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Seeking Designer Opinions on New Photography Logo

Sep 17, 2013 12:46 PM

Tags: #illustrator #help #design #discussion #creative #logo #photography #vector #advice

Good afternoon designers

 

I've been in the process of redesigning my photography business, starting with the logo. Here is my old logo/website that I threw together 3+ years ago when I first started (blegh):

 

old logo.png

 

 

 

And this is what I've come to after months of messing around with fonts and designs. The plumeria is my favorite flower, and coral my favorite color, so I used it as an icon to represent my brand. My new site design will be much simpler, lighter, brighter, and modern.

 

I've included a clean version and a version with guidelines that I was using to show spacing areas of concern (between the text and flower, amount of space left on either side of the "Photography."

 

jsp_archlogo.png

 

 

 

 

Now with guidelines:

jsp_archlogo_guidelines.png

 

 

I tend to go with what's visually accurate instead of what's technically accurate, but I feel like every time I make things perfectly aligned, it just looks off once those guides are gone. So I'm curious to see what you all think. Logos are supposed to be darn near perfect, but are there exceptions to that?

 

 

I've been staring at this for far too long and now I need outside opinions on it. Not necessarily major changes, just tweaks. I'm really looking to fine tune it, and since my name is uneven, it does look a bit uncentered. Does that bother anyone? Also, I'm debating on keeping 'Photography' narrower than 'Jessica Shea,' as I did try making it the same width of my name but it looked a bit funky since the hook of the J comes out further than the top of it, if that makes sense. Also, since I divided "PHOTO" and "GRAPHY" which aren't the same amount of letters long, I want to make sure they look evenly spaced despite it technically being unbalanced. I'm using Quicksand as the font if anyone's curious.

 

In summary, I'm looking for opinions on overall design, spacing and balance, and sizing (ex, size of the text, flower, etc).

 

Thanks in advance for any input!

~Jess

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 17, 2013 12:56 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    Just wondering, you explained the logo aspect in the logomark, but did you mean for the flower to look excatly like a camera shutter? Very smart, considering it's for photography.

     

    Aside, the fact that your first and last name aren't the same length doesn't bother me, and "photography" looks pretty evenly spaced, even though they're not even either. Nice job, I'd say.

     
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    Sep 17, 2013 1:24 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    "photo" "graphy" looks bad enough when split. changing the spacing makes "graphy" look small in comparison to "photo" and once you notice it, it is all you'll notice.

     

    i would find a different composition that doesnt split up the word.

     

    this is not as big of a deal but the Ss is "jessica" could be rotated CCW just a bit.

     
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    Sep 17, 2013 1:39 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,

     

    I was also reminded of the shutter when I first saw the flower, in the other thread.

     

    There are a few issues with the positions and directions of some of the letters, not least the HEA.

     

    I would suggest your trying out the option of using Path Type with possible elaboration, which may include kerning and more. That will place the letters with a common curved baseline, presumably a segment of a circle and ythereby take care of the basic appearance.

     

    There may be different considerations about division/non division of PHOTOGRAPHY and effects on the appearance, and vertical alignment of the flower.

     

    It may be too silly, but you may consider an eyelike appearance with PHOTOGRAPHY as Path Type meeting your name and the flower shutter in the middle.

     

    You may also consider whether the letters are too thin for small size in connexion with letterhead, business card, etc.

     
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    Sep 17, 2013 2:41 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,

     

    Is this technique not what you meant?

     

    The very same. There may be something strange about the font. What is the look of it when just typing?

     

    You may use some of the tools in the Character palette, such as the Baseline Shift (you can select the A with the (Path) Type Tool and move it down by setting a negative value and/or move the E up) and Kerning (you may set the cursor between the H and E and move them closer to each other by setting a negative value), and you can go through the whole set and make adjustments.

     

    There seem to be two incompatible sets of letters, each with consistent directions, the A in the middle fitting into either: the J.....A...A seem to fit a more curved baseline, and the .ESSICASHE. seem to fit a less curved one.

     
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    Sep 17, 2013 5:18 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    You're very close to establishing your own identity.  The flower is very powerful.  However, you are relying too much on the typeface and, my concern is, it is a bit on the light side.  When I think of a logo, I ask my self...Can this be duplicated in 5 minutes?  By anyone?  Yours falls into this category.  As a handlettering artist, I try to create my own typeface and for you it would be a snap.  I saw your other post where you asked if type could be flat on top and arched on the bottom.  You were on the right track.  My recommendation is find someone who can achieve something similar ( i.e., original, hand lettered typeface logo ).  Try an approach using a thin serif font for "JESSICA SHEA" and a sans serif semi-bold font for "PHOTOGRAPHY".  I will followup with a sketch to help communicate what I am thinking which may help you along.  I simply do not have time right now.  Stay tuned.

     
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    Sep 18, 2013 2:14 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,

     

    Referring back to your other thread,

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/5674096#5674096

     

    a shaping of the bottom part of the name (and possibly of the top of the P word) could be made in quite different ways, other than just an arc; the way(s) referred to in its post #3 gives full freedom to create customized shapes forming frames to the shutter/flower with as much or little negative space as you wish. And that would certainly move it beyond quick duplication.

     
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    Sep 18, 2013 8:03 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    The simplicity of this doesn't bother me. I think the layouts you've chosen (first post and most recent) are interesting and different layouts. It's nice to see something other than logo on the left, wordmark to the right- justified left, rag right.

     

    I also think the thinness of the font is appropriate. It's delicate and clean. You could absolutely look for something a bit meatier, and/or with a serif, but I think you're in the right direction with what you've chosen. I wouldn't go with anything too heavy or too big a slab serif, ect.

     

    Also, this layout, with your name arched only is (I find) much more successful than the previous attempt with the straightened top and curved bottom.

     

    I'm not sure the stokes on either side of the flower are necessary, but that's just me.

     
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    Sep 18, 2013 8:13 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,  don't feel bad about where you are right now.  That's actually pretty normal ( i.e., burn-out ).  Sometimes it pays to take a step back, perhaps going to a local bookstore and glancing through some logo design books and photographer branding guides ( if you can find any ).  Here's what I was thinking...

     

    JS_Sketch.png

     

    ...and, the more I think about it, the flower would look great somehow nested within your name and "PHOTOGRAPHY BY" could be placed above your name following the arch.  I wonder if the ip of your flower could be inserted into the bottom of the "A" in your first name.  It's a matter of a cross between a symbol and  typographical logo.  The latest screen shot with the flower "inside" the arch is a step forward.  The font style in my sketch might be found in a font, but may have to be hand lettered.  This would solve your "unique" problem.  I also think that you could create a symbol using the flower and your initials "J" and "S".  Your full name could be implemented in your stationery where appropriate. Just food for thought.  I encourage you to continue thinking and exploring. When you "hit" on what you are looking for, you will know and won't need us anymore.  Good luck.  Believe it or not, this is the fun part.

     
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    Sep 18, 2013 10:02 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Like Fether, so far I like most the one in post #10 except the lines, although it could feel a little bit empty without them. If you have to put something and you want to go more  vintage style I would try something more curvy. Along with the shutter flower it could remind of the top side of a wooden ornaments frame.

    Jshea22 wrote:

     

    John,

    ... I really want something more modern, something that obviously says professional but is true to me. This post on Behance was very inspirational to me:

     

    http://www.behance.net/gallery/Vintage-LogoInsignia-Collection-2/89978 89

     

    ...

    Its vintage style inspired logos used in a modern context which appears to be appealing to a lot of people. If you want to go in that direction you can try something like this.

    Untitled-3.jpg

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 3:13 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,

     

    I also like the version in post #10.

     

    There are a few ways to get the individual letters into place, so there is no need to leave your Quicksand font. You may choose between some calculation (and rely on the ability of the font to behave when it clearly misbehaves in the obvious easysolution that should have worked) and some more intricate drawing.

     

    In any case, it would be useful to see how the lettering behaves when you just type the JSP (straight).

     

    You may use the circle version in post #14, which I also like, as the actual logo, with the JSP underneath, or, depending on how heavy a circle you can stand, you may consider the JSP as negative space in it; the latter may present an even greater challenge in getting the lettering clear and visible, especially in connexion with small size use, as mentioned in post #4; the challenge consists of actual size and, depending on colours or rather inks, in getting a clear shape (a rather short version: if you have more than one ink (solid colour), especially normal screening will leave you with dots that will blur the edges, stochastic screening (FM) will be better, but you cannot rely on using it for all purposes).

     

    By the way, the clearness may also present a challenge in the versions shown so far because the lettering seems to be non solid colour/ink.

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 6:56 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica, I am sorry for recommending you do more research.  I should have realized that you have done your share already.  I like the flower symbol with the circle around it.  It works as your symbol.  Simple and easy to identify.  On the other sample where you have some space being used for lines, think about some type of flourish artwork instead of the lines, althought the lines aren't bad either. I like that version because all of the elements are somewhat encapsulated.

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 7:54 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,

     

    I meant the Jeccica Shea and photography written out with the Type Tool so it just has a horizontal baseline, to see how the letters behave under such circumstances.

     

    My suggesting your using the encircled flower/shutter as the actual logo would mean that it could be used by itself, and with the JSP (and other stuff) added when appropriate, just like any other non letter logo, some of which are among the most powerful. I believe that was also what John meant in the corresponding part of post #17.

     

    The colour/ink babble was about the fundamental difference between a solid (100%) colour and a non solid colour, the latter with or without colour transition.

     

    The former may be printed at a far higher resolution (spots) than the latter which normally relies on halftones (dots), and which may distubingly blurred and even effaced in places.

     

    Imagine a very fine line made up by a pattern of dots, or as negative space, a very fine line made up of spaces between dots, which have spaces between them.

     

    You may have a quick read here:

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halftone

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stochastic_screening

     

    That far high resolution is one of the advantages of using spot colours rather than CMYK blends for exquisite prints.

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 9:44 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica, I've been fooling around a bit...

     

    for some reason I cannot post 2 PNG files to show you.  Perhaps if you start a new thread in the Adobe Community > Design forums > Design" forum, I will be able to attach them there.  I've taken the flower symbol and did two versions that could give you some ideas.

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 11:40 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,

     

    You may wish to delete your email address as soon as possible, to avoid/reduce spam.

     

    I have avoided replying to your latest post to avoid locking it.

     

    Usually, the best way for such information is to (announce and) send a Private Message. You can just click the intended receiver and click Send Private Message under Actions (top right).

     

    It is better to keep everything else in the thread so eveyone can contribute, and learn.

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 12:49 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,

     

    I'm lost with any forum options.  I sent you a message to your web site contact e-mail.

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 12:57 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    For what its worth, I think the logo on post 10 looks great. Nice simple design, colours great. Sometimes you can over analyise your own work. Its a yes from me!

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 2:35 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jessica,

     

    I believe (or should I say beleave?) the leaves should be very simple and slender, maybe only just hinted (thus maybe not too far from being lines, just think of bamboo leaves) and not touch the flower.

     

    What about the position/direction irregularities of the letters?

     

    As part of the fine tuning.

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 2:40 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    I haven't read the entire thread..... so take what I post with a grain of salt.

     

    Sorry, I think this is much stronger....

     

    Screen+Shot+2013-09-17+at+10.12.06+PM.png

     

    ......but without the flower.

     

    The curved text in your recent images just makes the entire logo appear to be unstable and unbalanced. There clearly appears to be no reason why the text is curved. Becuase of the nature of type the eye wants to READ the name rather than instantly percieve a logo. This creates visual conflict in my opinion. in addition to the fact that when read.. the logo causes the eye to end in a downward, right motion. This motion is commonly considered to promote feelings of meloncholoy or depression. Combine that with the fact that the spacing in the name makes the curved text appear to be off center (I realize it isn't) and I'd say you're headed in a completely unfruitful direction and trying to force something to work when it never really will.

     

    My that's just my 2¢.

     
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    Sep 19, 2013 2:42 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Nice one, Scott.

     
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    Sep 21, 2013 9:23 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    ......but without the flower.

    At last! A voice of discernment in this thread.

     

    My rules of logo design:

     

    • Be Ruthless. With yourself. With your client. With the design. To wit:
    • What You Like Doesn't Matter. Anytime you hear yourself or your client, or any critic say "I like..." or "I don't like..." you and/or they are thinking wrongly and you need to say so or go back to the drawing board. This isn't about a touchy-feely, everyone's-a-winner, feel-good-about-yourself art class "critique" session. The only one whose "likes" matter is the target viewer, and that's impossible to know. It's not about what anyone "likes." It's about what works. It's about what it says.

     

    • It's Work. Get over that. One concept is never enough. Always draw up multiple drafts, and make them as radically varied as you can. Otherwise, you have not even begun to fully explore possibilities. Let the exploration lead to something that works. If it doesn't, you haven't succeeded yet. Keep working.
    • Design In Black Line Art. Forget color. Disallow grads. If the design is dependent upon grad fills or any other cheap and cheezy effect for its uniqueness or interest, it's already a failure.
    • Know The Message. It's About Communication. What should the identity mark convey? (Hopefully more than merely, "Hey, I'm a plumber.") What differentiates the mark's holder from the competition?
    • Nobody Cares. If you have to study it in order to "get it," it's already falied. Nobody's gonna bother.
    • It Has To Stick. A logo is an entity's signature; its cornerstone. Is there anything at all distinctive about it? The second or third time it's seen a week later, will it ring a bell or will it just fade into the mental fog of looksame "logos"? Being technically "professional" is required, but isn't enough. Legal forms have required signatures since the beginning of civilization for a reason: They're assumed to be unique. Yes, by all means study examples of excellent logos. But study them to identify their strengths. Never allow yourself to think "I think I'll try something like that." That's not creative. That's starting from a standpoint of failure.
    • Boil Down Essence. Make it elegant. Everything must have a purpose. If it doesn't have a purpose, throw it out. No gratuitous decoration. If it's not essential to the message, it's distracting from it.
    • It Must Work Technically. Is the design versatile and robust enough for all the repro methods and display scenarios to which it will be subjected (single color, spot color, RGB, CMYK, print, web, signage, engraving, letterhead, placement ads, garment imprints...)?

     

     

     

    Note the above is an unordered list. Each point is equally important. Each point must survive the trip from concept to repro-ready masters. But the first point (ruthlessness) directs the rest.

     

    So in the present context, proceed as follows:

     

    First, stop fretting over this. You are obviously already "married" to this one single treatment and are doggedly trying to make something out of it, when there's just nothing there. Straining at a gnat to swallow an elephant, as Aunt Molly would say.

     

    Ruthlessness

    Step back away from it. Wipe every wrinkle away from your forehead; every expression from your face. Stare at it coldly, unemotionally. Get yourself into a stoic, completely pragmatic mindset. Remove any notion of asking yourself "does this please me" or anything else. No frown. No smile. No narrowed, "artistically-sensitive, all-discerning, self-important" eye. You simply don't care about this logo. It's just another thing in this visually-cluttered world that just happens to be in front of your face. For a microsecond. And an annoying microsecond at that. Now you're looking at it more like its target viewers will.

     

    Forget "Likes." Does it work?

    Now ask yourself (again, with no facial expression; no emotion; no erudite discernment): In a visually noisy world is there anything even mildly interesting or attention-grabbing (let alone compelling) about this design? Does it do its job? You should be able to answer that right now. If you can't, let me help you: No.

     

    Do The Work

    You say you've been "at this for about 6 months now." Prove it. Let's see at least a small handful of your other radically-different drafts.

     

    Disallow Effects

    Remove that lame, cliche grad. Remove the pink. After doing so, what happened to uniqueness?

     

    What Does It Communicate?

    The thin type is wimpy, placid. Boring. Drab. As exciting as a funeral parlor. Is that commensurate with the nature of your photography? Do you specialize in snapshots of flowers?

     

    In other words, what is the message? What is your mark supposed to be saying? "Hey, here's another run-of-the-mill local neighborhood photographer who probably has some equipment and knows how to press a shutter without a trace of originality or sophistication"? What are you actually selling? Flowers? Lenses? Or creativity?

     

    Nobody Cares

    What about your initial design draws attention; makes it stand out? Squint or cross your eyes a bit. What do you see? A meaningless faint grey arch with a pink blob under it? Does that "suck you in"? There's nothing here you haven't seen in countless amateurish "logos" made by the ubiquitous 12-year-old niece who "likes to draw." No drama whatsoever. Outside of purely technical labs or police departments, is that what people hire a creative photographer for?

     

    The only point of drama in what you have shown so far is the modified crossbar of the CA ligature. That's it. Keep that as an objective possibility. But don't get married to it; it's not like that's never been done before, either.

     

    Is It Memorable?

    What about any of the designs shown so far makes them mentally "stick"? A pink flower? A lens diaphragm? A "clever" attempt to unify a flower and a lens diaphragm (with which you are so enamoured you haven't even noticed that in black it more easily reads as a meaningless star)?

     

    Is It Elegant?

    The flower/lens And the word Photography, just in case your brain-dead viewer misses what you hope to be obvious? "Oh yeah. I've got an idea. How about a tripod? Or some photo scrapbook corners?" That's how you ought to be ruthlessly talking to yourself: "Nope. Nothing memorable here. Just trite."

     

    Those cliche dillywops you've added in post 26: Those are pointless additions just to fill the pointless whitespace void under the pointless arch. Just the act of doing that should have made you ruthlessly ask your ruthless self, "Why am I drawing these dillywops"? They are pointless decorations trying to justify a design error. And not even original decorations.

     

    Technical Practicality

    Are you ever going to have a physical place of business? A place to hang a shingle? If so, are you going to be able to afford a 60' x 180' billboard? Because that's what it's going to take for that thin typeface to read from any drive-by distance, let alone avoid being utterly washed-out by surrounding signage in the field of view of the annoyed customer who's driving while talking on the cell phone asking again for directions to your shop.

     

    Oh, but you "like" that wimpy typeface. You're so proud of it, you'll no doubt want to have it engraved on some nice writing pens to use as promotional giveaways. How do you think those hairline strokes will hold up when reduced to a 2" wide imprint? And how will engraving render the graduated flower?

     

    See what I mean? The path to decent logo design starts with ruthlessness.

     

    Do not take offense at any of the above. This is exactly how I talk to myself when working.

     

    JET

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2013 9:54 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    I am no certain a logo is a good thing for a photographer but since you went down this rod an yu think it woks for you hen the obvious thing visually speaking is that one might consider bowing the word photography similar to the your name Jesica Shae and make it the appear to be the bottom lid of an eye. Now your logo might invoke the idea that you are intuitive about things you do.

     

    Of course the flower might be slightly larger.

     

    Keep in mind the top lashes of an eye are longer than the bottom.

     

    Also keep in mind it does not have to necessarily come across as an eye it only has to be discoverable.

     

    As far a rukes goes, there are no rules you only have to communicate your message. And if a logo works for you it looks like you are there right now.

     
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    Sep 21, 2013 5:57 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    Sorry you took offense, Jessica. As I said, none was intended. If you think I'm the least bit frustrated, you completely missed the point of sound advice.

     

    JET

     
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    Sep 22, 2013 9:47 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Jshea22 wrote:

     

    I'm glad that some people could at least give me constructive criticism instead of just tearing it down without any solutions.

     

    Constructive criticism is about asking the right questions that lead you to your goal. Constructive criticism is not necessarily about giving answers to these questions: http://www.uie.com/articles/critique/

     

    I would rethink that flower as well. I didn't get the aperture in it. And without getting that, it's just a flower (I couldn't even tell which one). You said you chose that flower, because it's your favorite. But your logo has to express more than that. Your logo has to tell the viewer something about your work and about the way you see the world as a photographer. So people can decide if it's worthwhile to talk to you about their project.

     

    Also: your logo shouldn't get more attention than the photos on your website, so having a brightly colored logo might make little sense.

     
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    Sep 22, 2013 10:41 AM   in reply to Jshea22

    Im gonna go against the grain on this one and say that all this questions on weather the logo speaks about your work, weather the flower clearly says photography, do people get it or not? Arent really important.

     

    At the end of the day because you are a photographer, youll be known by your photography. I think your flower is as 'clear' as it needs to be. If you look at some of the most recognized logos they say nothing about the product or company.

     

    I dont believe there is such a thing as 'constructive criticism'. A criticism is just what it is, criticism. People spewing their opinions about your work. 

     

    I think in your case, since it is a personal logo for your work whether you like it matters. You should then just worry about visual technicalities like kerning.

     

    Since you are your own client without a deadline, apply it and live with it for a while and see how it works for you and tweak it as you see fit. You dont need to forsee the future and worry about wether it will look good on a pencil. If you choose to put it on a pencil, then you can evolve your logo to fit the criteria.

     
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    Sep 22, 2013 11:30 AM   in reply to mec_os

    mec_os wrote:

     

    ...

    I dont believe there is such a thing as 'constructive criticism'. A criticism is just what it is, criticism. People spewing their opinions about your work

    ...

    mec, you made me curious and I searched for it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_criticism

     

    when it comes to input for creative work, including my work, no matter how it is called, opinion, criticism, praise, etc., I agree with everyone regardless how opposing the different opinions may be. I consider all opinions as true. This is how different people react to the same thing and this is the nature of things.

    Usually the creator wants the artwork to cause an intended reaction from all others but  because that is impossible, the best that can be done is to optimize the artwork for a certain audience which is not an easy task but at least outlines the possibilities.

     
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    Sep 22, 2013 3:07 PM   in reply to emil emil

    I would also add if you're goal was to get a bunch of "That's good. I like it." comments, the artwork would do better on your mom's refrigerator. No one ever improves by someone saying "I like it". All critism is constructive. If you are not a designer, you can't ask for "designer opinions" and expect them to all be favorable. If you brush off any negative comments, then you aren't really looking for any critism, you're only looking for praise.

     
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    Sep 22, 2013 4:05 PM   in reply to Jshea22

    So you disagree with me.... strictly praise is critism to you? Okay .

     
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