Understanding the Creative Process behind Logo Design!

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Logo Design

Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising.’ – Jef I. Richards.

One of the most interesting projects that a graphic designer can take on is designing a logo. It can be daunting (and stressful) to come up with logo options based on market research, and stumble upon some "design magic" through the exploratory process. Narrowing it down to a final approved logo and then seeing it out in the world can be a very rewarding experience for a designer.

Logo design is one of many areas of design that looks easy but is damned difficult to pull off successfully. Last year's aborted University of California rebrand shows just how difficult it is to please all of the people, all of the time - especially when remaking an existing much-loved identity. But even when you're designing a logo for a new company or brand, it's a huge challenge to create something that will grab attention - in the right way - in a crowded marketplace.

Part of the challenge is looking current and contemporary without shortening your logo's shelf-life. In other words, you don't want it to look old-fashioned, but neither do you want it to look so 'of the moment' that it will quickly date.[...]

Photography: is it an art?

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Photography is both an art and a science. Photography allows us to express our feeling and emotions, but to do so we need to master the scientific part of the medium. Unlike a painter, who is in direct contact with his subject and his canvas, a photographer is separated from his subject by the camera and from his "canvas" by computers and printers today and by darkroom equipment previously.

The scientific aspects of photography can be both overwhelming and fascinating, so much so that for some photographers photography comes to be just that: a scientific process that they attempt to master over their lifetime. However, to achieve mastery of the technical side of photography is to address only one of the two aspects of photography. The result is often technically excellent photographs that lack emotion and "seeing" qualities. In this regard, I share the opinion of Ansel Adams who said, and I paraphrase, that there is nothing more boring that a technically perfect rendering of a fuzzy visual concept. In other words, an artistic photograph is created when technique is used to express a vision and an emotion, not when technique is used for it's own sake.[...]

Understanding the Creative Process Illustration!

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Illustration is a unique art form that is defined not by its medium, but by its context. Illustration finds its home in the public sphere of popular media. With a rich history and a modern, contemporary outlook, illustration brings life to concepts and stories through image-making. Whether created digitally or by hand, an illustration can be both a masterful work of art and a practical business application.

Over the years, many people have wrestled without progress over the difference between art and illustration. The internet is riddled with silly theories on the subject:

The distinction lies in the fact that art is the idea (brought to life) while an illustration is a depiction (or explanation) of an idea. Fine Art is simply art for art's sake. Even if you are doing a commission for a client, it would still be fine art. But illustration is illustrating a story or idea.

In modern illustration the intent is most often the selling of a product. When something noble is put to ignoble ends, there is a deterioration of value. Even talented artists and illustrators have been tormented by the distinction. Illustrator Robert Weaver noisily agonized about the boundary line:

Until the illustrator enjoys complete independence from outside pressure and direction, complete responsibility for his own work, and complete freedom to to do whatever he deems fit-- all necessaries in the making of art-- then illustration cannot be art but only a branch of advertising.[...]

Digital Painting an emerging art form

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Digital Painting

Art is not restricted to any medium, nor is digital painting. Yes, you read that right: “digital painting.” It is a new trend in today’s technologically brilliant world that won’t go away any time soon.

Digital painting is an emerging art form in which traditional painting techniques (such as watercolor, oils, impasto, etc.) are applied by means of a computer, a digitizing tablet and stylus, and software. I work with a Wacom tablet, Corel Painter, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Digital painting is a type of digital art but it is not ?computer-generated? art, in that it does not involve the computer automatically generating an image from mathematical models created by the artist. In digital painting, the artist uses painting techniques to create the image directly on the computer.

Digital painting is also distinct from digital manipulation of photographs, in that it is an original construction from scratch. While photographic elements may be incorporated into digital paintings, they are not the primary basis or source for them. In some of my images, there are no photographic elements at all and in other images I may use dozens of distinct photographic elements. My images are the result of conceptualizing an idea and then implementing that concept as a digital file from one or more original elements that I acquire or create, primarily with a pen tablet, a digital camera or scanner and software tools.[...]

Understanding the Creative Process behind Graphic Design!

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Logo Design

Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process. In other words, you have a message you want to communicate. How do you “send” it? You could tell people one by one or broadcast by radio or loudspeaker. That's verbal communication. But if you use any visual medium at all-if you make a poster; type a letter; create a business logo, a magazine ad, or an album cover; even make a computer printout-you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design.

Graphic designers work with drawn, painted, photographed, or computer-generated images (pictures), but they also design the letterforms that make up various typefaces found in movie credits and TV ads; in books, magazines, and menus; and even on computer screens. Designers create, choose, and organize these elements-typography, images, and the so-called “white space” around them-to communicate a message. Graphic design is a part of your daily life. From humble things like gum wrappers to huge things like billboards to the T-shirt you’re wearing, graphic design informs, persuades, organizes, stimulates, locates, identifies, attracts attention and provides pleasure.

Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer works with a variety of communication tools in order to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. The main tools are image and typography

Image-based design
Designers develop images to represent the ideas their clients want to communicate. Images can be incredibly powerful and compelling tools of communication, conveying not only information but also moods and emotions. People respond to images instinctively based on their personalities, associations, and previous experience. For example, you know that a chili pepper is hot, and this knowledge in combination with the image creates a visual pun.

In the case of image-based design, the images must carry the entire message; there are few if any words to help. These images may be photographic, painted, drawn, or graphically rendered in many different ways. Image-based design is employed when the designer determines that, in a particular case, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Type-based design
In some cases, designers rely on words to convey a message, but they use words differently from the ways writers do. To designers, what the words look like is as important as their meaning. The visual forms, whether typography (communication designed by means of the printed word) or handmade lettering, perform many communication functions. They can arrest your attention on a poster, identify the product name on a package or a truck, and present running text as the typography in a book does. Designers are experts at presenting information in a visual form in print or on film, packaging, or signs.

When you look at an “ordinary” printed page of running text, what is involved in designing such a seemingly simple page? Think about what you would do if you were asked to redesign the page. Would you change the typeface or type size? Would you divide the text into two narrower columns? What about the margins and the spacing between the paragraphs and lines? Would you indent the paragraphs or begin them with decorative lettering? What other kinds of treatment might you give the page number? Would you change the boldface terms, perhaps using italic or underlining? What other changes might you consider, and how would they affect the way the reader reacts to the content? Designers evaluate the message and the audience for type-based design in order to make these kinds of decisions.

Image and type
Designers often combine images and typography to communicate a client's message to an audience. They explore the creative possibilities presented by words (typography) and images (photography, illustration, and fine art). It is up to the designer not only to find or create appropriate letterforms and images but also to establish the best balance between them [..]

Understanding the Creative Process behind Water color painting!

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Logo Design

One of the reasons that watercolor artists choose this as their medium is because of the freedom it gives them to paint loosely. Of course, some choose to use certain watercolor painting techniques that give a more detailed result, too!

Of all the painting processes,watercolor painting is known for its inherent delicacy and subtlety because watercolor art is all about thin washes and transparent color (though watercolors can be made opaque with the addition of Chinese white). Traditionally, watercolor artists work on paper, though the tooth of the surface can vary greatly. Oftentimes the white of the painting surface will gleam through and lend itself to the luminosity of the painting.

Watercolor is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. The term "watercolor" refers to both the medium and the resulting artwork. The traditional and most common support for watercolor paintings is paper; other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum or leather, fabric, wood, and canvas. Watercolors are usually transparent, and appear luminous because the pigments are laid down in a relatively pure form with few fillers obscuring the pigment colors. Watercolor can also be made opaque by adding Chinese white. In East Asia, watercolor painting with inks is referred to as brush painting or scroll painting. In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese painting it has been the dominant medium, often in monochrome black or browns. India, Ethiopia and other countries also have long traditions. Fingerpainting with watercolor paints originated in China.

When artists first learn how to paint watercolor art, the fluidity of the medium is often a stumbling block because it makes the paint less predictable. Successful watercolor artists know how to balance control and freedom in their work, using watercolor painting techniques that create effects that often occur almost by accident rather than on purpose.

A watercolorist uses watercolor painting techniques like washes, working wet in wet and wet on dry, lifting out and masking out for highlights, and dozens of other techniques to achieve textural effects. But most of all, watercolor painting comes back to the premise that the watercolor lessons and methods matter-but what matters most to a watercolor artist is letting go and finding a balance between controlling and freeing this painting medium

This section looks at the various techniques peculiar to watercolor. It shows examples of different watercolor techniques used in the painting below [..]

Understanding the Creative Process behind Oil Painting!

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Why indeed should you try oil painting? Especially when we have all the other modern mediums available to the artist today?It is something that every artist should try and add to their tool kit for creating great art. For over 400 years, painters have been looking for a Secret Formula to use, a simple trick that would make their paintings as exceptional as the early Masters. To get a photographic, realistic likeness, that could be done in one sitting without a great deal of work.

The idea continues even today that there is A SECRET.Well, let me burst your bubble early. There's simply no such thing.Oh, yes, we have indeed found bits of the puzzle. But there is no one material, or special medium, or single piece of knowledge that can accomplish this.

It only comes with a full understanding of technique, and of the materials used in painting.Yep, you need a full body of information on the materials we use, and on painting technique that is obtained over time. With study, practice and even experimentation, you can learn what you need to create works of beauty.

Well, just to let you know that there are paintings in existence today that were created tens of thousands of years ago that used ground pigments and oils as a binder. Thats right! These paintings are dated to be 10's of thousands of years old, and they used OILS as a binder for ground pigments!

Although all the other forms and mediums of painting are practiced for certain advantages they may have over oil painting, the later remains standard because the majority of painters consider that its advantages outweigh its defects and that its range, scope and flexibility surpass water color, tempera, fresco, and pastel.

Check some basic points of oils superiority over other accepted methods of painting.

1. The ease of its manipulation and great flexibility, wide range of varied effects that can be produced. Basically said, if you can see it, you can paint it, with oils.You can combine transparent and opaque techniques, glaze and body color in a full range within a single painting.

2. The colors that you use will not change between that when it is wet verses when it is dry (other than a mat finish on dark colors which is restored with oiling out).

3. A great number of effects (textures, etc.) can be produced with a single simple and direct approach.

4. Very large pictures can be produced and done on light weight canvas’s which can also be transported. (Even if it’s on the roof of your sub compact car!)

5. A universal acceptance of oil paintings by artists and the public, which has resulted in a universal availability of supplies, highly refined, developed, and standardized materials and pigments.

For more Tips & Articles On Oil Painting like...How to Speed up the Drying Time of Oil Paints? What Makes a Great Oil Painting? Abstract and Realistic Painting Techniques? Taking the Fear Out of Oil Painting [..]

Sketching: the Visual Thinking Power Tool!

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Logo Design

As a kid, I spent hours drawing and sketching ideas that popped into my head. I used drawing as a primary language for capturing thoughts, exploring ideas, and then sharing those ideas.

When I suggest sketching as a visual thinking tool, I often I hear “I’m not an artist” or “I can’t draw.” While I understand the hesitation, I’m here to tell you that the artistic quality of your sketches is not the point. The real goal of sketching is functional. It’s about generating ideas, solving problems, and communicating ideas more effectively with others.

When you feel inadequate in your sketching, pause and reconsider your perspective. Don’t worry how well you draw. Instead, think of your sketching as visual thinking, which works regardless of your drawing quality. Ugly gets the job done just fine.

There is no shortage of software or hardware tools for producing amazing work. It seems that whatever you can imagine, software and hardware can make it happen.Adding sketching to the design process is a great way to amplify software and hardware tools. Sketching provides a unique space that can help you think differently, generate a variety of ideas quickly, explore alternatives with less risk, and encourage constructive discussions with colleagues and clients.

Let’s explore these three benefits of sketching in more detail.

A variety of ideas, quickly
Sketching is great for rapid idea generation. A pencil or a Sharpie and a piece of paper invite loose exploration. Remember to keep on generating ideas—you’ll want to push past that first bunch of surface ideas to get the deeper concepts out of your head.For quick idea generation, I like to read notes I wrote during the kickoff phase of a project, letting those words and thoughts rumble around my head until they lead me to new ideas. Once an idea comes to mind, I capture it on paper, add notes, and number each sketch as reference for later review The key to generating many ideas is to withhold judgment of them as good or bad until your sketching session is complete. First capture the ideas, letting them flow without worrying if they’re any good. Wait until you’re finished to judge and filter

Explore the alternatives
Sketching offers you the freedom to explore alternative ideas. Early in a project it’s important to see a variety of different ideas so you can choose the best option. Sketching works well for this, as you can explore those varied ideas quickly.When you’re sketching, your mind is free to play and explore other directions that surface. Sketches help filter out “rabbit hole” ideas—concepts that are impossible to produce or impractical to deliver on. Drawing out ideas works as an early detection system—revealing potential issues before significant time is invested.This is the time to ask “what if?” and explore the answers that pop into your head. Questions like “What if we could…” or “What if we were limited by…” can help break through the structures your mind forms around problems.

Foster better discussions
Sketches have an amazing ability to foster discussions about ideas. With colleagues and especially clients, I’ve found sketches give everyone involved the permission to consider, talk about, and challenge the ideas they represent. After all, it’s just a sketch.Because sketches are unfinished and loose, they invite commentary. There is a latitude inherent in a sketch that seems to magically open the door for others to offer ideas—often thoughts you couldn’t come up with from your singular perspective.When I’ve presented conceptual ideas in finished form, colleagues and clients often hesitate to be as honest as they are with sketches. There is something in tightly finished concept work that I think suggests significant effort was spent in production—leading colleagues and clients to hold back to avoid the additional work needed to make changes.

Practice, practice!
Getting comfortable with sketching in your process requires repetition. Practice makes all the difference. If sketching feels unnatural to you, practice it a little bit every day.Find opportunities to doodle in the margins or, if you have them, draw with your kids. The more you practice, the more confident you will become when deadlines roll around.

Carry a sketchbook
Here’s an idea to make practice happen: Carry a notebook and pen or pencil with you wherever you go. Check out the wide variety of Moleskines, Field Notes or Scout Books available and buy one. When you have downtime, take a few moments to sketch and loosen up or explore ideas you have about design challenges.The key here is to make sketching a routine, comfortable thing in your everyday life. You might be surprised at the ideas you’ll capture simply by carrying a sketchbook around.

Give sketching a test run
Give sketching a try for the idea generation and communication phases at the beginning of your next project. Remember, it’s not about the quality of the drawing, but about capturing and communicating ideas from one mind to another.Generate as many different ideas as you can. Explore crazy, way-out-there ideas and then see how your group or even your clients react. You might be surprised at the discussion that ensues.

Real-world sketching
Because I’ve integrated sketches deeply into my design practice, I use them for concepting and sharing with my clients as a rule. From logos and icons to websites, illustrations, and UI design, sketches done early in the process are a key component[..]

Get Creative With Collage !

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So. You’re not an artist. You have two left hands. You can’t draw, paint, or even take good photos. Also, you have no materials! And you don’t know how anything “should” look. But guess what. YOU CAN STILL MAKE A BEAUTIFUL COLLAGE.

But you don’t have to go to college to learn this technique, obviously. Collage is for everyone! Think of the things you paste in your diary, or the moodboards you make on your Tumblr, or the photos and quotes you stick on your bedroom wall, or your shrine. All of those are types of collage, so you’re already a collage artist, you.

Collage is an easy, fast, and very satisfying mode of artistic expression. There are no hard and fast rules for making a collage: you can make a brilliant one out of two images or a thousand; out of flat or three-dimensional pieces; through analog or digital means.

Collage is the combination of pieces of diverse materials and media, such as newspaper, magazines, package labels, fabric, paint and photographs, into one composition. The term itself derives from the French “coller,” meaning “glue.” It was coined by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso at the beginning of the 20th century, when collage became a distinct part of modern art.

Old books, magazines, music sheets, and maps (my personal faves) make great collage materials. Vintage ALWAYS looks good. You don’t have to scour eBay for expensive rare editions or haunt fancy antique stores—it’s not worth it, since we’re not collecting vintage photos for their historic value. We’re cutting them up to make pretty collages! Way better sources are second-hand stores, junk shops, flea markets, car boot or garage sales, and your grandma’s cabinets.

Collage promises to be an important creative outlet for many years to come because it allows artists to explore and experiment with creating truly new, exciting and often unexpected results. This article showcases the pioneers of the collage movement, current trends and examples, contemporary proponents of collage and a wealth of resources.


Pablo Picasso
Early in 1912, Picasso created “Still Life with Chair Caning” (above) by attaching a piece of oilcloth with a caning pattern to an oval-shaped painting. It is said to be the first “modern” collage; however, the claim is not definitive, because George Braque was developing a technique using papier collé in the same year.

George Braque
Georges Braque developed paper collage (papier collé) using shreds of mixed media to produce the effect of actual paint, layered on the canvas with paint later being added. He first used this technique in his 1912 painting, Fruitdish and Glass [..]

Understanding the Creative Process behind Art&Craft: SandPainting!

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Forget those holiday sandcastles you spend hours building, you're never likely to match these works of art, created using sand.

Sand castles are typically made by children, simply for the fun of it, but there are also sand-sculpture contests for adults that involve large, complex constructions. The largest sand castle made in a contest was 18 feet tall; the owner, Ronald Malcnujio, a five-foot-high man, had to use several ladders, each the height of the sand castle. His sculpture consisted of one ton of sand and 10 litres of water to sculpt.

Awsome sandcastles created by British globetrotter Paul Hoggard and his Dutch wife Remy.The sand artists have toured the world - from China, to Kuwait and Denmark - creating their massive monuments, which display surprisingly intricate detail.Their most impressive figures include a mass elephant graveyard - complete with skulls and tusks - and the Biblical battle between David and Goliath.

Sand art is the practice of modelling sand into an artistic form, such as a sand brushing, sand sculpture, sandpainting, or sand bottles. A sand castle is a type of sand sculpture resembling a miniature building, often a castle.

Sandpainting is the art of pouring colored sands, powdered pigments from minerals or crystals, and pigments from other natural or synthetic sources onto a surface to make a fixed, or unfixed sand painting. Unfixed sand paintings have a long established cultural history in numerous social groupings around the globe, and are often temporary, ritual paintings prepared for religious or healing ceremonies. It is also referred to as drypainting [..]

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