Advertisement Design Review

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Jorgensen Ford. Published in The Richfield Reaper 10/22/2014

I’ve been skipping out on advertisement review for the past little while so I thought that it’d be a good subject for the day. This is an advertisement I designed for the 10/22 publication of The Richfield Reaper.

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Jorgensen Ford. Published in The Richfield Reaper 10/22/2014
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Jorgensen Ford. Published in The Richfield Reaper 10/22/2014

As most of my readers know I get these full page car ads on such short notice that I don’t have an opportunity to spend a great deal of time on them but, overall I’d have to say that this is one of my best advertisements this year. I do wish that they wouldn’t try to highlight the collision center in their sales ad but, I understand their situation.

I noticed as this was coming off the press that I made the makes of each vehicle green, except for the highlighted car, oversight there. The biggest thing that bugs me about this ad is how busy this gets from just under half the page and down.

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Stuck in graphic design hell, how do you get out?

I was in a Wacom interview with Rod Maxwell and Rayce Bird earlier this week. When a question came in from Vince Collier that kind of hit home with me because, I’ve been there myself … In fact, I’ll bet every designer has.

I’m currently stuck in Graphic Design Hell and I’m trying to get back to my first love of illustration and character design. I already LIVE in Photoshop and Illustrator. Two questions, 1. What OTHER Software do you recommend learning? 2. Where do you recommend frequenting to try and break in to the Character Design world? – Vince Collier


Rayce answers the question extremely well … It’s not about the apps that you use, it’s all about the art/design that you’re aiming to create. At the end of the day Photoshop isn’t art, Illustrator isn’t art, a tool is just a tool but, what you’ve made is art.

For uh, digital illustration? I do like sketchbook pro, I think that it’s a good app I think it’s kind of a simple layout”
“It’s important to not get caught in the tool, if photoshop or illustrator define what you can do as an artist then, that’s gonna hurt ya . You have to know what you want to do as an artist, and use the tool -Rayce Bird

Now, I might not be a creature developer, or even want to be but, it seems like Vince would like to be. I love layouts, mostly for print advertisements, big layouts, small layouts and nearly everything in between. I get stuck in graphic design hell quite often … loading up InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator to create yet another effective, yet monotonous advertisement.

I find myself loving pencil and paper and jumping back and forth in my art, taking photos of scribbles and then trying to vectorize them for my silly illustrations at 1dollarimages but currently, I’m having a rekindling of interest in web design. Brushing off the css rust and dusting off some books so that I can get the look and feel that I’m after for my latest hairballed idea has brought some passion back into my day, or maybe given me a new sense of purpose.

How do you get out of “Graphic Design Hell”? Leave your comments below or on any of my social channels and as always like, favorite, share, retweet, +1 or whatever if you enjoyed this post and follow me for more.

24 hilarious logo fails

Today I thought that something a little more fun might be in order, so I scoured the interwebs for some goodies. These are some of the funniest things that I’ve seen in a while.
I’m guessing that this graphic designer didn’t get the gig but, he deserves an a+ for epic troll as he responds to a Craigslist ad.

You're drinking a what now?
You’re drinking a what now?
Please just go get a fork
Please just go get a fork
booby temple! and a ... ? um ...
booby temple! and a … ? um …
Since birth the two have been connected right at the pelvis ...
Since birth the two have been connected right at the pelvis …
"Where did you get that skirt" "Oh, it's just a little something I picked up from the cat's ass"
“Where did you get that skirt”
“Oh, it’s just a little something I picked up from the cat’s ass”
Service you can get excited about
Service you can get excited about




For all your hellish satellite programming
For all your hellish satellite programming
On a day when you have no fucks, there is only one place to go.
On a day when you have no fucks, there is only one place to go.
Ummm ... do you need a tissue?
Ummm … do you need a tissue?
For great oral health, start young.
For great oral health, start young.
A new position to try!
A new position to try!
Do you want some candy?
Do you want some candy?
afterwards, try the egg foo yung
afterwards, try the egg foo yung
Free checkups!
Free checkups!
I really don't think I'll be sending my daughter to dance class.
I really don’t think I’ll be sending my daughter to dance class.
I always did want another boy ...
I always did want another boy …
Sometimes, you have to be innovative ... Especially in hallways.
Sometimes, you have to be innovative … Especially in hallways.
Locum? I think you need to rethink that ...
Locum? I think you need to rethink that …
Is this self-serve?
Is this self-serve?
As long as you've got your nuts and bolts or should I say bolt in the right place ... you've got the tools.
As long as you’ve got your nuts and bolts or should I say bolt in the right place … you’ve got the tools.
Is that blood?
Is that blood?

If you liked this post be sure to follow me on your favorite social media channel, subscribe via e-mail and share, or all of them for that matter! Thank you for stopping in!

Sources:

www.businessinsider.com/15-worst-corporate-logo-fails-2012-1?op=1
www.demilked.com/worst-logo-design-fails/
dailyartcocktail.com/21-worst-logo-fails-ever/
www.funnyordie.com/articles/c5feb0ce69/graphic-designer-responds-to-craigslist-ad-by-texting-a-series-of-boner-logos
www.hongkiat.com/blog/logo-design-gone-wrong/

www.epicfail.com/2010/01/15/logo-fail/

Isolating photos, the right way

Dallas Price - Isolating photos, the right way. Lion photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_five_game

Today I wanted to write about a common topic that many artists, designers and photographers seem to struggle with … Isolating photos.

Quite often I see over-feathering, poorly drawn traces from using Photoshop’s lasso tools, jagged edges from the wand tool, and even missing appendages. The process that I use is a careful trace using the pen tool, this will give the artist or designer the maximum control over their photo isolation and ensure that it looks great (or at least better).

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

We’ll use this photograph of my Lucas from Rocktober in Richfield, UT. Your workspace isn’t going to matter too much, in fact anyone who’s ever tried to work on my computers knows that I really mess up my workspace. Quite often getting rid of all of the toolbars to open up additional real estate and use the hotkeys to accomplish most things. If there’s one tip that I can give to any artist or designer to increase productivity is LEARN YOUR HOTKEYS, I promise you’ll be at least twice as productive.

 

My Wacom intuos 3 - Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
My Wacom intuos 3 – Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

Another big increase in productivity is to get yourself a Wacom tablet. I don’t care if you never have to draw, paint or you spend all day in Microsoft Word; the increase in productivity that I’ve seen in everything from building pages in InDesign to illustrating speaks for itself. Even a cheap or older tablet will increase your speed, guaranteed. Drawing a line is faster and much more natural than clicking and dragging a mouse (plus, you might notice your hands and wrists being less sore at the end of the day. I use an Intuos 3 at home and a Bamboo Pen & Touch at The Reaper (I’m sure you can get an Intuos 3 for under $100)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

The first thing we’ll do is jump into fullscreen (ff). I have my first button set to pan/scroll so I can move around the photograph quickly and easily. Switch to your pen tool and create your first point either at the edge of the photograph or if there are no edges I start at the straightest line.

Remember that if you click it creates one point, if you click and drag it creates what’s known as a bézier curve, a point with “handles” that create a curved line. While drawing your path focus on making frequent, shorter curves, this will make it easier and your isolation will look more natural.

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

Hair will take up a majority of your time, sometimes it’s important to just focus on the larger clumps that are sticking out. Don’t worry about them all, as long as you get a majority of them your isolation will look pretty natural.

 

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

One thing worth noting is that most consumer cameras are going to shoot in a compressed .jpg format. This is going to create some extra dithering around edges. Notice in the photo here that there are maybe 5-6 pixels that are neither the background grass, or his ear. Try to create your path where the pixels are mostly the object you’re isolating. That green would not look good around the edges of my buddy where he’s about to go.

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

When you get done close your path by tapping on the very first point you created. With the pen tool selected right click (my top pen button) on the photo … at this point I almost always make selection but, for many artists it would be more appropriate to create a vector mask. I’m going to make selection by right clicking (my top pen button) and then duplicate layer (cmd/ctrl+j) then I’ll delete the background layer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

To get Lucas to Africa I’m going to select all (cmd/ctrl+a) and copy (cmd/ctrl+c) switch to the lion photo from wikipedia and paste (cmd/ctrl+v).

 

 

 

 

Dallas Price - Isolating photos, the right way. Lion photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_five_game
Dallas Price – Isolating photos, the right way. Lion photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_five_game

Obviously these two photographs were taken under extremely different lighting conditions, environments and cameras, so it’s not going to look very natural. To get this to … kind of work I flipped the lion photo so that the light was going at least somewhat in the right direction. Played with the hue and saturation (cmd/ctrl+u) and levels (cmd/ctrl+l) to get the lighting and color cast to look a bit more natural. Then used a lens blur because as far back as the lion is and as far forward as Lucas is, there is no way they’d both be in focus. Then I selected the transparent pixels on the layer with Lucas with the wand tool (w) and feathered him (shift+f6) by 2 pixels because the edges didn’t look very natural. I always feather AFTER placing the photo where it’s going, that way you aren’t going back 30 times when you realize that you feathered too much or too little.

 

There are quite a few things you could do to make this look more natural with multiple layers and some adjustment masks but, that is outside of the scope of this tutorial. Please leave any questions or comments below, and like/share this if you found it helpful. Thanks all!

Top five reasons to hire a graphic designer

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Ogdens Superstore. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/27/2014

As small to medium sized businesses struggle in a still down economy, sometimes you have to sacrifice luxuries and try to cut corners. For some it can seem like a cost saving factor to cut even cut employees and have someone else in the office try to do the job but, don’t get rid of your graphic designer if you already have one, and if you don’t you might want to think about hiring or contracting one. Here are the top 5 reasons to hire a graphic designer.

Designers come equipped to effectively communicate to your customers

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Ogdens Superstore. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/27/2014
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Ogdens Superstore. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/27/2014

You know your audience, your customers are probably the most important thing to your business. It might not feel like your communications, advertisements, menus or website matter that much but, think about it like it’s Bob from down the road, and he’s looking for a deal.

He doesn’t want to sacrifice quality for cost, and he wants a positive purchasing experience. Let’s say, he needs a new washing machine. Well, if he’s close to a newspaper he might browse there, seeing if maybe a local business has a current sale or something. If he doesn’t notice your advertisement or worse, he notices it but doesn’t see the washing machines that you’ve cut the price 50% on … well, it’s likely he’s going to your competition. What if he’s close to a computer, he might go directly to your site if he’s a loyal customer with a good memory but, more than likely he’s going to start with a search engine. With changes to local searches it’s more important than ever that your business is on the web and it’s infinitely more important that your website can display the products and services you offer in an appealing and easy to understand way that looks good on all devices (he might just have his phone).

Real designers will do the job right – The first time

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Sevier Valley Health Essentials. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/20/2014
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Sevier Valley Health Essentials. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/20/2014

Sure, you have a word processor on your computer or you can probably have your niece build your new website for a fraction of the cost but, how effective do you think it will be? Chances are, it’s going to need a redesign or it’s flat out not going to do anything besides run off potential customers. This goes for all designs. When you look at your logo, what does it communicate? How many words are on your logo? I can tell you that I see more bad logos than good ones and that’s sad when your logo is your brand, it’s your business and that’s how customers identify you and your products. Logos should be boiled down the the simplest way to communicate your business. There’s room in your communications for all that other crap.

You can’t afford not to

How much time do you spend on a daily basis building your business, bonding with your customers, inventorying products and ya know … business stuff. If you take time out of your day to try and design, you’re taking time away from your business. Precious time that you should be spending building your business. If it takes you twice as long as it would take a good designer, how much was your time worth? Most designers are pretty affordable when you start thinking about efficiency and quality.

Identify your brand and keep it consistent

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for SS Auto Body. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/20/2014
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for SS Auto Body. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/20/2014

What is your brand, do you have one? Do your communications have a consistent look and feel? While not all designers are typography experts, all should be able to identify a font. As well as a theme and style of a design, as well as detect your brand, your company what it does and what it values. Do you communicate excellent quality and service? Or do you communicate overpriced junk? Do you communicate a friendly environment, or a hostile one? Are your communications inviting?

We have the tools

Do you know what the industry standard tools are for graphic design? How much are you willing to spend on the tools to do the job correctly and effectively? Most designers will come equipped with the tools and knowledge to use them, saving you time and money. Even a designer with little to invest in software will have comparable tools and to compete with them and their know-how will probably leave you in a worse position than you’d be in by not hiring them.

The day my baby boy turned into an 8 year old little man

ViviCam 3765

ViviCam 3765Approximately 8 years and 30 something hours ago, I witnessed the birth of what would become my best buddy, teacher, and friend. I told him yesterday morning when he got up that 8 years ago he had come out a little bloody, poopy blob. Luckily, having experienced the whole process before. I only cried about as much as I am while writing this, or during most movies.

 

 

ViviCam 3765
From the day he was born I knew that I wanted to raise him to be responsible, independent, caring, honest and respectable. Today, I look back amazed at how, with my own compassion, love and discipline, I have (so far) done just that. Through his own little boy oddities, the birth of his 3 sisters, and his mother and I divorcing and every other growing/learning/living child problem … there have been very few faults, he’s selfless, honest, responsible, caring and becoming ridiculously smart (and not just smart ass, though there is quite a bit of that) Of course there’s been times of sit down talks, yelling and even downright spanking and fighting.

 

 

 

As time goes on I’m sure we’ll run into our new trials but, when considering gifts for my 8 year old boy he replied that he wanted a BB gun … what he meant was an airsoft gun …

 

 

 

 

 

 

From what I remember about being 8 years old … I was curious, in every single way possible, I had grown unattached from toys (though they proved to be great worth for a couple years following) and I wanted to be big but, I was still small … But, one of the most important things to me was my bb gun.

See, now we could start a controversy …”Is a bb gun appropriate for child of that age?” Having been threatened by a firearm multiple times in my life, only once was by a non-family member (my family is messed up(and I’m not even sure if the one in the robbery was real but, I wasn’t going to test it)) They have all been intimidating and scary. When my wife called to consult me about the gift, I steered entirely the opposite direction of what some would think … Why in the world that we live in, do we give people the option to desensitize themselves and each other to firearms in such a way?

If he were going to receive his first firearm for his birthday, it was going to be something real, something that he needed to treat with responsibility, learn proper procedures, gun safety and care … how to shoot, when to shoot. The entire thing has put A Christmas Story into perspective as I chant “You’ll shoot your eye out”.

 

I’m sure I’m being chastised by some anti-gun activists right now but, when he received the package the look on his face was “Quit teasing me”, I’m sure he still thought we were joking with him. As we took it out of it’s packaged and found a safer place to shoot he got even more excited and more curious as I taught him how and when to use the safety, how to carry his new little rifle, and more importantly what to watch for when you’re looking for a place to shoot.

But, he really got excited when he got back to the picnic area, and grandpa taught him how to aim, and position himself for better aim and how to cock the gun (he’s too little to do it like a normal person, he has to hold it with his legs to pull the lever all the way. He tore apart some cans with how well he was doing.

Honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of the little man I’ve raised. Please share this post if you enjoyed it, and add me to your social channels for random crap, including graphic design, parenting, and life.

Free vector arrows

Free vector arrows

Free vector arrows
Free vector arrows
Today I thought we’d do another freebie. I was going to do another free brush but, I couldn’t think of anything really. Thought maybe another scatter brush of birds? Free vector arrows popped up in my search as something that doesn’t have a ton of download links. So, I whipped up some arrows real quick. Let me know if you’d like more or how these fit your needs.

You can grab the .eps Here: . As always, let me know what you think either through comments or through social media (links to my networks in the sidebar), and please share if you found this helpful. Thanks!

I might be a bored graphic designer

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for High Country Auto. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/17/2014.
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for High Country Auto. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/17/2014.
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for High Country Auto. Published in The Richfield Reaper 08/17/2014.

For you guys that follow my blog quite a bit, it probably feels like I’ve forgotten you for a few weeks and focused on other things … Truth is, after posting these all year I’ve become a bit bored … with graphic design … not overall but, I mean like … I just explore ideas until something “works” … maybe I could get a new job title as explorer? I pretty much went all out on this High Country Auto ad, and yeah … A couple hours later, it looks great! There are things I’d change about it sure but, that’s all in retrospect …

I need new ideas, new vision. I’ve been digging for inspiration in areas where I’ve dug to the core and it really isn’t helping.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being bored and I love this design, hell … when you work and have 4 kids being bored is a blessing but, not when you’re bored about something that you love so much (and have to do regardless). I’d imagine anything would become a bit monotonous after a while …

Basically here on this High Country ad, I had a box to work with, the .jpg of the header, info, and the car pics (web ones of course). I found the .eps because, I wanted to do something more … integrated the bubbles in water effect into the border (ai of course!). I had the cars and most of the info situated when I thought “ya know, that big percentage and price would look great with that also” … It just needed some extra … (yeah, I know there are a million ways you could make the branding portion better) but, I don’t think I can get away with most of my suggestions.

I should subscribe to a few design magazines or something but, currently I don’t think the budget allows it (the bear would kill me).

I think I’ll skip the “This post is part of a series of posts” crap here but, if any of you fellow designers, followers, friends and family have any ideas to maybe … “spruce it up”, re-excite myself and bring new ideas, please share. As always, follow me on your favorite social networks and share if you enjoyed this depressing article ;). Love you guys