martes, 11 de mayo de 2010

Getting Along with...Contrast

Life will lead to boredom if it is monotonous. You will wake early in the morning, go to the bathroom and clean yourself, eat breakfast, go to work, do the same task, eat lunch, back to work, out in the office, go  home, eat dinner, clean yourself then go to sleep. By the next day, you will do the same routine again. Weary, isn’t it.  Maybe you can try a little change, something that is challenging yet will make your day complete. If you are stuck on the things you always do, you might be moss-covered in a couple of years.

Design can be compared to human life. If its elements are all the same, it will be less interesting. To add visual interest to a design, there is a need to add contrast to make it more appealing. Contrast takes place in a design when two associated elements are different. With the fusion of elements opposing each other, contrast creates visual interest. It makes the design dynamic and unpredictable. But with improper or exaggerated application of contrast, the design might look messy and disorganized. Its use must be well planned in order to prevent it from making the design confusing to the viewers.

A typical example of contrast is the use of complementary colors. Complementary colors are pairs of colors on the opposite region of the color wheel. Examples of complimentary colors are red and green, blue and orange, yellow and violet. Even if the fate of these complementary colors is to eternally contest on the wheel, they still maintain to project color harmony and are widely use as guides for color combination.

Another example is the contrast in size. It is highly used to give emphasis. Examples are headline texts on news paper. They are bigger in order to shout out the main title of the article.

Contrast may occur on shape, value, alignment, color, direction, type, movement, and texture.

Contrast in Color

Contrast in Text/Size

lunes, 10 de mayo de 2010

Designing Business Logos

A logo is an important aspect of any business' identity. It is usually the first thing that makes an impression on clients/customers and is key in presenting a professional image about a company and in establishing customer recognition (branding).

The company logo is seen everywhere: on business cards, stationery, invoices and receipts, website, corporate giveaways, advertising and signage and even on the side of the delivery vehicle. Thus it must be properly designed not only to attract attention but more importantly to convey the spirit of the company it represents.

A logo separates a company from the competitors. It provides instant recognition and helps customers remember a business. For a logo to be effective, the following tips can be a great help when designing a business logo:

Simplicity.  A simple logo design is easier for customers to remember and recognize. It is also advisable to limit the number of colors.  Always use simple shapes and minimal text as people remember images better than they remember words.
Relevance.  Make sure that your logo design has relevance to your business. Use images that customers can associate with your king of business. However, there are businesses that's difficult to symbolize using an image.  In such cases, initials of the business' name encased in a simple shape would do.
The Power of Color. Colors can present powerful messages in themselves. Choose colors for the meaning they impart and not because it's a personal favorite.  For example, red is seen as fiery and energetic and is best used to attract attention. Using brown may not bring out the same effect.
Scalability. Your business logo has to be scalable to suit all your promotional needs. It must look great on a business card, on a brochure, and on a billboard, for instance, if that's how you choose to advertise. Remember that complicated logo designs don't scale well.

Almost anybody can design their own company logo using various graphics software programs that are available online, some can even be free of charge. But if you don't have the time and prefer to hire  professionals, there are many companies that offer graphic design services.  We at New Harvest Design can help you with all your graphic design requirements.  Our in-house team of highly-qualified and experienced graphic designers can help you design a logo that best represents your business. Contact us now for more information.


miércoles, 5 de mayo de 2010

How Could Art Be So Naïve?

Naïve Art

Just like human, a work of art is considered as naïve if it looks innocent and childlike. Sour as it may sound but during the nineteenth century, a painting is labeled as naïve if its artist has no formal training in arts. Regardless of the charisma they portray, they are being criticized and ridiculed.

Naïve art is characterized with intense detail, luminous colors, coarse patterns, flat and lack of perspective. The French artist Henri Rousseau is notable for his naïve paintings The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897 and The Snake Charmer, 1907. The latter was used as a book cover of Anne Rice’s Merrick Novel. Jungle sceneries are Rousseau’s common subject matter even though he has never seen a jungle.

The paintings of Cornish mariner and artist Alfred Wallis are also examples of naïve art. Since he was a mariner, his subject matter is seascape. Inspired by his experiences, most of his paintings contain boats, ships, ocean and seaport.

If naïve art is quite unwelcomed before, its style never ceases and guiltlessly streams up to the present. It is now widely used on children’s book and greeting cards similar with Rousseau’s subjects of wild animals in the jungle on a bright day or twilight.


Even with the advancement in technology, there are graphic designers who create naïve designs. Though the popular doodle drawings and designs seem to be separated from naïve art, the characters appears to look really childlike portraying raw expressions of delight, anxiety, anger, suspicion and madness. Their shapes are anthropomorphic, pastel in color and resembles like that of Joan Miro’s organic paintings. Doodles are used for designing murals allowing many people to paint. T-shirts and bags are now also printed with naïve doodles since they mostly appeal on teenagers. Doodles are also used for web graphics like wallpapers, templates, and banners.

The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau

The Snake Charmer by Henri Rousseau

Hold House Port Mear Square Island by Alfred Wallis

St. Michael's Mount in Marazion

martes, 4 de mayo de 2010

Design Conceptualization

Graphic design strong emphasis on mastering the software often neglects some practices or elements necessary to create an effective design. Often times the contentment of a graphic designer relies if he was able to apply some extraordinary techniques or rather he’s done with the design that he thinks is pleasing enough for him. Design conceptualization, choice of subject matter, themes and defining the elements of design are being ignored. Stunning designs are common especially with the use of graphic design software. But if you look at its bigger picture, there’s something missing that you just can’t point out.

Creating a design is not as easy as opening your software and selecting the tools you know you can use. There are procedures you must consider. You can start with gathering the information you need. For example, if you are designing a corporate identity, you need to know the nature of business of the employer, background, list of products or services, target market and selling location.

If you have all the data you need, you can do the draft for your design. You can ask your client the color they want. For sure they can only give you those in the color wheel. It is up to you to determine the color scheme and CYMK. The whole concept of the design usually anchors on the logo and tagline since they are unchangeable and represents the company’s image and goal. Logo design is essential to branding. Simple logo design is advisable. Decide whether your logo will be a typeface, an image or combination. What’s important is it’s readable and will surely be recognized by the public. The theme also plays an important role. Determine if your design will be vintage, grunge, psychedelic, etc. depending on your subject matter. This applies especially on packaging and poster making because you are trying to catch the public’s attention.

When all your ideas are already synchronized, you can begin putting your concept into details. You can now sketch it or do the detailed drawing. It will be faster if you have your sketch first rather than doing all the drafts in your pc.

Design conceptualization is something that is abstract and can be learned through research and experience. Subject matter and themes are basic elements that will make your design meaningful. You will also notice that some marketing aspects are considered since your design is created for the purpose of magnetizing customers.

miércoles, 28 de abril de 2010

Psychedelic Design

If you will hear the word “psychedelic,” you may refer to the hallucinatory state of mind, distorted perceptions, altered state of consciousness caused by drug use. For broader description, neon colors of yellow green, blue green, orange, and red violet will penetrate your mind. Maybe some flowers, peace sign, a floral sprayed designed Volkswagen and long-haired hippies or afros will come across your imagination. To box all these attributes, psychedelic is best described as the 1960s pop culture.

Before the term psychedelic become the 60’s fashion of fit, trend neon, wide collared longsleeves and bell bottoms, it was coined by the psychiatrist Humphry Osmond as an alternative descriptor to hallucinogenic drugs. That could be the reason why hallucinogens are also known as “psychedelic drugs.” Indeed, psychedelic seems to be paired with drugs from the day it has emerged. Beyond its psychiatric definition and fashion statement, psychedelic has extended itself to music and arts which led it to create its own movement. Psychedelic art and psychedelic music gather inspiration by inducing oneself with drugs like marijuana, LSD, mescaline, or psilocybin. These drugs are derived from herbs and fungus.

But just like Chronos devouring his children, the popularity of psychedelic was eaten by time. It would be rare to see people wearing the psychedelic fashion unless it is a Halloween or retro costume party. Even the 60’s retro music is mostly played only during weekends. But its influence on graphic design still lives and is widely used in the music industry for posters and album covers. Psychedelic design preserves the neon play of colors, warped typeface, paisley, fractal, concentric circles, kaleidoscope effects, and theme of fantasy, ecstasy, euphoria, and hallucination.

Incubus’ A Crow Left of the Murder (2003), Mojofly’s Now (2005) and Oasis’s Dig Out Your Soul (2008) are examples of cover albums with psychedelic designs that were released by the 2000.

martes, 27 de abril de 2010

Vector Graphics

Vector graphics with all its stunning designs remains quiet compared to its loud photo manipulative companion. It appears that majority of graphic designers use raster-based, image manipulation programs. Perhaps one reason that many designers use vector graphics less is because of the complexity of its interface and its high regards to the techniques of traditional drawing and drafting which was somehow given little importance by other graphic designers who solely clings their skills on graphic software.

Vector graphics maintains its math origin “vector” a specific mathematical structure that has the ability to represent magnitude and direction. Since a vector graphics is mathematically defined, it is capable of modifying its mathematical location and prevents the graphic from pixelating when enlarged. Expanded vector graphics can retain its fine and delicate quality.

Vector graphics has many uses. If you are the person who has passion to draw, you can add vector graphics to your technical drawing skills. You can start by scanning your freehand drawing, studying the vector graphic program interface, watching tutorials and start with the basics. Mastering a vector graphic program will definitely take time as if you are studying freehand drawing from scratch. Only this time, you can easily edit, scale and duplicate your drawings.

Once you have absorbed the skills you need to acquire, you can begin voyaging the wide ocean of graphic design. Definitely you’ll meet other designers too like photo editor, layout artist, animator, web designers, and videographer.  Its primary use is for logo design and other business set. It is also used for creating technical illustrations and web design graphics. Hip vector portraits and posters are among the popular uses of vector graphics. Vector graphics seems to make its way to fashion industry.  T-shirt design now uses vector graphics especially those with decorative swirls, paisley, or anthropomorphic characters. 2D cartoons and comics are also designed using vector graphics. If your hunches suggest that vector graphics has limit itself to flat prints, it has now innovated its features and can now model 3D graphics and even realistic human images. Vector artist who would dare to bring their skills to this extent will definitely need to master perspective and proper toning.

Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw are the famous vector-based programs.

Adroit Designs