Illustrated MP3 Player - continuing
February 17, 2009

Working on this particular MP3 player skin has mostly been an exercise in design choices. I have the programming pieces in another file and have simply been taking my time to try to think through how this will display as both an illustration and a functioning MP3 player.

The original idea had the controls for forward and back located in the headlights of a car and the volume slider on the fender. It very closely matched the client's first CD cover, with the exception that the car was coming toward the viewer instead of away. Sherry K, however, adores her motorcycle and wanted a cycle instead of a car. Now, I can draw people in the "this is a distinct person" kind of way, but I can't seem to caricature someone I know (even from a plethora of reference pix). Perhaps I'm too hard on my own attempts, but they just never seem to work to me. At any rate, I used the dog who is the major feature of her logo on the motorcycle instead of attempting to draw Sherry K herself. (I think she's more comfortable with that anyway.)

Of course, changing from a car to a motorcycle completely changed the metaphor for a functioning MP3 player as well! Cycles have just the single headlight, afterall, and the front fender does not lend itself to a volume slider. After playing with several angles, I settled on this slightly angled view where both turn signals could be seen.

I took my time with the volume slider, trying to put it on the exhaust pipe ... and well, it just made the composition too busy, so I finally dropped the idea of making all the controls integrated into the vehicle and placed the slider down at the bottom and put the play control on a sign as well.

Illustrated MP3 skin - dog riding a motorcycle in the southwest

My next concern was working in a reference to her tagline with the lime and salt. I have it in here temporarily, but now I'm thinking that I may just enlarge the player as once again, it's getting a bit too crowded. I had originally thought that her CD covers would make up some little signs around the larger billboard - and if you've ever driven through a small town, you know those little signs do become busy and crowded, vying for space and attention as you shoot down the road at 70 mph. But, I like the idea of the saltshaker extending from the small billboard ... which means that the foreground with the slider down below now, is becoming more crowded more quickly than I had anticipated. Besides, I want that "Listen to Sherry K" sign to look more like an actual advertisement rather than a bunch of junk stuck in that spot. A little more height and perhaps a tad more width to the right of the billboard and I should have enough room to expand that area with her additional CDs as she puts them out - as well as have a little more room to make that smaller billboard look more like a real 50s billboard.

It's coming along. Not as quickly as I'd like, but I think it will really be worth the extra time when it's complete.

Posted by Red Monkey at February 17, 2009 4:59 AM | Design | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

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