A Description of Some Graphic Design Products

Graphic communication media such as calendars, postage stamps, pennants, buntings and flags are utilised in our daily activities as a people, society or nation. It is now a popular feature of ceremonies and events like weddings, festivals, Independence Day and others to design calendars, buntings to mark the occasion or event. Thus, graphic artists need to know how these products are like in the realms of art so that it will ease their pain when such a project is assigned or offered to them by instructors and clients.

Calendar

A calendar is a well designed one-page or multiple paged paper pieces used to organize days for societal use. It usually has a chart showing a year divided into months, weeks and days.
Various institutions and associations have designed their own calendars which are mostly given to clients and other members of the general public as a way of broadcasting the activities of the institution. Calendars of this nature bear the name of the company, the logo and the popular trademark of the company. The arrangements of the months should be sequenced so that gleaning of information from it will be very easy. The colours used should be harmonious and the typography style must be legible. If an illustration couples the text, it shouldn’t be distractive neither should it be ambiguous. It must be descriptive of the activities of the company.

Postage Stamp

This is a carefully designed paper piece usually in small dimension that is affixed on a letter or document to be mailed as a proof of payment of the mail. The amount or fee is inscribed on it as well as the country of origin. Mostly, there are illustrations on postage stamps that depict the culture of the country of origin. For instance, a postage stamp from Ghana may depict pictures of interesting sites in Ghana such as the independence square, national flag, Kakum national park, picture of the present and past presidents, abundant natural resources in the country etc. The backs of postage stamps are glued so that it can be affixed on letters.

Pennants
It is a miniature flag usually shaped like a triangle or pentagon with designed text, logo, emblem or symbol of a group or association. They have several functions such as identification, decoration, signaling, education and advertising. It is usually exchanged as a sign of greeting or as a sign of goodwill. It is offered to people as a souvenir item.

Buntings

These are colourful small flags joined together with a string and hanged along streets during festive occasions or hanged along the interiors of church buildings during festive occasions such as Christmas, Easter, and Weddings etc. The colours of the flags must symbolically agree with the event. Sometimes, artists cleverly choose colours that harmonizes with the attire the couple holding the wedding feast would wear. This implies that, artists who are offered such projects must carefully think through and design the buntings so that the general appearance will be suitable for the occasion.

Flags

This is a decorative cloth with special colours, emblems or logos peculiar to a group, association, religious or political denomination or nation. The choice of colours, symbols or emblems do have symbolic or philosophical meanings that are linked to the ideologies, beliefs and values of the group, association or country.

Why Image Masking Is Necessary

In Post-processing, it is nearly impossible for a designer to avoid using the image masking features and methods. Image masking opens up a new window of endless editing effects and a dedicated designer is bent on taking every single opportunity.

Sound knowledge about these options and functions will ensure a satisfying end result. Now to address the question at hand:

Non-Destructive: As opposed to erasing a background using the Eraser Tool, masking technique does not obliterate the image details. They are cleverly hidden below various layers so that they can help us out in case we need to make changes. On the contrary, the Eraser tool permanently deletes these pixels and it is close to impossible to bring those back in case a tweaking is required.

Transitions: The basic or simplest function of image masking technique is to have a “hide and seek” effect in some areas of the photo. This transitioning effect can be created using brushes and gradients for soft masking. This requires delicate strokes and soft brushes. This transparency of pictures can be controlled. The opacity level can be adjusted to suit the photo and its background. This is not the only technique for achieving this effect, but it is the simplest.

Editing Specific Areas: Many times we are faced with projects where we need to edit a small portion of the photo; such as, changing the color of someone’s clothes in a photo and fixing shadow/light issues. You can use masking techniques to highlight the portion and edit it as you wish e.g. color correction, brightness, contrast, exposure, shadows etc.

Removing / Replacing Background of Translucent Objects: Masking is an easy option when it comes to removing backgrounds of translucent objects. Any object with any level of transparency can be isolated from its background by careful masking. Even in cases of semi-transparent clothes’ photos, this technique can be applied.

Single Advantage of Clipping Mask: Clipping mask, when compared to Layer Mask, has the advantage of making different areas visible by simply moving the clipped image. It can be determined by the user which part of the background they want to be visible and which part they don’t by using clipping mask. Other than this one advantage, regular layer masking is more than good enough for most masking work.

Creating Collage Photos: Collage images are fun and it is even more interesting when you play with the masking tools while making a collage. Interesting and cool effects can be made by using a number of pictures and masking them. Soft brushes in varying gradients and hues of gray will definitely make these blending smooth.