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Our Visual World Brought to You By Photoshop

Photoshop

Here at KRT, the Creative Department relies on a variety of digital tools in coming up with solutions for our clients. The most often used applications are within Adobe’s Creative Suite collection. InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash, all have their uses on a project depending on the final product. The one piece of software that probably gets used the most use at some point in the creative process, is Adobe Photoshop. From simple image conversions to intricate retouching, it’s the one application that’s always open on our desktops’.

The majority of the media images you see every day were probably processed at some point through Photoshop. It has existed for 25 years and has changed the visual landscape around the world. Years ago, image manipulation and photo retouching used to be practiced among a few skilled professionals. The digital age has changed all that. Anyone can purchase Photoshop, and with enough patience, can master its capabilities. Of course, with all that ability to easily manipulate images, comes the danger of Photoshop #fails, as cataloged by psdisasters.com.

Beyond image retouching and manipulation, the program has also created a visual expectation of perfection. Every wrinkle, blemish, enhancement and upgrade can be removed or added. Even in the news, most photos are Photoshopped in some way and sometimes a little too much. Is it right or ethical? You be the judge.

The following PBS video explores the Photoshopped culture around us. From illustration to retouching to online memes, it explores how it’s remixed the way we see, think, communicate and feel about the world around us. With more and more people using social media and mobile image apps (like Instagram and Vine), will Photoshop be as influential in what we see around us? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

The Universal Arts of Graphic Design

Design pinned on noticeboard

Wikipedia describes graphic design as “…a creative process—most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form (i.e., printers, sign makers, etc.)—undertaken in order to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience”. That simple description fits, until you realize how much more graphic design influences our lives. Design surrounds us to the point that it’s often overlooked. The only place where you might not see graphic design would be on the final pitch to the summit of K2, but even in such a wild desolate landscape, there’s that Patagonia or North Face logo emblazoned on the front your climbing partner’s jacket. As­­­­­ Debbie Millman, brand consultant and president of Design Sterling Brands, states: “We use graphic design to pay our bills, to get married, we use graphic design to get divorced. We use graphic design in every single aspect of human life…”

Here at KRT, we use graphic design in all aspects of our marketing solutions for our clients – from simple online marketing to product logos to multi-page corporate brochures. The final design is a result of carefully understanding the message to be conveyed, and creatively communicating it to be informative and impactful.

This “PBS Off Book” presentation looks into the world of graphic design and how it affects the world around us. Let us know how we can help to make your message, services or products more impactful.

TYPO – San Francisco

 

A couple weeks ago Europe’s premium design event, “TYPO” took place in San Francisco at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and was open to the public. The two-day event made its U.S. debut on April 5 and was centered around the theme “Connect.”

The event had a wide range of speakers including the beautiful free form lettering of Jessica Hische, and the very technical and precise work of Kutlu Çanlıoğlu, who is responsible for the user experience and design of 27 different language services for BBC World services.

The opening speech from Tina Roth Eisenberg, a Swiss designer, was about side projects and how sometimes we can get side tracked from what we really love to do. Joshua Davis, had a more over the top stage presence, but defended the idea that work and play are synonyms, instead of antonyms, and we lose the enjoyment of work as we grow up. Çanlıoğlu showed complexity and uniqueness of the different cultures around the world and how research and small details can affect the success of a project.

As day one came to a close, I felt that the speakers focused on spreading the message of enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy because in the end it will all pay off.

Read the rest of this entry

Are We Drowning in a Sea of Visual Garbage?

Years ago, while hanging out with a friend in San Francisco, we discussed a poorly designed poster behind the counter of a clothing store. We tried to figure out the three ugly typefaces used in the layout. Guess our critical conversation was a little too rowdy since a clerk walked over and asked us what we did for a living. We both blurted out “We’re graphic designers,” to which he angrily replied, “Well, everyone’s a designer, aren’t they!”

My friend gave him her business card from a well-known design firm, flipped him off and we were on our way. We assumed the poster was created by the guy.

These days, anyone can play designer if they’re willing to buy the software and learn to use it. Adobe CS5 Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), used by graphics professionals, will set you back $1,300. There’s even free bundled software like Microsoft Paint, used by a client of ours.  Of course, the final product won’t guarantee whether you’ll win a Clio Award.

In fact, looking at the mass of 24/7 noise out there in print, web and other media, shows there’s a lot of bad-looking work being made.  There might be that rare individual with innate talent to design awesome stuff, but on the whole, it takes years of training, experience and criticism, to deliver a truly great creative product.  Even pros in the business can have off days and produce mediocre work.

Has the growing bombardment of visual stimulation all around us and the availability of computer tools, created a critical mass of bad design?  This brings me to this video I came across awhile back. In it, a graphic designer, Aaron Draplin, tells the story about a sign and what’s happening to graphic design in this country. WARNING: He is passionate and uses some pretty strong language. So if you’re easily offended by F Bombs, DON’T WATCH.

View Aaron Draplin’s video here

Let us know what you think. Is there too much visual garbage out there?

As a side note, KRT is always looking for creative resources to add to our talent pool for possible projects. If you’re passionate about what you do, Contact Us, but please leave out the cursing…

How to read graphic design

With digital democratization, design, photography and other creative professions have been vandalized and misjudged as a simple action to press buttons on a machine. Everybody today has been overexposed to visual stimuli; people tend to think they are experts in visual aesthetics. However, just because you see logos, magazines, billboards and posters everyday doesn’t make you an expert. Read the rest of this entry

How to read graphic design

With digital democratization, design, photography and other creative professions have been vandalized and misjudged as a simple action to press buttons on a machine. Everybody today has been overexposed to visual stimuli; people tend to think they are experts in visual aesthetics. However, just because you see logos, magazines, billboards and posters everyday doesn’t make you an expert. Read the rest of this entry

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