Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bugbones: A Cartoon Version

Making the Bugbones logo in Paint was time consuming and difficult, but I managed a simple Bugbones cartoon. I still wasn't happy, comparing it to other cartoon icons that I saw on-line. The curves were jagged, the colors were harsh and flat. The little Webmonkey was simple but fairly elegant! I knew that a fancy image editor could do the trick, but I was in that all-too-familiar catch-22. My basic image editor couldn't handle the job, but I could not afford to buy the fancy stuff at Office Depot. Believe me, I drooled over versions of Corel and PhotoShop. Then I discovered freeware.

Scrapping the Fossil Logo

One of the scanned thumbnails of my Bugbones banner idea looked promising. It had picked up the most subtle lines of the gesture drawing. Unfortunately, it had also picked up the background as an opaque off-white. Every line, wrinkle, and stray mark was represented. Dropping in the colors proved problematic. Erasing the white made big gaps. Windows Paint was my image editor and it seemed pretty primitive. I didn't know anything about graphical settings. The pixels were large, producing coarse, awkward images. I was confused by the differences in pixels from one format to another. In photographs, the colors seemed subtle enough. They could be edited pixel by pixel, too, but saving the files caused unwanted compression. File types were limited in those early versions of Paint. It was good for basic forms, cartoons, and outlines. That seemed to fit with what I was beginning to read in Webmonkey tutorials. Webmonkey advised that subtle pinks, creams and beiges wouldn't do the job. These were not "web-safe" colors. Logos and headers should be simple, cartoony, and composed using the limited 256-color web-safe palette. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know how to expand the 12-color basic palette provided by Paint to 256 colors then. If that early version of Paint allowed palette editing, I didn't know how to do it. Thinking back on it, it was pretty naive of me to think I could create that original fossil-inspired logo in Paint, considering the complexity of my design. It would have been better to paint it in gouache or acrylics and scan the final image. As it turned out, Webmonkey convinced me to go cartoony.

Oh, the perils of Bugbones.