sleeping one, as a wink at taking a rest after you've read the entire thesis, but also because sleeping cats are just cute. I added some foot prints to create the illusion of a cat walking around, inspired by the title screen of the short anime film Cat Soup. The foot prints are also a wink at the way parasites spread: they travel along with their hosts.
We ended up selecting Calibri as the font for the title of the thesis. Normally I would be against this, but Jenny requested it and it fits the design nicely. It was a lot of fun to draw cats and to design my second PhD thesis cover. Thank you, Jenny!
If you like my artwork of these cats: you can get them as posters and postcards in my Etsy shop.
Hans Krens from Frisbeewinkel asked me to design a starter set for disc golf beginners. The set consists of three discs: a putter, a midrange and a driver. Hans is not only a frisbee fanatic, he is also very involved in aquaponics, plant cuttings and he cares about the environment. His concept for the starter set combines his passions for frisbee and nature: three flying insects that represent the different characteristics of the discs.
Bumblebees are slow and gentle. They are furry, puffy creatures that bumble about pollinating their environment. A perfect insect for a putter, a slow type of disc that is mostly used for shots close to the basket or to throw straight lines.
Stag beetles have mean looking jaws and a tight protective armor. They are bigger and more powerful than the bumbelee, and believe it or not, good fliers! Perfect for a midrange, which can handle more distance and power than a putter and is mostly used for upshots or long straight lines.
Dragonflies are majestic creatures. They have the most impressive wings and eyes, consisting of so many small parts and details. Faster than the bumbelee and the stag beetle by far, dragonflies live up to their name. This disc is an understable driver, which means it is used for distance throws and wants to curve towards the right when thrown with pace.
Just like my last disc golf design, this project had some time pressure behind it. I just moved to my new apartment, many boxes were standing around waiting to be unpacked and curtains and lamps had to be bought. Then Hans called me: if I could make three designs within the next 4 to 5 days. I'm proud I managed to do so and I am even more proud of the results! Lately I am getting more art commissions and I definitely feel like I'm growing and honing my skills.
These discs will become available at Frisbeewinkel.nl in the next few weeks. They will come in three different colours. I will also sell these designs as posters and postcards in my Etsy shop.
Joost Vlieg, disc golf player and employee of Next Move, asked me to make a logo for the disc golf Winter League in Groningen and surroundings. The winter league starts in October 2020 and will consist of an indoor putting league every Thursday and a sanctioned event once a month in Stadspark Groningen.
There was no clear concept for the logo, which as a designer is both difficult and fun, because I was free to make what I wanted, but did not have any guidelines to work with. After talking some more and asking some specific questions, it became apparent that "winter" had to be the main theme. Joost also told me that the league will be sponsored by Next Move, Eagles Wings disc golf and Prodigy Disc. The name "Eagles Wings" immediately resonated with me as a designer, since I often use animals in my drawings, and I suggested that I'd include an eagle in the logo. Joost was enthusiastic about it and quickly after I came up with the idea of a basket being part of a snowman and an eagle throwing a disc in the chains. I ended up making two versions, one in color to be used for the promotion of the league, and one in black and white to be used for the printing of discs. Most likely the design will be printed on discs as a hot stamp, so I am excited to see how those will turn out.
Time pressure was lifted to a new level for this design, not only because I have several design projects lined up and because the deadline for this design was end of September, but also because I am in the midst of moving to a new apartment. It is a crazy busy time for me and I keep surprising myself with the time and energy I don't have but somehow find anyway.
I'm looking forward to the disc golf Winter League and to joining at least one of the events to chuck a disc with my own design!
Welcome to my website! My name is Kim Ouweleen, my artist pseudonym is Murugandi.