Shin’ya Tsukamoto Poster Series

Created for inclusion in an Asian film ‘zine set for publication in 2018, these were a LOT of fun to play with. Interpreting the kinetic, proto-cyber-punk aesthetic of Shin’ya Tsukamoto was nothing short of a blast and added another style to the quiver.

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Quentin Tarantino Poster Series

These were created in response to a comment asking why I hadn’t explored the work of Quentin Tarantino. I finally have. I illustrated and designed these around the concept that in so many of his films, there is a character driving the action who may not actually be the main character of the story. A catalyst. These posters represent that catalyst for each film.

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Music League Identity System and Digital Experience Design

Anyone who knows me knows that I love music. I like it so much, that I actually consider it a vice on some levels. (LOL!) So, when a friend approached me about joining something called Music League, a weekly thematic competition for music lovers (think fantasy football, but with music), I was all in. After playing a couple of seasons, a talented member of the league approached me to develop an icon to mark the game (thanks, Nathan). That very quickly became a full brand, featuring custom mark, lockup, tagline, avatars, glyphs and full system redesign. I was in hog heaven. I have collected a small portion of the assets I developed for the brand and the system. We’re already talking about a healthy second phase to the project (let’s go native mobile), so stay tuned for updates. I loved this one!

Shown Here :: Mark, Lockup, Colors, Type, Avatar Set, Glyph Set, Sample Desktop, Tablet and Phone Responsive Digital Experiences

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Grindhouse Poster Series

All hail, Grindhouse. This style of lurid, often low-budget DIY filmmaking embodies so much of what I cut my teeth on as a young teen fascinated by the images, branding and subject matter of the genre. It reached its glorious golden age in the 1970s and that meant a smorgasbord of amazing style and hipper-than-hip (or downright hilarious) execution. I have been revisiting these films in revival of late and felt moved to create a series of posters in the grindhouse style for “films” of my own. I focused on 5 sub-genres here… Sexploitation, Blaxploitation, Punksploitation, Drugsploitation and Slasher. I had a TON of fun creating these and paying homage to this amazing film movement and hope you like them, too!

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The Films of George Romero Poster Series

George A. Romero was a king. His work from the late 60s through the early 80s was the output of a director with true vision. The idea of using horror to tell stories that skewered societal issues ranging from racism to consumption to governmental control to identity to scientific experimentation (and more) is genius and makes the films still fresh and relevant for new audiences today. I created this series at his 2017 passing to commemorate this landmark body of work. We’ll miss you, George. Thanks for everything.

Shown Here :: The Poster Series Plus a Production Detail Showing My Creation Method

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Icons of Memphis Design :: Miami Vice :: A Series

I really can’t say enough how influential Miami Vice was on me. Though I was just a teen when the show aired, I consider the series a huge landmark in my development as a creative. I could FEEL those first two seasons as Michael Mann’s vision wrought on the screen every week. The fusion of pop culture at large with amazing storytelling and cinematography was VERY powerful stuff. These were created as part of a two-part series exploring the design of the legendary Memphis Group of Milan. I love to do projects like this because they are a conversation with great influences.

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Soul Activism :: A Series

I actually started this series before the 2016 election results, but it may have even more resonance and meaning now. These were created in homage to those 70s black artists who used music as both a balm and a fuse, igniting social change.

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The Futurists :: A Series

Since a lad, I have always loved great sci-fi. Space operas are cool and all, but it was always the visions for our own future as humanity that really did it for me. That’s the impetus behind this series. It’s always fascinating to see and consider these “could be” futures. Even more fascinating are the “never were” destinies as we have already surpassed the dates portrayed in the films. Here’s to brighter fates!

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“Annabelle Lee” Sarah Jarosz Music Video

This was a labor of love that I created both inspired by and in tribute to the amazing work of three amazing artists ::

First off, the bone-gleamingly pure Sarah Jarosz who adapted a macabre classic into this bit of musical perfection. The second is the man behind that definitive poem, the peerless master Edgar Allan Poe. The third is less well-known (and it’s a crime). Lotte Reininger was a filmmaker and animator from the early 20th century, who’s seminal works include the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film, “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” from 1926. That’s 12 years before Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” was released!

PLEASE view this in full HD either below or at this (preferred) Vimeo link. It’s meant to be viewed that way.

Words and Music — ©2011 Sarah Jarosz and Sugar Hill Records
Inspired By — “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe
Video Concept, Illustration and Animation — ©2016 David Edward Johnson


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Snkrslktr App Brand / UI Design

Is there anything like a fresh pair of kicks? Forget the power tie… Nothing completes a fly outfit like a pair of the right sneakers, just tight and right.

The “sneakerhead” culture rose in the hazy glory of the 1980s, born of Basketball, songs like the Run DMC classic, “My Adidas” and the legendary Air Jordan brand. Its become a worldwide phenomenon encompassing tens of millions in sales and trade commerce. “SNKRSLKTR” (SNEAKER SELECTOR) is aimed at that target, giving sneakerheads a place to gather, strut, admire, sell and trade.

The brand itself offers an approachable, iconic take on the phenomenon, establishing a relatable visual language for the project. Our colors derive from the pop and simplicity of the original sneakers of the 1980s that birthed the movement while our custom glyphs underscore the sense of fun inherent in the mark. The app interface attempts to strike the balance between something high in utility and rich and layered in visual feel with a strong nod to the concept of the “quantified self.”

“Pop” is the focus in the kicks game and that’s our watchword here as well. Fun!

Shown Here: Mark, Wordmark, Colors, Glyphs, App Screens

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Midmodernism App Brand / UI Design

I am a huge devotee of the Mid-Century Modern movement. It was a time when design thinking was king, spurring optimism and creativity across the world. New and progressive approaches were everywhere and perhaps at no other time more than that period, did we strive for that perfect balance of utility and artistic form.

Our house is almost entirely vintage MCM (we have a little 70’s and 80s thrown in for good measure) and every piece we have acquired inspires us every day. Speaking from experience, the process of “doing” a house MCM is BIG fun. AND… It all starts with inspiration. That’s the impetus behind this app: “MIDMODERNISM.” These designs show how that focus comes to life in a way that attempts to strike that same balance that the movement attempted to :: utility made beautiful.

The brand itself draws from the clean, modern geometry of the style, using type, placement and form to create the staccato conversation of pattern so prevalent at that time. Our colors and our custom glyphs here are inspired by the period as well, driving home elegance, richness and whimsey in turns. The system itself leverages simplicity to achieve solid user interaction and seamless flow. In all, a fun and inspiring project inspired by an amazing time in design.

Shown Here: Mark, Pattern Sample + Colors + Glyphs + Inspiration Photos, App Screens

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“The Warriors” Poster Series

“Waaarrriiiorsss, come out to play-ee-aaayyy!”

“The Warriors” has fascinated me since I saw it as a young teen in the years shortly after its release. The 1979 NYC gangland classic defined the sub genre of films dedicated to “chronicling” the noble, lawless urban decay at the center of cities like New York as the decade gave way to the 1980s. I loved all of it. Imaginative, iconic, indie and imminently quotable, the film continues to find new audiences.

I am playing tribute to the film with a series of 6 posters portraying 6 iconic “sets” from the film :: The Warriors, The Baseball Furies, The Lizzies, The Punks, The Hi-Hats and The Rogues.

In the immortal words of Cyrus… “Can you DIG IT?”

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PRINTS FOR SALE AT :: http://society6.com/davidedwardjohnson/prints

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“80s Teen Movies” Poster Series

Yep, I was a teen in the 1980s — Irondequoit High School, Class of 1989, baby. LOL! I know… I’m old.

The 80s were such a unique time in our American culture and an awesome time to be young simply because so much of our pop life was focused on being a teen. In tribute to the iconic films, actors and directors of the 1980s and in loving memory of that time, I offer this poster series: “80s TEEN MOVIES.”

As cheesy as it may sound, creating these brought back so many memories. My daughter just entered her teen years and I hope she has as much fun as I did. She’s already way cooler than I ever was and a much nicer person to boot, so she has an awesome start.

THANKS and PARTY ON, DUDES!

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PRINTS FOR SALE AT :: http://society6.com/davidedwardjohnson/prints

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“The Roots of Horror Rock” Poster Series

Simply put, I LOVE horror and I am a HUGE lover of music of all kinds. This work is part of a series I have created paying homage to the bands that fused horror imagery and themes with rock and roll to kick start the sub-genre that we call HORROR ROCK. These are the bands that started it all; the foundational pillars that so many after them have built on. Here’s to the chills and thrills that each of these bands have brought us over the years!

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PRINTS FOR SALE AT :: http://society6.com/davidedwardjohnson/prints

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Wilburn’s Glen Brand Package

These brand launch materials for boutique natural spring water bottling start-up, Wilburn’s Glen, convey the natural sense of authenticity inherent in the Llano, Texas brand. Based around design principles expressed the Deco, Moderne and WPA architectural jewels studded throughout the Texas Hill Country region, the brand style has a classic modern strength with a hip twist. I created custom typography for the name “GLEN,” giving an ownable center to the identity. Geometric angled lines update and leverage forward classic deco graphic design thematics and symmetry while creating subtle “W”elements throughout the designs. Fun and elegant with a touch of whimsey, this was a joy to work on.

Shown Here: Brand Identity Elements, Packaging and Advertising Samples

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“The Golden Age of James Bond” Poster Series

Since I was a wee lad, I have loved the films of the “golden era” of 007 — think Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore. There’s something terribly ridiculous, wonderfully infectious and timelessly ultra-cool about these films.

For this collection, I wanted to create a series of posters that looked like it might have come from a creative union of the legendary graphic designer Saul Bass with Frank McCarthy, the man behind so many of the iconic James Bond poster images that we associate with the image of “the man with the license to kill.” Bass would be the hands-on Designer here, with McCarthy acting as Creative Director. I know that would never happen, but hey…

I have also made them available here :: http://society6.com/davidedwardjohnson/

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“What if They Were ‘FACTORY?'” Album Cover Series

Peter Saville was the Creative Director / Graphic Designer at the legendary Factory Records from its founding in 1978. His work for bands on the label like Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (among so many others) coupled with his post-Factory work for a full range of acts including Roxy Music, Ultravox, Duran Duran, King Crimson, Wham! and Peter Gabriel was nothing short of seminal. Just gorgeous, highly influential work that helped inform and shape so many of us in the field “of a certain age.” You can see a solid sampling of Mr. Saville’s work here :: http://www.hardformat.org/designers/peter-saville-designer/ — AND — http://www.petersaville.info/sleeves/

In tribute to Mr. Saville’s work and in the spirit of Mr. Saville’s sense of exploration, I have taken 25 classic albums and redesigned their album covers in answer to the question “WHAT IF THEY WERE ‘FACTORY?'” It is always VERY fruitful to explore a master’s work from the inside out like this. The awesome thing at this point in my career is that projects like this become a strong fusion of my own sensibilities and the master I am “conversing” with through the project.

One other note is that all of the photography in these designs is my own. I love to take photos and it was a ton of fun to purpose-shoot with these covers in mind.

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“The Runner’s Manifesto” Poster

For the uninitiated, I have engaged a running coach. The past couple of years have been a wonderful period of rediscovery with running for me. I’ve been running a variety of types of races and putting one foot in front of the other with as much grace and elegance as I can muster has been a big part of every week. Jason Fitzgerald, a Silver Spring, MD gent, is my savvy coach and one heck of a talented runner. A recent piece that he penned entitled “The Runners’s Manifesto: 18 Inspiring Ways to Improve Your Running and Life” offered some truly awesome advice and inspired me to give the piece some design love. The attached poster was the result. A bit of a labor of love for me, please share it with your runner friends.

Please visit Jason’s blog to download a version of the poster, for awesome info and cool inspiration: StrengthRunning.com

Shown Here: Poster with Detail

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“A Century of Horror Classics” Apparel Series

The 19th century gave us some of the most indelible images and stories of the horror genre. The monsters and men set forth in the books of that era continue to haunt us today and form the basis for our modern scene.

As I have mentioned here, I’m a total horror fiend. I thought I would share a concept that I have created to pay homage to the great horror masterworks of the 19th century. I designed and illustrated shirts representing 7 incredibly seminal works from that era. Here a list of the works in chrono order ::

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> “Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus” :: Mary Shelley (1818)
> “Melmoth the Wanderer” :: Charles Maturin (1820)
> “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” :: Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)
> “The Picture of Dorian Gray” :: Oscar Wilde (1890)
> “The Great God Pan” :: Arthur Machen (1894)
> “Dracula” :: Bram Stoker (1897)
> “The Turn of the Screw” :: Henry James (1898)

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Annnd… Here are the designs in an order I thought presented well for the folio ::

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“Word Play” — 2012 Design Project / Post 02

The second installment of “Word Play.” We go to Pusha T and Jay Z for the quotes in this update, more true masters of the rhyme game. The turn of phrase is incredible here and really inspired a textural, dimensional design take on my part.

Shown Here: Post 02

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2-Tone Conceptual Rebrand

Rebranding 2-Tone? Even conceptually, you’re just asking for trouble…

Now wait. Before all of you “rude boys” and girls start screaming “SACRILEGE” and try to string me up by your skinny tie… Please, just hear me out.

Allow me first to say that I am a SUPER fan of all things 2-Tone. The music, the politics, the style, all of it. And allow me to ALSO say that the work of designers John “Teflon” Simms and David Storey on the original seminal brand and style of the 2-Tone label and its artists was hugely influential on me as a visual creative. It all carried a sense of punch, impact and humor that I still strive to bring to my work today. I was but a lad when the label was in full swing, but I had my years in suits and pork pie hats skanking in smoky clubs. I still regard it all as a brief high-water mark on popular culture.

It is only on these grounds that I offer this flight of fancy — a rebrand of the classic label. I’ve given a new mark and new style pieces to the brand here. I attempted to capture some of the basic essence of the spirit of 2-Tone, but have given it more of a pulled back sense of cool. This was a really wonderful opportunity to pay homage in my own way to the brand.

Annnnd, for the purists… YES… I do know that Dekker only recorded for Stiff Records in the 2-Tone era. I’m just playing here.

Shown Here: Identity, Promotional Style Elements and Detail

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“Showdown” Movie Poster

This poster for independent filmmaker Brant Hadfield’s surreal war opus “Showdown” is a feast of texture and style. The interplay of illustration, photography, color overlays, type and texture creates a rich, heady effect that underscores the grit of war, the intensity of the performances and the film and the surreal quality of the story here. The client loves the piece.

Shown Here: Full Poster + Texture Detail

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“My Film Chronicle:” Lynch Movie Posters + A New Beginning

In 2011, I chronicled every film I watched for the year in a series of minimalist posters. It was an incredibly fun personal project for me. You can read more about the full undertaking in this post. In 2012, I  shifted my focus to other personal work and on this front, only created selected posters for films I had a special place in my heart for, paying homage to seminal works of the genre from my experience. However, I missed the regular creative discipline of distilling EVERY film into a poster. There are wonderful learning experiences inherent in this type of exploration. Plus, many of my friends (in and out of the design community) told me in no uncertain terms that my new projects were not nearly as fun to watch. So, with all of that in mind, I am bringing back the project for 2013 in its original focus. I will again be capturing every film I watch into a poster capturing its essence, but passing no judgement on the films themselves. I have already uploaded four new works.

Before we move completely on, I did want to share a series of six posters I created over the course of last year paying tribute to the films of David Lynch. As a college freshman in the fall of 1989, I was lucky enough to be invited to a “film series” in an upperclassman’s small apartment. The first film was David Lynch’s surreal masterpiece Blue Velvet. Though it might sound cliche, it was literally like a light had been shined on a dark corner of a room I had been living in for years, but had never seen. Like all great art, it was a doorway — it was a cathartic, watershed moment for me. I have always loved Mr. Lynch’s “challenging” work. It never ceases to inspire and evoke. These posters were a true labor of love for me. Thank you, Mr. Lynch for all of the years of realizing your visions.

Shown Here: David Lynch Poster Series, Please Watch the Site for This Years Films.

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“Word Play” — 2012 Design Project / Post 01

With the (formal) end of my first film poster project, I’ve been lining up my project for 2012. It’s important for me to have something like this, a larger story and a client-free art / design project. Exploration of this sort is the lifeblood of any successful creative.

With one project for 2012, I will be engaging in “WORD PLAY.” I will be taking the best lines from our urban poets, the masters of rhyme from the rap game and exploring typographic posters built on experimental type design and the interplay of the language itself. On the heels of bold, red posters from last year’s design project, I am restricting myself to a muted, neutral color palette.  I will be posting posters as I am able.

Shown Here: Post 01

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“My Film Chronicle” Move Posters — An Ending and a Beginning

I recently completed a year-long personal art / design project and wanted to acknowledge it here. Here’s the description from the site itself:

I love film. This site is a new extension of an attempt to chronicle the films I am seeing so I can look back with some sense of continuity. I pass no judgment on the films themselves here. I am merely creatively recording what I am watching from January 1, 2011 forward. Inspired by the historic work of Saul Bass and contemporary designers like Olly Moss, I felt moved to attempt to distill the essence of each film into a poster using only two colors (red + black) plus the color of the paper itself and employing as few elements as I can in the design.

74 posters later, the year came to an end. What a fun project! I will now be broadening the concept to challenge myself on classic films from my favorites.

Shown Here: Selected Posters, Please Visit the Site for More.

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http://myfilmchronicle.tumblr.com/

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“One Foot in the Graveyard”

I LOVE horror in general and I have always had a serious weak spot for the Gothic and the classically macabre. So, it only follows that Halloween is a a special time for me. Perhaps I never shook the thrill of a season dedicated to things that whisper at your shoulder on a crisp, Autumn eve.

In honor of my favorite season, I have just launched a new personal project, “ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVEYARD.” I am posting daily computer wallpaper creations for each of the 31 days of October — as the site says, “31 Days, 31 Wallpapers, One Scary Season.” It’s a ton of fun and it’s been wonderful to explore further the rich, layered, textural compositional style that has been a hallmark of one of my signature personal approaches.

Please visit the site to follow along for the month of October (and after — I’ll leave this up). There, you can click through to full resolution images. It really is worth viewing them full size in full detail.

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Photo Essay :: Bellefontaine Cemetery

The Salvagery Brand Package

Portland, OR improv jazz trio The Salvagery’s July 2011 release “Triage” is a triumph of experimental work. At once contemporary and exuberant, “Triage” builds on the heritage of great albums in the improv tradition. The work is pure fun.

These designs built around the album build on that iconoclastic spirit and birthright. The look and feel here balances personal, custom-created typography and illustrations with rich color to create a bold approach that captures the essence of vintage 40’s -60’s  jazz album covers from great labels like Columbia and Blue Note. I loved working on this one!

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Halloween Event Poster

This one is just something fun and beautiful. Created for a Halloween event at UPBrand, this rich, layered poster was just too evocative and pretty not to share. A highly nuanced blend of vibrant color, historic illustrations, found elements and a bit of Photoshop light and magic come together here with a decided sense of drama. Happy Halloween 2012, all!

Shown Here: Event Poster

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