Saturday, November 27, 2010

DUIs and SSIs - active US Army Infantry Divisions

One more chapter of my “Military Insignia” project has been completed. This time around, I have taken on shoulder-sleeve insignias and distinctive unit insignias of all the active infantry divisions of the United States Army. I had to cover 18 active divisions in total, which resulted in 18 SSIs and 18 DUIs – 36 designs in total to work on. Those included two airborne divisions – 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne, one mountain division – 10th Mountain light infantry division, two reserve training divisions – 95th and 100th, and 13 active infantry divisions, both of regular service as well as Army National Guard – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 25th, 28th, 29th, 34th, 35th, 36th, 38th, 40th and 42nd infantry divisions.
Working on this particular stage of the project, I noticed that when divisional shoulder-sleeve insignia was fairly well covered and represented in various paper and electronic publications, it was not quite the same story with distinctive unit insignias. Good descriptions, historical references and quality images of divisional DUIs were fairly scarce, and hard to find. Also, DUIs themselves turned out to be more complex and technically challenging from the designing prospective. The main challenge was to preserve DUI’s metal “badge” look and feel, at the same time highlighting modest and understated beauty of each piece. Another interesting observation was that divisions were mostly associated with and recognized by their shoulder-sleeve patches, when DUIs were far less recognizable or even known by anyone, other than those who actually had a chance to wear them. This is why an idea of showing DUIs and SSIs of each division side by side was so appealing to me.
As with all previous designs included in my “Military Insignia” project, I had to balance between my artistic inclinations and the need to maintain color schemes, precision and accuracy of each insignia. Working with heraldry, one cannot get too carried away, and there is no room for errors. The only areas where I am able to get creative working on my military insignias, are textures and multiple layers with layer effects.
As all the other “Military Insignia” designs, all the US Army Infantry divisions’ insignias are available exclusively in my Zazzle “Military Insignia” gallery on a number of selected products and gifts, which could be found here.
Since this is a work in progress, at some point I am planning to expand my “Infantry Divisions” collection, and include a number of insignias of certain historical deactivated infantry divisions, eventually covering all divisions that ever existed. However, this won’t not be my next project. The next step would be covering insignias of all the active US Army Infantry Brigades and Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT), which will eventually be displayed in this gallery. Stay tuned and visit often to catch all the new arrivals.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

USMC Emblem part 2 – saga continues…

Who would have thought that my USMC emblem story (see my Sept. 30 USMC Seal article) would have a sequel, or even a happy ending, if you wish… Yes, I have finally found a solution enabling me to offer my USMC emblem design commercially, on a wide variety of apparel, accessories, stationary and gifts. It turned out that CafePress, (a print-on-demand internet retailer, with which I had a few galleries since early 2009 but entirely neglected, being too busy with my “Military Insignia” project on Zazzle) – have a license with US Marine Corps. This gives their contributing artists an opportunity to design official USMC merchandise and offer it commercially via its USMC Fan Portal. As expected, designers are supposed to follow very strict guidelines as too what and how to design, and on what kind of USMC-approved products such designs would be available. Also, I was able to open a gallery with USMC-related designs with another POD retailer SpreadShirt.

Knowing that the USMC Seal, the design which I recreated initially, was off-limits because that particular insignia has been reserved exclusively for the US Marine Corps internal use, I had to create an alternative design of the emblem, allowed by USMC for commercial use. The major difference between the two would be the inscriptions. The official seal would have “Department of the Navy. United States Marine Corps” inscribed on a dark-blue collar. The USMC-approved emblem design would have “United States Marine Corps” inscribed on a black collar. Modifying inscriptions and collar was not such a big deal, and less than an hour later, my version of USMC-approved US Marine Corps Emblem was ready. The smaller version of the result of this epic saga can be seen here. It is commercially available on variety of high quality USMC-approved merchandise at the CafePress’ USMC Fan Portal in my C.7 Design Studio gallery here as well as in my CafePress USMC Insignia 3D storeCafePress Military Insignia 3D store, and   SpreadShirt "Military Insignia 3D" gallery here.
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