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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A rant about a new breed of graphic designers

Vector images are defined mathematically
Time for a ranty blog...

There seems to be an increasing trend for Graphic Designers to design logos in Photoshop...

Experienced designers know that a logo should be designed in a vector-based drawing package such as Adobe Illustrator - that way, the logo shape is defined as a series of mathematical shapes, and so can be scaled up to any size without loss of quality. The file size remains very small compared to a bitmap image.  A vector file can also be used with computer-controlled machines such as vinyl cutters for creating things like signage and branded clothing, or by motion graphics designers like me to extrude into 3D shapes.

A bitmap image becomes pixellated as you scale it up
It amazes me that some 'professional' graphic designers simply don't know the difference between vector and bitmap (or raster) graphics... If this is you, check out this good explanation on the BBC Bitesize GCSE revision website:

I'm guessing this new breed of designer is using Photoshop because it's easy to create something that looks 'glossy' by applying a few layer styles to add gradients, bevels and shadows.

Vectors can be used in 3D software
Many of these Photoshop designers seem to have forgotten (or never learned) one of the fundamental principles of logo design which is that the logo should work in monochrome (ie a single colour).

Don't get me wrong - Photoshop is great - there's nothing wrong with using Photoshop for the graphic design of posters etc when you want to add effects and blend layers together, but it's just not the right tool for creating the master design for a logo.

So please, if you're a graphic designer who automatically reaches for Photoshop when you need to design a logo, switch to Illustrator and create your master logo shape in there - it will serve you well!

Rant over :-)