Sunday, February 6, 2011

Photoshop Delight and Fruit Stickers

Do you ever have those moment when everything goes RIGHT on a project and fills you with glee?

This one one of those moments.

I do graphic design and most times I'm trying to take a client's concept and make it work ... often times trying to fit far too much copy into far too small a space. One of the mantras you often hear floating on the air in our little corner of the world is "20 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag."

Our motto is "Impossible is easy. Miracles just take a little longer."

Anyway, this one is mine all mine, or almost because desk neighbour Sean helped me refine my photoshop skills.

I've been working on series of house ads in my spare time, self-promotion ads for the newspaper. It's an ongoing project as the ads constantly need refreshing. Sometimes an idea catches in my brain and I can build an entire campaign around this, and two weeks ago a random wander through our image bank led to this ad. In real life it's 10.333 inches wide by 14 inches tall. (Yes, I know we're in a metric age but most of our clients aren't. Hush.)

I was trying to think of unlikely places to find a message. Tattoos are a common part of our society and so are T-shirts (T-shirts with logos are a funny way for companies to get advertising done, by having the customers pay for it.)

The Canadian National Newspaper Association recently posted research findings as tweets - messages in 140 character or less - and I made a tweet into a tattoo. The * is for the statistic source notated at the bottom of the ad. And further up in the ad is the website

The publisher is trying to establish closer ties between our print and on-line versions.

This project required some new skillsets that I didn't have in my arsenal, hence Sean's help. We often help each other in our department this way, as each person has strengths that the others don't. Anyway, the crowning jewel was making the newspaper's logo part of the tattoo.

The publisher loves it. The advertising manager is amused that our 'poster boy' is now on at least two computer desktops in the office. My husband thinks it's great and I giggled for days.

An advantage of sharing the building with the press is access to other papers from the region. I often grab a handful of them to bring home - husband loves to read them - or peruse in search of new ideas, or simply for the news.

The Salmon Arm Observer had an interesting item in their gossip column (they call it Sidewalk Supervisor but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ....) that perhaps you already knew. I didn't, so I'm going to share.

Next time you buy fruit or veggies, look at the label stuck onto it. You know, the little annoying one that is hard to remove and has a barcode on it. There are also numbers on it, a PLU (Price Look Up code). They describe the exact variety, size and place of origin for every type of fruit and vegetable produced in the world. Go to if you're interested.

But that isn't what Sidewalk Sally wrote about. The site, that is. She informed me that if there are three numbers - 4011 for bananas, for example - that they were conventionally grown.

If there is an 8 before those numbers - 84011 - they are genetically modified produce, and if the prefix is a 9 - 94011 - then they are organically grown.

Cool, eh? The little things you learn.

Like the time I learned the secret of the wee pointer triangle beside the gas pump icon on my car's gauge panel. Does your car have one? Look. It points to the side of the car where the filler cap is located. Brilliant. And there is no mention of it in the car's manual. I looked. I learned about it in an issue of Harrowsmith magazine about 5 years ago. Changed my life forever, at least when refueling a vehicle.