Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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When we released our report on the colors of the social web, based on data analyzed by our Twitter theme tool, we were surprised that blue was such a dominant color in people's profile designs. Was Twitter's default color influencing their design decisions? Or is blue really THE most popular and dominant color online? ...We decided to look at the colors in the brands from the top 100 sites in the world to see if we could paint a more colorful picture.
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Turns out the blue-berry doesn't fall far from the bush. The web landscape is dominated by a large number of blue brands... but Red occupies a large amount of space as well. What's driving this? You might want to say that carefully organized branding research and market tests were done to choose the perfect colors to make you spend your money, but a lot of the brands that have grown to be global web powerhouses, started as small web startups... and while large corporate giants with branding departments spend quite a lot on market research, user testing, branding, etc. Lots of the sites listed above got started with brands created by the founders themselves with little to no research into the impact their color choice would have. I once asked Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook why he chose blue for his site design... "I'm color blind, it's the only color I can see." ...and now 500 Million people around the world stare at a mostly blue website for hours each week.
While the initial reasoning for the colors chosen may be trivial, the impact that these dominant players now have in the web world will surely influence the smaller startups that want to share in the positive color associations created by their bigger siblings... Once a rocketship of a web startup takes flight, there are a number of Jr. internet astronauts hoping to emulate their success... and are inspired by their brands. And so Blue and Red will probably continue to dominate, but we can have hope for the GoWalla's, DailyBooth's and other more adventurous brands out there.
Would A Corporation By Any Other Color, Still Profit As Well?
Color is an important part of any brand, but along with the actual name of a company... Is it a great brand that builds a great company, or the other way around? Would Google, Google just as well with another name? My guess is yes.
And almost 10 years ago, Wired Magazine looked at the Colors of the corporate America... Blue & Red dominate again.
Companies spend millions trying to differentiate from others. Yet a quick look at the logos of major corporations reveals that in color as in real estate, it's all about location, location, location. The result is an ever more frantic competition for the best neighborhood. Here's a look at the new blue bloods. [Wired Magazine]
The Colors of 1 Million Brand Icons
And a brand can extend further than just your logo... On the web it reaches into the address bar in the form of a Favicon. It's quite amazing to explore, but the top 1,000,000 website Favicons can be browsed here at Icons of the Web:
See if you can find the COLOURlovers icon!
Uh-oh! But Will We Run Out of Color on the Web?
Last year Francisco Inchauste posted a very interesting article on SixRevisions about the limited resource of color... not in physical form, but in mind share. (Even linking to a post we did a while back about T-Mobile and it's trademark of "Magenta")
As a designer, it is important to be aware of the trending colors, and how they are being applied in products and work produced today. What really isn’t being discussed by the design world at large though are the limitations being set on color. Color is as free for us to use as the air we breathe… or is it? [SixRevisions]
The Next Big Color Trend
You are the next great founder, designer, influencer or creative mind that may build the next Facebook. You have the power to influence future color trends... What colors will you choose?
In need of some inspiration? Check out Creative Market for some powerful color ideas.
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For this episode of Local Color we travel to Milwaukee Wisconsin, a beautiful Midwestern City on the shores of Lake Michigan. While Milwaukee has a vibrant sports, art and maritime history, let's face it, when it comes to Milwaukee most people think of beer. And nothing goes with a beer like a burger.
Meet Joe Sorge, founder of AJ Bombers. This local burger joint has created quite a brand and quite a business by embracing social media in ways that few restaurants have ever done.
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Little things can make a big difference when it comes to first impressions... your business card is not only an opportunity to let potential clients, friends, squash partners, and recipe swap mates Know what your business is all about, but it is also an opportunity to let them in on a bit of your personality.
Below you will find some links that we hope will inspire you to be a little more colorful, or at least act as a reminder that it's time to reorder more business cards.
Find Your Inspiration
When it come to business cards no one does it quite like the Japanese. Take a look at the history and tradition of Meishi, and check out a few other links to see what that long tradition has come to look like in the contemporary world today: Japanese Business Cards | Meishi The Art of Introduction | Business Card for Tamiya | Printing Museum Tokyo
Maybe look back to the first widely used business cards also known as Trade Cards.
Try out some DIY ideas.
A Few Examples from the Aforementioned links
I was first introduced to the term wayfinding from an architectural firm that hired me to help them get on the web years ago. In architectural terms wayfinding encompasses all of the ways in which people orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place.
While it can be a holistic and even philosophical design approach it mostly boils down to effective signage. When it comes to vast spaces, such as arenas and airports, color systems are often the most effective means of conveying categories of direction.
In other words, all blue signs refer to the International terminal or club section while all green signs signal restrooms. Frequently these systems also include icons to help further delineate or deepen the association.
Help Me Navigate a Space
The real point of the exercise boils down to making it easy for people to navigate in areas that are usually foreign to them.
When you think about it, a website is much like a large public space frequented by visitors that may not be familiar with the lay of the land. A system of color wayfinding might be very effective way to help visitors navigate a web site more effectively.
Finding Creative Publishing & Distribution Outlets, and 5 Colorful Indie Mags Who've Already Found One.
Traditional publishing methods might be going the way of the dodo (I really wish I could say junk mail or phone books by now) but since this gives way to a drastic increase in the number of creative projects finding there way into the screens, ears and hands of more and more people I wouldn't say that this is a bad thing at all. Sure, we might have to sort through a few bad apples to get to the juicy materials we crave, but i'll choose to sort through my own apples over a bunch of people who don't necessarily share my tastes any day.
With that digested, here are 5 colorful indie magazines (mags) that, with long list of others, have chosen the creative publishing route with MagCloud, one of the many developing platforms for just that. And below that you will find a few sites to help you publish your next project whether it's a magazine, photo book, craft, or music.
We Like We Love is a magazine about sharing the things you like & love.
Collective funding, crowd funding, community funding,... whatever you want to call it it's great, and these micro-financing sites are allowing people to find support for the smallest of projects related to their businesses and dreams.
The idea is simple: communicate your idea and set it free allowing it travel through the cloud collecting support along its way. Creative projects deserve creative funding, and what better way then to tap into the creative community at large for support. Not only do supporters get to see projects come alive they become a part of the project, without their support it would never happen. Supporting and seeing all these great projects takeoff can be just the bit of inspiration you might need to get your project off the ground too.
Having experienced working on a project (Designing Obama) from 'KickStart' to finish I can say that while the ultimate goal of course is to raise the money you need, connecting with people who are as excited about something as you are, and seeing a community form around a single project is the ultimate aspect of the support that can be found on these sites. In my mind, raising one million dollars from one person is one thing but having one million different people give one dollar each is quite another.
Creative Funding Sites
Effective marketing these days is more about teaching than selling. Every seasoned teacher will tell you that people learn and consume
information in different ways. Even within a narrowly defined, ideal target market there exists many different personalities and just as many different learning styles.
The problem this presents to the marketing folks is that you can no longer strive to create the brochure or web page, with stunning images and evocative stories, and hope to appeal to someone who is a “just the facts ma’am” kind of person.
The web has raised the bar and when a prospect goes out there online they expect to find lots of information, in a variety of formats, packaged for the way they want to consume it. Your marketing materials must come in many different flavors and offer something for every buying style.
I’ve always promoted something I call a marketing kit approach. This can pertain to online of offline materials because it’s as much about what the information is as how it’s presented. The idea behind the kit approach is that you create various forms of content to appeal to different needs.
There are a number of personality profile tools that validate the learning style theory and if you could just have each of your prospects and customers complete one of those for you life would be great.
You may never have that luxury, but you can learn from what these personality instruments teach about how to interact with different learning styles.
One of the more popular tools is called the DISC profile. You may have seen or taken the DISC profile. DISC is the four quadrant behavioral model based on the work of William Moulton Marston Ph.D. to examine the behavior of individuals in their environment or within a specific situation. DISC looks at behavioral styles and behavioral preferences.
DISC is an acronym for:
- Dominance – relating to control, power and assertiveness
- Influence – relating to social situations and communication
- Steadiness (submission in Marston’s time)- relating to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness
- Conscientiousness (or caution, compliance in Marston’s time) – relating to structure and organization
My take on this when it comes to marketing materials is that different behavioral styles need different marketing messages and forms of communication and content.
In our marketing kit example a
- D – needs the facts, the quick rationalization of benefit that a case statement might make, case studies too
- I – loves a good story, relates to more classic marketing messages of difference, loves images
- S – likes volume of content, frequency and consistency of content and message, full feature dumps, white papers
- C – responds to FAQs, testimonials, case studies – proof, checklists
Also consider that nobody is strictly a high D or high I, we’re all made up of mixtures.
Create lots of marketing content, package it in different formats (including audio and video) and offer it up for all to consume, knowing that how it’s consumed will differ from prospect to prospect.
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When a social network like Twitter allows a user to select a theme to represent themselves in the digital world, that user is choosing to identify their digital persona with colors... And we wanted to look at who chooses what colors... If the world is made up of people and those people have a color preference... what then is the color of Texas? What color are mothers? What color are we?
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By looking at the more than 1 Million people who have used our Themeleon tool to design their Twitter Profile in the past 3 months, we were able to paint a picture of the world connecting colors to locations and profile data. Below is a visual guide to what we found: What we noticed first was that a huge majority of people don't wander that far off from Twitter's default light blue colors... and then we went digging deeper.
*A little note regarding the "World vs. U.S." - We know the map is of the United States and does not represent the world, we only focused the map part of the infographic on the U.S. so we had a manageable amount of data to work with and geolocate. The keywords, male & female and video sections below all use data from around the world*
A Colorful Tour of the Themeleon World
We took the colors from 100,000 profiles designed with Themeleon and geolocated them to the designers location. Although it is a little dark in this compressed video... Each location has a spectrum strip of colors... the more colors from a certain area, the taller the strip. (The US is well defined, Europe and East Asia... although you can see some outlines of other countries too.)
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Dribbble, "show and tell for designers, developers and other creatives," has been getting a lot of play around the web as of late. It seems everyone is trying to get a shot at an invite to this quickly developing design showcase and community. The chatter around the web seems to agree that while not much different than LogoPond, Coroloft, Behance, unmatchedstyle, or the plethora of other css design & logo galleries where you can find up-to-date inspiration and get feedback, where Dribble has really scored is–and not with their fun basketball references either, but with their "social functionality and active community."
Sites likes these, and like our very own community here at COLOURlovers, can be a valuable resource for those looking for feedback on their recent projects, whether it be a new logo, sign, app, business card, letterhead, etc.
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If you're a lover here looking for some feedback try starting a forum post and include samples from different aspects of your color identity to give some context to those whose help you are seeking. This will allow others to give the most useful feedback and help keep your identity consistent. There is always a lover out there willing to lend a hand to those seeking assistance and they can be found on many sites across the web.
Clean design, smooth functionality and a color sorter!
For this episode of local color we are traveling to Dallas Texas home of football, cowboys and cattle. Now, craft sewing and hip might not always be two terms you toss into the same conversation, but that may change when you meet Callie Work-Leary the under 30 owner of CityCraft – a Fabric Boutique and Sewing Lounge she hopes to build into the Crate & Barrel of the sewing world.