Things, things, I got things.
I don’t always have the luxury of time when I’m doing what I do. Sometimes I have to go for something fast, cheap and easy. This doesn’t always equal bad; sometimes it even yields some non-excremental results.
F’rinstance, it was only the other day, when I got an emailed copy of our own press release, that I realized we had a cancer awareness expo coming up, and there was no collateral material for it. No flyers, no ads, nothing. D’, as they say, oh.
I didn’t have a lot of time to lay hands on an image for it; initially I was toying with the idea of getting a group shot of various people having what appeared to be a happy, somewhat comfortable conversation, taking the saturation way down and dropping a pink ribbon on one of them (at 100% sat) to emphasize the hidden-yet-common nature of cancer.
Unfortunately (or perhaps not), no such stock images really jumped out at me. I was thinking then of using silhouettes, but that didn’t grab me either, when I saw a pretty strong graphic that got my attention. It was just a pair of silhouetted cut-out dolls. They weren’t rendered in a way I could use, do I did my own.
In addition to being pretty damn simple, the ad is cheap. The ribbon is all magenta, so it’s actually only two colors.
Of course there are times when I do have a while to work on something. I like those times better because I can do thumbnails, for instance, sketching out the idea and getting it set up in my head before I start working on it.
One of the things we offer that doesn’t get as much notice as we’d like is rehabilitation services. We have acute, chronic and cardiac rehab options available, but not everyone knows about it, and some people are being sent to Las Vegas (90 miles away) or even Phoenix (180 miles), several times a week, for rehab they could have right here.
For this one I definitely had the image in my head before I took it; I didn’t even bother to look for a stock shot. There was no way there was a stock photo that matched what I had in mind. I just borrowed a pair of crutches and hit the road.
I even knew the approximate setting for the photograph. When I lived downtown I rode my bike to work fairly regularly, along a back road that was lightly-traveled and quite hilly. I became fairly familiar with the route and landscape, and went back to it for this image.
If you look at the larger version of this ad, you might notice a little darkening around the text as it appears over the road surface. This is a cheap InDesign trick that I use from time to time to help text stand out against a busy background, or one that to my eye doesn’t provide enough contrast. All I do is add a drop shadow with no offset, a fairly large blur (sometimes up to .25″) and about 10% spread. That makes a halo around the words, and helps them pop a little without it being too obvious.
Funnily enough, there are still some stretches of Highway 93, the route to Vegas, that look a little like this. Though usually they’re crutch-free.
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