First Blog Post - 1/28/18

architecture, art, artwork, buildings by shane, clock, fire department, fire station, hilltop hose company, pennsylvania, tower -

First Blog Post - 1/28/18

Hilltop Hose Company No. 3As my first blog post here on the newly redone Buildings By Shane website, I wanted to revisit the very first design that I created: the Hilltop Hose Company No. 3 fire station in New Kensington.

I initially started this whole project after speaking with Dante Cicconi, an old friend and city official with my hometown of New Kensington, about doing some kind of illustration work to coincide with the upcoming 125th anniversary of the city's founding. Nothing really came about in partnership with the city, but I continued creating and designing some of the "local landmarks" in New Ken in Adobe Illustrator, starting with the fire station that was right around the corner from my childhood home.

I remember as a kid, playing with my cousin at his grandmother's house on Ridge Avenue, right across the street from the old fire station. It had been long closed even then. I always liked its bright yellow tower and it reminded me of those days.

Initially, I hadn't settled on any kind of color scheme, and was even thinking of doing this with the actual colors of the building. I was inspired by a business card I'd found that was printed on a kind of cardboard-looking paper, grainy and toothy and liked the way they incorporated the paper into the overall design, and so I started experimenting with colors that would stand out on that type of paper and settled on Orange (80% Magenta 95% Yellow), a Teal Green (80% Cyan, 10% Magenta, 45% Yellow) and Purple (50% Cyan, 100% Magenta) on an 80% Black "background". It also happened that they were included in Illustrator's default swatch library, making it easy to pick.

Since designing this, I've gotten a lot more detailed and complex in my illustrations, but this was a fun place to start. I hope you enjoy reading and I'll post a new story about the next illustration next week!

- Shane

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