I wanted to show the literal heart and symbol for the figurative heart in one cohesive design. Thought it would be an interesting combo. The images show the artwork printed on a tank top and iPhone case. Click the images for more colour/size options. (you will be taken to an external site)
This particular client gave me a photo of a door with a very ornate pattern. She wanted the design cut out of wrought iron so I needed to turn her low resolution JPEG into a scalable vector. Not the easiest task, after all it’s not just time consuming, but because parts of the image are not clearly visible even at 1000% you have to guess what the original would have looked like in certain places. Also, the machine used to cut the metal design cannot handle very fine detail, hence the need to ignore the smaller sections within the center of the oval.
To start on this project you need to draw a circle, then determine the section that can be duplicated to create the design. (A circle is just easier to work with, when you are finished you can scale the sides to create the oval.) Using the rotate tool in Illustrator and starting the point of origin within the center of the circle, allows you to duplicate the section thus creating the ‘iris’ pattern. Of course, before you do that you need to figure out how many sections will be needed to fit within the circular pattern and the angle of rotation. Make sure the sections join perfectly, after all this will be turned into a door, so strength is needed.
The hardest part is not getting frustrated at the complexity of it all… you need to break the design down into its basic components; curls, arrows, hearts, etc…. then draw them out in Illustrator; create a section; duplicate. With so many parts these designs always take longer than you think, so be patient… unless you are on a deadline like I was… in which case screaming, a few liters of coffee and prayer are all perfectly acceptable ways to deal.
Often time a client comes to you with a photo of their favourite design with the objective that you replicate it in vector format. Of course the photo they send usually is very low in quality and/or obscured with shading or other objects that blur the edges you need to vectorize. An automated “image trace” just won’t work in cases like these. In the image you see here, I found that a Wacom Tablet and stylus worked best to get the free flow of lines that this leaf stencil required. As you see, the left portion shows the original photo that was heavily degraded and the right shows the completed hand drawn vector needed for professional printers to work with. No elements could be duplicated here to speed up the process but the payoff was well worth it.
As a designer, clients come to you with objectives and it’s our job to create something that will resonate with the public thereby getting the client’s goods or services noticed. The thing is, in this fast paced world clients usually come to you in a frantic state telling you that they have a deadline in 1 or 2 days, else they would be ‘on the line’. We feel for them obviously, but we also know that to accomplish such a task would be monumental, taking a lot out of us. There are times when I personally had to work through the whole night to deliver via email a finish product for 8am in the morning.
As you know there is a creative process involved before you even put ‘(pencil) to paper’ and subsequently, cursor to Illustrator. So having such short deadlines can impede the quality of output. However we try our best to come up with compelling Press Ads, Billboards, Invitations etc. to satisfy the client regardless of the timeframe.
In the end, after the rush to the printers and the client sees the finish product in all its CMYK glory, it’s definitely worth it to see that smile of approval. Or more likely that phone call or email stating how well their campaign is taking off. All in a day’s… and night’s work.
So… to my fellow designers, truck drivers, nurses, house wives and security guards… anyone who constantly pulls those all-nighters; I salute you. Now go get some sleep, you deserve it.
Some believe that to be so… but I respectfully disagree. That phrase suggests that the mind alone decides what is beautiful and what is not. Is that entirely true?
Suppose I gave you an Apple, if you decide to think of it as a Pear… does that change the fact that it’s an apple you’re holding? No. The properties that make up that particular fruit are still there. It is what it is.
In a similar way, beauty has certain properties and is bound by rules. To the extent that we follow or disregard these rules, dictates weather we will achieve beauty in drawing, painting, building, and of course Graphic Design.
Someone may argue that… There are cases where I would find one person has a beautiful face, but my friend may think that he/she is not as beautiful. Wouldn’t that imply that ‘beauty really is in the eye of the beholder’? Well no. You see… beauty is not static. A square is beautiful because it has symmetry (1 element that dictates beauty)… however a circle ALSO has symmetry and is considered beautiful in it’s proportions. If I decide that I like the shape of a square more than that of a circle… that will not change the beauty of the circle, it will still be considered universally beautiful.
Therefore… we see that while one or more things might have the raw elements that dictate beauty, we can still choose to gravitate towards one TYPE of beauty over another. This highlights that beauty has RANGE… but that range does not extended indefinitely. Should an object or drawing lack many or most of the elements of good design, it will ‘fall out’ of that range and ‘9 out of 10 people’ will consider it unsightly. In fact, the study of the Golden Ratio and physical beauty attests to this as people of all races and backgrounds are more likely to be considered attractive the closer their proportions are to that ratio.
So beauty is out there... certain things, animate or inanimate, may possess it. While the viewer can decide what he deems as beautiful, he cannot change the inherent qualities in an object that makes it such, just by stating his opinion.
Adobe has come a long way since the days of Type 1 and PDF. Most people don't even remember that they created those formats. Now everything is about Photoshop and Illustrator the design programs they are most known for.
No program is perfect though and if you have been using the Adobe design suite for years I'm sure you would have thought of things you wished were included as standard. This begs the question... can anyone overthrow Adobe's design suite? or even one of the products in that suite? And what features do you think a rival would need to take down the multimillion dollar giant?