Drawing an alphabet – ‘b’
Initial idea: dry brush and ink
I scrawled this with a brush, scanned it and then traced it in a graphics programme. (There is software available to do this automatically. I am idiot. It took ages.)
Skeuomorphia – something designed to look like something else
Skeuomorphia is where one material is made to look like another. It’s used to describe an image on a screen that’s meant to look like something ‘real’. It’s no longer fashionable but you’ve probably seen a software calculator (on a computer or phone) that looks like a real calculator, with 3D effect buttons (that might appear to move when you press them) and a pretend LCD screen. That’s skeuomorphia.
This ‘b’ is only a bit skeuomorphic
This ‘b’ is a digital image that’s pretending to be an image drawn with a dryish brush and ink. If you printed it out, the difference between what it is and what it’s meant to look like would be very small.
Designer don’t like skeuomorphia
There are several reasons why skeuomorphia has fallen out of favour. Designers don’t like the fakery and decoration. It made screens more confusing. It took up useful screen space. The pixels used to show a 3D effect on buttons on a calculator could be used instead to create bigger buttons that are easier to read and press.
…but it has its uses.
There are some advantages to skeuomorphia. If you’re supposed to press something on your smart phone it helps if it looks like something you’re supposed to press. It’s easier to understand something if it looks (and works) like something you know already.
Scaling problems – bad for logos
This original for this ‘b’ is a vector image, which means I can enlarge it without it becoming blurry and pixelated (see image below). That’s something you might want your logo to do. Trouble is, the brush effect replicates a ‘b’ that is 2″ tall and painted with a small brush. Blow this up to 18″ tall for a sign an it looks unnatural and distracting. You notice the individual odd shapes and blobs that make up the effect.
I can also shrink the image but the detail will disappear as it becomes too small for a screen to display or printer to print.
This problem of scalability is why I would be reluctant to use text with this sort of effect for a logo.
This is part of a project to draw the letters of the alphabet in different styles.
Letters into logos
It wasn’t the original intent but the potential was obviously there – I’ve turned some of the letters into logos and branding. I’ve had to invent companies to match the logos, which is not the usual order of things.