It would appear Starbucks is more than just a coffee shop

Recently, I was sitting at a Starbucks working on an essay. Stuck for a topic,  I was starring off into space, or actually at my Starbucks cup. As I wandered further and further away from my essay topic, I began to wonder how the Starbucks logo came into play, and why, even though it is so basic and simple, it works so well.


I decided to pull out the C-R-A-P principles out of my back pocket and investigate.


First of all, the contrast is clear. It is a green and black logo, with a white background. The green and black are very deep, dark colors, and the white is a stark white.


Repetition is also involved in the logo design, as the hair on the lady and the lines surrounding her are all similar and repetitive.


Alignment is used well here, as everything is symmetrical.


Finally, proximity is included as everything inside the logo is very close together, especially how the logo itself is small.


I also wondered a bit about the history of the Starbucks logo, and here is what I found according to


“The Symbol Is Used For: A classy-looking figure to put on the coffee chain’s sign and cups. But the Symbol Actually Means: Obsession, addiction and death.

If you’re familiar with the Starbucks logo, it’s probably because, statistically, you are inside a Starbucks right now. If you’re not familiar with Starbucks, that’s because you’re a hypothetical person created just so we could give this paragraph a satisfying structure.

Either way, you may not have realized that the woman in their green label with the perky breasts and weird twin-fishtail deal going on is a siren from Greek mythology.”


I found that pretty interesting. And seeing how those who do enjoy coffee, Starbucks in particular, seem addicted to say the least, their logo is working for their company for a lot of difference reasons.  



Life of Photoshop

Recently, I watched the movie Life of Pi. Not paying much attention to movie awards or critic’s reviews, for the most part, I log onto Empire Theatres’ website and see what movies catch my eye. Of course, when I saw the Life of Pi poster, it truly did grab my attention. For one, the colors in the advertisement were beautiful. They were bright and vibrant, yet they had some pastel colors incorporated, which made for an excellent contrast. Two, it looked real. I am not sure if they really took the picture for the movie poster with the tiger sitting in the small row boat with the boy or not (I’m guessing not haha ), however for me, as edited or Photoshopped as the image would be, it looked flawless.


This made the poster seem that much more realistic to me. If there had been bad Photoshop smudging or a bad cut from too much of the eraser tool, the entire poster would have been different.


And as simple as it sounds to just “not mess up” in Photoshop, especially considering these people making the images/designs are professionals, as we’ve all come to realize, everyday in magazines and advertisements, there are huge Photoshop/editing mistakes made.


So, I want to thank the professionals working on the Life of Pi posters/designs, as you’ve obviously done your job extremely well.


And I was glad I was able to pick up on some of the tools on an editing program that could have been used, and see the potential they have to make or break the look of the images I see everyday.





Shannon Kerr

The difference between Photoshop and InDesign

I have always wondered what the difference between Photoshop and InDesign was. Since I knew little to nothing about both, I felt like they were practically identical, and both extremely hard to use.  However, in recent weeks, since I began using both programs more and more for class, I inquired what exactly differentiates the two. After someone explained to me that they are both in fact owned by the same company, Adobe Systems, here is what some classmates had to say that explained the differences pretty well for me:


-Photoshop can make vector images.

-Photoshop can be used for editing pixel-based images

-Photoshop can be a graphics editor


 -InDesign can be used for editing and also considered a graphics editor

-InDesign can organize text/images

-InDesign can design layouts (useful for newsletters/ magazine pages)


They also explained that it is likely as a graphic designer, you would use Photoshop to edit a picture, and then use InDesign to create the whole layout. Sort of like Photoshop is the tile you are designing, and InDesign is the concrete floor you are laying it on with other things such as nails, glue, etc.

 (That comparison was a bit of a stretch, I know).

Anyways, I hope that clears up any questions about the differences between the two. And thanks to the folks who helped me become a better carpenter.


-Shannon Kerr

The Improvements with Photoshop

Photoshop and I haven’t always had the best relationship. Always struggling with the tools and tricks, I thought it was never going to get better. However, after completing the creative brief and design it forced me to learn the ways of Photoshop, and become somewhat better with my creative design side. I started out not knowing the eye dropper tool from the polygonal lasso tool, however, after working for hours on the projects that we’ve completed, I am finally able to say I have found my way around the tools panel. I even started using different ones like the ellipses tool and the selections tools. It is safe to say I am not going to be a pro anytime soon, but having the extra bit of confidence going into my first co-op work term knowing that if someone asked me to make a simple design concept  I could do it, really helps.


Since I have been feeling more comfortable around Photoshop, I was even able to use it to complete other projects for different courses. Which, before this class, I would have thrown something together on paint.  


I look forward to improving my skills even more, and luckily some classmates even let me in on the secret of YouTube tutorials. I have been watching them ever since, learning some cools shortcuts and more. For anyone who has yet to check ‘em out, I encourage you to go now!


–       Shannon Kerr

Karl Lagerfeld can afford a great photographer

This picture is an image I found on the Karl Lagerfeld site. It is a really great photo, and it displays multiple of the CRAP principles.


Contrast- There is plenty of contrast in this image with the white and black alone. However, to add to it, there is a splash of aqua in the center of the photo. This really draws the eye to the middle.


Repetition- There is also lots of repetition in this photo, as we see the same shelves and what looks like similar shoes all the way across the photo.


Alignment- The alignment of this photo is great. They use the lines to direct your vision towards the center. They also have the lines in a straight fashion.


Proximity- The proximity principle is displayed in this photo as you feel as if the room is huge looking at the picture, yet the center of attention (the aqua colored ad) seems to be just a big as the room.


This is a great picture. It is very modern, and clean. I really liked how discreetly they drew your attention to the advertisement within the advertisement.   




Long Exposure Photography (Photo Credit: Gillian Graves)

This photo is another one that I found extremely cool. A friend of mine, Gillian Graves, took this picture using the long exposure mode on her camera. It is in fact called long exposure photography. In order to achieve this look, you must take the picture during the nighttime. What you’ll need to take this is:


-A camera with a long exposure mode


-A model, or however models of your choice

-A helper (this person will use the sparkler to outline your model)


One you have your camera set up on a tripod, light the sparkler, and count your helper in. Press the capture button, and get your helper to outline the silhouette of the model. Once the picture is finished taking, you will have your end result. It sometimes takes quite a few tries to get it right… but apparently some mistakes turn out better than the original plan! 



Awesome Photograph






When I was browsing through some pictures online, this image immediately caught my attention. I’ve never seen something quite like it before. Just a winding road but with its oh so many bright, neon lights lining the road, it really takes your eye along on the trip with it.


I then analyzed it with the CRAP principles. Contrast is definitely a factor. The dark dark back drop and hills, make for the perfect contrast with the neon lights. Repetition is somewhat there, the lines repeat horizontally. Alignment is also used well here, the way the lines on the road are outlined, it allows your eye to carry along with the layout of the road. Finally, the proximity principle is also in effect, as the closer the road is to the camera, the bigger it seems, and the lights in the far off distant seem miles away.


This photo is extremely well done. It truly must have taken a great photographer to take this. It caught my eye, and is now also the background on my computer. If that doesn’t say catchy, I don’t know what does.  




Fall Leaves

After looking around my room, I realized that to my surprise, I had unintentionally taken some pictures a few years ago that featured some elements of the images were studying now.


My dog Angus is a 9-year-old west highland white terrier. He is an all white dog, (when he’s not busy running around in the mud), and his eyes and nose which are black, really meet the eye.


One picture in particular I noticed was taken in my backyard a few years back during the Fall when I was out raking the leaves. Angus was running around and when I looked back he was buried in a pile starring at me.


I grabbed my camera, and snapped a quick picture.


Years later, now that were analyzing pictures, I started to realized that this one picture really had some nice contrast. Angus, my all white dog, is featured in a pile of fall colors such as orange, burgundy, and yellow. The contrast makes him the focal point of the picture.


Also, instead of using rule of thirds, considering I would have no idea what that was 5 years ago, I just made his head the center of the picture, which I think actually worked for this image in particular.