Case #MMM011 - Photoshop Realism - Crazy Compositions - Radiant

The Radiant Blog

This weeks topic is going to surround composition. It is sort of similar to the perspective talk from two weeks ago but there is a little wrinkle. Composition is examining the placement of objects in their environment in relation to other objects. It's not so much about angles as it is about things that just plain don't make sense. The examples for this week are some classic scenarios where people were in a rush and forced things, have no eye for detail, or flat-out didn't know what they we're doing.

Composition Sample 1
Where is the rest of this little boys body?

Composition Sample 2
Go-go gadget baby arm!

Composition Sample 3
Either that woman has a shrunken head or she keeps her Cheerio's near a nuclear reactor.

Composition Sample 4
I hope this kid grows into those pontoons he has for feet.

Composition Sample 5
The Turkish airlines have been budget cutting by getting rid of those costly front landing gear assemblies.

Composition Sample 6
Do you ever look in the mirror and not like what you see? So does Lexar, because this reflection demonstrates a gross oversight.

Composition Sample 7
Sometimes a composition is wrong for what's missing. But not here, the invisible man is doing the burnout in the convertible.

To me, everyone of these are hilarious, to the creators, not so much. It is so important to be thorough and detail-focused when creating graphic pieces to advertise or market yourself. What good is it to spend money on a message when the message is missed because some glaring error is all the audience can focus on. After all your work is done it is critically important to run your work past other people and get reactions and comments. In our office we are all covering each others backs to make sure things like this don't happen in anything we produce.

Also, make sure to respect professional designers and the strengths they posses. A lot of these kinds of errors occur when people that don't have the formal training or experience attempt to do things themselves to save money. Photoshop is a great tool but in the wrong hands, a lot of terrible things can happen, as I have demonstrated over the last few weeks.

Lastly, take a moment and consider this comparison.

Have you ever wrote a paper or an article then after proofing and reproofing you still find an error after it has been published or submitted? How do we do that? In reading we know what we wanted to say and after working on something for so long we read what we meant to write, not what we actually wrote. The same thing can happen in design. After spending hours and sometimes days on a piece you get tired and stop looking at things like you should, or the false reality we created on our screen starts to look real to us. If you can afford the time, leave a design for a couple days and come back to it with fresh eyes. In the very least, get some outside perspective from a few other people you trust and respect. You could end up sparing yourself and your organization a lot of pain and embarrassment.

To conclude, I would like you to take sometime this week and consider the false things we see all the time and how we are becoming more and more accustomed to seeing things that aren't real and even expect and prefer those false realities. For example if you go to any store and have to wait in line, take note of the magazine covers. People don't look anything like media and advertising would have us believe but if they put a real person unaltered on a cover, we would think it looks wrong. Does that seem weird to you? It does to me. I sometimes wonder what this condition will do to us in the long term. But now I am just getting philosophical on you again. Please leave me some comments, I would love to discuss this further.