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INFO: Design Decisions

The Way of The Raw Pineapple Trilogy DVD Cover

Designers make decision all the time – this is a lesson on how some of them get made.

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We are always asking children why they do things without giving them examples of 'how to explain' why they do things. Here's an example of 'how to explain' using design decisions for a piece of DVD cover art for copies of our surfing video trilogy which were given to the students.

original Raw Pineapple Trilogy DVD Cover

1 - First Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_1
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Back in the old days of 2005 – some of us designed our DVD covers when we knew almost nothing about how to use Photoshop.

First Try at the cover layout (seen above) produced a design echoing the DVD disc design (see below):

LunalTC TT-Bold typeface was used for all the credits in the films and for the titling. Each Kranky Kids project gets its own typeface. (I like to play with typefaces because they're fun.)

However, this design is very boring. Plus, the pineapple is too wide and the physical size of the cover is wrong.

2 - Second Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_2
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Second Try, I corrected the physical size of the cover and thinned the pineapple image by stretching it vertically.

Then, I changed the spacing of the text and capitalized the word 'using'. It was then I realized that it should read – theater, radio, and film – the same way it did on the website back then – not – radio, theater, and film. (As you may notice, Kranky Kids has since expanded to being a provider of educational resources and programs of all kinds.)

Still, the design was boring and the big white area between the film titles and the words – Kranky Kids – didn't feel right.

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3 - Third Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_3
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Third Try, I dropped the titling down but it unfortunately drew attention to the way the pineapple seemed to be gazing at the large trilogy title and then beyond into a dimension of white nothingness.

Dude - it wasn't right.

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4 - Fourth Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_4
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Fourth Try, I decreased the image size of the pineapple to give it a white border – thinking it would blend in better with the white titling area. I also returned the titling to the same position it was in my Second Try.

Still boring and the white was making it just too fifties-record-album-looking for my taste, at the time. I kind of like it now. Go Figure. It definitely would've saved me a bunch of ink when printed with an inkjet printer.

Dude – it looks like a Perry Como album and I don't think he ever even surfed.

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5 - Fifth Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_5
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Fifth Try, I got rid of the white. Whew! This gave more freedom to play with the titling positions.

I finally started to play with different sizes of type in the main title – The Raw Pineapple Trilogy – and working with the words to make a logo-type image.

A different layer was used for each individual word in Photoshop 7. Making the word – Pineapple – larger than the other three words allowed the placement of the two words – The Raw – to sit on top and between the letter – i – and the letter – l – of the word – Pineapple.

This created a subliminal visual of – .The Raw – which sounded like a new web URL extension – .theraw

Dude – you're messin' with my mind here.

The letter – R – of the word – Raw – also now gave the appearance of 'stepping' (because of its cute little curly foot) on the first lower-case letter – p – of the word – Pineapple.

Like standing on a board, dude. One foot more forward than the other.

Placing the word – Trilogy – underneath the word – Pineapple – made the letter – l (in the word – Trilogy) – line up with the letter – a (in the word – Pineapple) – and also the letter – R (in the word – Raw) (see image below):

It also happily gave a nice slant down from the top letter – T (in the word – The) – to the letter – n (in the word – Pineapple) – and then on to the bottom letter – T (in the word – Trilogy) (see image below):

Think tangram. Alright!

Dude - now it has a slide too. Dot the raw with a slide! Awesome!

Bingo! A logo title (see image below):

Also, the description under Kranky Kids was changed to read as two lines instead of three which allowed the lines beginning with the words –
– to flow/wrap next to the bottom of the pineapple image better.

But, because the individual film titles were now more evenly spaced between the title – The Raw Pineapple Trilogy – and the name – Kranky Kids – they just swam in the middle of the page and looked insignificant.

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6 - Sixth Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_6
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Sixth Try, I increased the logo title size.

I also changed the position and size of all the film titles to compliment the new logo title. This gave each film title better definition and made you see the word – Pineapple – three times after the word – Trilogy – a visual echo effect.

But now the film titles were too jaggedy-looking as they popped from left – to right – to left.

The pineapple is talkin' now, dude. Everything must flow from the fruit.

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7 - Seventh Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_7
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Seventh Try, I stretched and changed the titling positioning again to flow better with the line of the pineapple image, pushed the word – Trilogy – a little to the left under the word – Pineapple – and reduced the size of the name – Kranky Kids.

Now the space between the eyes of the pineapple image and the title – The Raw Pineapple 11:33 – was too much and the top logo title lost its edge of being a singular and logo-like entity.

The cover also lost balance because the spacing of all the titling now gave the impression of everything flowing down and washing off the bottom of the page.

It looks like it's going down a drain, dude.

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8 - Eighth Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_8
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Eighth Try, I returned the logo title to the way it was in the Sixth Try. I tightened up and repositioned the individual film titles and returned the name – Kranky Kids – to its previous size.

Also, I repositioned the line reading – DVD-R ©2005 – because when it was in the jewel case one of the tabs that holds the cover in place distorted it and made it hard to read.

But it still didn't sit well and catch your attention from a distance. Too much empty space and nothing but the pineapple called out to the eye. All the type still seemed to fade into the background and had no visual punch.

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9 - Ninth Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_9
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Ninth Try, I increased the entire size of the logo title – The Raw Pineapple Trilogy. Yes! Time to print!

Sigh. The background color printed up too light and looked more lavender than hot purple-pinkish. This made the pineapple recede into the page instead of jump forward from a distance like it did on the computer. (The colors you see on a computer are not the colors that are going to print. Plus, every printer model will give you different results.)

I tried several different DPI saturations but none of them worked.

So, short of trying to find a new printer, a new background color needed to be found instead.

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10 - Tenth Try
The Raw Pineapple DVD_10
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Tenth Try, I switched to a more orange background color.

Too Halloweeny and bland. And, HEY! The website needed to be on there. Thank goodness someone noticed that. Also, I had to yet again reposition the line – DVD-R ©2005 – to work with the line – – to avoid the jewel case tabs distorting it.

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11 - Eleventh Try and It's Finished
The Raw Pineapple DVD_11
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Eleventh Try – And we have a winner! When printed up, the red brings out the colors on the pineapple more and also makes the type leap forward the way it should. Hoorah!

Dude – The Way has been followed. Excellent!

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