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Smitha Prasadh

I'm a user experience designer, trying to do right by the world.

Pirates of Dark Water digital logo illustration

What this is about

This is an unorthodox portfolio entry. I run the web's oldest and largest 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 site design to WordPress.

Screenshot of the Pirates of Dark Water logo from the show's opening sequence.

Screenshot of the Pirates of Dark Water logo.

Logo illustration

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

There are variations in the logo between the cartoon, comic books, video games, and other merchandise. I’ve tried to reconcile them all in this version.

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).

Screenshot of the logo illustration work-in-progress file in Sketch.

WIP in Sketch.

The final illustration

A geeky side note: the scoop on my website

Firstly, it’s badly broken, and it hasn’t been redesigned in well over 10 years. Please don’t judge me on how it looks right now...

I’ve maintained since 1996 (when it was hosted on GeoCities). It’s been a great way for me to test new web design skills over the decades, 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 an official release on DVD in 2010. The power of the web (and diligence)! People have referred to me both as the web's Pirates of Dark Water archivist and as the reigning world expert on this series. I'll humbly own this geeky cred.)

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've made attempts to migrate it to a new CMS. Some technologies I've worked with:

  • MAMP
  • Kirby
  • Markdown
  • WordPress template modification

January 2021: In honor of the 30th anniversary of the show's debut next month, I'm hard at work on something totally different, letting go of all my old CMS and information architecture work and taking inventory of what a "fan site" can be in the web of 2021. More soon...

Always The Quest, friends.