Design, reverse engineering

Tide Will Clean Up

Our final big project for my Visual Communications class was to take an advertisement from the real world, examine all of its properties and recreate an ad that could go along with the same campaign.

I chose an ad campaign that was visually appealing to me and maybe a bit out of the norm for a typical ad for the company. It’s from Tide and message is that Tide will clean your clothes so well it could clean the stripes off of a zebra or the spots off a leopard. This is appealing to a wide audience and everyone, not just moms wash their clothes and want them to be clean and bright.

We were asked to include a breakdown of the ad and our new ad on an InDesign slide. This would allow us to use all of the different programs we used this semester (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop) into one project. Here is my slide presentation:

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You can download a PDF of the slide here: Slide Design

I chose to use a different tagline but I one I thought would work and is important to people who want their white’s bright! I was trying to think of an animal that was already white and found this cute polar bear that was consistent with the other animal designs. I fixed him up a bit in Photoshop and then brought all of the elements together in Illustrator to create the ad. I’m pretty happy with the result and think it fits consistently with the original ads. Let me know what you think!

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Design, reverse engineering

Photography Rules!

Photography rules! And there are rules for good photography.
I’m going to cover three of them today, Rule of Thirds, Leading Lines, and Depth of Field using photography from the web and some of my own photographic work.

Rule of Thirds:


Photo Credit: Unknown Link

Using the rule of thirds simply means to break your picture into thirds both vertically and horizontally. This creates an imaginary grid and four points of focal interest where the eye is naturally drawn. If you place objects in your photo near these four points the photograph is pleasing to the eye. 

In this example the of a sailboat on the water at sunset, both the sailboat and the setting sun are on one of the four focal points. This creating an aesthetically pleasing picture.

  Leading Lines:


Photo Credit: Matthew Peoples Link

Leading lines is just what it sounds like. There are lines created in the photograph that lead the eye into one direction. They usually lead to a main subject or focal point, but sometimes it can simple lead to an imaginary end like a road that goes on and on or the horizon. This can also lead to a sense of motion and a feeling of going somewhere.


In this example the stairway along with the railing and concrete blocks lead the eye upward. The fence and lines of the building lead the eye downward and they all converge into the single focal point of the doorway.

Depth of Field


Photo Credit: Unknown Link

The depth of field in a photograph is the difference between the sharpness of the focal object and the rest of the photo. When you really want a certain object in your photo to stand out you need to make sure it is clearly in focus and blur out the rest of the objects. It also gives you a better sense of what it closer and further away. Depth of Field is created by changing your aperture on your camera.


In this example the bird in the forefront is clearly the object of focus in this picture. He is closest to us and sharp. The rest of the birds and the background are blurred, focusing the eye on the single bird.

My Photographs

In this next section I’m going to apply what I’ve learned and take photos following the rules.

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds Palm

I took a snap of these palm trees against a cloudy sky with the moon peaking through the other night at the mall. I love how the trees were lit and golden against the cold sky.

Rule of Thirds Palm 2

As I add the grid to see the Rule of Thirds, it works! The main trees in each set are right on the intersections of the grid. The picture is therefore aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Leading Lines

Leading Lines Awning

This is a picture from my back yard of the wooden awning on my patio. I love the dark lines and shadows against the bright blue sky. Gorgeous day!

Leading Lines Awning 2

The lines in the awning lead the eye in the same direction going forward and finally ending at the last beam.

Depth of Field

Plant Depth of Field 2

I found these cool low moisture plants while on a walk today. I thought they would make a perfect subject to show depth since there are some in front and behind.

Plant Depth of Field

I placed the focus on the front plant and tapped and held down on the screen of my phone to make sure that’s where it stayed. The plants behind are blurred out showing the depth.

While there can be a lot to think about when taking a picture to make sure it looks good, there are just a few simple rules that the ones shared here that can make a big impact. The rules are simple if you follow the rules!

Design, reverse engineering

Macaroni Grillin’ Fonts

This is a recent email advertisement I received from the Macaroni Grill restaurant and I thought it showed great diversity with the three different font typefaces used.

Font #1: The first font used is a handwritten Script font. It could be categorized as script because it is a script, but I think it could also be categorized as a decorative font because it is so informal.

Font #2: The second font is a nice bold Sans Serif font. There are no serifs and it is a mono-weight font.This is one of my favorite fonts right now and used in all caps. It’s a great contrast to a script font.

Font #3: The last font is an Oldtype font used in the ad copy. It has serifs and thick to thin lines. It’s easy to read and doesn’t compete with the stand out fonts.

Macaroni Grill advertisers did a great job of using a variety of fonts in their ad that have contrast and play well together. They repeated the use of both the script and the sans serif font to provide consistency and used a nice, readable oldstyle font for the ad copy.