Sunday, March 24, 2013

Corporate Logo Design - An Example in Progress

Creating a logo for a company is no mean feat. There is a lot to consider, besides the design complications there is the obvious but complex issues of: does fit with the branding strategy, does it condense the corporate image and purpose of the company into a single symbol, and is the design catchy and instantly identifiable as both the identity and purpose of the corporation.

Then on top of that are the more technical issues of: does it resize well from 1/4 inch all the way up to billboard size, does it do well in black and white as well as color, are the colors correct according to the spot coloring method of CYMK, and so on.

Yellowbook is in the process of changing its name to hibu. What-bu? Re-branding is a painful, expensive and time consuming process for a corporation. I took it up as a personal challenge to see if I could create a logo for what is now just an imaginary product called hibuReview. It will be a web and mobile app where the public does reviews of the experience they had at a particular business. Kind of a mix between the BBB andYelp.

So far I've designed the icon above and the letterhead type logo below. For the final letterhead product I've decided to shrink the logo seen above so that it fits in the empty space on top of the R, thereby combining and associating the logo with the product name. The 'hibu' part seen below is the official corporate logo. I've added Review as the fictitious product offered by hibu. This is an example of starting with what is 'offical' then adding to it as other products are created by the corporation. It is easy to see now that the icon is a condensation and/or abstraction of a product called hibuReview. The thumbs up and thumbs done convey the 'review' part of the fictitious product.

As mentioned logo design is complicated. Rather than repeat what is involved David Airey has an excellent overview of the topic here

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Corel Painter Freeze Ups & Problems

I've owned Corel Painter for it seems like forever, before the days it came in an actual paint bucket. That was back when the user interface was actually made to look like a painter's palette. You know, that board with a thumb hole loaded with oil paints for mixing. The UI was silly and really not user friendly... no matter how much they touted it. Painter has come a long way especially with the development of the Wacom tablet (which I wouldn't use Painter without), but there are still a lot of instances where the program just won't do what you think it should. You'll be painting away and all of a sudden it stops working. Very frustrating, but like a lot of problems they really just stem from a lack of understanding.

Not to blame the user though. It just isn't documented very well regarding how these apparent program freeze ups occur. The list below is a collection of scenarios which can cause Painter to not function as you might expect. I'll add to the list as I find more.

Some of these came from the site where you can find a good basic overview of Painter.

•    Brush Pressure – Press harder. The brush may not show up with light pressure.

•    Missing Palettes – Open window all the way. It might be hidden by a too small window. Window>Arrange Palettes>Default

•    Preserve Transparency – On the layers palette is a check box. If this is checked then you cannot paint on top of the transparent pixels.

•    Missing Grain – Some brushes need grain in order to lay pixels down.

•    Main Color – On the colors palette, what color is the Main Color square? Is it a color that will show up when applied to our image?

•    Opacity – Adjust opacity to increase if it is too low.

•    Brush Method – The brush method determines the basic nature of a brush. To check the method, click General on the Stroke Designer page of the Brush Creator. If you’re drawing with a light color on a dark background, the method must be set to Cover, in order to show the lighter color.

•    Drawing Mode – If you have made a sel, the drawing mode determines what part of the sel is protected. Refer to “Selecting a Drawing Mode” in Help. Check the drawing mode at the bottom left icon on the window’s frame.
•    Painting on layers —brushes don’t work or only a single variably tinted color: Check the Layers palette. “Preserve Transparency” is enabled. Disable it.

•    Painting on layers —brushes don’t work: Check the Layers palette. Are you erroneously painting on a layer whose Visibility has been closed (the
“eye” icon on the left of each layer)? Toggle Visibility on and/or select the layer you want to paint on.

•    Painting on layers —brushes don’t work: Are you painting underneath a layer that is blocking the view of your brush strokes? Check the layers palette. Are you targeting the layer you want to paint on? Are there layers above it that are possibly blocking your view. Turn the blocking layers above your targeted layer off.

•    Painting on layers —blending/smearing brushes don’t interact with underlying color or paint with white: Check the Layers palette. “Pick Up Underlying Color” is disabled. Enable it.

•    Painting on layers —brush doesn’t paint or interact with underlying color; “Pick Up Underlying Color” is enabled: On the Canvas layer, test the brush on existing color. If it works, it is a brush that uses a method that does not work on layers (there are a few). Consider copying the imagery to the layer or working on the Canvas layer instead.

•    Painting on layers or Canvas —brush doesn’t paint: Check the Opacity setting of the brush in the Property Bar. If it is set to 0%, turn it up.

•    Painting on layers or Canvas —brushes don’t paint: You may have a small unnoticed active selection. In this situation, brushes will not paint outside the selection. In the Select menu, check and see if “None” is highlighted. If it is, select it. This will delete the selection and brushes will work again.

•    Painting on layers or Canvas —brushes paint with the incorrect color. Check the Colors palette. Is the Additional Color Square highlighted? If so, click on the Main Color Square.

•    Painting on layers or Canvas —brushes paint with the incorrect colors or a pattern. Check the Colors palette. Is the Hue Ring and Saturation/Value triangle grayed out? Clone Color is enabled and the color is coming from a clone source (the current pattern if other images are not opened). In the Color palette, click on the Clone Color button (rubber stamp icon) to re-target the Hue Ring and Saturation/Value triangle.

•    Painting on layers or Canvas —brush doesn’t paint as expected: The brush may have been adjusted in several different ways. In the Brush Selector Bar Options menu (the triangle at the right), select “Restore Default Variant”. This will restore the brush variant’s default settings.