Pirates of Dark Water

tags: digital illustration, WordPress, CMS, web design

This is an unorthodox portfolio entry. I run Always the Quest, the largest and longest-running fan site for The Pirates of Dark Water, an early-90s American animated series. In recent years I've done digital illustration of show artifacts, and have been working on converting an all-HTML mid-2000s redesign to Wordpress.

Logo illustration in SketchApp

Logo illustration

Done as a personal exercise to sharpen my digital illustration skills, and with the intent of uploading an EPS to my site so that fans can use it in their personal projects.

There are variations in the logo as displayed in the cartoon, comic books, video games, and other merchandise. I've tried to reconcile them all in this version, and may do several other faithful versions in the future.

I created it in Illustrator several years ago and re-created it in Sketch in December 2017 (transferring it from Illustrator to Sketch ended up wrecking many of the details).

I'd like to do several more rounds of revisions to add "grit" and subtle details.

Screencap of the Pirates of Dark Water title screen Digitally illustrated Pirates of Dark Water logo

Website redesign

I've maintained piratesofdarkwater.net since 1996 (when it was hosted on GeoCities). It's been a great way for me to test new web design skills, to hone various contextual content styles, and to manage an online community.

(As an aside, it's helped me to connect with the original Hanna-Barbera and Fil-Cartoons show-runners, and I had a hand in the show getting released on DVD in 2010. The power of the web (and diligence)!)

I'd maintained a Wordpress blog on the home page, but the rest of the site was pure HTML (for whatever silly, short-sighted reason). A bot wrecked the home blog, and I took that as a chance to start migrating to a CMS. Skills and tools I've worked with:

  • MAMP
  • Kirby
  • Markdown
  • Wordpress template modification

I'm currently migrating the site to Wordpress. The main challenges are updating functionality (via WP plugins or hand-coding), and wading through my old 64px thumbnails and awkward writing style, haha.

Screenshots forthcoming. The old site was last redesigned in ~2007 and has no place in my current portfolio. :(

want to move to another piece?
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