The Dobler Effect

Posted by Mongo Thursday, September 10, 2009

Let’s kick this off with a classic. This is one of the first designs I did based on a favorite film of mine, Say Anything. For the uninitiated, stop reading this… actually, first go buy a shirt, then stop reading this and go watch it. If you are a fan of Jerry Maguire or Almost Famous and love 80s movies from John Hughes, you’ll love this one. It’s very smart and endearing. It also, unfortunately, gets attributed to John Hughes. As much as I love John Hughes, this is a totally different style of movie. It was actually Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut. You might have also heard of a little movie he wrote called Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Place in Pop Culture History
One of the iconic images from this film is Lloyd Dobler standing outside Diane Court’s house, hoisting a boom box over his head and blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Diane recently dumped Lloyd and this was one of his efforts to get her back. It happened to be the song that was playing on the radio the first time they made love, in the back seat of her car. Besides sending roses to someone, this is probably one of the most duplicated scenes attempted by people to reconcile with significant others, post breakup.

Mongo’s Design
I think there is a band called The Lloyd Dobler Effect, but I was looking at this from a weather analogy like Doppler Effect. I was going to with a weather styled design but felt that I lost some of the inherent homage to the original. So, I scrapped that and went with the basic silhouette rendition of a guy holding a boom box over his head with the text “The Dobler Effect” written underneath.


My original design has been tweaked to take the roughness off the outline and change the font. In the early days of my basic shop, “Retro Rags,” I didn’t understand resolution and size. When my image got blown up to 10 inches it blurred around the edges and I just used the Sharpen effect, which just made it jagged. I didn’t have a lot of designing experience under my belt and it felt sloppy. Once I opened up the new premium shop, I went back and redid the design with some better understanding of how to design in 200 ppi. It seems like such a rudimentary design, but it actually took a lot of work. I also felt that the font was not as effective so I changed to a more script like feel. It’s a small seller but a work of pop culture pride.

True Story
I was dating this girl my senior year of high school and for the first year and a half of college. We hit a rough patch after our first year and she found herself questioning her feelings for me. I was young…and a bit of a dick…but anyway, she wanted to take a small break and be alone for awhile. So, what did I do? I grabbed my boom box, trench coat, and cassette copy of the Say Anything soundtrack and stood outside her house. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a small radio like Lloyd Dobler did. I had one of those big honking dual cassette, detachable speaker, CD player jobs. After the first chorus my arms were ready to fall off.

For any of us who have been there and done that with Peter Gabriel playing o’er our heads, I give you…



The Dobler Effect
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