Redesigns and Revamps: Utah’s New State Flag and My ATA Local’s Logo

I’m not a graphic designer but I that’s basically what the New Media program at the U of L taught me to be so I’m interested in good design and want to share some examples of recent logo and flag redesigns:

Back at the end of the 90s I spent a year living in Utah, the flag they had then is basically just the state seal on a blue background. Some 24 states still sport this style of seal on a blue “bedsheet”.

They’ve recently redesigned it and, in my opinion did a pretty good job. Modern design dictates that good logos should be simple enough that one could draw them from a basic description. The new flag meets that criteria. It’s got a great use of the beehive (a symbol of Deseret), the red rocks below, and the white peaks of the mountains. Good job.

Speaking of redesigns, my ATA local recently updated their logo. When they were talking about doing the new logo I thought about volunteering to do it myself but I was worried that I wouldn’t create something in the same ballpark that a full time professional designer could come up with.

The new logo incorporates some symbolism of hoodoos (in the south) to the willow trees that exist in the northern part of our local. It doesn’t meet modern design’s trend of being easily drawn — it’s much too detailed.

I decided to make my own attempt and this is what I came up with:
I suppose my design doesn’t pop in this black and white format, but I’m confident that adding a little colour would give it the same life as the one they chose. C’est la vie. Anyway, I’m disappointed that they’re not going to use my logo, I should have volunteered when the time was right.

(via One Foot Tsunami)

Art artificial intelligence design

Diffusion Bee

I’ve been watching the emergence of AI image creation tools like Midjourney, Dall-E, Craiyon and Stable Diffusion and I think it’s pretty neat. But not everyone has been happy about our new AI overlords. Art communities and freelance artists have been particularly vocal about their displeasure.

As much as I see there are serious philosophical issues, in the meantime I wanted to try it out and have been delighted at the news that users of Apple silicon Macs can now access the Stable Diffusion engine on their own computers using Diffusion Bee.

Divam Gupta:

Diffusion Bee is the easiest way to run Stable Diffusion locally on your M1 Mac. Comes with a one-click installer. No dependencies or technical knowledge needed.

  • Runs locally on your computer no data is sent to the cloud (other than request to download the weights and checking for software updates).

It works just fine on my M2 MacBook Air. I’m glad I splurged and got the 24GB of RAM. Because the results can be a bit random, I popped into Photoshop to improve the results of the above “Homer Simpson as a Muppet” prompt. (I’m not sure what the floating head beside him is all about, but I left it because it’s amazing.)

(via Daring Fireball)

Update: I’ve just discovered CHARL-E, another app that utilizes Stable Diffusion to create images on Apple silicon Macs.

design movie

DeLorean Time Travel Consultant

A couple of weeks ago I watched the movie “Driven” about John DeLorean and his run in with the law. It was an ok movie but not as exciting as I had hoped. I still liked it but I was hoping for something more like Ford vs. Ferrari.

Anyway, last night I happened to watch Back to the Future and felt particular appreciation for the genius idea to use a DeLorean as the time travel vehicle. It was perfect, right down to the fact the DeLoreans were/are notoriously unreliable which added to the suspense as lightning is moments away from striking and Marty can’t get the car started.

Anyway, after the movie was over I was grooving on Huey Lewis’ “Back in Time” and watching the credits roll when I noticed the name Ron Cobb beside the words, “DeLorean Time Travel Consultant”. What does that even mean? I did a quick search and found Ron Cobb’s website and wikipedia entry. It turns out he designed the concept for the DeLorean Time Machine. I also learned that unfortunately, he died just last year on his 83rd birthday, from complications of Lewy body dementia. From Wikipedia:

Ronald Ray Cobb (September 21, 1937 – September 21, 2020) was an American-Australian artist. As well as being an editorial cartoonist he worked on numerous major films including Dark Star (1974), Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Conan the Barbarian (1982), Back to the Future (1985), The Abyss (1989), Total Recall (1990), and Southland Tales (2006). He had one credit as director, for the 1992 film Garbo.

It’s really neat to see the prop schematics for the DeLorean Time Machine. It’s extra fascinating to read all the names of the different time travel components. Be sure to check out the original design of the flux capacitor.

Apple design

Apple’s New Map, Expansion #10 Canada

I’ve been loving the level of detail in the new Apple Maps rollout and have been waiting for THIS particular update since I first learned that Apple was making these updates. Justin O’Beirne has been documenting the changes from old to new and I particularly love that street view (or as Apple calls it Look Around) has come to Lethbridge.

If you haven’t tried Apple Maps lately because you had a bad taste in your mouth when Google Maps used to be far superior, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s got so much better and with the new maps rolling out, it’s now visually so much nicer to look at too.

If you’re a maps person, don’t miss Justin’s other documentation of Apple Maps updates.

(via Daring Fireball)

Art design work


Here’s a new logo I created for a local daycare in Lethbridge, Serendipity Child Care.

Serendipity Child Care Logo

And here is an enlarged view of the ladybug:


design environment

Negative Space in Taiwan’s Recycling Logo

The following logos are the Universal Recycling Symbol and Taiwan’s recycling symbol.

Recycle Logos

The familiar Universal Recycling Symbol contains three chasing arrows that form a Mobius strip or one sided loop, which is kind of cool, but notice the brilliant use of negative space in Taiwan’s recycling symbol that generates a great “aha” moment when you realize it’s there.


Previously: negative space in Fed Ex logo.

design work

NDP Lethbridge

Here is a screen shot of the Lethbridge NDP website that I recently designed.

Lethbridge NDP website screen shot

I incorporated design elements from both the Federal and Provincial NDP in order to convey the message that the Lethbridge office exists for both sides of the party. Although I originally used the lime green of the Federal party, ultimately the shade of green that the Provincial side uses is much easier on the eyes.

design Sport

Prairie Plastic 2009

The Lethbridge Ultimate club is planning another spring tournament this April 4th and 5th. Last year it was quite cold on the first week of April, but despite the threat (or actual appearance) of snow, it’s still a very good time.

Here’s a poster I made for the event:

Lethbridge Ultimate Club Prairie Plastic 2009 poster

If you live in Southern Alberta and are looking for some excellent outdoor fun with some great people, come play in the Prairie Plastic 2009 Ultimate (Frisbee) tournament.


Stuff White People Like

Stuff White People Like glow in the dark t-shirt. Very meta.

(thanks L)


The Future of Dubai Buildings

Burj DubaiDesignboom has picked out 50 amazing architectural projects currently being proposed, constructed, or developed in Dubai and its surrounding region in a new article entitled, The future in Dubai, any one of which is truly an amazing endeavor.

There is some amazing stuff there and they didn’t even mention the World Islands, a collection of man made islands made to resemble the world continents or Dubailand, a collection of amusement parks twice the size of the Walt Disney World parks.

Pictured here is a render of the completed Burj Dubai. Construction began in 2005 and is expected to be completed this year. At an estimated height of over 800 meters, it will easily be world’s tallest building when finished. It will be almost 40% taller than the the current tallest building, the Yaipei 101.

Apparently the Al Burj, when completed will take over the title of world’s tallest building at 1200 meters. That would make it more than 30% taller than the Burj Dubai and three times as tall as the Empire State Building.

Some other interesting projects not mentioned in the article:

  • Dubai Sports City. A huge collection of sports arenas located in Dubailand.
  • The Dubai Marina is an entirely man made development that will contain over 200 highrise buildings when finished.
  • The Dubai Mall will be the largest shopping mall in the world with over 9 million square feet of shopping and around 1000 stores.
  • Ski Dubai, which is already open, the largest indoor skiing facility in the world.
  • The Dubai Metro system, once completed, will become the largest fully automated rail system in the world.
  • The Dubai World Central International Airport will become the largest airport in size when it is completed. It will also eventually become the busiest airport in the world, based on passenger volume.