August '21

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 57 of 102

G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 A U G U S T G R A P H I C S P R O 5 3 INFERIORITY COMPLEX "In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dan- gerous." I don't know why, but whenever I read Robert Green Ingersoll's (renown orator, writer, and lecturer of the 19th century) quote, I think of clip art — or as it is known by its other sobriquets: stock art; royalty- free photos; online art, pre-made, digi- tally available, easy-to-use without much thought; processed … Maybe I don't really loathe it, but in most circumstances, it is the easy way out. "But everything has its place and use!" scream the hoi polloi. Certainly, that is without question. The occasional spot il- lustration, a dingbat or embellishment to supplement a typographic treatment, is fine. But when your entire body of work is lit- tered with images (or the type of photos/ art) we've all seen before, where is the equity and investment in your product, for your clientele, or for yourself? Step outside of your comfort zone. Too many times a great concept for an ad piece, vehicle wrap, or environmental graphic is foiled and diminished by mediocrity. Think about two or three of the strongest, most memorable visuals in marketing/advertising/ graphics you can recall. What was it about the advertisement, promo- tion, or visual that you remember? More often than not, it was the sheer, simple brilliance of the image. Presentations that can be recalled at will almost never use conventional, tired images. The decision to use photography or illus- trative art is purely a matter of subjectivity. Though remember: Some pieces are beg- ging for art or illustration, while others are the candidate for only photography. Think of the demographic and the target audience. Are you designing pieces for a pediatric clinic that specializes in healthcare for pre- teens? Fun, bright illustration may be just what the doctor ordered. Conversely, a proj- ect that is for a noted construction firm may be better suited with pro-level photography of their past work. Using photos and art in concert together can also bridge ideas and provide juxtaposition. Avoid clichés and mediocrity. Be original. Go for an iconic look with original photogra- phy or illustration and put on that proverbial smiley face. GP MATT TOUCHARD won his first art contest at age 8. Since 1984, his design work has collected accolades across nine countries. Splitting time between New Orleans and Switzerland, Matt's in final production of a massive guitar book for the most important client of his career: himself. To talk guitars or vegan recipes, email

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of GRAPHICS PRO - August '21