Thoughts

Sunsets on Clearwater Beach

May 10, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Sunset on Clearwater Beach | Photograph by Mineh Ishida | Camera: iPhone 6

I remember the first day when I moved to Clearwater, Florida.  Prior to anything else, I went to the beach.  I hadn’t even entered my new apartment. I drove, car loaded with everything I own, straight to the beach.  I remember pulling up to Pier 60 and watching the sun go down into the Gulf of Mexico.  It seemed so perfect.  Since then, it’s been a number of years.  I have a more realistic perspective of the Tampa Bay area, both the good and less good, but somehow, the magic of watching the sunset from the beach hasn’t diminished in the slightest.

The cool feeling of the sand between my toes, the waves lapping against my shins, and the salty breeze coming off the water is the best therapy for a long day.  For an hour, I can sit and watch the sun drip down the horizon and disappear.  Then the sky transforms and beautiful azure hues mix with the light of the dying sun.  Every time, it’s mother natures unique light show.  It’s always breathtaking.

Of all of the things I’ve seen living in Florida, the sunsets on the gulf are consistently one of my favorite parts of life here.

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Uncategorized

A Sneak Peak: Cosplay Photo Academy Logo

May 9, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
cosplay-photo-academy-featured

I’m working on a new project right now with my good friend Michael Rose.  We’ve decided to found an online school to help cosplay photographers refine their craft.  We’re still working on building out the content of the site, but we did name it, and I made the logo today.

8-bit Awesome

We wanted the logo to appeal to our audience.  Our members will be video game playing, comic book craving teens and young adults who are amateur photographers learning the art and craft of photography, particularly focused on cosplay photography.  It’s an exciting genre of photography filled with super heroes, villains, anime characters, video game characters and more.  I can’t think of a genre of photography that would be more fun to shoot than this one.  It’s a style where imagination is king, and fans are passionate about crafting high quality costumes… essentially, a photographer’s playground.

To that end, I wanted a logo that spoke to this group.  I wanted them to immediately understand that it was a photography related brand, but also that we were connected to the people who makeup this group.  What better way than to evoke the time honored tradition of 8-bit video game graphics!

About the Cosplay Photo Academy Logo

To create the logo, I first created a grid of pixels in Illustrator, each 1 pt wide and separated by a 0.1 pt gap.  I then removed pixels and colored them in to create the camera.  We decided to keep the typography very simple, as we didn’t want the messaging to get lost in a complex logo.

I’m very excited about this new enterprise, and look forward to building out our content to help people learn more about cosplay photography.  I’ll keep posting updates here, and when our site is online, I look forward to sharing it with you!

Cosplay Photo Academy - Logo Design by Mineh Ishida

Cosplay Photo Academy – Logo Design by Mineh Ishida

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Design Logo Project

Mineh Ishida – Logo Project v002

May 9, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Mineh Ishida - Logo Project v002 - featured

Mineh Ishida Logo Project:

I commit to designing one logo per week.  I will spend no more than 2 hours for research, concept and design.  The goal of this project is to expand my versatility in style and capabilities as a brand designer.  The following were established as the guidelines for this project.  First Mineh Ishida logo project post can be found here (v001). 

Project Considerations

  1. My name in Japanese means summit or mountain peak.
  2. The brand should be for one of my specialties: Marketing, Web Design, Graphic Design, Photography, DJing, etc.
  3. Each logo I create must be in a new style.
  4. I will spend no more than 2 hours on each project.  The goal is not to create masterpieces, but to try new things.

Mineh Ishida: Logo v002

Last week, I explored a modern retro style using subdued colors.  Today, I decided to go minimalistic with line art and strong geometric shape.  I want the focus today to be more on the brand mark, and less on the name.  To continue the theme using mountains, I decided that the M from Mineh could be abstracted into a mountain shape by skewing the heights of the peaks.  I created movement and depth in the logo by creating breaks, that give the illusion that the line overlaps itself.  This draws the eye from left to right through the logo.

I chose to go with a monochome color palette because I really wanted this to be as minimalistic as possible.  Focus entirely on the shape and lines, and not on the color.

The typography is very simple.  I used Gotham and kept it very clean an undistracting. Rendering the “Mineh Ishida” in all caps further reduces the unique shapes of the letters which further reduces the impact of the name in the logo.

Challenges

At the end of the 2 hours, I wanted to keep playing with line thicknesses.  I felt like the text too closely mirrored the shapes in weight and  structure, and I wanted to further explore what different typographical treatments would do to the logo.  I do feel like I captured the essence of this excercise however, and made a line art logo that also represents mountains in a very abstract form.

Mineh Ishida - Logo Project v002 - Minimalist Line Art Logo

Mineh Ishida – Logo Project v002 – Minimalist Line Art Logo – (Mockup Provided by Graphic Burger)

 

 

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Design Logo Project

Mineh Ishida Logo Project – project v001

May 2, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Mineh Ishida Logo Project v001 - business card mockup

I’ve decided to start a project.  For the next year, I plan to design one logo a week.  I plan to spend no more than 2 hours for research, concept and design.  The goal of this project is much like a 365 photo project; I hope to expand my styles and capabilities as a brand designer.

Mineh Ishida: My Name & Brand

To start with, I figured I’d use my own name: Mineh Ishida and create a personal brand.  After all, if I can’t create a logo for myself, the person I know the most about, how can I expect to brand for other companies?

Project Considerations

  1. My name in Japanese means summit or mountain peak.
  2. The brand should be for one of my specialties: Marketing, Web Design, Graphic Design, Photography, DJing, etc.
  3. Each logo I create must be in a new style.
  4. I will spend no more than 2 hours on each project.  The goal is not to create masterpieces, but to try new things.

First Project: v001

Here is my first attempt at creating a logo for the Mineh Ishida brand.  I created it towards the creative marketing side, and decided to go with a modern vintage approach.  I chose subdued cool colors and simplistic graphics because I wanted people to feel the brand was relaxed and trustworthy.   I created two variations on the same mark so I could see how the two different typestyles contrasted.  I found myself liking the more ornate version more than the simpler font.

Challenges

The 2 hour time limit proved to be more challenging than I thought.  I feel like the logos still need refinement and spacing fixes, but considering this is the first time I’ve done this project, I’m happy with the results.  If I had more time, I would clean up the mountain graphic, and refine the color palette further.

Mineh Ishida Logo Project v001

Mineh Ishida Logo Project v001

 

 

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Travel

Mineh Ishida – Exploring Austria

March 8, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Austria photo by Mineh-Ishida

Recently I had the opportunity to go to Vienna, Austria to DJ an event for the Austria WCS Spectacle. The event was so much fun, and I got to know a lot of fantastic dancers from all over Europe. Since I was going over there anyway, I decided that it would be a great opportunity to explore Austria. It was my first time to the country, so I was really excited to learn about their culture and experience a different perspective.

(A Photography Note: Unfortunately, the memory card for my DSLR got corrupted, so the photos you find here are from my iPhone. I was really impressed with how nice the phone photos came out!)

Europe is Old.. Obviously.

Probably the most cliche statement from any Americans coming back from Europe is that Europe is old. Obviously right? What you don’t hear as much though is the impact that that has.

Being in a country where many buildings and man made structures predate the founding of our country has a profound effect on your perspective. My friends there were kind enough to introduce me to a restaurant where the basement (where we ate) was built atop old roman structures. There were pieces of architecture and statues that dated to the Roman Empire. Wandering the city, there are also other ruins visible that date back to the Romans.

The freaking ROMANS!

Much of the architecture in the country was built using techniques long discarded for modern building techniques that are more efficient and less costly. In one part of Vienna, I stood in a square and marveled at a sign on the side of a building telling how Mozart held his first recital in this very building. It was an attractive building, but otherwise unremarkable. Reading that sign however gave me chills. The idea that one of the worlds most influential composers got his start in this very place was absolutely mind blowing.

Can you imagine roman warriors or architects, being in the same spot you are? Being in the building where Mozart played his first recital? It really does stretch the imagination.

Vienna

Vienna was magnificent.  From the stone paved roads, to the elaborate architecture, the city was a marvel of modern and ancient fused together.  The shopping district was glamorous and vibrant with the energy of locals and tourists.  Every road and alley was flush with the sense of history.  Even the doors to the buildings were beautiful works of art.  As much as I loved the tourist attractions and historical buildings, I think I liked the apartments and office buildings more… just the regular buildings in some of the older districts  The fact that it was just part of life there… and has been for a long time really sank in when viewing the every day lives of the people.

I did really enjoy seeing the horse carriages carrying tourists around the city however. Vienna is a romantic town, full of small shops and restaurants, and plenty for couples to do together. Just walking around the city is a very nice way to spend a day.

Walking around the center of the old city was an experience I would recommend for anyone.  The senses are bombarded.  From the smell of fresh baked bread, to the ringing of the bells, it’s a sensory delight.   I especially liked it around dusk as the crowds began to thin.  People in Austria keep very early hours.  Once evening hit, the city quieted very quickly.

 

Vienna | phootograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Vienna | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Vienna | phootograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Vienna | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

 

Fountain in Vienna | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Fountain in Vienna | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Schonbrunn Palace | phorograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Schonbrunn Palace | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

 

My Love Affair with Austria’s Public Transportation

During my stay in Vienna, I navigated by train, subway, and bus. I was able to get anywhere in the city I needed to without worrying about being late or held up by traffic. The transportation was safe, on time and convenient. It was also much cheaper than hiring a taxi.

I think my favorite part about the transportation system though was the people watching. So many different people on the trains. Students, elderly, business people, artists.. a huge variety of people of all ages and walks of life use the public transit. We even passed a stop where a play had recently finished, and all the actors and actresses boarded the subway in full costume.

I think it really gave me a unique snapshot of life in Austria.

The Alps

I must say that as much as I loved Vienna, the Alps were truly the highlight of the trip for me. I rented a little Suzuki Swift. It was a tiny little car, as most of them are in Austria, and started driving west. The further west I went, the more mountainous it became. I remember how excited I was when I saw my first snow peaked mountain.

Keep in mind that I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Ohio is a very flat place with no real topography to speak of. In my early thirties, I moved to Clearwater Florida. Also a very flat place. I’ve visited places with mountains in the past, but nowhere have I been where the mountains were so… present.

Its hard to explain really. Being in a place where the mountains surround you and tower over you… in a land largely unspoiled by commerce and human expansion. Don’t get me wrong, there were towns and roads and human life, but it was very different. The general feeling was that the villages were small and very integrated into the landscape… nestled into the valleys at the base of the mountains. It was really remarkable.

 

Swan Lake - Mineh Ishida

Swan Lake  |  photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

The Austrian Alps | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera : iPhone 6

The Austrian Alps | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera : iPhone 6

The Austrian Alps | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera : iPhone 6

The Austrian Alps | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera : iPhone 6

The Austrian Alps | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera : iPhone 6

The Austrian Alps | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera : iPhone 6

Gastronomic Glee…Austrian Food is Awesome

So I do have a weakness for good food, and Austria has plenty of it. The food wasn’t that odd as cultural fare goes.  It was more in the ingredients and preparation that really won me over.  The food all felt very natural.  Less processed, packaged and preserved.  For breakfast, fresh baked rolls, fruit, and meats and cheeses were par for the course.  Of course there was schnitzel and turkish kebap.

The highlight however was in Altmunster.  I had the opportunity to eat fresh smoked fish from a roadside shack, that had been caught in the lake.  It tasted like a cross between trout and salmon.  It was honestly, the best fish I’ve ever had.  Also, we stopped at a small restaurant, where they served the same fish breaded and preserved meat of the local mountain goats.  Truly delicious fare.

Chamois  | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Chamois | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

 

Smoked Fish | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Smoked Fish | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Breakfast in Austria | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

Breakfast in Austria | photograph by Mineh Ishida, Camera: iPhone 6

 General Advice for Travelling in Austria

  1. Check into your hotel EARLY.
    Many hotels and gasthauses close by 8pm once you’re out of Vienna.  There were a few nights where we were scrambling to find a place to sleep.
  2. Drink the Beer and Coffee.
    I don’t like domestic beer here in the states.  Many of the imports also just aren’t that good.  The Beer in Austria was fantastic.  Every beer I tried had amazing flavor.  Also, since beer is very cheap in Austria, there is really no excuse not to!  The coffee in Austria was also remarkable.  Here in the states, the coffee tends to either have a sour note, or a bitter note.  You have to really look hard to find excellent coffee.  In Austria, the coffee had a dark chocolate like mouth texture.  It was fantastic just about everywhere I had it.
  3. Rent a Car if you’re going to travel the countryside.
    Initially we planned to take a train to Salzburg from Vienna, but we realized that for 2 people, renting a car was cheaper.  It allowed us to travel to small towns that would have been difficult to see by train, and the freedom to explore on our timetable.  Once we got back to Vienna, we gave up the car for public transportation.  I’m really glad we got off the beaten path.  I highly recommend it.
  4. Buy Power Adapters.
    I didn’t need the voltage converter I bought for any of my gadgets.  The adapters worked just fine.  Make sure you check that your devices can do 240v, but my cellphone, laptop, and tablet all functioned fine . I used these: Power Adapters
  5. Having internet is very nice.
    I use T-mobile, so I had free 3G internet and texting.  It was a huge help there.  Internet is painfully slow in Austria at the hotels.  I found only one hotel in the 5 that I stayed at where the internet was stable and of a decent speed.  The other hotels were unusable.
  6. Plan your bathroom trips.
    Bathrooms are not plentiful in Austria. The few public restrooms we ran across required payment to access.  Be aware of this and plan accordingly.
  7. Eat breakfast at the Hotel.
    Many hotels and gasthauses have breakfast included with your stay.  Most of them consist of fresh fruit and bread, butter, jellies and various meats and cheeses.  Overall the quality was good, and the prices very reasonable.
  8. Bring good walking shoes.
    Plan to walk a lot.  There is a lot of public transportation, but if you really want to see Austria, walking is the best way.  Between trains, subways, and generally getting around to sight see, I walked on average 5-6 miles a day.

About Mineh Ishida

My name is Mineh Ishida. I am passionate about marketing, design, photography and traveling. This is my blog where I share my thoughts about the world I live in and tips that I’ve found useful.

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