Nutmeg Recording . com

Client:
Nutmeg Recording (aka. Nutmeg Music), a Audio Postproduction studio in Mid-town Manhattan (New York City). I "worked" there for about 10 months, at first as an engineers' assistant, and then more as the computer-guy.

Project dates:
Approximate timespan was five or six months. This was a voluntary project, meaning I asked if I could make a new web site. The old site was kind of bland. I worked on this during my free time in the studio and at home, so I hardly ever had a good long streak of design time.

System & Server:
Nutmeg's internet connection is a very fast T1 line (I think co-owned, I don't remember) through Verio (now NTT/Verio). So they also host their website with Verio. I'm not sure about the exact server software, but they guarantee 99% uptime, so I am pretty sure they don't use Windoze.

Tools:
Macromedia Flash 5
Macromedia Dreamweaver
Adobe Illustrator 9
GraphicConverter

History:
Nutmeg is currently (April/May 2003) redesigning their corporate identity (logos, website, print), having hired someone for the job. I'm anxious to see their new logo. They've been using the same 80's style logo since they started.

Technologies used:
I had originally planned to do the entire site in Flash. I had actually done some amount of work before I realized that it was just too much work for not any money. But having created some things in Flash, I didn't want to throw them out just yet. I decided to go half-and-half with Flash and HTML. I had the navigation menu complete in Flash, so I added some useful code to the buttons so they could trigger the link to open in another frame. After that, the work was pretty much done. Prior to the "frame-ing", I had several versions of the nav menu. One really cool version moved the menu down to make space for the staff's names when the "Staff" button was clicked. But we didn't use that version, I guess because of privacy concerns.

Graphics:
I suppose some of this could fall under the "Technologies" heading, but here we are. For the main frame of the site, I created the title images in Photoshop. Pretty simple. That's all I'll say about those.

The Nutmeg Recording logo at the top of the site was somewhat of a pain, and I shouldn't have done so much for it. I suppose I had too much time on my hands, but it was also a real learning experience. First, I tried to find the font that the logo was done in. After some guessing and trial-and-fail-miserably, I deduced that the font used wasn't in my font library. So I used Illustrator to re-create the fonts, carefully adjusting the curves using the Pen tool. These I exported into an EPS (I think) file to be imported by Fontographer, a very cool font-design program for Mac. The reason I had to do this was because of the very cool but too short opening sequence for the Nutmeg logo, where the letters sort of splash down. In the Flash file, this was done by using a movie file that specified a certain movement, to which was attached a letter (character) in its original text-state. The chracter could not be in a vectorized (ie- non-text) format, thus the creation of a new font.
The original Nutmeg logo also had the waveform inside the letters. Of course. I didn't have the original design to work with, so I had to create the waveform as well. I don't remember exactly how I did this, but I believe it was in an audio program (most likely SoundEdit 16). I captured the waveform of some piece of music as several screen grabs, passed them through Adobe Streamline to obtain a vectorized version of the image. Then I took it into Illustrator to tweak and adjust, to remove and smooth out many of the points. I also wanted the waveform image to loop, so I combined two waveforms and adjusted the ends so that they would match nicely. Finally, I brought the whole concoction into Flash, where I had to create a negative mask out of the "NUTMEG" lettering so that the waveform would show through only those letters.

Then there's the clock, which was another beast to create. The (producer?) guy who was giving me the directions wanted to have a picture of their "Nutmeg Cafe" clock, which they had hanging in the Nutmeg Cafe, in the corner. I, being the ever-so-eager idiot that I am, suggested that I could make the clock actually work and tell time. So began the beast.
I brought the image (jpeg picture) of the clock into Illustrator and traced out the neon signs and the clock hands. Surprisingly, it didn't take me that long to do that. I brought the vectorized clockface into Flash, and arranged them into movie clips for manipulation. For the numbers, I used some serif-font (Bookman?..) whose name I can't recall. I did not trace these... I'm not that crazy. If I remember correctly, I actually wrote out the script for the clock's movements. I had some examples to take ideas from, but in the end, I wrote it from scratch. The script shows the user's local time, but I wanted to have server time, which would have been a cooler thing.

The Studios flash movie was also another task, but not as difficult as the logomotion. The main thing was to have the navigation work correctly.

2011-06-21 18:15
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