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Monday, January 22, 2007

LOGO

Logos. We see them around us every day. They have become as much a part of our daily environment as the products and services they come attached to, aiding us in identifying the brand and keeping it nestled deep in our minds. The logo is in fact one of the most vital aspects of a company’s brand identity, and must distinguish itself by appearing markedly different from all other logos on the market. In the world of graphic design, logos are believed to be of top notch importance. After all, when you create a logo, you’re not just creating an image – you’re forging the visual embodiment of an entire organization or even country – for example, Canada now has its own logo.

 

When you’re designing a logo, it’s important not to be too excessive. The more over-the-top designs simply aren’t catchy enough to appeal to consumers on a wide scale. Therefore, it is important to use fewer colors and avoid using gradients. You should also keep in mind trademarks – don’t copy other brand logos, or else you could find yourself in a heap of trouble.

 

What else? Avoid using people’s faces. I mean, can you think of any logos that successfully use a person’s face? There are many reasons why this isn’t commonly done, the main reason being that it has never proven effective to associate one individual with an entire product. What’s more, the amount of beauty and authority that a face commands tends to shift from culture to culture.

 

On that note, a successful logo designer will always keep in mind that different cultures might be more sensitive than others to certain references. Unless you’re designing a logo for a country or a company that wishes to convey a specific religious, political, or cultural idea, it is best to stay away from this sensitive material when designing a logo.

 

The use of photography or complicated imagery is not recommended. When a person looks at your company’s logo, you want them to instantly recognize it as the symbol of your brand. Photographs are less likely to catch the eye. Photographic images beg to be studied – not absorbed in a single glance.

 

Finally, take a close look at other major brand logos. What are the ones that stick out in your mind? McDonald’s has its golden arches; Apple has its apple, etc. With a little creativity and a spot of hard work, a good logo creates an entire visual identity for a product, and helps keep it in the public imagination.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Photoshopping

One popular use of Photoshop on the Internet has developed into a favorite pastime of amateurs and professionals alike. It is a game called “photoshopping,” and it involves using Adobe Photoshop software in order to create a sort of visual prank or joke. In a way, it is a form of creating cartoons, but without the need of producing original drawings. Instead, the faces of celebrities are often applied to nude or pornographic images, misleading people to believe that the photographs are authentic. Pink elephants are shown dancing across fields. One hoax that received a lot of media attention featured a shark attacking a helicopter.

 

 Photoshop Humor Image

The photograph circulated widely on the Internet, until it was revealed that it was actually comprised of two separate photographs spliced together by a clever designer in Photoshop. But generally, it is clear from common sense that a photograph has been altered. In fact, the fact that an image has been “photoshopped” often forms a major part of the punchline. MAD Magazine often uses Photoshop to “rebrand” a product, thus presenting it in a new satirical light. This kind of “photoshopping” is highly professionalized, however, as it requires type design skills in order to draw up a copy that closely resembles the original logo.

 

Photoshop Humor Image

Photoshopped gags are often circulated via e-mail. Remember the famous image “Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten”? That’s one popular example of a photoshopped item. There are even photoshopping contests that encourage this kind of humorous use – or misuse – of the software. Generally, these start out when a user posts a starting image and invites others to begin “photochopping” away. Not just Photoshop is used – some users prefer to use Corel Photopaint, GIMP, or even Microsoft Paint. In keeping with the anarchic spirit of photoshopping, the contest involves altering the image in a humorous vein or according to a given theme. After all the participants have submitted their rehash of the original image, they get to vote on their favorites. Whoever receives the most votes wins the contest.

 

The humor found in photoshopping contests often revolves around the use of clichés. Popular photoshopping clichés include the image of James Brown looking out of it; a tourist standing on the World Trade Center before a plane hits it; and other politically incorrect jokes.

 

While Adobe officially discourages people from using the word “Photoshop” as a verb – they are afraid that it will undermine the trademark – one thing is for certain: Photoshop – and photoshopping – continues to alter the way we view the world.