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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.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Web Design

With the advent of the World Wide Web, the designing of websites and web applications has emerged as a lucrative new profession. Typically, the web design process occurs in three basic stages. 

 

-The web designer sketches the layout of the website using Adobe Photoshop;

-The designer then uses Adobe ImageReady, which allows him/her to “slice” the layout into performing various functions on the website;

-The programmer then implements the design into html code, and the site goes online.

 

The web designer must strive to find the perfect balance between aesthetics and accessibility. A lot of web designers are coming at the field from a background in graphic design. The result is that they oftentimes obsess over how a page looks, without taking into consideration how a surfer is going to find the page.

 

Then there are SEOs – search engine optimizers – who are obsessed with the opposite – that is, getting as much traffic to a particular website as possible. Their focus is on how the sites works, and often care little for what the site looks like. In fact, SEOs and web designers often come into conflict over this very issue. The SEO will demand a lot of “ugly” features that they feel will bring more traffic to the site. These common features include bullet lists, text links, and lots of keywords. A collaborative solution must often be sought in order to strike a harmonious balance between function and appearance.

 

What this means is that it is vital for a web designer to have a strong background in visual communication. Graphics can be employed to serve business and communication purposes, and a designer well versed in this language will be more likely to build a successful website.

 

What’s more, by loading up a page with tons of graphics, designers often times anger and alienate surfers. The more graphically complex a web page, the longer it will take to load. Of course, this is less of a problem nowadays, since nearly everyone uses a high-speed Internet connection. In fact, designers are aware of this, and thus use increased bandwidth as an excuse for more artful webpage’s.

 

When designing a website, the most important issues to keep in mind are the purpose of the site, the audience, and the content. By deciding on all this at the outset, it becomes easier to set and meet goals of both a short- and long-term nature.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Adobe Photoshop Digital Revolution

Throughout the digital revolution of the 1990s, Adobe Photoshop played a leading role in expanding and re-defining the post-production process of photography. Suddenly, procedures that would usually take days or weeks and could only be performed by highly skilled professional artists and photographers could be accomplished in a few minutes by nearly anyone with basic computer skills and intuition. The overall quality of photographs improved tremendously with the use of this software, and artists soon began using Photoshop not only as a post-production tool, but as a tool for design.

 

The release of the first version of Adobe Photoshop coincided with the advent of the World Wide Web, which has grown to play a massive role in today’s technological society. Virtually every office, school, and household around the world is now connected, and web design has become a lucrative new profession. 

 

Although Photoshop was initially intended for print purposes, tech savvy designers soon discovered that the software was incredibly convenient for designing websites. The folks at Adobe, in response, began adding new features to the updated software that would appeal to web designers. Adobe ImageReady, a bitmap graphics editor now included with Adobe Photoshop, has become a standard tool in the industry for creating and editing web graphics.

 

Typically, the web design process goes something like this:

 

  1. The web designer sketches the layout of the website using Adobe Photoshop;
  2. The designer then uses Adobe ImageReady, which allows him/her to “slice” the layout into performing various functions on the website;
  3. The programmer then implements the design into html code, and the site goes online.

 

Another 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. The faces of celebrities are often applied to nude or pornographic images, misleading people to believe that the photographs are authentic. Another hoax that received a lot of media attention featured a shark attacking a helicopter. 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.

 

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.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Digital Photography

Digital photography has revolutionized the way we view the world. While some critics, nostalgic for the old days of film, claim that digital photographs are inferior to film in terms of quality, the market has clearly chosen to go digital. People simply prefer to view images these days on their computers and mobile phones. Fewer and fewer people are purchasing film and film cameras, which has taken its toll on companies like Kodak, who were pioneers in the photographic industry. A lot of small shops that once focused on selling or developing film no longer dabble in this area, or if they do, then it’s not likely to be their main focus.

 

Why? It’s now cheaper than ever to buy a digital camera. We’ve come a long way since the 1970s, when people normally viewed photographs with the help of a slide projector. You no longer have to wait to develop photographs in order to find out what the result will be. The results are now instantaneous, allowing photographers to edit while they work.

 

What’s more, as photographic images in the past have been prone to the wear and tear of time, this is no longer a problem, thanks to the wonders of digital technology. Digital photographs are stored on the hard drives of computers now. This preserves them intact for all of eternity, in theory. Unless a file is corrupted or deleted or the hard disk storing the file is damaged in some way, the photographic image rests intact. But as all computer savvy photographers know, the best way to prevent this from happening is to make back-up copies of all files. You never know when an emergency might arise!

One concern is that digital media will either be updated or neglected altogether and thus made obsolete in the wake of the high-speed rate that technological innovation seems to proceed at these days. In other words, is digital photography and digital media in general, just a fad? When the next big thing comes around, will we lose all that info we have stored on our hard drives in an effort to keep up with the frenzy?

Well, you never know. But one thing is for certain: While film has not yet become totally obsolete, it is unlikely it will ever regain its pre-digital popularity. While professionals disagree over the subject, film will probably always be around. Looking back at photography’s origins, it was predicted then that people would stop painting pictures. Just as artists continue to paint, photographers will continue to work with both film and the digital apparatus.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Using Different Text Styles With Photoshop

There are thousands of different text styles one can get with Photoshop. They are available in several variations and combinations. These texts and styles are essential and useful for graphic designing work. With better understanding about text styles we can build scores of designs.

 

Texts for Photoshop are as good as special object for graphics. One can easily change its color, opacity and layer styles. We can adjust text alignment properties in texts easily. In a way, we can choose a text string of our own and its color and choose text of our own variation.

 

Take for example dark colors imply negative emotions like anger, sadness, confusion, difficulties etc. Where as bright colors imply positive energies like love, hope etc. With Photoshop, the basic form of text we can create is with sample colors containing a string of characters. We must note that different colors are associated with different moods. The better we use them, shows a sense of beauty.

 

Another text style with Photoshop is text with patterns. Here we can use an image or several tiles of images as text. So here we can use images in the place of solid colors in text. This style is preferred for those who need small number of high quality fonts, or for those who like small typefaces. With this style we can create different designs in a single typeface. This style looks great if text is used with plain background.

 

Another style of text we can get is text with border. It emphasizes contours of typeface. Text with border makes words attractive and legible irrespective of its background. But we must make sure border color of text is not identical with that of background color! Usually Photoshop can create text with border as thin as one pixel. Here text border can either be main feature or just decoration. With Photoshop we have ease keeping the border opacity intact. So, this gives more design possibilities.

 

With Photoshop we can have text with drop shadows also. They separate background from that of text object adding exposure as well as attraction to our text design. By moving the shadow from the object we can increase or decrease depth in illusory effect. By using additional filters we can create different designs of our choice, for example blue hues to the drop shadow with respect to surrounding text color. Depending on sharpness of shadow, we can create illusion whether object is near or far.

 

Another text style with Photoshop is text with gradients. They are a blend of multiple colors in words. Particularly Photoshop version 7 supports five different styles of gradients like linear, radial, angle etc. Here gradients are used as the color of the text surface or as a background also.

 

So, these are some important text styles we can get with Photoshop.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Importance to a Great Web Site!

A great looking web site have a better curb appeal than an ugly website, which could be a big help if your site is up on the auction block. So what’s the impact to a nicely design site?

 

Web site design and layout is more important to a site than the information provided. Websites with a horrible design or layout could cause a lost of return visitors, poor traffic and revenue. Take for example a site with a bad background color or words difficult to read, visitors will not return or want stay long.

 

Web designers could add an extra flair to any web site with the use of graphics, colors and a professional looking design. But first make sure that you check their background and knowledge ahead of time before hiring a designer.

 

Color is always important when designing a site, depending on the mood that you are trying to convey certain colors could be very dramatic and make for a compelling choice. You also want to be careful and not lose your readers though vision fatigue with a poor background color. So the safe color for the main body of your website should be black writing on a white background or something close to that. Also be aware that not all monitors are created equal and could produce different colors, for you and your readers.

 

Graphic is the best part of a site and my favorite, because it could be a real eye-catcher for visitors. Many internet markets discourage webmasters from using flash graphics as much as possible, because it tends to tire visitors and distract them from the real information. However, there is always an exception to the rules, like video games, music and photo sites that like to grab their visitor’s attention to impress them with their cool flash graphics display and design.

 

And without saying Layout is the most important part of a website. Layout defines your site, colors, banner, Ad’s and logo. These are just some of the important elements to a great a website.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Photoshop Fundamentals

Adobe Photoshop by Adobe Inc. is the world’s favorite software for image editing and graphics. Photoshop is widely used to make graphics for the web and also for editing details in images and photographs. Let us delve straight into Photoshop fundamentals.

 

When you click on the Adobe Photoshop icon, you are taken to the friendly welcome screen. The welcome screen contains tabs and links to most common features, tutorials, recently opened documents and also opening a completely new document. You can exit the welcome screen by clicking on the exit button.

 

The main window contains the canvas on which the graphic or the picture is displayed. The main menu is on the top and contains various options for adding and editing the graphics and the photographs. The menu is neatly divided into sub menus so that all the functions can be found easily.

 

The main window also consists of different palettes that are used to modify the image content like modifying color, styles, gradients etc. The main window also consists of the tools palette from where most of the common functions can be carried out. The palettes on the right can be made dockable by clicking on the title bar and dragging them with the mouse to create a new document, just one click on the “new” in the file menu.

 

In the file new window you can specify the dimensions of the image like its length and breath and also the color mode like RGB, CYMK, etc. You can also state the resolution in pixels with just one click on the open window on the menu bar on an existing image or graphic.

 

You will be taken to the browser window, where one can navigate to the folder where the image file is stored and open it. The browser window displays a small preview of the files when you click on a specific file. The file opens in the main window when double clicking on the file or clicking, and then click on the open button.

 

If you are a professional artist then you can use two monitors with two video cards attached to a single CPU. On one monitor the artist can work on his or her file while on the other monitor he can arrange his or her toolbox and palettes.

 

The main window also contains the zoom option to zoom in or zoom out from an image. You can arrange two or more open windows by clicking on the windows arrange option. You can click on all the menus on the main window and have a look at the functions that are displayed. The status bar on the main window shows the document details like document size, profile, scratch sizes and the current tool that your are using.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Aspen Trees Photos from Steamboat Springs

Nestled between the snow covered mountains, lies one of the most beautiful trees in the world. Although considered rare in many areas, this type of greenery mystifies and enchants. As these photo shows, aspen trees shimmer, making the tree shine as if it were on fire. It is a wonderful backdrop for any landscape, for the aspen trees sparkle in the moonlight, above the warm springs.

 

Aspen Tress - PhotoshopAspen Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For vacationers, Steamboat Spring, Colorado is a place to get away from the fast paced aspects of life. These captivating settings not only inspire those to relax, but it also encourages them to stop and appreciate nature. With the wind crisply whispering in our ears, it is almost as if they are telling us to slow down and focus on the secrets of the world. It is far too often that people forget about the most important things in life. Beauty is all around us, yet many of us forget to look at the trees and the snow covered branches.

 

Mountains

 

For many, Steamboat Spring, Colorado is a chance to change such a perspective. Between the beautiful aspen trees and the awe-inspiring background, it is impossible to leave this place without a new sense of self.

 

Waterfall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Waterfall2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Photos capture the beauty of the Spring Snow melt at Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs, Colorado as it rushes down the Mountain it flows into the Colorado River Headwaters, then on to Yuma, Arizona, where it becomes the drinking water for the region surrounding Yuma Arizona.

  

 

 

 

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Future of Photoshop - Conclusion

The layering itself is something that has actually been improved. Multiple layering and the functions surrounding this aspect have been greatly improved to allow a higher level of management and ease. All of these aspects are now managed by clicking and dragging layers on the canvas itself. Advanced noise reduction has also been added to improve the clarity and the sharpness of all of your images. On the other hand, advertisers and promoters benefit from Image Warp. Image Warp enables you to simply and quickly warp images around objects. This, in turn, gives you the capacity to look at promotional items or packaging of products without complex image editing.

 

Advance of the Innovators

 

Thomas and John Knoll both still have a hand in the design of Photoshop, although to a much lesser extent than they did in the beginning. Thomas Knoll started his Photoshop career within the effects department of Lucas Films and, fittingly, worked on the recent Star Wars Trilogy. While John Knoll doesn’t directly design or update Photoshop he has been responsible for many of the new and innovative features. Both look certain to take the package even further into the future despite some relatively fierce competition from packages that claim to be able to perform the same functions but for a fraction of the price.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Present Photoshop CS2 Part 2

The most recent version is called Photoshop Creative Suite 2, or more commonly Photoshop CS2. Again, it aims to expand on the previous versions of Photoshop by adding innovative features. None of them are likely to create the same impact as the introduction of layers did, but nonetheless they look certain to give extra benefit to anyone looking for a high level but affordable digital imaging package.

Photoshop Past, Present and Future Part 1

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Photoshop Past, Present and Future Part 1

Adobe Photoshop is considered by many to be the industry standard for digital image editing software. However, Photoshop is used for a lot more than simply touching up photographic images. As well as a long list of photo editing functions such as red eye reduction, image sharpening and much more Photoshop also offers enough functionality to create crystal clear imaging completely from scratch. Because of its versatility and incredible functionality, Photoshop is used by graphic designers, website designers and advertising professionals.

 

In The Beginning – Photoshop 1.0

 

The first ever version of Photoshop was, incredibly, released over 15 years ago in 1990. Brothers Thomas and John Knoll created the package after three years of developing and advancing the technology needed. Photoshop 1.0 was smartly replaced by version after version, however, possibly the most important advance in the Photoshop family was the introduction of layers in Photoshop version 3. This introduction of the not quite unique feature saw Photoshop corner the market that Adobe had wanted for themselves. Photoshop had taken the vast majority of the market share but it did not sit back on its success. Many new features have been added on a regular basis including the web specific features that were added to Photoshop version 5.