Author Archives: pvos

Gas Wind Streaming from Galactic Center

At the heart of the Milky Way’s Galactic Center lies a supermassive black hole, and surrounding it are regions of intense star formation. The black hole, the star-forming regions, or a combination of both are driving a million-degree wind of hot gas that flows outward above and below the plane of the Milky Way in two enormous plumes. The plumes can be detected across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to x-rays and gamma-rays.

This is an illustration created to display that phenomena – with clouds containing carbon monoxide (shown as the dark patches in the blow up) entailed in the other gasses and elements traveling out of the center of our galaxy.

Artist’s conception of molecular clouds entrained in the hot wind from the center of the Milky Way. Artist: Paul Vosteen for NSF/GBO

The illustration was created freehand in Adobe Photoshop. Related work.

“National Park” Styled Posters

When a colleague returned from a conference in Hawaii (back in 2019), he excitedly showed me a poster designed for another observatory – done in a style reminiscent of the WPA produced National Park posters. I was familiar with both the style, and the poster in question, and had been working on a few WPA-inspired versions for our own observatory as a side project. With the added interest from my colleague, I stepped up my efforts, producing two poster designs in quick succession (and plans to produce more).

The design for the Green Bank Telescope was completed first, but work had been started on the design for the 140foot Telescope back in 2018.

Green Bank Telescope poster design
140 Foot Telescope poster

Space Race Rumpus T-shirt design

The Space Race Rumpus is a yearly biking event at the Green Bank Observatory for cyclists of all ages and skill levels. Though aimed at mountain bikers, the event also has road rides, time-trials, and trail rides all over the GBO site.

The event is also marked by a t-shirt design contest, which I won for the 2018 event. I also designed posters for the concert events on the weekend.

Poster Design – 60th Anniversary Posters for Green Bank Observatory

During the build up to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Green Bank Observatory, I created a number of collateral pieces for the event. These two poster designs were used to draw attention to our history – depicting the original Tatel 85-1 telescope that took some of the first observations at Green Bank. The artwork was created in Adobe Illustrator CC.

Photo Illustration – Swarm of Hydrogen Clouds Flying Away from Center of our Galaxy

Official press release from the Green Bank Observatory.

This image was created using a large-format image of the Milky Way galaxy (photo by S. Brunier, upon which an illustration of the expanding clouds was created in Photoshop.

Artists statement: “Creating an image of something which is not exactly visible to the naked eye is intrinsically difficult, and there was much back-and-forth between myself and the research scientists on how these clouds may be best represented. The end result is quite satisfying, although I would love to see what this REALLY looks like, some day.” P. Vosteen

Jacob’s Ladder – redesigned

With the 25th anniversary of Jacob’s Ladder, Inc. approaching (in April 2016) a new site redesign was needed. Something that would be responsive, clean, and easy to navigate.

Reworking the design from a custom WordPress to a templated site was a good decision in the long run. While the custom site allowed for a certain degree of creative freedom, it did not allow for quick changes and outside editors. In addition, when the old redesign took place, responsive sites – or any mobile sites in general – were rare. Now, mobile computing is ubiquitous and if your site is not responsive, you are a dinosaur.

Jacob's Ladder redesigned

A nice feature of this site is that a majority of the photography and all of the graphic elements are created by Foxpaw Creative.

DSLCC Redesign – redesigned

DSLCC Web site

Main site:

The main goal in this site redesign was to make the site dynamic, responsive, and “future-proofed”. Working with a design firm, I was the creative liaison for DSLCC in the redesign of our college Web site. The primary design elements (logo design, branding guidelines, layout) came from my input, and the site design was realized by the design firm. This was a unique opportunity for me to help art-direct a project, providing valuable input to the designer and developer, and as the ultimate end-user, I can say that the site performs as expected. All current content and design elements are created by me and maintained through WordPress.

One key takeaway I do have on this project was the knowledge that a preponderance of plugins (how’s that for alliteration?) is never a good thing. My knowledge of WordPress and site usability came in very handy as I was able to streamline the site and reduce lag time on page loads.