Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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When it comes to your marketing arsenal as a businessperson, one of the greatest workhorses you have is your business card. From prospects to customers, your business card tells the world who you are and what you do. The question is: is it telling the story you want it to?
What Makes an Effective Business Card
What makes an effective business card has changed over time. In 2000, American Psycho taught us that clean, white or eggshell cards were the creme de la creme of business status symbols.
These days, people are turning to color as a way to stand out and be more memorable to contacts.
So, how do you choose when and where to use color or what color to use, for that matter?
Have you ever wanted to apply your color design abilities to a real-life product? Well here's your big opportunity! Rev up your color coordination skills and become the next palette designer for a plaid shirt offered through Betabrand! You'll get the unique opportunity to color a plaid pattern, see the design in action (applied to a template shirt) and the possibility of having your colors picked for print. How cool is that?!
Betabrand is an online-only clothing company based in San Francisco that produces unique designs in limited-edition batches every week. They make Cordarounds, Japants, DARPA hoodies, Farmer's Market backpacks, disco pants, and much, much more.
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Ready, Set, Contest Time!
We've had our very own, sec9586 create a pattern template for a new plaid flannel shirt that Betabrand plans to release in two versions for the 2011 holiday season. Betabrand has already chosen the colors for one version - the other is up to you!
How it works...
Easy, color the Betabrand plaid pattern template, Betabrand2.
Your colored pattern will automatically appear with the rest of the entries on the contest gallery page. You may color as many versions of the pattern template as you like.
If your colors are chosen...
The Betabrand design team will select one winner, who'll receive the following:
- - A real-life finished plaid flannel shirt;
- - Your COLOURlovers user name on the shirt label (for this 2011 production run - see above image);
- - $100 Betabrand Gift Card;
- - Recognition on the Betabrand web site and in all company communications; this includes photo of the winner in his/her winning shirt (optional).
The contest runs August 2nd - 11th (2011). Anyone who submits an entry will receive a coupon code for 20% OFF any Betabrand product - offer only valid during the contest timeline.
There’s nothing quite like getting a new book; UPS knows me by my first name because I order so many! I woke up with this question this morning: is there a correlation between the color of a book’s cover, digital or physical, and its success within its genre? I took a look at several New York Times Bestseller lists to find out.
In the top 5 books in fiction, we see primarily copper, gold, silver, and ochre in spades and accents of lavender and bright blue. Granted, 3 of the 5 are from the same author, which might skew the results a bit, but nonetheless, warm colors and metallics rule the day for this genre. This makes sense as the 3 books by George R.R. Martin all deal with a world of royalty and opulence.
Of the five books present in the nonfiction category, we find a lot of warm colors, again. Here though, they are rich, non-metallic, and darker - much like the subject matter they enrobe. Looking at the covers, we see a range of colors from a memoir done up in nostalgic cream to a first person account of heaven wrapped in joyful yellow to a vibrant orange cover of a tale of scientific discovery. The two historical books in this genre are a sepia-toned look back World War II next to a similarly themed look at an American family’s time in Hitler’s Berlin.
The top selling nonfiction books show us, in color and in subject matter, that real life is a dizzying mix of dark and bright, grand and personal, recollective and modern.
Bestselling Hardcover Graphic Novels
Not quite as bold as comic books meant for children, the best selling graphic novels’ covers present us with a color palette of hues as dark and straightforward as the stories they portray. Whether looking at the modern yellow and gray of the newest X-Men novel or the dingy vintage orange of “Paying for It,” a seemingly seedy account of one man’s experience being a john, all the covers in this category allude to the grittier stories to be found in their pages.
Bestselling Children’s Chapter Books
Arguably the brightest covers of all those so far, it is appropriate that the top 5 children’s books give us saturated primaries, lapping flames, and bright lettering with only one black and white cover. The two books boasting primary colors deal with more simplistic subject matter while the flame-licked cover of “The Throne of Fire” sits squarely in the jewel-toned fantasy world where “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is well-served by the black and white of its cover, conjuring thoughts of long-lost mysteries yearning to be solved.
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If you’re a big film, tv, or theatre buff, you’ve probably witnessed a fair amount of subtext. This principle can be applied to more than just those mediums though! Today, we explore how you use the lens of subtext to look at your website and improve your digital presence by uniting your color scheme with your actual text.
First though, what is subtext? Think about it as the underlying theme or message in a conversation. In film, it can be seen with lighting choices, costumes, a character’s body language and really anything that isn’t apart of the actual dialog. I’ll use the movie Jurassic Park as an example.
Business or fan pages on Facebook are becoming increasingly used by small businesses. They allow for exposure to prospective customers as well as continued communication to current clientele, so their popularity is pretty justified!
If you're looking to create a fan page for your small business, your best bet is to present a polished experience for your fans (and potential fans) by designing a landing page for your profile. It’s a chance for you to tell users what you’re about, what you’re doing on Facebook, and ultimately why they should “like” you. We had the pleasure of creating just such a page for our client, Sterling Finance Company.
There’s no doubt that it’s valuable, but creating that page also presents you with a number of variables to decide on. This post explores several solutions via our favorite topic at COLOURlovers: Color!
What we love more than anything is helping people share their ideas & inspirations. A couple years ago we added the ability for members to color in 100 preset pattern templates and we saw your creativity flourish, but we also saw an even greater opportunity... To give you all the power to design your own pattern templates!
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And without being able to save your work, import your own custom shapes, work only in grayscale... and with only our simple web version of Seamless, in the past 12 months our awesome members created more than 80,000 original seamless patterns.
So it's with great excitement for the amazing creations that will be shared that we release the more powerful desktop version of Seamless Studio!
Special COLOURlovers Member Price
And as a special thank you to all our supportive members here at COLOURlovers, we're giving you a $20 discount on the regular price of $49, just for being a member. Thanks for Sharing the Love!
A Showcase of Amazing Seamless Patterns
It truly is magical what you all are able to create using simple shapes and only 5 colors... Check out the Showcase to see some examples of the wonderful patterns being created with Seamless Studio. Or check it out for yourself, Download a FREE 15 Day Trial of Seamless Studio...
Beautiful, Easy to Use & Affordable
Existing pattern design tools & software were expensive, hard to use & not much fun to play with. So as part of our mission to make design super easy and accessible to everyone, we made a beautiful, user friendly & affordable vector pattern design app. These are just some of the features we packed into Seamless Studio:
Import Custom Shapes
Open SVGs from other editors to use in your patterns.
Export to Other Formats
Save your pattern as a SVG, PNG, or JPG image.
Layers / Groups
Organize and rearrange shapes simply.
Save / Open
Create projects and come back to them later.
Upload your patterns straight to COLOURlovers.com.
Create wavy, sawtooth, straight, dashed, and dotted lines.
Export SVGs that scale beautifully to any resolution.
Start Sharing Your Patterns with the World!
Not only can you publish your patterns right to COLOURlovers.com from the app, you can also export your patterns as high res files to use in your own creative projects. Upload them to Spoonflower to get custom fabric! Print them out and sell them as part of a craft pack on Etsy! Turn a pattern into beautiful wall art with Imagekind! ...Woohoo!
Like so many houses on so many home makeover shows, some business’ websites simply need a makeover. Getting a website redesign doesn’t mean that the business itself doesn’t deliver amazing work, they could even be the best in their industry, it just means they aren’t articulating it digitally...yet!
While there are many aspects to a successful makeover, the most important is color choice. Think back to those TV shows. Arguably the largest change in the house with a purple exterior and bright teal accents was the switch to mature, subdued pebble-tones accenting a calm, cool columbia blue. Or the living room done in carnation pink with lemon-yellow daisies transformed to buttercream trim on pale moss walls.
Whether dealing with a house or a website, color is the most visually transformative aspect of any makeover. While content, layout, and user experience are inextricably tied to great digital design (I can’t even begin to explain how important each of those are...), the use of color will be our focus today in examining digital metamorphoses.
From Craptacular to Banktacular!
When we were approached by Central Florida Postal Credit Union to give their brand and their site a facelift, we had our work cut out for us. After initial strategy meetings, we were able to suss out what they wanted their digital brand to say about them: CFPCU is reliable and caring. That meant that a visit to their site needed to be enjoyable, educational, and easy to navigate.
Unfortunately, their old site did not relay that clearly.
While the colors present aren’t the most clash-worthy I’ve ever seen (they’re simply a muted variation of primary colors), those colors say soft, calm harmony as opposed to trusted, attentive, and dependable.
Many of you know about our COLOURlovers iPhone App - ColorSchemer Touch, but do you know all you can do with it? I wanted to do a quick highlight of all it's features, so let's get down to it!
At this point in development, ColorSchemer Touch allows you to do the following:
Peruse COLOURlovers current Palette Creations... tapping once on a palette will bring you to the Palette information.
Palette Information includes author, loves, views, comments, rank and when it was created along with the colors used.
Full Screen - To get a bigger and more beautiful show all this palette has to offer, just tap on it (again in the information screen) and it will expand full screen. WOW!
Color information includes the COLOURlovers original titles as the default display.
Just tap once over the color area to display the Hex Values for each color, tap again to see the RGB values and another tap brings you back to the original titles.
Creating Palettes in So Many Ways!
There are so many cool tools for creating your own palettes!
- - Use the standard color wheel
- - Play around with LiveSchemes (which may need it's very own post to cover how cool it is)
- - Use PhotoSchemer to grab colors from photos you have on your iPhone (or take a new photo).
- - Or use the Spectrum
And Yes, you can make palettes with varying widths!
When you're done making a palette, why not share it?!
I'll end with answering some questions that might or have already come up...
- - Yes,
we're hoping to develop an Android version at some point in the future.
- - Yes, eventually it will have more COLOURlovers site features on it (such as perusing patterns!).
The Grand Giveaway!
WeI'd like to give away FIVE copies of ColorSchemer Touch! Tell us how you would use the app if you had a copy and how much you dearly want it. :)
If you already own it, please feel free to let us know how you use it!
You have until Friday, July 22nd, 2011. Entries will stop at 1pm (USA PST).
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Palettes used in this tutorial:
There are some colors, when paired together, that just look good. They make sense, they match. There are also those colors which, put side by side, make your eyes burn. Ok, maybe not actually burn, but you know what I mean.
The question is: why? Why do certain color combinations look serene or exciting and others garish or completely boring? I want to explore the why of color combinations, some of the science and some of the psychology and how you, as a business person, can put those colors to work for you.
Covering Some Color Basics - Intro to Color Theory 101
Before we dive into the “why” of certain color schemes and how to use them to speak to your potential clients, let’s cover some color basics to make sure we’re all on the same page. COLOURlover pros and veterans, feel free to jump to the next section.
For the purpose of this post, I’ll be using the Red/Yellow/Blue color model as the primary colors on our subtractive color wheel (this subtractive wheel is what painters and artists use). For a look at the use of the Cyan/Magenta/Yellow color model used by printers, feel free to take a look at our recents posts discussing RGB versus CMYK conversions.
The Red/Yellow/Blue color model is what most of us grew up learning. Arranged in correspondence with the wavelengths of light, the original color wheel was invented by Isaac Newton. We wrote a complete history of the various color wheels recently, if you are curious and want to know more.
The color wheel that most are familiar with usually looks like this:
Secondary colors on this wheel are made by combining 2 primary colors. Likewise, tertiary colors are formed by mixing a primary and a secondary hue.
Source: Eva Williams
The logo design process is intriguing, both from the designer perspective and from a client’s point of view. That said, it is a very different process depending on which vantage point you are looking from!
On the client side, I’m told the whole operation tends to go something like this:
• Meet with the designer
• Designer goes and does some “stuff”
• Poof! Logo options appear!
• If needed, meet with the designer again to go over any changes
• Designer does some more “stuff”
• Poof! I have a logo!
Well, COLOURlovers, I’d like to let you in on what that process looks like for your designer. Because, as any designer will tell you, we’d love to have logo creation be as simple as saying “Poof!” But, it’s a wee bit more difficult than that. I want to peel back the curtain to demystify how we move from a blank page to a logo that works on Blackberries, billboards, and business cards. Go ahead; you’re allowed to peek.
Step 1: Initial Consultation
When a client comes to us saying they need a logo designed, the first thing we do is sit down for an initial chat. In this earliest meeting, we aim to figure out what kind of logo they are looking for.
Do they simply want a logotype or a pictorial mark? How about something that combines both?