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Local police use Photoshop to warn residents

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› Local police use Photoshop to warn residents
  • Published on March 28, 2014

Residents living in Des Moines, Iowa, received a stern warning from the local police department on St. Patrick's Day. To encourage the city's citizens not to drink and drive, the West Des Moines Police Department posted an image that had been digitally altered using Photoshop to its Facebook page March 17.

While the picture is a simple photo of one of the facility's jail cells, someone has added a stick figure standing on the bed. The frowning man has a large red arrow pointing at him, with an accompanying "YOU" written in red letters. Additionally, the entire image has a green tint, put in place to illustrate the holiday at hand.

The Facebook caption reads: "Green beer leads here! Don't let this be you! If you plan on drinking and driving in West Des Moines tonight we have a special spot reserved for you at our jail! Enjoy the holiday but don't drink to extremes and put others in danger. When in doubt get a ride or call a cab!"

Although the photo looks as if it was crafted rather quickly, it has received a large amount of media attention. In addition to receiving more than 125 likes on Facebook, it has been featured in TIME Magazine and on Geekosystem.

While it's more traditional to find law enforcement using Photoshop for forensics purposes, this goes to show how the application can convey a message effectively, regardless of your profession. The West Des Moines Police Department illustrates how Adobe Creative Cloud tools can be used in the most unexpected ways. Enrolling in Photoshop classes, such as those offered by the American Graphics Institute, is a great way for professionals to showcase their creativity and reach the widest possible audience with a message.

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.