21 Digital Marketing Hacks to jumpstart your online success today


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According to Statista, 2015 brought about $59.82 billion spent on digital marketing in the US, and the number is expected to grow to a whopping $113.18 billion by 2020. A field growing in popularity day by day, Digital Marketing has been the talk of the town over the last decade. To some, it remains a cloud of mystery.

In this infographic, we attempt to simplify the topic for brands that are just starting out and are overwhelmed by the sheer number of things they have to do. There seems to be an ever-increasing list of activities under the umbrella of digital marketing that demands our attention. Most of them are sadly not worth our time. Here, we cover what we consider the foundation of digital marketing that forms the requisite for greater things to come.

 

Website leads conversion

Your website is not just a namecard. It can be a source of leads and sales for your business. To do so, it needs to be able to convert web visitors into leads. With a potential customer in mind, you would need to ensure that your website provides them with a good level of ease and convenience, whether in navigating your website and learning about your product, or simply in contacting you. Hence, adding forms to every page of your website can work miracles, and avoids the customer having to strain their mind browsing your website for an enquiry they may have.

Meanwhile, testimonials and other social proof from your previous and current clients placed on various landing pages of your website would give a good impression to potential clients or customers, drawing them to look more into and eventually purchase your product or service. This occurs as, instead of you and your website selling the product, your testimonials etc. would do the work for you, as potential clients often prefer seeing proof that your product would benefit them, from those other than your brand’s sales representatives themselves.

Lastly, were you aware of the fact that an increasingly larger number of Internet users use their smartphones to browse websites and social media instead of, say, their laptops? This is where the importance of having a mobile friendly website comes in, since a majority of your visitors would be browsing your website through their smartphones and not their laptops. Take a step back on those graphics and animations, and ensure that the mobile version of your website is just as easy to navigate; and see the leads rolling in!

Email marketing

Lets put it this way: do you know anyone who doesn’t have an email address? Neither do we. Moreover, Exact targetreported that accessing email is the one task people tend to use their smartphones for the most; yes, even more than connecting to social media.

Hence, reaching your current or potential customers through their email may be the best marketing tool you may have the liberty to use. An email marketing campaign’s ability to be personalised specifically towards each customer gives you all the more reason to consider this particular marketing tool since. Often enough, customers seeking your product may not always be aware of that new blog post on your website, or that brand new service your company just launched. With email marketing, your customers can be made aware of all this, as well as new promotions and updates specifically catered towards your loyal customers. Moreover, A study by Adobe found that your current customers are 9x more likely to convert than 1st time prospects.

How would you jump on the email marketing bandwagon, you may ask? It’s quite simple, really. After you’ve complied a list of all your customers’ emails and contact details, you can pick one of several email software providers –Mailchimp, for example, is completely free for your first 2000 subscribers! –and proceed to blast your emails. Other tools such as SumoMe, Leadpages or OptinMonster can always be used to continue collecting more emails, and by sending out regular and attractive emails to your customers, you earn their loyalty.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization –or SEO, as it is more commonly known –is the buzzword within digital marketing as it stands now. SEO is the top source of organic traffic and leads. With 97% of consumers using the Internet to search for products or services they require, SEO potentially is a vital lead generation tool.

So, how does one go about planning SEO? To track your web traffic, install Google analytics; to communicate with the Google search engine, install Google search console; and lastly, install an SEO plugin such as Yoast, if you are using WordPress. After submitting your sitemap to the Google search console, you must begin producing keyword-based content. This, along with ensuring your website’s URLs are short and concise, would gradually move you further up in your potential customers’ search results, hence leading them to your website and, eventually, helping you create yet another source of leads. For more information, check out our comprehensive guide to technical SEO.

Social Media

In the current decade, social media has become the driving force for businesses. Often enough, it can too be said that, without a presence on social media, your brand may just cease to exist. Keeping up with the times is crucial for your business, both in drawing in more customers and maintaining your existing ones. As with the case of email marketing, social media aids your brand in getting the word out; in updating your clients of your new promotions and services, while targeting potential clients with the use of ads. Our day to day lives often feel incomplete without accessing social media a few times a day, at the very least, with Singaporeans, for example, having reported to be spending a whopping 2.2 hours a day on social media. An indication of the role of social media within businesses can be seen too with the online presence of 91% of retail brands on two or more social media platforms.

In terms of your website, connectivity to various social media platforms and vice versa should be your topmost priority. This can be established by adding social sharing buttons to every page of your website, and, while sharing posts on social media, ensuring that your posts lead to your website, so as to increase the traffic and resulting leads. However, before you can go about sharing and spreading the word on social media, it is too integral that the content on your website is beneficial enough to your users. Social Media, as the name suggests, is a platform for socializing and not for selling. Hence, brands should strive to provide value and useful content on social media, with the view of building a long term relationship with their audience.

Finally, it is also recommended that brands try out advertising on Facebook. It allows them to reach out to a huge group of audience at low costs, relative to other traditional ads platform such as newspaper or magazines. However, there must be proper strategy in place if one is seeking to obtain a positive ROI from their facebook ads. To that end, you can check out our guide to Facebook advertising.

Blogging

Blogging is an up-and-coming method of leads generation. It is premised on the idea of using information to create trust with today’s highly educated audience. Pay close attention to your content, and always prioritise quality over quantity. If consumers of your blog posts are put off after having read just one low-quality piece, chances are they might not return again to your website when a new piece is published and promoted.

Look to your customers’ recurring queries and frustrations, and turn them into blog posts; not only would your blog posts then be of interest to your customers, but they too would gain more traction as compared to other, less significant topics. Moreover, the content itself should be in a specific tone of voice that would attract customers; easy to read and conversational tones which can also be promoted on social media are often the best approach. Take your time in copywriting the headlines of your articles too; with the fast-paced life that we currently live, your customers would more often than not only read your article’s headline, and then go on to read the rest of the article if and only if it piques their interest.

Conclusion

Adapting to the changing tone of the world has become crucial, with the fear of you and your brand being left behind quite real. Your customers now expect you to maintain an online presence, while it has been proven time and time again that digital marketing, as compared to more traditional marketing perspectives, outperforms in all aspects, whether it be cost, convenience, or audience reach. Following these hacks listed above, digital marketing would be less of an uphill task.

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Colors and flags


When talking about colors and their meanings in different cultures, we should acknowledge the colorful representation of countries, which can tell us a lot about the history and the people. While having in mind everything we know about color psychology, let's take a look at a few interesting examples of what colors represent in flags.

 

 

Everyone is familiar with the look of the US flag - the thirteen stripes represent the thirteen founding states, and fifty stars current fifty states. The colors for this flag were taken from the British flag, and later on, the meaning was assigned to them such as courage, purity, and justice. It is interesting how in the Philippines flag blue is for peace, truth, and justice, while red is for patriotism; but originally these colors are meant to acknowledge the help of the US during the revolution.

For some countries, colors stand for a political system or revolution. At the flag of China, the color red represents the communist revolution, while the stars stand for communist party and the people. Just the same as China, the flag of Vietnam is red for communism, and the star represents the power of the people in Vietnam.

Something similar is happening in the flag of Bangladesh - the circle is for the sun, while it's color is red for the blood of the people who fought for independence. The green, on the other hand, stands out the beauty of nature in Bangladesh. Color green also appears in the Nigerian flag, to represent natural resources, while the white color stands for peace.

 

 

Some flags are storytelling. Egyptian flag begins their story with British occupation (red), followed up with bloodless revolution (white), and ending with Egypt being independent (black). The color blue in the flag of Congo is telling us about peace while there is this red strap over the flag to respect the rebellion which led them to peace.

In some multicultural countries, colors symbolize a variety of religions which citizens respect. In Pakistan for example, green is for the Islamic population and white represents the minorities. Also in India, green is for the Muslims, and Safran color represents Hindu population.

There are also some examples of philosophy expressed through colors in the flag, like in Indonesia. The color red in the Indonesian flag stands for courage, but also the human body, and the white for purity and the human soul, which then means that combined they make a whole person.

 

 

It is amazing how we use colors to express respect for great events in national history, as well as to express ideology. This colorful marks for national identity are a part of human behavior since the tribes, and it is another great visual implication for everything we have in common, as well as how beautifully diverse we all are.

 

What do you think about the colors of the flag? Do you know any other flag color meanings?  Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Design and design thinking


Through years of learning from communication with different clients, having constant development and change, designers have set a new trend in problem-solving methodology. Designer's work demands that the ideas are always fresh, but also functional and practical, which is why there is a need for a learning mind, the kind that tests a product and then improves it.

 

 

Designers impact to problem-solving is a methodology which existed long before in science and IT sector, but it wasn't till designers age that it became popular in various other sectors, which explains the name "design thinking".

The main characteristic of this process is that it's looking at the possibility for solutions, and not the problems, as well that it's customer-oriented. In design thinking, people are what matters, which is why empathy plays a significant role while searching for solutions. There is always a question of "how does this person (target group) feel"?

 

 

The important tool to start design thinking is brainstorming. This is how a creative search for ideas start. Brainstorming is useful to explore various perspectives on looking at the task, which allows us many approaches to find the solution.

Design thinkers are especially good at solving problems which are difficult to define. A well-defined problem is a problem half-solved, and to understand some problems we need to dig deeper and look beyond the surface. Designers are also always ready to learn and they rely on the knowledge gathered from previous experiences. Sometimes all it takes to solve a problem efficiently is to consider patterns which solved similar problems before. What this means is that also you may use similarly structured problems from different sectors - you can apply a method from technology to resolve a challenge within the social sector.

 

 

Stages of problem-solving, designer-style, are: defining the problem; doing all the research regarding the problem; brainstorming ideas and choosing the focus; after which comes prototyping and then testing. The key to design thinking is that this is a repetitive process - after testing, we either leave the idea and move on to the next one or keep the idea and improve it further, after which we again create a prototype to test and so on, until we are satisfied with the solution.

This methodology introduced many useful tools for everyday work, such as creating prototypes, user profiles, mind mapping, storytelling and visual way of teaching and learning.

Design thinking, as a creative processing of challenges, relies on strategies which are useful for designers, but also IT, business and NGO sector.

 

Have you ever used design thinking while creating? What was the best part of it? How did it improve your creative process?

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

 

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Professional Showcase Of 25+ Web Development Tools and Resources


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It is very popular these days to use web resources and services to deliver better quality and save time or even money. I dare to say that it is a damn fine idea. Why build from scratch rather than let the web tools or services do their magic?

You can focus on delivering quality and increasing the user engagement, while the web tools and services can help you with your daily tasks. Below there are many WordPress professional plugins, themes and a managed hosting solution; website builders, a fmarketplace with thousands of digital products and many useful services.

Check the reviews below and share your thoughts.

1. Tickera - WordPress event ticketing system

 

 

Selling and sending tickets online is now easier than ever. Tickera is a highly appreciated WordPress plugin which will help you have your own online ticketing system. It is fully compatible with all WordPress themes which respect the standard and will blend perfectly into your new or existing designs.

Everything you need can be done with Tickera, it is packed with tons of features and options. You can use their ticket builder to fully customize and differentiate your VIP and standard tickets. You can put barcodes, use discounts to boost sales and much more. Much more can be done, check their website.

The pricing starts from $49 per year and there is a one-time installment fee of $70. Keep in mind that Tickera does not take a cut of your profit, they have fixed, transparent costs. It is probably the most affordable and professional solution on the market.

See Tickera in action! Here are some examples of the most used scenarios for ticket selling. Whether you are hosting single event or having website with multiple events or decided to harness the power of Tickera and WooCommerce fusion via Tickera Bridge for WooCommerce - it is all there for you to try out in "real life" examples! If you need a demo account go here.

 

2. LayerSlider - Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin

 

 

With more than 1.5 million active sites daily, LayerSlider is probably the best premium multi-purpose animation platform which will help you build sliders, gorgeous image galleries, animated landing pages and even full websites in record-time.

LayerSlider is the complete solution, being packed with tons of features and options. It has versatile layouts where you can select a full screen, full width, full size or hero scene display mode. It is fully responsive, looking great on any device: smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. LayerSlider is having the best drag and drop editor on the market. It is super simple to use, you don’t need to have coding skills or previous experience and it has everything included to help you: live preview, undo-redo, keyboard shortcuts, Photoshop-like image editor which works excellent and much more.

The version for WordPress costs $24 and for jQuery is just $15, both having lifetime updates with regular new great things included and 6 months support. On their website you will find all the documentation you may need and a dedicated support team to help you.

3.  Pagely - Managed WordPress Hosting

 

Beyond being the first Managed WordPress hosting solution, Pagely is committed to creating a company that values employees and customers first. They work hard, are kind to everyone, and act with a conscience. It's these values with which they’ve built a best-in-class service with the industry's top engineers who care about the communities they serve on a human level. This, along with an innovative and proprietary tech stack built on Amazon Web Services makes them the market leader in managed WordPress hosting for enterprise.

 

Pagely utilizes a partnership with Amazon to deliver the best-Managed WordPress hosting services on the market with the most experienced technical staff in the industry. They are focused on enterprise and the public sector but any WordPress website which needs speed and availability will benefit from having Pagely on their side.

 

Check Pagely and pick the plan you need, if you don’t know what fits best you can discuss with their friendly and professional support team.

4.  Goodie - Web Development Service

 

 

Goodie is a professional but with a different approach web development service which will build you the website you dream for. The price is starting from $999 and if you need more features, Goodie will send you an affordable quote for the additional options. If your website is super-simple, they will add value, so your website will worth the money you have paid.

Upload your projects details and get in touch with Goodie.

5.  Ultra – The Most Powerful WordPress Theme

 

Ultra is a powerful WordPress theme made by the well-respected developer Themify. It includes a brilliant and easy to use drag and drop builder, 11 bonus add-ons and the possibility to create unlimited websites with the license.

6.  WPKube

 

 

WPKube has a small, yet a premium collection of WordPress themes which you will find very interesting. All their themes are pixel-perfect, multipurpose, load extremely fast and are SEO friendly. Check their portfolio.

 

7.  Colorlib – Apply

 

Apply is a gorgeous, free one-page theme which is having a modern and clean design. It can be used showcase your mobile app, but also for other scopes. The free themes are having lots of features and options which normally can be found in the premium templates.

8.  Postcards

 

Postcards can be quickly used to create professional emails without writing a single line of code. The powerful drag and drop builder and the 70+ elements will make your life easy. Keep in mind that the elements are retina-ready, you can choose from 800 Google Fonts and more customizations can be further made.

9.  Slides

 

Slides is a premium website builder which will help you have your own gorgeous website in minutes, without having any previous experience or coding skills. You can choose from 180+ beautifully designed and fully functional elements that in combination with the drag and drop builder will create you a gorgeous websitE.

10.  Codester

Codester is an excellent marketplace which is quickly growing from one month to another. Web designers, developers and everyone looking to buy PHP scripts, app templates, website themes and much more. If you are looking for an additional income, you can sell your products on Codester, they are not requesting your products.

11.  MeridianThemes

 

 

MeridianThemes is a powerful WordPress theme developer which is creating pixel-perfect, free and premium templates. All of their products are having gorgeous designs, load extremely fast and look great on any device your website visitors may have.

12.  uiCookies – Frame

 

uiCookies is popular for delivering awesome free themes which can be easily fully customized to fit any project. Frame is a free one-page theme with a modern and clean design, fully packed with features and options that are giving this theme a premium touch.

 

13.  FreelanceLogoDesign

FreelanceLogoDesign is a platform which lets graphic designers compete to send their best logo design. Enter a simple logo design brief and pay $19, the platform will assign 3 designers which will be creating 6 custom logo concepts for you. You will receive the logos in less than 6o minutes and after you pick the one you like, you will pay $49 for the copyright.

 

14.  MailMunch

Working on all websites and all e-Commerce platforms, MailMunch is a popular way to increase conversions on your website. Create beautiful opt-in forms without writing a single line of code, starting from the professional included themes.

 

15.  WhatFontIs

 

 

WhatFontIs will quickly identify the fonts you are looking for from any URL or image which you will upload. What is even greater to this platform is the fact that you will receive free and premium alternatives, most of the times saving you money. Start using it, you will find it very useful.

 

16.  Pixpa

Pixpa is a powerful and popular portfolio website builder, packed with an excellent drag and drop builder, beautifully designed themes and much more. You don’t need any coding experience or previous experience, anybody will obtain great results.

Try it for free for 15 days.

 

 

17. SuperbWebsiteBuilders

 

SuperbWebsiteBuilders is a decent choice for users, who intend to find the best website builder to complete particular tasks. The website provides the reviews of the top rated website builders, their characteristics, and list of pros and cons users should know when selecting the best platform. Due to the professional approach of Howard Steele, the owner and the chief editor of the website, it has become a decent information source for professional web designers and newbies.

 

18.  uKit

uKit is a robust website builder for business owners that have an edge over other site-building solutions due to its solid functionality and easy to use interface. The brings over 350 designer-made themes encompassing 38 business categories to suit just any kind of website. The platform offers everything you might require to set up your own professional digital presence and go online in a matter of minutes.

 

19. uCalc

uCalc.pro is a free online service that lets you create a custom embeddable calculator in a matter of minutes. Start by choosing a template (there’s a good collection of modern, designer made layouts), add the input fields you want and you’re all set to go live. Your visitors will be able to calculate mortgage, loan payments, interest rates and much more directly on your website.

 

 

20 .IM XPRS

IM XPRS is a decent choice when it comes to selecting a functional and affordable website builder. This cloud-based system is free, yet it offers a broad spectrum of web design options and tools needed to create websites of diverse specialization and complexity level. The service comes with the Polydoms technology, responsive templates subdivided into thematic categories, design customization tools, White Label solution and WYSIWYG visual editor that ensures intuitive, quick and safe web building process.

 

21. InvoiceBerry

 

Looking for a complete, simple to use and budget-friendly invoicing platform? InvoiceBerry is what you are looking for, is a perfect fit for small companies and freelancers. Sending fully customized invoices takes less than 60 seconds and the platform can also help you track expenses and payments, create reports and much more.

InvoiceBerry is having a free forever plan, start with that one and you can upgrade anytime.

 

22. SalesMate

 

 

Being used by more than 1,500 companies, SalesMate is a smart and powerful CRM software that will help you better organize your work, have a clear pipeline, increase email productivity and much more. Try it for free for a period of 15 days and check all the features and options that SalesMate is having.

 

23.  Ucraft Website Builder

 

 

 

 

Ucraft is a cloud website builder, which is in demand with experienced web developers and newbies, who are just making their first steps in the web design niche. The system allows creating and customizing websites of different types. There is even a Free Landing Page Creator, which makes to possible to build landing pages in minutes and connect them to any domains you wish or get the new one from the system in no time. It’s also possible to launch a functional web store here due to the integrated eCommerce engine the system can boast.

 

24.  Controlio

Controlio is a professional computer and internet monitoring software which is loaded with tens of great features and options. You can have live surveillance, continuous screen recording and much more. Prices start from $7.99 per user per month.

 

25.  EvergreenFeed

EvergreenFeed is a great way to put on autopilot your social media channels. This way you will save a couple of hours every week, hours which may bring you money by taking new projects. They are having a free plan which you should start with.

 

26.  Uncode

 

 

With Uncode you can take the building of an website using WordPress to the next level. It has a tailored version of the popular Visual Composer with advanced techniques, massive features and options. Everything you can thing for is included in Uncode.

 

27.  RumbleTalk - WordPress Social Chat

RumbleTalk is a popular choice to implement a web chat to any website. Using this webchat you can discuss with your website visitors but many other things can also be achieved. Audio and video calls can be made, image, video and youtube sharing and even more.

Up to 5 seats and 1 room is free. Try it.

Conclusion

Whenever you are looking to get things done quick while having excellent results, any of the above web resources are great options. Some of them are having free trials or even free forever plans, testing them is easy and free of cost.

As a final note, these web tools and services were manually selected and represent the best 26 web resources in the first quarter of 2018.

Please share your opinions and tell us what web tools you are using.

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Hey artist, get a real job!


In ancient human history, art was highly respected as it contributed the well being of the community. It used to bring change to everyday life, inspire development of science and technology; it literally led us, step by step, to civilization as we know it. Artists are the first to recognize the challenge. And they are the first to offer a visionary solution, which then the rest of society follows.

 

 

Today though, we cannot say that the society has high respect for artists, nor that artists are reaching their capacities as change-makers. The way that economy disciplined us into a consumerist society is that we are used to paying for what pleases us in a way that we can measure (or what has enough addictive substance). How do we measure the contribution of art in our life? Going to the theater or having an original painting - turned out to be a status symbol, more than anything else.

 

Hey, well, you are an artist, living and creating in the real world, today. If you came this far without hearing repetitive "yeah, that's a nice hobby, but when are you gonna find a real job?", you really are in luck. On the art planet, it's a jungle in struggling to make a living of your passion. But, hey, you do get something, don't you? What is that they pay artists with? Ah, yes, with exposure. And that's all right cuz you live out of thin air?? I don't think so.

 

So, how do artists get paid?

 

 

First thing you need to realize it that everything you do and you support yourself with, is a job. YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE IS YOUR JOB. And you deserve to be paid for what you create and what you provide. You're already doing it better than anyone else - you actually enjoy working. Yay!

 

But, as in any other job, you have to work really hard to get somewhere. And by working hard I don't mean creating more, I mean selling more. I know, not everyone can afford to hire a manager... It's 21st century! It's possible to learn any skill. Be your own manager. If you believe in your work and you love your work - let other people appreciate and love what you do as well!

 

Your audience is out there, and it ain't gonna reach itself.

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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A Colorful & Tactile Magazine Cover for a True Hands-on Experience

A Colorful & Tactile Magazine Cover for a True Hands-on Experience


Can you remember a time when people used to write letters—by hand! Or, read books made of paper, glue and ink? As our increasingly digital world seems to be moving farther and farther away from traditional print media, companies like Paperlux step in to remind us that nothing can replace the touch, smell, weight, and color of a real hold-it-in-your-hands magazine.

Today's article is presented by the leading magazine and glossy booklet printing company, Next Day Flyers. Check them out for fast turnarounds and amazing prices.

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When the graphic design magazine Novum commissioned Paperlux to come up with an innovative magazine cover, the creative juices kicked into overdrive and the result is truly something spectacular to see and feel.

Paperlux, a design studio based in Hamburg, Germany, was seeking a way to focus on the palpable nature of paper. The result was a very tactile approach as a way to draw people to a colorful product sporting a geometric design that makes you ache to just reach out and feel it for yourself.

Geodesic sphere at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World (left - source)

The design was fashioned after what is called a geodesic dome (source). Although the magazine represents a much flatter version of the dome, it still has the texture and look of the real thing.

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Halloween Colors: Where Did They Come From?

Halloween Colors: Where Did They Come From?


Pumpkin orange and midnight black—the predominant colors of Halloween combine the Autumn season with darkness and scary entities.

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(source)

But how did these colors really come to dominate this most unusual holiday? The truth is, when it comes to the question of the origin of the Halloween colors, it can be hard to separate the opinions from the facts.

Unbleached beeswax candles (source | source)

The most common opinion about where the colors originated is steeped in the rich history of the Celtics and the Druids, with the burning of unbleached beeswax candles (orange) and ceremonial caskets draped in a black cloth.

Feng Shui candles are said to help create peace in the center of your house (source)

Now, let’s step into the world of Feng Shui, where a balance of energy reigns supreme. Believers of Feng Shui feel that the colors of orange and black were chosen because they are on opposite sides of the energy spectrum: orange is warm, happy, lively, and brings to mind the bounty of the fall harvest, while black represents mystery, void, power and protection (source).

(leaves source)

The most obvious answer to this question is that the classic color of Autumn is orange, while black can be equated with the approaching darkness of winter.

spider glasses | felted toysnapkinsBunting 

And, if you want to get really extreme, some people claim that black and orange were the only colors left after Christmas took red and green, and Easter took all of the pastels.

Of course, Halloween colors are not just limited to orange and black, you will also see a lot of blood red, eerie green, ghostly white and deep purples. So, where do these colors come into play? Here is a plausible explanation.

Celtic wheel of the year (source)

Going back to the Celtic festival of Samhain in 700 B.C., it signified the end of the harvest and the approaching of winter, or the end of one year and the start of another. The Celts believed that ancestral spirits joined them on this day when the past and the present are about to cross paths, which is why it was also considered a “day of the dead.”(source)

goblin | bat necklace | brooch | Boo

All of the Halloween colors seem to implicate some kind of connection to death and dying. Red is a classic implication of blood, fire and demons, while green represents goblins, monsters, and zombies. Purple draws in a bit of the supernatural and mysticism, while white reflects ghosts, mummies and a full moon.

Stepping away from color for a moment, Halloween is also dominated by an abundance of Jack-o-lanterns and children out trick-or-treating. These traditions also have an interesting origin.

Stingy Jack (source)

Jack-o-lanterns trace back to the Irish myth of Stingy Jack who died and, finding himself rejected by both heaven and hell, was forced to roam the darkness seeking a resting place for his soul. Legend has it that he hollowed out a turnip and used it to carry a coal to light his way. This said, the first Jack-o-lanterns were carved in turnips, and only changed to pumpkins when the tradition was brought to America.

jack-o-lanterns (source)

Trick-or-treating came about during the Great Irish Potato Famine. On Halloween, peasants would beg for food from the wealthy. They played practical jokes on those that refused to give them something. So, to avoid being tricked, the wealthy gave out cookies, candies, and fruit. It is easy to see how this turned into modern-day trick-or-treating. (source)

bracelet | plastic mustaches / lips | zombie clips | toy

No matter what history tells us, the Halloween color palette we see today is warm, bright, fun, and sometimes a little spooky. Each color has a place in the holiday and can find a place in your life as well, whether you are wearing it, eating it, decorating with it, or simply reading about it. So, have a happy, safe and colorful Halloween!


header credit: purple bats
Happy_Halloween!


Halloween Colors

Trick_or_TreatOctobers_EndTrick_o_TreatPumpkin_Moon_IF23toxic_psychedelicHappy_Halloween!halloween_treatPumpkin_Moon_IF23Nuclear_HalloweenHALLOWEEN_SOCKShappy_halloween!Retail_Halloweenho_ho_ho-lloween!!This_is_HalloweenHalloweenspooky_stuff

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Mattel Hot Wheels: Coloring Playtime, One Car at a Time

Mattel Hot Wheels: Coloring Playtime, One Car at a Time


The launch of Mattel’s first line of Hot Wheels cars in 1968 was the beginning of what would become a big part of many of our childhoods. Almost 45 years later, Mattel estimates that about 41 million kids have grown up with their model toy cars, while the faithful enthusiasts have become collectors as adults. So, what was the secret to Hot Wheels' success?

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For starters, a constant stream of new models and concepts has enabled Hot Wheels to remain competitive. Its rivalry with Matchbox, which had a 15-year head start debuting in 1953, has resulted in a very colorful history that has transformed our entire preconception of what model toy vehicles should or should not be.

Hot Wheels 1968 Advertisement Featuring the Cheetah (source)

Often referred to by collectors as the “Sweet 16,” the first 16 cars that were released featured metallic “spectraflame” paintwork in such exotic colors as Antifreeze, Magenta and Hot Pink. Soon to follow were a collection of 48 cars released in the 1970s, which included the Paddy Wagon and models with rotating crash-panels called Crack-Ups.

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Bright Colors + Interesting Arrangements = Cheaper Wedding Flowers

Bright Colors + Interesting Arrangements = Cheaper Wedding Flowers


Weddings are expensive.  How many times have you heard you ask yourself "HOW much is/are...(insert photography, flowers, invites, food, etc)...going to cost?!"  So it is no wonder the most popular question I get asked is, "How do I save money on my wedding flowers and still have a beautiful event?" My two favorite answers to that question are, use high impact colors and interesting details.

Compare this lovely bouquet I designed a couple of years ago in shades of white:

 Photo by Sarah Maren

Barely_There

To this bouquet I designed for a Fall wedding with high impact oranges and reds:

Photo by Kight Photographers

Wedded_Ned
Both bouquets are gorgeous, to be sure.  But which bouquet leaves a lasting impression?  Which bouquet would make you stop and take a second look?

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Simple Reasons Why Some Businesses Failed in 2010

Simple Reasons Why Some Businesses Failed in 2010


There is a plethora of information out there from former CEO's and case studies about the many reasons why businesses fail or how to avoid failure of your small business, bad color and design is not usually one of the reasons given, but with more and more businesses existing exclusively online, color, design, and UX/UI is an issue for businesses today. It's no longer enough just to have a website. Your website is directly connected to the success of your business, and it needs to be treated as such with frequent updates, quick reactions to changing markets and, especially, the changing demands of your customers.

Today, we look at the color, design of a few companies that failed last year, and the reasons why. These highlighted companies were featured in the The New York Times article, How Six Companies Failed to Survive 2010. While many of the reasons they failed span beyond design an usability it's always a good idea to keep yourself familiar with all the pitfalls of running a business. You can read the full explanations and find out more about each company in the original article on nytimes.com.


Wesabe.com - Mr. Hedlund acknowledges, Mint had a better name and better design and was easier to use.“We wanted to help people,” he said, “but it was too much work to get that help.” - nytimes.com

Wesabe.com


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