Pimp my Radio Flyer Wagon Project from the book, Caffeine for the Creative Mind

image of a classic little red flyer wagon superimposed on the cover of the book, Caffeine for the Creative Mind

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Examples Instructions Portfolio Evaluation

For me, this micro-project is a homage to the graphic designers of yesteryear when the browser wars raged, and web technology was so unstable that we had to design a page for every browser! This idea was originally from the 2006 book, “Caffeine for the Creative Mind”, by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Oldfield.

I designed this exercise for a visual communications class that used branding as the vehicle that would drive the direction of the course. The book was an assigned text for the class, even though we are roughly 18 years removed from its initial publication!

The course provided an opportunity to introduce 3D design and visualization to a rather diverse group of learners from a range of majors. The course is 100% asynchronous and so the people using this content should have access to a strong set of engaging instructions that include images of completed examples of the exercise.

The instructions are mainly in the form of step-by-step series of twelve videos. All but 2 of the videos are less than 7 minutes in length and most not more than 5 minutes. Those instructions are posted below this series of example images of the completed project. All these examples are by the author, Christopher Schiotis.

Over the period of an accelerated 8-week course, we are branding a business that could be fictitious or even a small business venture that the learners might be currently invested in or contemplating starting.

The examples I created are for promoting a tattoo designer-artist business that comes to your location, aptly named, "Have Gun, Will Travel". Some of us will remember the old TV show by the same name starring, Richard Boone.

Examples by Christopher Schiotis

Click an image to see more detail

The Night Rider

Burnished Copper

The Turq

The Tred

↓ Video Instructions ↓

Click or tap a 'tile' to open and play the video in a 'lightbox'.

Click to Download the Starting File Here

My Portfolio Quality Effort

Side (slight-top) view of the author's 'portfolio effort' on this project

When reviewing "Caffeine for the Creative Mind" for the course, this idea stood out to me as an opportunity to create something engaging and fun for the visual communication classes I am currently teaching at the University of New Mexico in the Communications and Journalism department. The learners I have had the pleasure of working with there are from various majors ranging from journalism students to bio-chemists, and some majoring in psychology.

The enthusiasm and optimism I have enjoyed from the students that I am priviliged to work with has inspired me to publish this micro-project learning-module here and on my Behance profile. This also allows me to make this content accessible to these students as well as my other site vistors.

When sitting down to work through the exercise myself I chose to indulge a vision for a business that I have actually owned and operated for a handful of years in the So Cal area before the turn of the century. And I actually still tattoo. I find it to be a very sincere form of self-expression that is also great fun. As an art-form, the work only belongs to the artist as long as that artist is working on the piece, immediately after which, that art literally walks out the door of their studio. The connection that is made between the art and the artist is unique in the world of art. Much of my fascination with this artform stems from this intangible and slightly abstract quality.

The Ink Wagon

Click an image to see more detail

We'll start out looking at the different side views of the ink wagon. This is an approach to layout and presentation that has been adapted from classic Hot Rod magazines that routinely feature custom built bikes, trucks, cars, etc.

Exploring Wheel/Rim Details

With our imaginations being the only real constraint (other than time, of course), there are just so many options to explore. Here we see the exploration focusing on the wheel & rim details. Our color scheme allowed for variations with out venturing too far away from the traditional 'Red Wagon' look. The turqoise looked great, but it being so close to the gold wheels made the turqouise look green. I also thought that the red looked great too - it stands out really well, but seems to make the wagon look too red in the overall look of the Ink Wagon.

Here we see the rim details in black chrome Here we see the rim details in turquoise anodized stainless steel Here we see the rim details in red anodized stainless steel Here we see the rim details in gold plate

Other Shots / Honorable Mentions

When we start to immerse ourselves into this project, it's hard to stay focused on a given concept or idea when it is so easy to change directions. Strictly using the instructional videos doesn't keep us from seeing tangential design possibilities, and then of course acting upon that vision. The images below are from one of those 'tangential' visions. Anodizing all the red surfaces creates a fire engine red that almost looks like jewelry!

Course/Micro-Project Evaluation

Header image for course evaluation

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