Monday Morning Misdemeanors is a series of weekly posts written by Graphic Designer, Derek Gyssels. In this series, Derek is going to hone in on a number of common problems that crop up in graphic designs and then give you the tools to avoid them which will give your designs a professional polish.
I hope you enjoyed last weeks MMM. It can be pretty fun spotting Photoshop faux pas on the net, in magazines or large outdoor advertising. When you start to get an eye for it, you notice all kinds of mistakes everywhere. This week we are going to continue improving your eye by looking at perspective issues.
This image is a great example of bad perspective in combination with terrible lighting. There is nothing happening here that makes me believe this man is rocking out hardcore in his own living room. It is a little difficult to put my finger on but the man's position in relation to the coffee table feels quite off and his feet somewhat confirm that feeling. Combine all that with the fact that the lighting on him is completely different than that of the environment of the living room. I also believe the creator knew what they were facing and decided to not even try to attempt giving the man a shadow.
Here we have a girl working on her computer. She is probably being a good student doing her physics homework and saving it to an external drive that does not obey the laws of gravity. If you have good observation skills you would notice that the creator of this piece used the same image of the drive in the desk scene as they did in the bottom right corner of the ad. The hard drive on the desk should be seen from a higher angle. The books beside the drive and the bad shadow on the cord aren't helping matters either.
In this ad we are looking at a car from nearly ground level. Our head would be at about the same height as the passenger side headlight. But for some reason we are looking at the playpen from above. How can this be? I assume the marketing genius probably liked the concept but didn't like the idea of the playpen obstructing the view of the car in anyway. So they forced the scenario and ran this implausible scene.
Here is another car ad that creates a subtle illusion that we would never see with out own eyes. Based on the background they used here we should be able to see more of the top of the vehicle. This is another good example of light and shadow not helping them make a case as the shadow beneath the SUV is completely wrong.
We shouldn't be able to see the top of this cake at all. With the plate being flat why would the cake be angled forward? That was done so they could do a bad job of forcing the little man figurine onto the cake. I think they could have designed this poster without ruining the perspective.
This is a hilarious example of a company trying to recycle a piece of advertising. The middle person has had their head removed and replaced with another for whatever reason. However the guys head in the second ad doesn't even come close to looking natural. Nice try Microsoft! You have the money, take another picture please!
Sigh, why are reflections so over used? These particular reflections don't even make sense. The creator here just flipped the actual car in hopes they would make a good mirror. The reality is that the reflection here would be more of the underside of the car. Then they made matters worse by trying to cover the mistake with a shadow that shouldn't even be there.
This one is subtle but a no brainer. We could never get this perspective of two people in a front seat of a car from a side view mirror.
With all of this on the table I want to ask you a couple of questions. Does all of this even matter? From a branding/marketing standpoint is the message being delivered enough or does it matter that the message is delivered well?
Personally I think those of us that are in the branding and marketing arena have to watch what we are contributing to the world. On the other hand if we are not contributors we need to be aware of what we are living in and absorbing everyday. There seems to be a growing acquiescence when it comes to the many false realities presented to us through advertising and media. When we buy something from a company we are telling them we are ok with what they are doing. But before I get too heavy, I'll close with this one thought.
Examine your heart. Do not be deceptive in your motives for selling. Also be careful who you buy from. Personally it kind of bugs me that I can buy a car for from a company for tens of thousands of dollars and they can't even put together a solid ad. All the examples I presented here are more humorous than anything. I am just suggesting that we all should watch our steps on a very slippery slope.