Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Advances in software technology has increased the ease of making designs, particularly with layers. I have been watching old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The dvd menu is a bit of a layered jumble of faces, patterns, textures, and effects.

Initially when software enabled layering and the ability to add effects of transparency led to some caotic designs. It was popular for a time. Layers are still used in most designs, but busy layers have transformed to more subtle variations.

Layers are a great tool for adding depth and interest in a design. Layers can be complicated to manage in a design so it is important to keep your layers organized from the beginning. The layers palette in adobe products can be useful to manage your layers by locking or making certain layers invisible.


The above is photos I took of my tv and opening sequences to puffy. There are layers of faces, backdrops, texts, shapes, and lighting effects. I would say this was common for designs from late 90s early 2000s, but now layers and textures mean this:

The top image is an Adobe ad for CS5 by Philippe Intraligi and you can check out his work on the behance network. The second is Mad men. Using layer to create perspective and a more true sense of depth (rather than the Buffy layer of images). And although the Adobe ad is very busy and colorful it still makes sense and organization which is missing from the Buffy screen shots.

There are a lot of things you can do with layers, and the best thing is to have some fun and experiment.

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