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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Importance of Being Original

I have just completed my tentative logo. You can see it to the right. When I first embarked upon the idea of running an indie dyer shop, I knew that not only would I need to have logos and labels, but I would need to have an original image.

The knitting community is keenly aware of the importance of originality in business. It is for this reason that we do not copy patterns, logos or images from the internet. As artists, we must respect each other's intellectual property, for if we do not, who would?

It is for this reason that I decided that I needed to have an original logo. Please understand, that as a budding businesswoman, I have neither the funds nor the time to hire someone to design a logo for me. I decided to do it all in Paint and Photoshop.  What you see to the right is an image that took me several weeks to crystallize.

First, I tried drawing the image on paper, to get the basic setup right. But when I scanned the image in, it was chunky. Not very clear, or even symmetrical. But it was a start.

I then took that image, and tried to create it in Paint. It took me several hours to figure out that I needed to draw individual elements in Paint, then copy them over to Photoshop. This is where the "Layers" option is your friend. I was able to copy and rotate the individual spokes and put them on different layers until I got it just right. Each element is on a different layer, so if I messed it up, I could simply delete the layer, instead of erasing the entire image.

Photoshop is incredible in that it will allow you to save images for web. After flattening the image (ie: reducing all the layers into one cohesive image), I saved the entire (huge) image as a giant JPEG.  I then resized it for several different uses, so I could keep the images as separate files.

This took me weeks to complete. And I hope it illustrates why it is never okay to steal someone else's work. We all do things that take hours upon hours, and it is completely unfair for another person, artist or not, to take that work and claim it as their own. Please, respect the creative license of others, and remember that we do this work not only for ourselves, but for others.

This is the importance of being original. Being original means you will never infringe on the rights of another artist, and that you keep your ideas and images safe from legal disputes.  Remember though, that no idea is completely original. If you got inspiration from someone else, then ask them if it's okay. And mention them in your dealings. For example, this logo is inspired by a conversation I had with my Mother. She helped me see what I wanted in my logo, and what images I wanted to evoke. Thanks mom. :)

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