What's Behind The Cheetah Skin Fad?
You'll find cheetah skin patterns used on almost everything. It would seem to be the latest fad, except the use of these patterns has been around for a long, long time. Skins were no doubt first used as tribal adornments by the natives of southern and eastern Africa, where the big cats roam. In more modern times the pelts found there way into the clothing and accessory industry. But the cats have become scarce, an endangered species in danger of extinction. Hunting the cheetah is now illegal, though a few illegal pelts find their way into the marketplace now and then.
Zero to Sixty In Three Seconds - Today, we satisfy ourselves with faux cheetah skins, photographs, and prints. Just what is it that keeps the cheetah skin pattern so popular? Part of the answer lies in the nature of the animal itself. The cheetah is not the largest of the big cats; it is smaller than the lion, the tiger and the leopard. But it is without a doubt the fastest. The cheetah can attain a speed of 75 miles per hour for short durations, about 100 yards. A world class sprinter can hit about 25 miles per hour, tops. Besides being a speed demon, the cheetah is a predator, and it is exceedingly graceful in its movements. Although the pattern of the cheetah skin is a thing of beauty in its own right, the fact that it represents an animal known for speed, power, elegance, and grace, adds to its mystique. That's why you see the pattern on everything from automobiles to handbags, from bedding to web sites, and computer wallpaper.
The Cheetah Skin And You - The cheetah's coat is in a sense its fingerprint. No two are the same. The natural color is golden or yellow-gold, with black spots. Black bands are found on the tail, and a few white stripes will be seen on the cheetah's face, but everything else is spots. At times, you'll find a cheetah skin pattern in another color, particularly on web pages. The pattern is still cheetah-like, but the colors can be something quite other than golden. Cheetah skin patterns abound in everything from black and white to neon-pink and purple. Some variations are extremely attractive, others downright tacky. On a web site, a page on Facebook for example, the pattern is used to call attention to one's self. If you want someone to contact you, having a photo of yourself that looks like a mug shot, against a white background isn't going to do the trick. A colored photo surrounded by a cheetah skin pattern will create attention, and the pattern works for both guys and gals. The cheetah pattern can in some cases appear very feminine, and in other situations, very masculine. For some reason, more people are going to take notice than would be the case if the background was one of zebra strips, or even tiger stripes.
Today, the cheetah skin background is widely used on Facebook pages, and consequently, there are numerous ads marketing templates featuring the cheetah pattern. A template is simply a web page arrangement, sometimes referred to as the look and feel of the page. Information is arranged according to a certain structure (it can even be a random structure), while patterns and colors are used to frame the information and create the right mood. A natural (golden) cheetah pattern is going to create one mood, a red pattern another, and a black and white pattern still another. Web masters are at the ready to create a template for you, one that makes a statement about you and your personality.
Make Your Own Template Or Wallpaper - There's nothing to stop you from doing your own cheetah skin project. Whether it's to dress up your private or business website, for a Facebook page, or for your cell phone wallpaper, all you need is a stock photo of a cheetah skin pattern to start with, and software to size your image or create special effects. Photoshop will do it all, but so will HP Photosmart, Picasa, Faststone, and other products, some of which are free. Knowledge of a little HTML can help as well. If you need to shop around, you can have a template designed for you for free, or for a very small cost. You can also get one designed for a very substantial cost. It depends upon what you're looking for.
Perhaps a year from now, alligator skin or zebra skin will be the new fad. It does seem though, that these patterns just don't stack up against the cheetah skin. Maybe it's the feeling of zero to sixty in 3 seconds flat that has something to do with it.