Wednesday, February 15, 2006


There's a lot of graffiti out there. Most of it is probably destructive, impulsive crap. But there is a special kind of graffiti that warms the cockles of my ice-cold heart. When ever I see graffiti that exhibits a designer's aesthetic I take notice.

During my recent trip to Chicago I found myself hanging around DePaul's Merle Reskin Theatre. On the east side of the venue an alley provides a service corridor to the nearby buildings.

Someone drew a block. And then I made it scratchy
This is exactly the style of graffiti that puts a big grin on my face. Someone drew a "Block" next to the sign reading "Do Not Block". I hardly know where to begin - the fact that the cube is so simply rendered makes it even more amusing.

I did a bit of post-production on this shot. I first bumped the contrast and saturation to produce a very vivid, if oddly colored, image. I then desaturated the image and added some texture using a thread-pattern and a brightness/contrast mask. I'm still new the whole masking-layer technique. Its a remarkably effective work-flow tool.

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