Monday, April 14, 2014

High Tech Detective

Last year I was asked to do a T shirt design for Cyber Security company in Michigan. The design was a zombie chewing on a computer modem- you know how zombies do.
Recently they asked for a new design for this years Michigan Cyber Range Conference in Ann Arbor on May 20th.

At the Cyber range they do various demonstrations in their fiction town of  Alphaville, a secure environment that enables users to practice cybersecurity techniques. For example, attendees may be airport traffic controllers who will be put in a scenario where evil hackers are trying to break into their computer system and cause havoc. They are taught how to stop the hacker and keep everyone safe.  It sounds pretty complicated and intense- even more advanced than tips like "your password should not be 1234".
Who shot the Computer? Copyright © 2014,Merit Cyber Range and Richard Luschek
This time they asked for a 1930's pulp style detective looking into a case of computer "hacking". I thought it would look cool if the "hacking" was represented by a computer that had been shot. Doing research on-line I was finding some cool 1930's pulp covers with wonderful graphic layouts.
I decided to push it in that direction and turn this into a cover. I sent some sketches of the detective I did quickly in Photoshop. After a few back and forth emails, these two were the last set.
Who shot the Computer? sketches, Copyright © 2014,Merit Cyber Range and Richard Luschek
I liked the gun, but it confused the issue and made it look like maybe the detective had shot the computer. The other was a bit cooler and looked as if he happened upon the scene. In the final image I made sure he had a subtle glance in the direction of the "victim".
I expanded the scene to an Alphaville office and pushed the silhouette a bit more so it was a stronger image. I had hand drawn a font based on one of the old covers, but they decided on a different title so rather than attempt to draw a new title I looked for some fonts that gave it a retro feel.
I also stayed with the anachronistic mood and changed the price to bitcoins.

This was a fun project. While I have yet to sent the invoice for the job, maybe I can get some help from them on my computer security. Like, do I have enough bear traps set around my computer area? Should I add more barbed wire?
I'll let you know what I find out.