View Full Version : To BEVEL or NOT to BEVEL(photoshop)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01 January 2003, 04:42 PM
Please tell me I'm not loosing my mind here. The company I currently work for as a designer(mostly print) has this obsession with beveling type like crazy and drop shadows in all the works that we do.

If I don't bevel or give a drop shadow to a headline, it will come back to me with the remarks "3D it in photoshop, make it pop, make it pretty". It's also come to the point where some designers and the creative director are setting all their type(Headlines & body text) in photoshop as apposed to a layout program(QuarkXpress, Pagemaker) and beveling and adding drop shadow, and they seem to like the way it looks.

.:annoyed: I've had enought with the major beveling of type and drastic drop shadow everywhere. It makes me sick when I'll have a nicely clean design peace only for it to come back to me so that I can add bevel to this headline and add drop shadows here and there, etc. When there is NO need for the beveling or the drop shadows, other than to make the designed peace look tacky and like an amatur did it. Weren't bevels and drop shadows big when they were NOT built in effect in photoshop, and actually required work to create? It seems that when technology makes things simple and automatic by the pressing of only 2-3 mouse clicks that people go crazy and overkill with it. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you have to every single time :annoyed: I'm I the only one who feels this way?

Does any body always bevel their type, and add drop shadows? I can understand if it's to create contrast with the background, but not every single time. I've come to the point of hating bevel type with drop shadows and layer effects.

How does everybody else feel?....I'm I loosing it, cause it seems to be that I'm the only designer in the company who feels this way.

01 January 2003, 05:55 PM
arg, totally agree with you :bounce:

those bevels were cool some years ago...and they are cool if they really fit into the design, but adding it doesn't mean that the design will look pretty :thumbsdow

same with GI, since there are so easy to use scripts everybody uses it and it gets boring.... (nothing against GI if it's used right..but I can't see those blue GI test renders...)

01 January 2003, 06:07 PM
Bevels/Drop shadows are tacky :thumbsdow

In fact, when I was at college, we were taught that those effects were essentially design flaws, and that they were the mark of a lousy designer :shrug:

01 January 2003, 06:30 PM
I beg to disagree fellas (and gals). I can never decide what text effects I want, so I usually just turn them all on. The results are spectacular. I think you'll agree.

01 January 2003, 06:33 PM
I see bevels everywhere around, they stink of photoshop for a mile :annoyed: . Personally I use them only when I can't avoid them. As for Drop shadows - they are less obtrusive, but of course not always necessary.

01 January 2003, 07:02 PM
yes, avoid these things like crazy, bevels are just horrible cheap and tacky. drop shadows in print are the same, drop shadow on screen can be ok if it's done well, and sometimes it's needed for projection on a mid level background to lift the text and make it legible or to get rid of vibration. but for print that's really realy bad news especially on body text, drop shadows blend the text together and make it completely illegible.

unfortunately throughout the design world you will always come up against people who have little or no sense of design and are in charge, and unfortunately able to make executive decisions for the rest of us.:shrug:

01 January 2003, 07:15 PM
Yah, I agree, bevels are lame :rolleyes:. I have seen so meny of these newbie designers putting bevels and shadows and flares and tons of other stuff all over the place, and it really ticks me off. Shadows are about the extent that anybody should go, I think. Even shadows are too much sometimes.

I think we really need a new "cool" type of text. I've seen enough of this shiney rounded beveled text, and its time for something new.


01 January 2003, 07:37 PM
I feel much better now, knowing people feel just like I feel.

mdme_saide your right we'll always come up with people who are the ones who make the final decision and don't have a clue or very little clue towards design or what ever industry it may be. But I guess we have to live the execute desision, whether it helps or just ruins the work.

01 January 2003, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by Leigh
Bevels/Drop shadows are tacky :thumbsdow

In fact, when I was at college, we were taught that those effects were essentially design flaws, and that they were the mark of a lousy designer :shrug:

Surely, you don't believe that. The problem with any effect is overexposure and usage by people who don't know how to use them effectively. Bevels and shadows are no different. Simply using them doesn't make anyone a lousy designer like your instructor believed.

01 January 2003, 04:23 AM
I think you gotta ask your boss what you were hired for.

Seriously, why are they giving you the creative side. They didnt go to school and learn the trade of artistic computer graphics. They dont know about composition or overkills on filters.

Their job is what it is. When you give them creative control thats fine if thats what you want but that isnt their job. Thats your job.

01 January 2003, 05:20 AM
What do you guy's mean? the mighty bevel is second only to the holy grail of photoshop: the lensflare:D

Wigaru Wiyamoto
01 January 2003, 05:56 AM
Man, I was reading the thread planning my lens flare joke only to see coupon's post at the bottom! :annoyed:

KingVance has it right. ANYTHING that's just turned on with a button is gonna look like...well, like you just pushed a button. Before Photoshop 5 or so effects like these would've had to be done manually, so only people who thought long and hard about adding these effects to type.

Maybe should slip a design or typography book under your superior's door sometime? :D

Ian Jones
01 January 2003, 09:37 AM
I feel your pain. Why so many 'designers' plateau at a point where they discover Quark has drop shadows, Photoshop can deep etch and Illustrator helps you make wavey text I'll never understand. Why they lose the passion to further their skills, knowledge and above all their aesthetic sense is such a contradiction to being 'creative'. I just don't get it... its like so many just don't want to. That really does amaze me. If I were to stop learning, stop wanting to learn more and more and discover new realms of my imagination and aesthetic sense then that would be the day I would lose all respect for my own work.

01 January 2003, 04:46 PM
yeah, cool threat... does anyone remember when the KPT-filters came out?? think it was kai's power tools 3 or so... when they came out, i spottet the "page curl" just everywhere... at some ad at the busstation, on a pasta-ad at my favourite italian food restaurant at a wall, everywhere on the internet, just everyone used this crappy page curl... just as i said before in a another threat, all this stuff (incl. bevels, lensflares and of course the nice fire and ice fx, that have been very famous some time ago..) is not bad if they fit in the design and are not overused. so many people think, "yeah, ive got eyecandy 4000, look what cool stuff i can do!" and pose before their friends... bad, bad, bad... this is where computerart is loosing it's soul... and the fact, that some of those effects appeard in so many advertisements, is mainly because someone did it, and all the others think (because it's new..) "yes, we should need to use it too, then we can be faster and as cool as this add..) it is a strange kind of social doctrine, i think... here's another example of such strange behavior to show what i mean: remember a cigarette filter, this yellow thingy with the even brighter yellow spots on it... this thing is printed with 120 dpi!!! awesome because you simply don't need it... a human eye is not capable to reckognise, stuff that is printed with more than 60 dpi (on paper, of course!!) that was, how it (the filters) was printed years ago... someday one of those cigarette-companies startet to print their filters with 120 dpi.. (i dont' know their intention on that) but soon after this happend, all other tobacco-companies followed... you may ask "how did they reckognised that, when a human eye isn't capable of??" i simply can't tell... maybe they have some mad professors with big magnifiers in their basements, who are checking cigarette-filters night and day... ;) ;) maybe you know, what im trying to tell... this whole-photoshop-filter-usage might fit nicely in one of paul watzlawick's books !! ;-) for more of that social/cultural strangene behaviors, simply read one of his books, for example (how real is reality, i don't know the title exactly on english, for i am weasel,, aehh, german... ) they are way cool...

peace out,


Ian Jones
01 January 2003, 01:18 AM
"a human eye is not capable to reckognise, stuff that is printed with more than 60 dpi "

Are you mad? I can see pixels at 60dpi and higher. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what a cig filter looks like... but otherwise I think your blind and nuts. :)

01 January 2003, 05:14 AM
I think you gotta ask your boss what you were hired for.

Like you said pixelassasin I have tried voicing my opinion and how constant overkill use of beveling and adding drop shadows to the type just makes peaces look like crap on most instances. Both the creative director and the owner of the company disagree with me and say that "that's why our clients like what we do, it's beacuse we use photoshop and make things look pretty":hmm: They say how they don't understand how our competitors don't use bevels and drop shadows like we do "all it takes is a little effort".

I honestly feel that the most of our art department is stuck in the era when these effects were knew and kool. Which was years ago. And most of them are caught up in what photshop can do as apposed as to what they can do as designers.

Like one of my teacher said "It's great when technology simplifies the process, but it's a double edge sword when people use it as shortcuts"

Ian Jones I agree with you some designers just plateu when they discover that this program can do this and that and this program does this, etc. For me design is a learning process and something that you never stop learning. The programs are just tools to help me as a designer bring out my vision and not the other way around. I guess that's what separates regular artist/designer with great artist/'s the joy and passion of learning and aplying the artform in it.

01 January 2003, 07:54 AM
Ikarus donít give up you can do it, show them the light.

Have you pointed out larger better companies work? I donít think youíll find much beveling there. And if you do it will be tasteful.

Just always remember your right. And weíre here for you buddy.

01 January 2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by Ian Jones

Are you mad? I can see pixels at 60dpi and higher. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what a cig filter looks like... but otherwise I think your blind and nuts. :)

hey friend,

i am rather blind nor mad ;) i've ment NOT pixel, i have talked about the rasterwith, with which stuff is printed and the printingflims are done, NO pixels..!! and i do not mean digital printing (computer to plate), i mean classical offset-printing and you can't tell me, that you can see only with your eye, if something is printed in a 60er raster or higher(unless you are terminator)! you mean pixel, thats ok, but missunderstood... if you would have calculated this, you have come to: 60er rasterwidth x 2,54 = 152,4 lpi x 1 (100%) x 2 = 304,8 dpi...

01 January 2003, 12:51 AM
Why dont you try an unobtrusive stroke to appease your boss and give the text a more "popping" out feel without looking like some kind of balloon text? I'm suprised you guys haven't talked about scanlines yet... although those can be used more tastefully, they get overused as well...

Ian Jones
01 January 2003, 06:40 AM
gORDEK: Ok, just a misunderstanding... I'm too lazy to go and check, but I swear you said dpi. I have never heard this rasterwidth stuff. all the rest is familair to me though.

Ikarus: Agreed then... :) I really feel for you, it's a tricky situation and one which ultimately you probably need to move on from. Find somewhere better suited to you, somehwere that they want and appreciate your value as a designer not a production peon. Keep your job, but investigate some alternatives quietly. That's what I would do.

01 January 2003, 04:10 PM
Well if he refuses to listen to your ideas, then you arent the designer. He is.

I didnt know that he was hired for that. Im tired of people thinking they know everything. I feel really sorry for you man. Sometimes you just gotta ask yourself, is this job worth me being upset over.
You seem like a respectful designer, so why not try your hand in freelance? That way people hire you to do the job. If someone is being the creative control over what you do, then you are getting paid for doing nothing. A part of us being here being designers is we know what to do and use to make designing work. We know composition and proper use of effects.

Your boss was hired to make sure things go smoothly and do his job. Apparently he believes he is also the head creative designer. Whether he knows it or not, I dont believe you stated he has gone to school for this.

As a squirrel once told me... everyone can drive a car, but that doesnt make them all race car drivers.
Same goes for Photoshop/designing.

01 January 2003, 06:29 AM
Pixelassasin I hope I can make it alittle clearer. It's not so much the final design that gets changed much, rather it is always having to bevel and add drop shadows to type, headlines, etc. When there is no need for the effects. (I think every headline I've typed has had to be beveled or drop shadowed :hmm:)

The owner of the company is the one who has the final decision, and unfortunatley does not have a design/art education. The creative director tend to agree with the owner's decision 9 out of 10 times. The creative director has had a design/art education, but seems to have the same taste as the owner when it comes to beveling and adding drop shadows to text. So in all the owner and creative director alogn with most the art department seem to be obssed with the bevel type and drop shadows(which I think is kinda of old and tacky to be doing it every single time).

It's not as bad as it may seem, but it's one of those things that just drive you crazy and have yourself asking "Why do they want to do that?". I'm sure the company I work for will keep on doing designs the way they are being done now.

This was my first job out of school so it's not a job I will be in for along time. I do freelance once in a while and it's great to have 100% total design control, but it's not something I want to do full time at the moment. Maybe in the near future, but who knows.

01 January 2003, 06:38 AM
Originally posted by Psyhke
I beg to disagree fellas (and gals). I can never decide what text effects I want, so I usually just turn them all on. The results are spectacular. I think you'll agree.

nice lensflare.

01 January 2003, 06:58 AM <---- i used bevel and emboss on almost all my work from two years ago. That was when I was young... now, i think the most i do is a light drop shadow. Bevels scare me.

01 January 2003, 06:59 AM
sadly, even after abandoning cheap filters... I still feel left in the dust as a designer... that's why I'm purusing a physics degree... but I don't think I'm cut out for that either... too many career choices w/ no idea what is right for me. :thumbsdow

01 January 2003, 01:53 AM
Beveling is a thing from the past, good designers must know that, nothing like a solid clear text in most cases, some times but just some times you may use some bevel.

See Ya!

01 January 2003, 12:46 AM
Tell this guy to shove his bevels and his job where the sun dont shine, right after you've got yourself a new one at a decent design agency, with a creative director who you can relate to design wise.

This misuse of imagery is a crime to the eye and should not go on. Dont be party to it.

Alternatively try and suggest an alternative. Educate these philistines look at image contrasts, the subtle use of push and pull, receding and expanding colour compositions and buy some decent fonts.

Every where i see the same tired old fonts. It makes me mad, sad and downright thirsty.

02 February 2003, 10:16 AM
Bevels are useful:arteest:

02 February 2003, 07:34 PM
First I think you must respect your work, don't matter what do you use, they are your face on the market, your portfolio, so in my humble opnion if you are not happy with this situation, search for another job, companies where the boss always take the final decision and don't listen, tend to be pretty scary to me.
You must consider you portfolio as your gold, that will garantee to you better jobs and freelancer works, so don't be stucked in a company wich are drag you down.
There many cases where the bevels may be justified, one for example is to recreate a determinated era, or achieve some 3D depht visual, but used in excess turns into a problem.

This fever mark an era so the works became all equal, this tend to happen a lot in digital design, Bevel era, Shadow era, Aqua era, all that has left to us is wait for the next one.
I kinda understand your boss he is only thinking about security, he has a client that don't understand nothing about design and he knows that doing what the client wants he will keep the account, but he is wrong and you a right, because someday the client will wake and he will lost the client for the lack of inovation and creativity.

This kind of stuff happens a lot here in Brazil, just keep and improve your knowledge creating your own style.

I hope you undersand my poor english, sometimes I express my sel bad in English.

Best wishes for you,
See Ya!

02 February 2003, 11:43 PM
i worked for a advertising agency that the artist were forced to create really bad and cheezy art work cuase that is what the clients wanted and i was being paid to give the clients what they wanted so we just laughed and undesigned away....the only real solution to the problem at hand is to find a new job but that comes with new can try to come up with something better ...lay out something that will change thier mind even do it on your free time.......

02 February 2003, 10:20 PM
It all depends on the design. Sometimes it looks cheesy and sometimes it looks slick.

02 February 2003, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by erikals
Bevels are useful:arteest:

ooOoOO.... nice texture =D

02 February 2003, 06:40 PM
i think it is funny that a lot of these coments are based on what is trendy or what is hot....'oh bevels are not cool anymore any designer knows that' well any designer also knows that bevgels or drop shadows dont make designs bad or good .....good design is good design bad design is bad design....i use bevels and drop shadows when nessesary...and so should you...again i state you must respect your art director and cleints....sure you can jump ship but whose to say the next company will be any better...then you are stuck with a trackn record of not being able to keep a job be3cause you disagree with the person in charge

02 February 2003, 08:17 AM
i think its all in how you use it, if what your making looks like what everyone else makes... you need to rethink what you did.

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