Sunday, November 18, 2007

Here's my card!

Yesterday I spent an enjoyable few hours with my eyes jammed hard against the monitor, working on a design for my business card. My eyes now resemble those of the fish from too much screen goggling, but I've settled on this (left) as the final design.

The original design for the reverse of the card looked like this image (on the right):

I like this picture very much, but when I sent it to the Fabulous Sebastian for his comment, he suggested that, while it was nice to look at, it might compete too much with the front of the card. He then came up with the very clever idea of having the fish reversed on the back so that it seemed to go right "through" the card.

I liked this idea so much that I thought I might elaborate on it a bit, and have the text flipped as well, but partly obscured by clouds on the reverse. So the result looks like this:

Ah, Photoshop! Aint it a wonderful toy?

The fish is not my own drawing, of course. I got him from that favourite resource of mine, the Dover Animals book of copyright-free illustrations. He was a black-and-white engraving to begin with, and I made him colourful with much filter-fiddling and plenty of playing with my favourite Photoshop paintbrush, the one called "chalk". The chalk brush gives a convincing "scraped" texture, and looks much more natural than the other brushes I've used. Depending on the opacity etc, it can resemble charcoal, watercolour, ink wash etc. I used it here for the clouds as well.

Confusingly, there are several "chalk" brushes on the same Photoshop brush palette. My favourite is the one that is not grouped with the other chalks, but is tucked away on its own, further down the list. Its starting size is 36 point, which makes it easy to identify.

Ok, that's enough geekage from me. I'm going to go and play with my brush pens.


fabulous heretic said...

I like that the card is one picture from two perspectves. What a pity you wasted all that time on the first version.

Nicki Greenberg said...

Thanks, fabulous one. Credit to you for the cool idea. Doing the original "back" design wasn't wasted time, though - it was actually much quicker to do than the front, and I learned some interesting things about colour filters. And I'm planning to use it for something else - tho not sure what yet!

Anthony Woodward said...

I found the chalk brush!, don't know why I hadn't spotted them before. I also enjoy changing the brush blending mode to dissolve and turning down the opacity for a chalky airbrush effect

scootergrrl said...

Larve the card! Looking forward to getting one (and another for The Boy) in my hot little hands 8)

Nicki Greenberg said...

Thanks scoots! Given that I've ordered 1000 of them (super cheap and super high quality cards & printing: ) I think I can manage that!

Anthony - well, how about that? A whole realm of geekage that we didn't manage to cover in our art instruments geek-a-thon the other week. Next time!

spacedlaw said...

Lovely card, I especially like the reverse with the words half eaten by the clouds!