Don’t Believe Everything You See in the Advertising World

Working as a Graphic Designer, there is one program that is ALWAYS open. From creating catalogues, to designing packages even developing websites- Photoshop is being used. Now for those of you who are not exactly sure what Photoshop is, it is the most popular program when it comes to graphic and photo editing software. So, it is very fitting as a designer that this is a tool that would be used on a daily basis.

When I first started my education and career in the design industry, I was not only excited, but also in shock with what people were capable of creating on a digital level. I also did not realize how prevalent design and photo editing were today, when it comes to anything visual. It is EVERYWHERE! Now that I am in a position where I am responsible for creating things for clients, I really notice how much thought and work goes into things as simple as stickers or brochures. Someone had to create that, and that person probably used Photoshop at one point or another.

“Photoshop gives graphic designers the creative flexibility they need to bring their visions to the page and the screen” (http://www.photoshop.com/-products/photoshop/who).

Now with this being said is it not a bit shocking how a photo manipulation tool is so crucial in our day-to-day work-flow? Whether it be a product, an image of a space, or even an image of a person, how realistic is it to its original source? A good example of this is fast food burgers. How delicious, appealing and perfect it looks on a commercial, or on the menu boards in the restaurant. Now, think of that burger in real life. Does it actually look like that? Are the advertisements a good representation of what this burger actually looks like? Probably not. These advertisements are created to glamorize the burger, and make it appealing to the customers. This could be by making it seem bigger, more “juicy” and make sure that every topping is strategically placed for the viewer to see. They are also usually put in some sort of a space that makes this product the star of the advertisement. Any or all of these things can – and probably were – created, edited and manipulated in Photoshop.

The fast food burger example, is definitely on the drastic side of the editing spectrum, but it starts open your eyes on what else could be edited in the advertising world. The answer is probably- and almost- everything. It could be as simple as the changing light/contrast in an image, a colour tweak or even adding a nice blue sky to a landscape because the image you want was taken on a cloudy day. Not everything is as elaborate as the “great burger overhaul,” but every image is manipulated in one way or another.

You’re now probably wondering why we do this. We do this because as designers, we want EVERYTHING to look perfect and appealing, and it is our job to do so. If you have a company that needs to advertise a product or service, you want that product or service to look as attractive as it can be. More importantly, we do this because we are trained to do so. If there is something about a provided image that we do not like, we fix it. We are taught to “look at the bigger picture” and make sure there are no imperfections. Have you ever seen a picture of your friends, where it looks like one of them has a building sprouting from their head? What about a beautiful garden that has piles of litter around the outside? These are the types of things we look for while editing images.

Basically what it comes down to is, Photoshop is a more deceiving program than people may be aware of. Yes, it is our jobs to make things look the best they can, however it may not be 100% accurate too the product, service, environment in real life.

Below are some examples of Photoshop work that we have done here at AS Advertising. Showing the before and after you can see how drastically or slightly we have modified the images so they look how we would like them to.

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