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Vol. 2 No.

1 1991

TM

HOW TO DRAW THE STEELY LOOK


OF BRUSHED METAL
HOW TO DESIGN A FLYER THAT
SELLS A PRODUCT
NEW HOT LOOKS! LINES, CIRCLES,
SQUIGGLES AND DOTS ENERGIZE
ALMOST ANY DESIGN!
HOW TO MAKE A TRANSPARENT
BACKGROUND SHADOW
MUCH MORE, AS USUAL!

Illustration by Andy Markley

W
L .G
LE INK ER
FT SH MA
HA AN N
ND D Y
ED

How to design cool stuff

THE MAILBOX

THATS A MOIR!

Just received Vol. 1, No. 6 today and appreciate it exceedingly. However, in the
article titled How do you say Peignot?,
why didnt you mention the famous song
by Tony Bennett and other artists:
When the screens go awry,
And the plaid hits the eye,
Thats a moir . . .
Carl Parsons
Greensboro, NC
I loved your type pronunciation guide
now I dont have to mumble when I say
Benguiatbut you left out Goudy!
John Sisemore
Minneapolis, MN
Frederic Goudy, who created such faces
as Goudy Oldstyle and Copperplate
Gothic, pronounced his name GOW-dee.
READERS FIRST

My agency is doing a promotional news-

letter. In it, well talk about our desktop


publishing capabilities and other noteworthy things about our business. What
should we look for in a design? Does one
kind of design offer more for our efforts?
Donna Merrill
Terre Haute, IN
Stop!
Before you even think about design,
understand that an unsolicited newsletter which does not address itself directly
to the recipients interests for the recipients (obvious) benet will not be read,
no matter how it looks.
First things rst: To interest others
in your business, you must rst be (very)
interested in theirs. Who are they? What
do they need? What do they care about?
If youre serious about this, youll nd its
the nature of your readers business, not
yours, that determines the tone, style
and content of your newsletter.
(This is an all-or-nothing proposition,
too: Add real value to the readers business and youll earn respect [and author-

ity]and progress toward a new client.


Indulge in self-absorbed chit-chat and the
time you waste will be your own.)
Then you can think about design.
The best design is one which imparts
the same visual energy and excitement as
the words.
But thats for later; get the heart and
soul rst; then youll have something to
work with.
COLOR IN A BLACK-AND-WHITE WORLD

I love Before & After but you publish so


much color stuff! How about some articles for us little people working in black
and white?
Bruce Johnston
Hot Springs, AR
I publish in color for vibrancy and clarity.
However, except for the articles specically about color (there have been two),
the artwork in Before & After is completely at home in black and whitejust
substitute shades of gray for the colors!

FREEHAND STEP-BY-STEP

Text and illustrations by Andy Markley

This rich-looking, versatile effect simulates


the sheen of brushed metal; I thought of it, in
fact, while cooking pasta and looking at the
surface of my stainless steel range. Use
FreeHands graduated lls and Paste inside
functions to master it easily:

1. DRAW THE FOUNDATION


Open FreeHand and turn on Snap
to grid. Atop the object you wish
to ll, draw several rectangles of
different widths that touch each
other but do not overlap. Save.

Mr. Markley lives on a farm in Elizabeth, Indiana and works as a free-lance designer, illustrator and consultant for clients from San Francisco to Brussels. He
handles much of his work via fax and modemjust me, the farm and an uplink, says he. He faxed his scissors unsolicited; next day they were on our cover.

TM

THE INDISCERNIBLE DIFFERENCES

It seems to my amateur eyes that the


distinctions between some typefaces are
so slight it could make no practical difference which one is used. Do you agree, or
am I missing something important?
Lorraine Jarvis
Lima, OH
I agree. I once asked a cabinetmaker to
make a laminated countertop white. I

I mean, were talking subtle.


Is one of these classic typefaces more inuential in a shopping decision? No more than that
necktie or those earrings youre wearing.

Ti Ti Ti
Ti Ti Ti
CASLON 540

JANSON TEXT

ADOBE GARAMOND

SABON

BEMBO

GALLIARD

was astonished to be presented with two


dozen choices of white! Types like that.
TWO COLORS? YOU SURE?

Ive just become editor of the newsletter


for our ofce employees. I think it can be
improved; Im considering a budget increase for two-color printing. What other
tips can you suggest?
Carla Orinda
Azusa, CA
I dont think two-color printing is a good
way to spend in-house money; the extra
ink can seem to employees like an expensive frill. Unless your company is sharing
its loot, its better to look like business.
Stick to black and white, or black on
an attractive, textured paper. Publish
pictures of everyonetheyll go farther
than any design. Spell names correctly.
Publish information that cannot be found
on the ofce grapevine. And stay attuned
to the response. Many newsletters are
being published unnecessarily.

HOT STUDENTS

I teach at a local community college and


my students are avid desktop publishers,
even though they use older equipment.
The designs these kids turn out are
very impressivebetter, in my opinion,
than a lot of professional work Ive seen.
This has given rise to rather vigorous debate: How does one dene professional?
Jerry Donovan
Los Angeles, CA
A professional designer is someone who
gets paid for it; it doesnt mean the work
is very good. As you see, enthusiasm,
perceptiveness, resilience and a playful
spirit go a long, long way.
To be fair, the professional faces hurdles that a student does not: He must collaborate with a real client in a real company with a real deadline for real money,
and it is the clients taste he must satisfy,
not his own. This affects the product.
THE MAILBOX includes letters, faxes and telephone

conversations. Address John McWade, Before & After, 331 J Street, Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95814.

White to 60% gray, angle 0

60% gray to White, angle 0

2. MAKE TWO GRADUATED FILLS


Graduate the rst from White to
60% gray, angle 0; name it Reect Up. Graduate the second
from 60% gray to White, angle
0; name it Reect Down.

3. MAKE THE METAL EFFECT


Fill your rectangles, left to right,
alternating between Reect Up
and Reect Down. When youve
lled them all, delete any outlines
you may have. Group and save.

4. ROTATE
Rotate the group (here, 45). Adjust its position atop your original
object, then Cut the group . . .

5. PASTE INSIDE
Select your original object and
Paste inside. Cool, huh? Try this
effect on a drop cap using FreeHand 3.0s new Convert to paths
type function: instant metal look
in any typeface! Also try using
other angles and process colors.

BEFORE & AFTER, HOW TO DESIGN COOL STUFF (ISSN 1049-0035), Vol. 2, No. 1, Feb. 1991. Before & After is a magazine of design and page layout for desktop publishers. It is published bimonthly by PageLab,
Inc., 331 J Street, Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95814-9671. Telephone 916-443-4890. Copyright 1991, PageLab, Inc. All rights reserved. Second-class postage paid at Sacramento, CA.
POSTMASTER: Send address change to: Before & After, How to design cool stuff, 331 J Street, Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95814-9671. Subscription rate: $36 per year (6 issues). Canadian subscribers
please add $4 and remit in U.S. funds; overseas subscribers please add $18. Back issues: $10 each. Bulk subscriptions: 510: $33 each; 1120, $30 each; 2135, $27 each; 36 or more, $24 each. Bulk
subscriptions will be entered under one name and mailed to a single address. The terms Before & After, How to design cool stuff, Xamplex and Type: The visible voice have trademarks pending.

TM

B&A
ADVERTISING
CLINIC

How to design a low-budget


yer that sells a product
Whether you spend a little or a lot, the key to an advertisement
that sells is simple: Keep all eyes on the product.

BEFORE Whats for sale here?

AFTER Focused on the product

LOOK FAMILIAR?
Whats for sale here? A gazebo? A more? Furniture? A rental? Its hard to
tell, isnt it? The problem with this yer isnt that its ugly (ugly ads can be
very effective salesmen, which drives designers nuts) but that the productthe item actually for saleis lost in the visual chatter. The retailer
scrupulously avoided hype and carefully provided his stores location,
phone number and even a map, but forgot that the product must come
rst! Once the reader decides he likes the product, hell nd your store.

r. Mortensen was late for the


home show, and busy. There
were trucks to rent, contracts
to sign, furniture to arrange.
The new lines hadnt arrived.
Was the yer done yet? At least the
yer would be easy: He had a beautiful
product, one location, a simple message;
what could go wrong?
Lots.
The common, throwaway yer is advertisings low man; it is most often used

to put an advertisers message on paper


when theres no time and no money.
But its allure can be quite deceptive.
Why? Because its so easy to think cheap
and miss whats obvious to others: that
basking on that rickety, ten-cent page is
nothing less than your companys expensive, irreplaceable image.
There is no assignment in graphic design
more discombobulating than the one to
create a coherent, appealing advertise-

ment. Nowhere else are so many different talents called for. Nowhere else are
words, pictures and purpose quite so interdependent. And nowhere else can the
results of your work be measured
(gulp)in cold cash.
Thats a serious challenge!
But nowhere else, either, will your
clear thinking, good planning and careful
work pay off so very tangibly!
What follows are the fundamentals
that every advertiser should know.

TM

IN REAL LIFE . . .
If you walked into Mr. Mortensens store, this is what youd see: a line of beautiful, berglass
furniture that looks like wicker.
Neat, isnt it? Surrounded by such nice stuff, its easy to understand how, in his minds
eye, Mr. Mortensens readers could see the product as clearly as he.
But to an ad designer, reality, incredibly, can be misleading! How? Because while you can
see and touch the product, the reader experiences nothing except whats on paper. Your goal,
therefore, is, through words, pictures and composition, to make your product speak for itself.

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL R. MARTINEZ FOR IMAGE OF WICKER, COOLIDGE, ARIZONA

Before you begin . . .

how obvious its qualities are to you (the


Joneses dont own everything!) and nothing shreds money faster than trying to
change their minds. The way to profits is
to lavish your attention on those who are
most likely to be interested.

action, which typically takes the form of


TALKING LOUDER or talkingfasterandcrowdingmorein. Maintain your poise.
Mr. Mortensens furniture is excellent;
we can sell that. A shopper isnt looking
for a store; hes looking for a product.

more heavily than our positives (its because were people). But comparing ourselves to others usually results in overre-

Be cool. Your audience is just like you


intelligent and preoccupied. Visualize a
business meeting: Dress well. Be prepared. Be clear. Make your point. Be
concise. Dont waste their time. Watch:

Advertising would be the same as any


other kind of design except for two especially distorting inuences: self-image (we tend to see ourselves while
shoppers see a product) and the money Maintain your poise. We share a troublesome tendency to weigh our negatives
at stake. It will pay to consider:
No one shops everywhere. Many people will never buy your product, no matter

TM

B&A ADVERTISING CLINIC

1. Start by setting a stage

If you think of your sheet of paper as a


stagelike a theater stageyoull be in
the right frame of mind. Why? Because
a good advertisement is theater: You intend to draw all eyes to your product.

Because our product was photographed


on a black background, the stage has
been darkened to match. This isnt necessary but I wanted a sense of drama,
and black is a zero-cost way to get it.

A hairline border frames the stage (think


of it as the curtain) and directs the readers eye inward. Such a border should
be subtle; a fat or bright border will draw
attention to itself, away from the stage.

2. Place your product


front and center
Place your product on the page in
the same way that youd show it off
to your friends at a backyard barbecue: Set it smack on the patio
where it can be seen and touched.
Picture your product clearly!
To do this properly, you need a photograph.
The factory is often able to furnish a good
picture (thats where this one came from);
call them. Failing that, you may hire a photographer who specializes in products
(check the Yellow Pages). (You may enjoy
attending a real photo shoot; a product
photographer is very skilled in lightinga
fascinating artand can usually bid a job
quite accurately.)
Remember, if a shopper cannot see
your product clearly, he will not buy it.

Help! In making an ad you are giving a public performance, and a vast audience can
be frightening (and destabilizing) to contemplate. You may nd it helpful to visualize
your best friends and imagine showing your product to them. Why? Because thats
just who we are!that faceless audience, really, is made of neighbors just like you
and me. (Complainers arent invited; your friends dont like them either.) A good sale
is a cheery, win-win transaction; think of your advertising in this way.

Below: It is tempting to play with


a design in an effort to add ones
unique signature. Resist! In product advertising, the product is
the show. Dont tilt the picture or distort it
in any way. Dont add rufes and ourishes.
Dont make it tiny, thinking a shopper would
prefer to read about it. And dont crop it like
an art poster; a shopper will ignore it (or
worse, believe you have something to hide).

No!

No!

TM

3. Add a headline . . .
Elucidate! Once your product is on
stage, add words to reveal detail and
nuance and direct the reader to virtues
or usesof the product that are not
evident just by looking at it.

Rule of thumb #1: A short headline is


preferable to a long one.
In oral conversation we yak on and on with
twenty words when one or two would do. As
listeners, however, we are bored quickly.
Shoppers want to like your product but they
cant tolerate much blather. English is a rich,
descriptive language; theres usually a perfect
word. Finding it will pay off.

Shoppers enjoy seeing and experiencing new


products. (We like to be thrilled, basically.)
Youll write your best headlines if you think of
your readers as eager listeners.
Think: What is the rst thing I would tell my
best friends about this product? I suggest you
begin with the feature you nd the most exciting. In this case, its that although the furniture
looks like wicker, it is actually made of durable
berglass. If your product is more ordinarya
screwdriver, perhaps, or a set of white bath
towelsthink: What do I like most about this
product? Why would I buy it? Explain that.

Rule of thumb #2: Avoid catchy slogans.


Why?
1) You wont be able to think one up.
2) If you do, it will be corny.
3) Slogans do not sell products. Would you
buy an Oldsmobile because its part of the
new generation? Silly. Youd buy an Olds because it looks good, its built well, its priced
right andespeciallyit suits your needs.

4. . . . then your text


As you write your text, bear in mind
that a shopper will read it ifbut only
ifthe product and its headline have
interested him sufciently. As you compose it, therefore, have condence that
this reader is interested. Keep your eye
on the product. Enrich his knowledge.
Add detail. Remind him of benets.
Suggest cool uses. Close with a call for
action; we tend to procrastinate.

Rule of thumb #3: Be kind.


It is the reader, not you, who is in the drivers
seat. No matter how big you are, nothing will
happen unless the reader wants it to happen
(youll be dismissed with the turn of a page).
Respect that. A proper advertisement is a dignied product presentation, not a stick-up.
It is an American fantasy to think a shopper
can be compelled to buy a product. As shoppers, we actually sell ourselves.

What typestyles?
Always appropriate: The classics
Understatementa classic mark of condence
allows the product to shine. Match headline
and text in a font designed for text (the headline should be kerned to tighten it). Some of
the best: Times, Century, Garamond, Caslon.

Not so good: Decoratives


Bauhaus is a heavily styled typefacepart of
a class called decorativeswhose vigorous
presence is a scene-stealer. This diverts the
reader from your product. Decoratives are better for posters than product ads.

Wicker beautiful.
Fiberglass strong.

WICKER BEAUTIFUL.
FIBERGLASS STRONG.

TIMES

TM

BAUHAUS HEAVY

Cool: Styles that express their words


Here, beautiful typestyles reect their words.
This technique is best in understatement; it
will fail if the connection is obvious (likeliest to
occur if the type is bold or very stylized). Remember, the goal is to reinforce the product.

SNELL ROUNDHAND, FUTURA HEAVY

B&A ADVERTISING CLINIC

5. Add your logo


Present yourself lastand small. Two
reasons: You are the last link in the sale
(remember, we shop for products, not
stores), and small says condent.
Right: If you lack a logo, a good alternative is
to set your name in a style matching (or similar
to) the headline. This low-key treatment makes
an implicit connection between the store and
this product and is most appropriate for those
businesses with narrow product lines: jewelers,
orists, specialty boutiques and so forth.
A logo (far right) sets a somewhat different
tone: It serves as a label and implies that this
product is one of a variety carried by the store.
Note how the nished yer is divided into
four, easily digested piecesheadline, photo,
text and store nameeach of which interact to
make a coherent, overall statement.

How to make a text-only logo


In a hurry? Heres a way to make a logo in PageMaker:

Gazebos & More!


Typed in Helvetica plain, the name looks . . . well . . . plain.

Kern tightly (letters almost touching); remove word spaces aside


ampersand; reverse type out of a box and it looks like an emblem!

Gazebos&More!

Before: A map
To Stockton
HWY. 99
made of sticks
W
This map is the kind
S
N
one would sketch
E
with a pencil. Biggest
ELK GROVE-FLORIN RD.
problem? Thin black Elk Grove
Park
x
lines, boxes and
large type all look
alike and clamor for attention; a reader
must spend time just disciphering the
symbols! Poor craftsmanship and inconsistent typesetting amplify the noise.

ENT

AM

TO

ON

CKT

STO

Stacking the type produces


a compact look which will t
readily into more layouts.
Note that type leading
the space between lines
is extremely tight.

ELK GROVEFLORIN RD

After: Gray background, white streets


This way is betterand
N
easier. Rotate north up.
ELK GROVE BLVD
Make background 50%
gray; set movement corridors in white and build99
ings in blackthis creates high visual contrast
between where youre
going and how you get
there. Fat streets could
be traveled on: Typeset
names in uppercase (why? no ascenders or descenders) within
them; streets and their names now function as single units.
And delete Elk Grove Park; except in extreme cases, the only
point on a simple map should be the destination. If not for the
angled type, this map could be built in PageMaker.
ACR

Gazebos
&More!

To Sacramento

S
TO

Changing the typeface to American Typewriter (note elaborate


ampersand) adds zestappropriate for a breezy, summer store.

A map is an underused asset. Especially thoughtful


of shoppers are maps of labyrinthine parking garages, one-way streets, off-the-beaten-path entryways, things like that. In Mr. Mortensens case, just
nding his small store calls for a map:
Elk Grove Blvd.

Gazebos&More!

Can they nd you?

Another option: Take advantage


of the computers ability to generate shades of gray. Type is now
bolder; note how ampersand remains a high-contrast focal point.

Gazebos
&More!

TM

HOT

LOOKS!
By Susan Hull

Lines, circles,
squiggles and
dots!
Todays most vibrant look is
everywhere, energizing
brochures, stationery, logos,
even report covers! Heres
how to make it.

By Susan HullWhat makes a place


special and memorable? In Venice, it is
the texture and color of crumbling walls,
the quality of the light reecting off the
water and the buildings, smells of food
cooking and the beautiful sound of the
language. It is your
emotional response
to these things.
What makes
your designs special
and memorable are
not just making the
pieces of the puzzle
the correct size and
S
E
in proper relationship to one another.
SPA
Its also about imbuing these designs

with their own sense of placea look, a


feel, an emotion. The look to some extent
controls someones perceptions of your
design. And it can make your communication more memorable.
You can give something a look based
on a specic time from the
past, like the 1950s; a specic
place, perhaps Paris; an art
movement, such as Art Deco,
or even a certain emotion.
The look on these pages
is more of an emotional, contemporary statement, even
though its roots are in the past
A
(which is probably true of everything). This look is friendly,
approachable, upbeat, positive,
vibrant, playful and engaging.

Golf

Time for you to join


with
the
best

Todays hippest look is especially wellsuited to the computer: Basic geometric


shapes are combined with easy-to-mix
colors and sent directly to a lm output
device (I use a Linotronic) for color separation. In caveman times, such a job
required stacks of colored felt pens (a
lot like kindergarten), hours of tedious
overlay- and mask-cutting, and expensive, pre-press stripping. With luck, it
would come out right the rst time.

TM

IVING LIGHT

2
9

HOT

LOOKS!

From a few shapes and colors, you can mix and match a docum
o begin, you rst need
a visual vernacular
a series of colors and
shapes that can be
combined in a relatively innite way. Ive included two
color palettes of differing intensities. They can be combined, but for the time being
contain your designs to one
palette or the other. Palette
A is made up of more primary, intense colors. Palette
B is a series of bright pastels.

Right: PMS numbers refer to the


Pantone matching system, which
youll nd in both PageMaker and
FreeHand color dialogs. Colors
shown are simulations only
theyre what you get when you ask
the software to convert Pantone
specs to process colors: Some are
quite accurate; others are not so.
For the real McCoys, consult
a Pantone swatch book.

Palette A Primary, intense colors

Assorted shapes!

PMS 123

PMS 137

PMS 165

PMS 185

PMS 239

PMS Purple

PMS 2665

PMS 286

PMS 3135

PMS 3272

PMS Green

PMS 354

1
Choose a background
color
First, choose a color to be the main
background color (for now, stay
with one palette or the other; these
examples are from palette A).

2
Choose a shape
Choose one of the shapes and
another of the colors and layer this
shape on top of your background
color. You might consider this your
secondary shape; it will need to be
large enough to dominate anything
added to your piece afterwards.

10

TM

ment for almost any occasion . . .


Palette B Bright pastels

PMS 135

PMS 150

PMS 164

PMS 184

PMS 211

PMS 245

PMS 2567

PMS 272

PMS 2995

PMS 3125

PMS 3262

PMS 3395

3
Add a second shape
Next you may want to add texture
in the form of smaller bits and
piecesa checked border, a wavy
line, a grid of squares, a series of
dots. That may be enough; you dont
want the design to be too busy.

4
Add the words

BankOne

Last, you need to add type. Try


using condensed faces such as
Futura, Helvetica or Univers Bold
and Light Condensed or Bauer
Bodoni Bold Condensed. The condensed type conveys a certain tension or intensity because of its
compressed design.

E L E C T R O N I C S

ANNIES
SIDEWALK
CAFE

FRANKLIN GOTHIC HEAVY / COCHIN

TM

CROLL

Trust Accounts

FUTURA CONDENSED LIGHT

BAUER BODONI BOLD CONDENSED

11

HOT

LOOKS!
How to make a wave:

1. Open FreeHand. Turn on Snap to grid. Space ruler guides evenly as shown . . .

1
3

ANNIES
SIDEWALK
CAFE

2. Select the Curve tool:


3. Click from corner to corner:

Click!
Start here Click!

Dont forget the


black & white!
Mix a palette of nine
shades (10%90%
black in 10% increments) and blend
them freely for
depth and stylishness on the cheap!

10%

Click!
Click!

Click!
Click!

Click!
Click!

Click!
Click!

Cowabunga!

How to space dots evenly around a circle:


There are several ways to do this. This is my favorite:

1. Crisscross two ruler guides anywhere. Turn


on Snap to guides; press option + shift
keys to draw a circle from the center out.

2. Draw and color a dot (a lled circle) top dead center.


Clone. While the clone is still active . . .

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

3. Position your cursor in the center of the circle, press


the option key and click. In the dialog box, enter any
anglehere, its 20 (for degrees counterclockwise).
Check Mouse location. Click OK. (Note: For a full
circle like this one, make sure your number divides
evenly into 360.)

80%

90%

4. Duplicate (command D) for as many dots as


you want. Delete the circle; Group the dots.

Black

12

TM

FREEHAND STEP-BY-STEP

How to make two-tone


type atop a shape
TYPE: THE VISIBLE VOICE

Are you sure you want to squeeze or


stretch that type?

Readers Lisa Pike and Ester Prez


write: We use FreeHand and want to
place text over a shaded shape. We
want the text to be white within the
shape and black outside the shape.
Is this possible?
Sure!
Set your word atop a shape . . .

Owie.
By Richard Moore The design and
creation of a typeface is a centuriesold art which demands careful study
and sensitivity, and extreme patience
and precision. A type designer will
spend countless hours achieving the

subtle balances of weight and proportion that give a face its unique quality
and character. Our software, however,
will cheerfully undo that painstaking
labor in seconds, disturbing the grace
and beauty of any typeface:

Futura is a sans-serif typeface of elegant simplicityeach stroke has the same weight, and there is a
geometric balance to its proportions. But changing the set-width alters only one dimension, not both.
Top of letter keeps
original thickness

Sides taper to an
unattering thinness

Horizontal strokes
same thickness

Vertical stroke
balloons!

O O TT
Futura Bold
Set width: Normal

Futura Bold
Set width: 50%

Futura Bold
Set width: Normal

Futura Bold
Set width: 200%

XRay
send it to the back . . .

XRay
Clone the word (the clone pops to the front) . . .

XRay
change the clone to white . . .

How to set a nice fraction


The best ones are sized and aligned just so.
PAGEMAKER 4.0

PageMaker is a little
slow at fractions, but it can be set to
make them perfectly. Heres how:
With no type selected, open the Type specs dialog,
click Options and enter the following values:
Super/subscript size: 60% of point size
Superscript position: 28% of point size
Subscript position: 0% of point size
Click OK. These settings yield the fraction shown,
whose numbers align with baseline and ascenders
in almost every typeface (the number likeliest to
need adjustment is the superscript position). When
typing, use a fraction slash rather than a regular
backslash, and set no space between numbers. If
your job requires a lot of fractions, youll be better
off with a utility that makes them for you.

Superscript size: 60% of point size


Superscript position: 28% of point size

No space
or hyphen
between
numbers

34

Subscript size: 60% of point size


Subscript position: 0% of point size

Fraction slash aligns (at least its supposed


to) with baseline and ascenders.

XRay
Cut the clone (it disappears); select the shape . . .

XRay
and Paste inside!

XRay
FONT: ERAS

TM

13

FREEHAND
STEP-BY-STEP

How to cast a
across a background object
Its how you make
a shadow look real.
By Deke McClelland
Hold a pencil upright on your
desk and note the shadow it
casts. Its soft, isnt it? Those
gently fading edges are the result of ambient light; that is, light which is diffused
rather than beamed from a single source. Note, too,
that as the shadow falls across an object of another color, it acquires that color in addition to its own! Heres how to duplicate
this natural effect in FreeHand:
Hard

Soft

Shadow fades from


60% black . . .

Coaster is colored 60%


magenta and 60% yellow.
Note the fading shadow is
cast across both the coaster
and the table top!

. . . to 15% black.

1. Make a
shadow . . .
Draw your object
and clone the
part that will
be casting the
shadow.

Reect the clone across the


horizontal axis.
Skew the clone 45.

2. Fill the shadow

Whats wrong here?

Color the shadow with a graduated ll


(here, from 60% black to 15% black,
similar to room light). Set the taper
angle to match the angle of the shadow
here, its 330so it fades naturally
away from the object.
(Note: In FreeHand, angles
run counterclockwise from
0 at 3 oclock.)

14

Rotate the clone 15.

Move the
shadow into
place behind
the object.

Uh-oh. When a coaster is


added beneath the mug, the
opaque shadow overprints it,
hiding it from view!

0
330

TM

3. Send to back
The shadow no longer obscures
the coasternow the
coaster obscures the
shadow! To solve this . . .

4. Clone and ll
This step is key: Clone the shadow.
Fill by adding the color of the coaster
to both ends of the new shadow:
Color from:
Cyan
0%
Magenta 60%
Yellow
60%
Black
60%
Color to:
Cyan
0%
Magenta 60%
Yellow
60%
Black
15%

Fill this end of the shadow


with 60% black (the shadow
color) plus the coaster
color (60% magenta
and 60% yellow) . . .
. . . and ll this end of the
shadow 15% black (the shadow color) plus the coaster color
(60% magenta and 60% yellow).

6. Clone and ll
5. Cut, then
paste inside
Cut the new shadow. Select
the top of the coaster and
Paste inside. See how
the shadow now
appears transparent?

Note the edge of the


coaster still obscures
the shadow. If the edge
is a lled shape (rather
than a line), you can
shade it, too:

Clone the shadow again. This time,


add the color of the coasters edge
to both ends of the clone.
The coasters edge is colored
60% magenta, 60% yellow and
25% black. Therefore:
Color from:
Cyan
0%
Magenta 60%
Yellow
60%
Black
85%
Color to:
Cyan
0%
Magenta 60%
Yellow
60%
Black
40%

7. Cut, then
Paste inside

PS: Working in black and white?this procedure works


just as well! If when you add a shadow percent (say, 60)
to the background percent (say, also 60) the sum is
greater than 100, use solid black.

Cut the shadow. Select the


coasters edge, Paste inside and youre done.
VERSATILE SHADING TECHNIQUE:

A radial ll adds shading to a concave surface


The top of our
mug is an oval:

Mr. McClelland is a free-lance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. Deke has


written and designed more than 15 books about personal computers and
desktop publishing, including Encyclopedia Macintosh (Sybex, 1-800-227-2346),
Drawing on the Macintosh, Drawing on the PC, and the newly released Mastering
Aldus FreeHand, Macintosh Version 3.0 (Business One Irwin, 1-800-448-3343).
He also contributes articles to Publish, PC World, and MacWorld magazines.

TM

2. Cut the big circle; select the oval;


Paste inside. 3. Set it in place!

1. Cover the oval as


shown with a circle about twice its diameter
(easiest if you draw it from the center out).
Fill the circle with a radial gradation from
dark (nearest the light source) to light.

15

JOHN McWADE

Look again
reader from an advertising agency phoned awhile back, having
read our articles on shadows, surface reections and embossing, and asked
me how to draw a medallion. You mean
like a coin? I asked. Yes, it would resemble a coin: round, metallic, with a
ridge and embossed features.
I paused, wondering silently why he
was asking me this.
You say youve read our piece on
embossing? I repeated. Yes, it was very
interesting. How about the article on
surface reections? Hed read that, too,
and liked it.
I couldnt tell what he needed.
How do I draw a medallion? he
asked again, plainly enough.
I was stumped. Here was a professional designer, facile with the computer.
If he knew how to make a shape, a shadow, an emboss and a reection, I knew he
could draw the medallion. What was left?
So have you taken a coin from your
pocket and put it on the table and looked
at it? I asked.
No, he hadnt thought of that.
I was more surprised than I sounded.
When you look at the coin, I began,
evenly, youll see that it consists of light
areas and dark areas. Youll see that
some areas have a hard edge, where the
light changes abruptly, and others have
a soft edge, where the light fades gently
from one shade to another. A coin has
mostly soft edges.
FreeHand, like most drawing programs, has the tools to make both kinds.
A hard edge is made by lling a shape
with a solid tone. A soft edge is made by
blending a shade into its adjacent shade.
Your job is simply to look at the coin
very closely and draw whats in front of
your eyes.
He seemed to be satised with this
and said goodbye.
Last week I related the story to a
fellow publisher. I think my real job, I
said, is to draw the readers attention to
the world around him. I mean, one fellow
needs to draw a medallion. Another

16

wants to draw a paper clip. A third needs


to draw a barn. Yet each object is really
the same; a matter of light and shade,
hard and soft. If you can work the tools,
thats half. The important half is to see
what youre looking at.
You should say that, he said.
I have been, I replied. I talk about
it all the time.
Maybe you should say it again, he
suggested.
There are two kinds of designers in
the world: the skilled and the truly
gifted. The gifted have a calling straight
from heaven: Their work is humbling,
awe-inspiring; it leaves us dumbstruck.
But the rest of usand this, of course, is
almost everyone, including melearn art
and design as one learns any craft: line
by line, part by part, like working yarn
into a sweater or wood into furniture.
There exists a common misconception that non-artists have about artists:
that their work is like magic. But there is
no presto! way to make art, no button
that says medallion. Instead, we study
the object we wish to draw, its lines and
angles and shades, and build them carefully, one at a time, until the drawing is
done. The magic is in seeing our work
take shape, a real object emerge from a
collection of parts.
What the computer has done is make
such work possible. It has given everyone the tools that heretofore even professionals didnt have.
The tools that make Time and Vogue
magazines now sit on your desk. Study
those magazines. Ten thousand packages
line your supermarket shelves, many of
them extremely well designed. The computer in front of you can duplicate all of
them and make tens of thousands more.
Classic books, maps, theater posters,
the best stuff in the world is within the
reach of your electric genie.
Look around.
Look again. Do not limit yourself;
study what you see and youll learn from
the best. Then practice.
The opportunity is priceless.

TM

How to design cool stuff


Editorial and subscription ofces
331 J Street, Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 958149671
Telephone 916-443-4890 Fax 916-443-7431
For postal, copyright, subscription and back issue
information, please see the bottom of page 3.

Publisher and creative director: John McWade


Associate publisher and editor: Gaye McWade
Subscriber services: Robbin Jellison
Circulation and marketing: Don Jellison
PRODUCTION NOTES
Before & After is totally desktop-published in
Aldus PageMaker 4.01 and FreeHand 3.0; its
pages and everything on them can be built using the most basic equipment upon which the
software will run, whether Macintosh or PC.
My hardware: Apple Macintosh IIfx computer
with 8mb RAM, 13" Apple RGB monitor with
Apples 8-24 GC video card (16 million colors,
accelerated. This card is extremely fast but its
accelerator is incompatible with the combination of PageMaker 4.0 and Adobe Type Manager); MicroNet 644mb hard disk and NuPort
card (unusually fast access); MicroNet 45mb
hard disk with removable Syquest cartridges
(for transfer and backup). Laser printer: QMS
PS800II. B&W scanner: Agfa Focus II. For color
proofing: QMS ColorScript 100. Plate-ready
lm: Linotronic 300 (RIP 4), 2540 dpi (usually), 150-line screen. Typefonts are from
Adobe. Our service bureau is Lithographics in
Sacramento. Before & After is printed by W.
W. Hobbs on a manually adjusted Harris fourcolor press. Colors are all kiss-t (no traps).

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER


John McWade is the founder and voice of
Before & After, and its chief designer and
writer. Mr. McWade has been an awardwinning publication designer for 21 years.
He founded PageLab, the worlds rst desktop publishing
studio, in March 1985 and has since written and lectured exhaustively on this new industry. Clients include
Apple, Adobe and Aldus, for whom he created two Portfolio template packages. He often answers his own phone
because hed just as soon chat with readers as work.

TM