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Design Elements, 2nd Edition: Understanding the rules and knowing when to break them - Updated and Expanded Paperback – May 21, 2014
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From the Publisher
Limited Palettes in Photographic Images
Photographic images or illustrations with varied tonality are excellent material with which to explore ink coloration: An image might be printed in one, two, three, or more spot colors, with different portions of the image’s tonal range acted upon by the inks at different levels. Such options give the designer an opportunity to customize images for a client, enrich the dialogue of color among images, type, and other graphic elements, and to bring images into closer visual alignment with brand-related color messages. Even when full-color photography is not only available as an option, but desirable, limiting the palette within the imagery will help it integrate with the palette applied to nonphotographic forms and typography— such limitation can help focus attention on the most important components of the image’s subject or emphasize important details. If the designer is lucky enough to have a budget that allows for commissioning original photography, he or she may art direct the photographer’s use of lighting, props, backgrounds, and isolation of content in the frame to control the image’s palette. A second option is to manipulate a photograph’s native color using software to accomplish the same goal—for example, saturating the yellow components of an important subject in the foreground and, subsequently, adjusting the color balance in surrounding areas to become cooler, even more violet, overall (skewing the tonality toward the yellow subject’s complement, perhaps); the designer might further desaturate some features, or diminish their value contrast, to further emphasize the subject focus. That said, a designer may opt to completely change the color balance within a photograph for conceptual or formal effect: Who is to say that a photographic image must present the empirical (naturalistic) color as it appeared in nature? If the information the viewer needs from the subject doesn’t depend on naturalistic color, radically altering the color of photographic images can accomplish a great deal.
About the Author
Timothy Samara is a graphic designer based in New York City, where he divides his time between teaching, writing, lecturing, and freelance consulting through STIM Visual Communication. His 18-year career in branding and information design has explored projects in print, packaging, environments, user interface design, and animation. He has been a senior art director at Ruder Finn, New York's largest public relations firm, and senior art director at Pettistudio, a small multidisciplinary design firm. Before relocating to Manhattan, he was principal of Physiologic in Syracuse, located in upstate New York. In 1990, he graduated a Trustee Scholar from the Graphic Design program at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Mr. Samara is a faculty member at New York's School of Visual Arts, New York University, Purchase College/SUNY, and The New School, and has published six books on design and typography, all through Rockport Publishers: Making and Breaking the Grid; Typography Workbook; Publication Design Workbook; Type Style Finder; Design Elements; and, most recently, Design Evolution, released in January 2008. Mr. Samara and his partner live in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
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