28 August 2010

An Old Fashioned Solution to a New Fangled Problem

Well I've been fiddling with the header on this blog for some time trying to achieve a particular effect: having the viewer feel like he's looking through the plane of his own screen into a startlingly different dimension.  It seemed necessary to tap into paperly metaphors to accomplish this, and so the last few attempts have made use of various ripping and tearing visuals.  You may recall some of these:

But this one came up off the page, rather than sinking into it.  So I pushed it down:

That, of course, looked more like scratching the stuff off the back of a lottery ticket than an a supersubstantial reality busting through the computer screen into your face.  They kept coming up short, and I simply attributed this to my amateur knowledge of Photoshop.

So I looked up my graphic design buddy Dan, a fellow seminarian here at Mundelein, and asked him what he thought.

The conversation went something like this:

[I give a thorough and excessively detailed description of what I was trying to do, lasting approximately five minutes, expecting a fairly complicated answer involving filters, texture palettes, gaussian high pass edge flows, etc.]

Dan:  Why don't you tear up a piece of paper in the way you want it to look and then scan it?

So that's what I did, and what do you know, he was right.

Looking at the final iteration, though, makes me wonder if I was right to put a drop shadow in there.  The shadow makes it look like the supersubstantial reality is just another photograph, flat and lifeless like the gray in front of it.  It's kind of unavoidable given the text in the frame, but still, would it look better without the shadow?  Those of you that care about such things can give some feedback in the combox.  (I thought about putting up a poll but I think that would be ridiculous given the time I've spent on this already.)

Sans drop shadow:  click to enlarge

1 comment:

Claire Christina said...

I prefer the drop shadow; it makes more real the idea that an entrance to another place has been ripped open.

And I very much like this logo. It really jumps out at me, as if I really could rip away the rest of the page and be in a whole new land. Kudos!