Sunday, February 2, 2014

Is It Cliche to say, "That's So Cliche?"

O-M-G! I was totally gonna say that!

Was killing some time online before the Superb Owl starts at 6:30 PM (I hate the pre-game shows) and I was thinking back to one of Simone's pet peeves, which does bother me too, which is the black text on a white background caption. She made one for me about 2 months ago, and its well designed and funny, but she still felt weird creating a caption with so much negative space in it.

Over the years, captions have evolved like never before. Even beginners SHOULD be able to whip up something pretty good looking if they spend a few hours watching tutorials on graphics programs on YOUTUBE. Hell, Simone makes stylish captions and she still tries to learn all she can about the tools she uses to create, which is why she's so prominently well known for her TG Captions.

So anyway, I thought it'd be fun to play around with some of the things that Simone and I find annoying when it comes to TG Captions .. some design elements and some cliched bugaboos that will often get me to stop reading something right then and there. And Yes! I have committed some of them in the past as well so I'm not trying to be too high and mighty, but more humorous and playfully informative as to things you probably should avoid when making your own captions.

Of course, I still had to present it in a readable, legible format so I didn't do a few of the things that peeve me, like having text run off the caption so you have no idea how it ends, or consistency of names through out the text body (that is more of an issue in TG stories) and the misspelling or inversion of letters in common words ("hte machine wsa making hmi honry .. verry honry!")

I'll admit, this was not an easy caption to make. I fought long and hard with myself just to use a second color in dialog. Sometimes it does happen to me where I can't tell WHO is talking until I reread it a few times, and while I know it probably wouldn't have been too bad if I left it like that, I did try to use different shades of pink to show a lack of consistency. Some other design elements I also compromised on so that it wouldn't be a complete clusterfuck, things like warping and stretching the picture so the perspective is out of whack or making the picture blurry.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys this admittedly meta-caption. I mean, its a caption "made" in real time by the girlfriend of a captioner who is being changed by the caption that the viewer is viewing. I can probably count on one hand how many TG Captions I've seen like that!

Congrats to the Seahawks on a wonderful Superb Owl win! They punished Peyton Manning even more that I wanted them to! A great game that never really was ever in doubt. The commercials were pretty spot on tonight too. Can't remember too many clunkers. I hope everyone enjoyed this unofficial national holiday! Wonder how many people are calling out sick tomorrow in Seattle??!?


  1. This couldn't have turned out better even if you DID try to squeeze in the other aspects you mentioned. The fact that you obviously knew what you were doing makes it that much better. It kind of proves a point: it takes effort to look bad!

  2. Talk about cliches. Listen to the post-game? We just try to play "within ourselves." First I want to give "God all the glory." LOL Hey! I'm typing black on a white background! Is that bad?

    1. No, that's not a bad thing Leeanne. It ends up as white text on a black background... and that's stylish!

  3. HA!

    I think we've all committed those egregious errors in the past. It's not the error's that particularly bother me with cap artists (especially new artists)... it's never moving past them. You've made a fun entertaining point here Dee.

    I wonder how many hits '' is getting tonight!

  4. The thing is, any of the "dark pattern" design elements— black text on white, different speech colors, even using the godsforsaken Comic Sans font— can still yield a pretty decent caption, as your effort capably (and hilariously) demonstrates.

    It's the basic failures of readability— rampant misspellings, lines cut off, having neither indents nor between-paragraph whitespace, etc.— that I always kind of shake my head at. It's like, did you not bother to proofread, re-read, or even read once what you wrote?

    But you know what they say: "I never meta caption I didn't like!"

    ('Cept for Black Bart. Bastard caption killed ma cousin.)

  5. Great cap, It made me take a quick look at the captions I made. From everything I could have done better, at least I stayed away from black text on a white background.
    Frankly, I don't mind reading a black text on a white background, as long as the story is well written. I prefer that over a well designed but poorly written one.
    What Caitlyn points out to Leeanne is actually a very easy way to visually improve a caption, although I only use that with a monochrome picture.
    A lot of spelling mistakes people make are not necessary. After all, there's always a spell check, and I know from myself I have a blind eye for my own mistakes.

  6. This is so good. Tres bien.