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Early this year, Snapchat began accepting ‘Geofilters’ submitted by the general public. Geofilters are location-specific borders that can be applied to Snapchat photos or videos when that user in within the geographic boundary. This April, Snapchat activated an M-A Geofilter that senior Sara Solomon created.

As editor-in-chief of the M-Ark magazine, Solomon has extensive experience making digital layouts. This background in designing layouts, along with the increasing number of activated Geofilters, inspired Solomon to make a downtown Palo Alto filter. However, Solomon ultimately decided to tackle an M-A Geofilter as a smaller project.

She teamed up with the M-Ark adviser, Betsy Snow, to design the filter. On their website, Snapchat outlines the process for Geofilter submissions, and allows anyone with mastery of Adobe design applications to participate. Size guidelines for filters are very stringent, so Solomon chose to keep the design small. During the design process, Solomon had to choose colors and font that would be visible against light or dark photos. Ultimately, the font is gold but has a black border to increase the contrast against lighter backgrounds.

Once she finalized the design, she manipulated the image to Snapchat’s format, translating the image from Adobe’s code to Snapchat’s.

In late February, Solomon sent in her Geofilter. Because only an automated message, and not an actual person replied to her sbmission, Solomon was forced to wait weeks for Snapchat to approve and publish the filter. She ultimately submitted it three times before it was finally activated on April 8th.

Solomon is currently working on a Geofilter for Stanford University.

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