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8, 500, and other meaningless numbers

Nathan Strum


Well, it's the eighth anniversary of my blog, and my 500th blog entry.


I've posted 162 episodes of Artie the Atari (with an updated index), 109 homebrew reviews (spread over 38 entries), about 40 movie reviews (I need to go in and fix some tags, apparently), blogged about 4 seasons of the WRC and 5 seasons of The Clone Wars. Plus I've posted a few To-Do lists, a handful of Photoshop tutorials, and the occasional rant about videogames. So I guess the rest was all filler. I'm not really sure how I've managed to fill 500 entries. :ponder:


One other topic that comes up semi-regularly though is work I've done on homebrews.


My best estimate is that I've worked on over 42 homebew projects, creating label artwork for 23 of them, graphics for 17, and working on manuals, posters, banners and flyers for a bunch of others.


But it's the labels that I've decided to focus on for this entry.


Previously, I've posted some entries detailing the making of label artwork. And I've been meaning to get back to that, but just haven't really had the time. And at the moment, I still don't. ;)


What I did do, however, is put together a couple of galleries of label artwork. The one featured in this blog post are of labels that were used in finished projects (or were intended to be). To put them in some context, I've started adding some comments to each one. While it doesn't detail the process of creating the labels, it hopefully gives a little background into them: some of the thought processes and approaches to making them, plus some of my opinions on how well (or not) the work has held up over the years.


But instead of just showing the artwork as flat pieces, I did 3D renderings of each label as if applied to a cart (or in one case, of a manual page). I did this for several reasons:

  1. I can get better consistency than if I took photos. Better lighting, composition, color control, etc.
  2. Once I had a template set up, each image took only about 1 minute to change the label on and re-render. So it was fast.
  3. Displaying the artwork this way shows it in context. These were meant to be seen on cartridges. In some cases, I also rendered boxes.
  4. It makes it harder for unscrupulous homebrew pirates to rip off my artwork and use it to sell their games. And yes - this has happened.

As I add more comments to the gallery, I'll mention it in the comments here below. I'm about halfway through, so hopefully by the end of the week I'll be finished.


Anyway, I hope you enjoy the gallery. Some of the work holds up better than others, but it's all arranged chronologically, so at the very least you can see how the work has evolved over the years. I think I've gotten better. I hope so.


The other gallery I've set up is for labels I've created for contests. But that will have to wait for another blog entry. (There are no comments there yet, but you can peruse it if you like.)





Since I originally posted this, I've decided to move the gallery over here, and turn them into full-fledged blog entries instead. More details can be found in this entry.

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I went through your gallery 1 hour ago or so. Great stuff!


The comments are very helpful to understand what was going on in your mind. I hope you can add the missing ones soon.

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Glad you like it. :)


It takes awhile to type up the comments, but I think I can get through the rest this week. I tend to get a bit wordy, and have to try and reign that in a bit or it just becomes a chore.


The contest entry gallery is going to take forever. :roll: But I'm actually looking forward to it, since I think it tells a more interesting story of how my artwork has developed over the past 10 years. At least it's been interesting to me in revisiting it.

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Nice work - it is great to hear the story behind each label, although it must take a long time to write each one! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of them. My favourite is probably your Chetiry label - it captures the Soviet propaganda poster style perfectly.



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Thanks - it's taking longer than I expected, but I've been gradually adding some new ones. The trick is I have to slog back through my old artwork files to jog my memory as to what I actually did.

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