You’ve probably seen Microsoft Tag at one point or another.  I’ve been using it in presentations as pointers to my contact information, slides, and demos, and I understand that WalMart is (or will be) using it on some of their merchandise.  With your mobile phone (yes, even an iPhone), download the simple app from http://gettag.mobi, and you can easily snap tags such as the following (which will add my info to your mobile contacts list).

Contact_Info_2009427232915

Of course, you can create your own tags too, but now you can also craft what are known as custom tags, or I might even say vanity tags.  A custom tag is pretty similar but starts out as a dotted pattern like:

image

If you save this generated image (created on-line at microsoft.com/tag) as a WMF, then with a quick bit of PowerPoint magic, you can superimpose it on a clip-art (or any other) image to generate something like this:

image

But, if you’re artistically inclined, you can do even more.  The salient features of the tag are obviously the dots, their placement, and their color.  Actually, it’s the hue that matters, and there’s some leeway you have in modifying things to your liking – basically anything in the 60-100% range on brightness and saturation for the hues of yellow, cyan, and magenta.  The ‘white space’ in the original (with the exception of that on the borders) can be anything.

Here’s my feeble attempt at something a bit more abstract courtesy of some fumbling around in Paint.NET.  It’s clear that Rorschach has nothing on me!

 

image

 

Think you can do better?  You probably can, but to sweeten the pot Microsoft is running a Tag Slaps Design Contest beginning May 4th, with submissions accepted through June 12th.  Get creative!