Filtering by Tag: Design

Latest Updates: July 2017 to February 2019

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

My favorite podcast episodes are ones where they’re like, “We did this great reporting on all these stories and we just wanted to touch base, check in, reconnect, and update you on all these stories.” So that’s what we’re going to do: go far back into the /latest where updates would make sense, I’ll give a brief recap on the project and what the latest update is and will skip the ones that I’m too scared to start up again because it’s too daunting.

These updates are in chronological order, which is the opposite of the blog, and it’s strange that we’re forced to read things in reverse chronological order like that, but it worked for Memento, so I guess.


Summer Pattern 2017 (Birds and Bees)

RECAP: In the summer of 2017, I made two patterns, birds and bees.

UPDATE: I put it onto two bags: one where each pattern covers the entire canvas on both sides, and one where the pattern is shaped into a pyramid for the birds and a hexagon for the bees. After getting the two bags, I liked the minimal one more and put that in the shop, and gave the full-bleed bag to my mom cause she likes almost everything I make.

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Laser Chat

RECAT: I rescued a mass-produced painting from my apartment building’s trash room and painted a cat on it. I then rehung it in the building elevator and then it went missing.

UPDATE: My friend Mike took it because my other friends, Joe and Yuwi, couldn’t fit it in a box when they moved to Seattle!

 
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Ego on a Canal Boat

Recap: I painted a picture of Ego riding a canal boat leaving New York to go to Amsterdam and I cried so much.

UPDATE: I printed this out and gave it to her! Unfortunately, I didn’t think ahead and printed this out in imperial measurements so when Mark tried to frame this, he had to squeeze it to fit a picture frame measured in centimeters.


Latest Project: Frieds of March 2018

RECAP: I made an event called the Frieds of March

UPDATE: My work friends and I went around East Village. I don’t know why I didn’t document it thoroughly as I tend to document these sorts of dumb ideas, but I do have, like, eight different photos of me wearing a cat sweater with Pinot when I got home.


Line Star State

RECAP: I refreshed a previously designed version to make it cleaner and added another iteration that features a heart.

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UPDATE: I put the flag onto a hat and gave it a really cute name. That’s for sale, too.


Mud

RECAP: I made a painting of my favorite coffee place of all time using their own coffee.

UPDATE: They have (had) two other properties (RIP Mud Truck), and because I’m obsessed with doing things in threes, I rounded out the series.


Cats of New York

RECAT: I made a toile du jouy pattern featuring different cats of New York and called it, Cats of New York.

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UPDATE: I took my toile du jouy pattern featuring different cats of New York and made it into a sweater called, Cats of New York. Also in the shop.


Oriental Tailor Shop since 1976

RECAP: I made some ads honoring my parents and their shop they’ve owned since 1976.

UPDATE: I was going to buy ad space in a local magazine but that was going to cost a lot of money so I printed and frame them. I don’t know where they put them, I didn’t see it in the house, and I didn’t get to visit the shop when I went home for Tết, but I did find this jacket I used to wear in high school with my mom’s embroidery on the inside cause I used to lose stuff a lot. My dad wears it now.

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Delft Ego

RECAP: I drew a bunch of Delft-inspired tiles featuring Ego and her new European lifestyle.

Update: I visited Ego in November 2018 and gave these tiles to her! I also printed it onto a sweater because I guess I’m obsessed with all-over print sweaters now.

I also had a chance to go to the actual city of Delft where these traditional tiles are made. I learned that the tiles aren’t actually painted with any particular blue paint, but rather with cobalt oxide and when it’s heated in the kiln, that’s when it turns that Delft blue. Wow!

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Lắc Bầu Cua (2019 Year of the Pig)

RECAP: Tired of looking at the same, ugly game board we traditionally play during Tết, I made my own, which includes three dice.

UPDATE: I printed two boards, one for each side of the family. They loved it and I made a gambling profit for once. I also got an ovation from my family, they were so happy.


The Đặc Biệt Longevity Sweater

RECAP: I designed a sweater based on the dinnerware I used growing up.

UPDATE: The sweater was a hit. It wasn’t immediately clear to some that it was based on that bowl I’m cradling in my hand, but the rumors spread. I was also asked where I bought this and I said I made it, which impressed them twice over (after the custom Lắc Bầu Cua board), and my family was also impressed that I knew how to spell words in Vietnamese.

This isn’t for sale yet, but it will be soon. Won’t make an update post for that, don’t worry.

Latest Project: Nathan Hoang Style Guide v3.3

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

After years of delays to refresh and update my style guide, I decided the world really needed to know how I label my Photoshop layers and how I archive everything. Version 1 of the style guide was more about how if you're going to buy me a Christmas gift, here's what I like. Version 3 of the style guide is more about how if I leave for vacation and you have to dig through my computer for files, here's how I stash files away.

I don't expect the many other Nathans Hoang to adhere to v3 if they couldn't even bother to even read v1, but perhaps I'll make another desperate plea on Twitter.

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I started in March 2018 and typed and typed and typed while catching up on The Walking Dead, which probably explains why v3.0 had so many typos (because the show is bad), Four months and three version updates later, I have a shareable guide.

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There was a tonal shift from Version 1 to Version 3, because it might actually be referenced by the public and not just me. And plus I figured out how to draw a t-shirt properly.

I went from using screenshots of actual Apple interfaces to creating my own so it wouldn't be so dated.

Of all the pages, my favorite is my new Comfort-Efficiency-Value Triangle that I made up as I was typing everything out.

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You can read it below or download it in PDF form in /books

Latest Project: Alief For Life / Alief Till I Die

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

Whenever someone finds out I'm from Houston, they usually ask, "Do you think you'll ever go back?"

I mean listen, we live in a crazy world and I don't know when my time will be up on this Earth, but I hope my body will find its way back to Alief. That's all I can ask for.

And hey, is this endless repping of Alief and Houston getting old? I don't know, but every time Jay-Z shouts out Brooklyn, I don't really care and I live here, and whenever Beyoncé shouts out Houston, I lose my mind and throw up the Cougar paw, so I'll continue repping Alief for life

And that's how I ended up with these two designs. Drawing inspiration off the official Alief logo, I wanted to say what I've been saying for a while, "I will rep Alief until I die," so I sketched this out in Procreate during the 2018 State of the Union address.

Alief Til I Die, digital. 2018

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My new roommate brought up the good point that maybe it's not a great idea to bring up death with a school district. I mean, Alief is a town, but she's not wrong. So I made this to balance things out.

Alief For Life, digital. 2018

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I intended to print these onto shirts and bags for my eventual store, which was called "Never Change" at the time (Sidenote: When I brought this up to my internship-day friends, June and Haywood, they roooooooooasted me), so I got a sample tote and it looked fine, I guess (Sidenote: These aren't the official totes, the design was printed on too low), but I decided it'd need to be on two separate bags instead of a double-sided bag, so I gave it to my high school geometry pal, Christi, who was in town.

I hope I live a little longer, but when I die, bury me underneath the Alief store.

Grim Sleeper. 2018
Alief Cemetery: A Texas landmark

Latest Project: Grey's Dog and Pony

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

Six times a year, Grey gets the agency together after work to enjoy a happy hour together. They call it Dog and Pony. I don't know why, I must've missed it during orientation.

March 2018's Dog and Pony is going to be put on by the Famously Effective Women of Grey for Women's History Month and through some happenstance, Jessica Deutsch, my fellow Grey softball outfielder, asked me to make a poster promoting the Dog and Pony.

So I made some posters. And then I painted some posters.

Not entirely sure how I ended up making three posters, but I couldn't stop after one. I think it's because I thought of the empowering phrases that are all around pop culture and sweaters since November 2016: "Wild Feminists," "Future is Female," and "Slay Bitch."

It became the basis of the concepts. I don't remember which poster concept I thought of first, the photographic one where it's more Wolf & Horse than Dog & Pony, or the fully painted one that's more Dog versus Pony than Dog & Pony, but I do remember telling Jess that I was planning on spending my weekend working on the posters because I was super excited about them and she said, "What?? No! It's the weekend! You should enjoy yourself! Go make some friends!" But the thing is, it's really hard to make friends after you turn 30 and the only friends you have at that point are the ones you already have and also any animals you adopt.

So late Friday night, while unironically listening to Sugar Ray, I started things off the way I usually do, with Procreate:

As you can see, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. But I started getting it to the point where the horse was less of an intruding cartoon character and more of a demonic horse. Once I was happy with the general layout, I traced the landscape in Illustrator so I could paste it into Photoshop and paint into it.

I decided to keep it achromatic because it was much more dramatic, heroinic, and because Jess needed it the next day and I had spent too much time on the tarot card. Anyway, I was very please with how this turned out because I always wanted to try landscapes for when I finally get started on my Space Zoo book.

When I was thinking about "Future is Female," I remembered watching Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, with my brother a couple months ago, and the idea of tarot cards was still fresh in my head, so I went with that instead of a crystal ball.

Grey Dog and Pony: Future Is Female

Hopefully more people show up to this Dog and Pony than the happy hour I set up for Texas expats who work at Grey the other day.

Making new friends is hard :(

Latest Project: Line Star State

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

I know, I know. Yet another Texas-based project.

Turns out, I was never happy with the original design from two years ago with the way the lines didn't align, so I revisited it, and gave it a refresh.

Though I liked the minimalism of the square in lieu of a star, I remembered this hilarious joke my brother told me when we were in elementary school. It went something like:

It was a new kid's first day at a new school and the teacher was like, "Hey what's your name?" and the kid was like, "Texas," and the teacher was like, "No really, what's your name?" and the kid was like, "Really, it's Texas," and the teacher was like, "If you don't tell me your name I'm going to send you to the principal's office," and the kid was like, "I swear to you, my name is Texas" but the teacher didn't believe him and he got sent to the principal's office and on the way he ran into a bully and the bully was like "Hey what's your name?" and the kid was like, "Texas," and the bully was like, "No really," and the kid was like, "Yeah, really, my name is Texas,"  and the bully was like, "If you don't tell me your real name, I'm going to stab you," and the kid was like, "You gotta believe me, it's Texas," and then the kid gets stabbed and he goes to the nurse's office and she was like, "What's wrong?" and the kid was like, "I got stabbed," and the nurse was like, "Where?" and the kid was like, 🎶 Deep in the heart of Texas ♬

Anyway, I remember laughing around on the floor at that joke and tried telling it at school but nobody had the patience for it, much like how you probably didn't have the patience to read that entire copy block.

Long story short, I wanted to explore different shapes besides a square, starting with a heart.

1) v1.0: Lines are all willy nilly nothing matched up, nothing matters
2) v2.0_1: Lines have rounded terminals, the edges are clean and ends on a corner
3) v2.0_2: There's a red heart in the middle
4) v2.0_3: There's an X instead of a square, just to see how it looks, it doesn't look great
5) v3.0_1: Added some shadows over the lines so they like latticed
6) v3.0_2: There's a red heart in the middle but with some shadows around

I liked the latticed heart and after doing a very informal straw poll of my old roommates and a fellow coworking expatriate, it was unanimous. 

That's the actual Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas. Ask to see my profile picture sometime.

That's the actual Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas. Ask to see my profile picture sometime.

At last, that giant statue of Sam Houston, Big Tex and I will finally be able to sleep at night knowing the diagonal lines meet up.

Latest Project: 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Deep in the Heart of Texas

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

I usually make a flag for the Olympics, but it's been kinda crazy this year, so I just made a bunch of flags for Texas Independence Day instead.

The Stars At Night, Are Big And Bright 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Deep in the Heart of Texas

The Stars At Night, Are Big And Bright 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Deep in the Heart of Texas

Friday Night Lights, Are Big and Bright 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Deep in the Heart of Texas

Friday Night Lights, Are Big and Bright 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Deep in the Heart of Texas

The Marfa Lights, Are Big and Bright 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Deep in the Heart of Texas

The Marfa Lights, Are Big and Bright 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Deep in the Heart of Texas

Latest Project: Turn Texas Blue

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

Texas is very close to turning blue. I mean, especially when you have someone like Ted Cruz in the US Senate, we're pretty close to going blue. I have a telephone reminder to call Ted Cruz's offices every weekday to tell him I don't agree with what he's doing. Ted Cruz once shut down the government by filibustering with the child's book, Green Eggs and Ham. This shutdown resulted in my not being able to go to several national parks and monuments while on my 50-state road trip.

To say I don't like Ted Cruz is an understatement. I never want to see him ever again. I mean… if my political opponent insulted me, my wife and my dad, I wouldn't really ever support my politic opponent. Ever. But that's me. Someone who loves my family.

I want Ted Cruz out of office so bad that I delayed updating my Project Notes notebooks to make some things. And I hate doing projects without my Project Notes notebook, because that's how I keep track of everything.

That's how much I don't like Ted Cruz.

I discussed this project on Twitter with Brian Thompson, one of the first people I worked with when I freelanced in NYC in 2009. Perhaps this would go on party hats?

Brian told me it'd be too wide for the party hat, which is understandable, so I made this, too.

Maybe it'll go on a party hat. Maybe it'll go on a clipboard. We'll see.

Don't boo. Vote.

Latest Project: Frieds of March 2018

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

10 months ago, after eating at a really good fried chicken restaurant in Greenpoint that has since closed, I was inspired to try more fried chicken sandwiches. 

I told my friend, Casey, that I wanted to make a day of it. It'd be on, oh…I don't know…, March 15, and I'd call it, ummmmm…how about, Frieds of March? So I'd have to wait, like 10 more months to make this stupid event a thing just because I like to commit a really stupid pun.

First I mapped out some noteworthy fried chicken sandwiches in the city.

Frieds of March, to-eat list

Frieds of March, to-eat list

"How are we going to eat at all these places in one day?" my friends would ask.

Listen. I don't know. The furthest I planned this was the name and date. It's one of those "cross that bridge" situations.

And then they'd ask, Could I eat nine different chicken sandwiches throughout the course of a day? Of course.

Am I going to take a PTO day just so I can eat at least nine friend chicken sandwiches throughout the day? Yes. Of course.

Fine. But would I be ok with eating alone at at least nine fried chicken restaurants because no one else is committed to the craft like me? Absolutely yes.

But I decided that if this is going to be an inaugural event, I should choose just three? So I can do it again next year?

Anyway, I had to make an invitation that wasn't just a calendar invite.

I started with Vincenzo Camuccini's Death of Caesar. An obvious choice, but a painting I'm fascinated with, and one of the few I can remember the name of.

That's not to say I was interested in Julius Caesar. I don't remember much about Julius Caesar; I didn't pay much attention in sophomore English, but I know there was a conspiracy to kill the guy and this and that.

So initially this was just going to be a teaser/save-the-date type invitation, but I wanted it to decode like we're in a secret society, conspiring to commit to chicken, and if you stare at the image for longer than two seconds, you can see what happens on March 15.

Process shots and breakdown of the type transformation. The font is called "Diamonds."

I also considered making Caesar an entire chicken but I made it too sexual, so I abandoned it.

This Chicken Caesar's coming after your man.

Latest Project: Alief 4 Life

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

If you didn't know I was from Alief, either we didn't grow up together, or we simply have never talked in person.

So in case you didn't know, I'm from Alief and I've been thinking of making Alief stuff. Shirts, perhaps? Because every time I see someone wearing an Alife shirt, I get real excited and think it says Alief and I get upset and I am tired of it.

I made this and maybe it'll be a neon lamp or something. TBD.

Alief 4 Life

Or I could just screen print my Twitter bio onto a bunch of t-shirts and call it streetwear.

My Twitter bio

My Twitter bio

Latest Project: Southwest is the Best

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

My New Mexican friend, Casey, was traveling to Austin for business and asked for representation of some sort before she stepped into enemy territory.

As someone who once rolled into the bleachers of Yankee Stadium during an Astros-Yankees Wild Card game wearing my Bun-B Astros hat, I fully understand the desire to let everyone know where I'm from.

Casey wanted a shirt that simply read, "Southwest is the Best." So I quickly put some options together.

And by quickly, I mean I didn't get to submit the design to a t-shirt printer fast enough, but we both liked the third option best.

I might make it into a bag or or shirt or something, though.

Latest Project: Lone Star

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

In the past, I've made things to commemorate Texas' Independence Day. And as the organizer of Grey's Texas Meet-Ups, I made another thing for Texas Independence Day.

Happy 180th! 

Happy 180th! 

I took this picture when I was in El Paso for my Home project, and I'm beginning to wonder if that entire 50-state trip was to take a bunch of stock photos for my other projects. 

Latest Project: Space Patches for the Houston Rockets

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

In the second grade, an astronaut visited our class. I got some space patch stickers out of it and I wish I got to collect more. I didn't but it's still below my childhood bed in a box.

Then a couple years later, the Houston Rockets won their first championship. And another one after that. 1995 was my moon landing.

I decided to put the two together and make space patches of some notable Rockets seasons so some kid somewhere can collect fictional space patches for a sport.

Some research

Some research

Some sketches

Some sketches

There were a lot of great seasons to choose from but I made my favorite nine.

If you can guess what each patch is for, then you win a Larry O'Brien Trophy too!

Finally I made them into patches. Not because it was easy, but because it was hard.

Please note that not once during these project did I say a derivative of "Houston, you have a problem," joke because Houstonians don't say that.

Latest Project: HOUSTON

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

I have some paintings and a proposal I need to finish, but this idea popped in my head. This is what procrastination looks like.

I outlined the Sam Houston Monument in Illustrator and placed it on a photo of Houston I took in 2011 when I was on my way to Colorado.

Used the bottom one. Not the blue one.

Used the bottom one. Not the blue one.

I can't resist a good opportunity to run the gradient through some hue adjustments. This is what procrastination tastes like:

City of the Candy, according to Houston's own, Mike Jones.

Latest Project: White Elephant poster

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

For three years now, my dear friend has been hosting a White Elephant party. To make up for the quality of the gifts I've wrapped for the past two years, I made this poster for her.

A lot of people wondered why it's a photo of seals. Is it because they're all fat and lazy, they audibly wondered? Well no.

They're elephant seals. I could have used my other photos of elephants but they're circus elephants and that's just too sad.

Anyway, Merry Christmas.

Latest Project: Soccer-Spangled Banner

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

Germany’s language is like their flag: unpleasant.

English is a Germanic language, sure, but at least when Betsy Ross put the Star-Spangled Banner together, she picked an awesome color palette and an awesome pattern.

I’m a little early for Flag Day and (Founding) Father’s Day but with the World Cup underway, this one’s for Team USA.

A couple years ago, I made a patterned flag for Team USA while they competed in London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and hung it over my building's roof so our neighbors wouldn't get our allegiance mixed up.

Pattern-Spangled Banner , 2012.

Pattern-Spangled Banner, 2012.

This year, we have new neighbors (I think?), therefore, this.