Tickling the Ivory

Photoshop. Magic. Same thing.

In this unit of my visual media class, our focus is learning the wizardry skills that allow people to blend two or more photos into one outstanding picture. Like this one:

This is one of my favorite Trek University promotional ads, and it’s hard to believe this is not an actual picture. Because why wouldn’t a Project One bicycle be one of Smaug’s greatest treasures?

In order to learn Photoshop, we were tasked with creating an advertisement that blended two or more photographs together. It had to include a logo, a tag line, symbolism, and a call to action. We used a random generator to select a product with an accompanying market. I confess that I clicked the generator repeatedly until my assignment made sense. (I refused to work on an ad for high school boys in a relationship making $90,000 a year. It just felt icky).

I settled for marketing bar soap to single women aged 55-64, with a master’s degree or doctorate level education. They make $60,000 to $89,000 a year, are in a relationship, watch television, use social media, and inspire me. Maybe I’ll be making that much money when I’m a couple years older. Who knows?

The first step was to brainstorm and submit three sketches of possible advertisements.  My main inspiration was a scrapbook page I made of my kids:

This is the power of soap. It erases dirt. It’s a reset button. It allows you to start over. The women in my target audience could be mothers, or likely grandmothers, that could let their kids have fun getting dirty, because they have soap as a resource. The “start over” concept made me think of a Monopoly game, with the “pass go/collect $200” space. I would substitute a bar of soap for the playing piece and write a clever tag line.

One difficult part was finding the pictures I had in mind in the non-copyrighted public domain. I wasn’t even sure if I could use a picture of brand name soap on its own website, so I searched long and hard on free media sites gathering the supplies I’d need for my ad.

: iirraa via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND
Bill Selak via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

Here’s the rough draft, after working a little magic:

After posting this I received great feedback from my instructor and classmates. I was trying to match the typography to the soap name and the Monopoly board, but that was unnecessary. I looked on dafont.com for a trendy new font and chose Sun Valley. I wanted a cleaner overall look so that the soap really jumped out, and ended up fading the background and changing the color of the font. I worked with a tutor to organize my layers and a few other finishing touches. Here’s my final draft:

I’m very pleased with my result. In fact, I may just go out and buy me some Ivory soap!



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