Thursday, May 10, 2007

Locals Only - Part III

Or: Expensive Software is a Terrible Thing to Waste

A long time ago, when Gates and Jobs had only recently begun their feud, the world was introduced to “desktop publishing.” (This was PG - or Pre Google) Computer buyers were given access to horrible images known as “clip art.” Novices everywhere latched onto these images and began creating logos, business cards, letterhead and magnetic signs. Soon, the outline of two hands shaking was the corporate identity of thousands of independent insurance agents, realtors and assorted “business consultants.”

And then came Photoshop®. Designers the world over covered their eyes in horror and drank themselves silly, trying to convince themselves they could not be replaced by a dangerous and powerful program, confident in their skills and certain that a complex software package would not be used effectively by the masses. It was not used effectively and the designers were proven right, but that did not stop the masses.

The bevel was discovered by hundreds of thousands of car dealers. The drop shadow was abused by countless friends of the business owners, who were “doing a little side work” in logo design. Children presented their ad concepts to their parents. And the world will never be the same. I’ve been known to make a designer cringe with my concepts, but I only use it for conveying ideas and rough sketches. Just because you have Photoshop, please don’t assume you can design.

Realtors have been the worst abusers.

The conversation at the photo shoot for the ad below went something like this.

“Josh, I feel really stupid standing here with my arm hanging in the air. Are you sure about this?”
“A little lower, Mom. Perfect. Can you let your wrist relax a little – like you’re leaning on a fence?”

“Are you sure this is going to look right?”

“Trust me, Mom. I have a program called Photoshop. You’re going to be leaning on your logo! It’ll be so cool!”

Local Only Part II

Locals Only Part I

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