Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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When you want your website or business identity's color scheme to be fun, entertaining, or even little outrageous, you need not look any further than those highly addictive mobile games for a little color inspiration. From high flying birds to classic games with new color variations, mobile game's often use color palettes that are bright, funky, primary based and still highly usable. Here are a few games currently on top of the mobile gaming world and their color paletts that add to the fun and keep us all playing over, and over, and over, and...
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Very exciting! - We've been working hard on a much-improved desktop version of the Seamless pattern-maker called Seamless Studio. Sponsored members of the community have been helping us test the beta and now we're opening up the beta to everybody else! We'd love your thoughts and feedback on the new app.
Download the Seamless Studio Beta Here:
Here’s some of the stuff we think you'll love in the new Seamless Studio:
* Save and open your templates as you're working on them
* Build your own custom shape libraries
* Import external shapes
* Upload templates directly to COLOURlovers
* Preview your COLOURlovers template in color
* Create patterns with unlimited colors
* Design on custom canvas sizes
Documentation and help sections for things like "Understanding the Interface", "Document Modes", "Custom Shapes" & more can be found here: Seamless Studio Documentation & Help
Get On The Seamless Notification List: Be the first to know when the full version launches!
*A Note on Importing Shapes with Seamless Studio*
With how talented our members are, it’s hard to know when they used their amazing talents to create a custom shape.. or when they imported a vector shape from another source.
It’s ok to import shapes from other creators when you have the appropriate permissions to do so. Please do not upload pattern templates that include imported shapes / images that are copyrighted. If you use shapes that are licensed with a creative common license, please link the source in the description. Unattributed pattern templates that include copyrighted content will be removed.
*How To Help Us Beta Test*
Once you've had a chance to play with the app, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback.
Just copy and paste the text below into a love note to COLOURlover or email to email@example.com and send it along with your thoughts:
Seamless Studio Beta Feedback
Operating Systems tested:
Seamless Studio Feedback:
* Describe any problems encountered during installation:
* Describe your initial impressions of Seamless Studio:
* What features/tools, if any, did you find to be confusing or difficult to use?
* What new features do you like most about Seamless Studio?
* What do you think could be improved?
* Describe any problems or bugs encountered while testing Seamless Studio:
* Would you recommend Seamless Studio to a friend? Why or why not?
* What are the first 3 words that pop into your head when you think of Seamless Studio?
* How often do you use Seamless Studio?
* What other software programs do you use on a regular basis?
* Please describe any additional comments regarding Seamless Studio:
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Placing importance on simple messages, typography, and color, hand painted signs and advertisements can add a lot to a business identity. Sometimes the signs outlive there businesses, as with the ongoing interest of so-called 'Ghost Signs', hand painted signs leftover from the period of popularity which ended in 70's. Many of these signs still remain in their original locations. Left for nostalgia, appreciation of the artistry or indifference by owners, Ghost Signs are faded reminders of the past, and a source for inspiration for those who see hand painted signs as a important now as the once were.
50 Signs by Colin Dunn
Since society seems to be moving at an ever-increasing speed towards going all digital, the thumb drive is like the file folder of the past, except more compact and much more stylish. Retailers have cashed in on the market for people's desire to have cool gadgets in their pockets, and you can find all manner of interesting flash device out there.
However, when you combine storage space with something like an MP3 player, ask your favorite designers to come in and finish it off with a great look, you may just find you have a product on your hands that really catches people's attention. Such is the case with Mugo, a line created by Aaron Atchison that features big name artists such as Julie West, Shin Tanaka, Jon Burgerman and more.
There is still something to be said (and seen!) when it comes to attracting foot traffic. If you have one of those businesses that requires you to leave your house you know exactly the kind of draw an attractive window display can have: "Oh, I was just walking by your shop and noticed your blank in the window." Without any actual research, i'm going to go ahead and say that product displays were the earliest form of visual promotion –a pile of soft grey furs draped over a conveniently located White Birch stump would have certainly helped me choose which fur trader to do business with, as opposed to the trader who had his furs stuffed into a rucksack or not on display at all!
There is a long history of window displays and the talents of window dressers. Born from visually communicating what products one was selling it has developed into an art; communicating the style and sensibilities of the strore's identity. Famed window displays at department stores in cities all over the world have pushed creativity for decades and today we see businesses connecting with artist and designers to create displays that effectively pull new customers or astray patrons into their shops.
The INDO Projects
Here are some projects that have been grabbing attention by one window display artist team in Chicago, The INDO Projects, and some other colorful examples of window displays found on The Window Shopper, The Window Display Blog & this post on My Modern Met.
Nick Campbell is the founder of an iPhone App company called BananaCameraCo, he runs a motion design education site called Greyscalegorilla, talks about the business of creativity on Nickvegas.tv, and speaks to students and creatives about how to be creative and get paid to do what you love. ...And all this came about AFTER he already had his "dream job" as an animator and a photographer making title sequences and TV commercials.
His business(es), all started as complementing side projects to his work as a motion designer under the the simple ideas to "help creatives and creators make cool sh$@" and “as I learn it, so do you.” From this he has developed a number of products and mobile apps all stemming from his core focuses. Everything from fun apps like ShakeItPhoto and CrossProcess that reach a general audience, to Photoshop for Photographers and Vintage Films for Looks reaching amateur and professional photographers, to even more technical industry focused products like HDRI Light Kit Pro and HDRI Studio made specific for the program Cinema 4D used by motion designers.
I had a chance to ask Nick a few questions about how, out of his client and agency work, he developed his own products, started spreading the know-how through blogs and podcasts, and created an effective business model out of it all.
1) You'll never regret working for yourself but you might hate yourself if you never try.
2) Put yourself and your knowledge out there (blogging, podcasts, educating), if people trust you they'll trust your products.
3) Use those interactions to help fuel new ideas and product development
4) Start by branching out from what you're already doing. A successful idea is one that is already working for you.
5) Offering education and functional products not only expands your business it expands the business community, indirectly creating more opportunities for everyone.
Interview With Nick Campbell
A quick rundown of the progression of your work, please.
I graduated from Illinois Institute or Arts in 2005 with one of those degrees that don't mean anything. "Digital Media" or something like that, I didn't take enough design classes. I worked around town a bit and ended up at my dream job at Digital Kitchen animating title sequences and awesome TV commercials with some of the most talented people in the city (world?). I was clearly the worst designer there, but luckily they were willing to take me under their wing and teach me how to be awesome like them.
Meanwhile, in "internet land", I started a photoblog called Greyscalegorilla where I posted a photo per day for about three years. I also started posting Photoshop tutorials to the site for people asking me how I processed my photos. Of course, word got around that I also knew After Effects and Cinema 4D, so I posted tutorials of that, too. Well, it seemed as if there were PLENTY of Photoshop and After Effects tutorials floating around the web, but when it came to Cinema 4D, I was one of only a few. Especially when it came to showing how to use 3D for Motion Graphics and Logo Design instead of flying spaceships and crap like that. The site took off like crazy.
During all this, I also started dabbling in making iPhone apps. At the time, the iPhone app store was new and I wanted in. I made a Polaroid simulator called ShakeItPhoto and it was starting to do pretty well, that was really exciting.
I had a blog that people liked, an iPhone App people liked and a full time job that I liked. Lucky me! But, there was a problem. I didn't have enough time. I decided to leave the full time job and focus full time on the blog and the iPhone apps. It was hard decision, but I had to try it or I would hate myself later.
It seemed as if there were PLENTY of Photoshop and After Effects tutorials floating around the web, but when it came to Cinema 4D, I was one of only a few. Especially when it came to showing how to use 3D for Motion Graphics and Logo Design instead of flying spaceships and crap like that. The site took off like crazy.
What percentage of your work is for clients and what percentage is for personal business and other non-business or more artistic projects?
After I left Digital Kitchen, I have had no clients. All my income has been from my own projects and products. Sometimes I do work for my friends if they need a quick logo animation or something like that. But it's never for money. Always for favors or beer. It's quite liberating actually. I didn't get into this stuff for clients, I got into it to make cool stuff.
Educating others has become a big part of your business model, and you're not just educating people about your own products but offering useful tutorials, open forums with feedback to others learning, etc... Has this helped your business grow? Does this interaction help you come up with new ideas for teaching topics and new product development?
The speaking and educating part has been an exciting part of this year. I get to talk to students and try to help them though this crazy design stuff. There are so many things that I wish people would have told me when I got started in all this. Now, I get to be that guy. It's weird, but fun. As far as being good for business. I think there is an aspect of that. People get to know me though the live show, podcast and speaking gigs. They trust me or at least like what I am saying. Then, when I have something to sell that people think is useful, like an iPhone app or a plugin, they trust me that it's not a peice of crap. Really though, the education thing is fun enough to do separately from selling a bunch of stuff.
People get to know me though the live show, podcast and speaking gigs. They trust me or at least like what I am saying. Then, when I have something to sell that people think is useful, like an iPhone app or a plugin, they trust me that it's not a peice of crap.
With some of your products in mind... Why can slight color variations make such a huge difference visually and emotively?
Color is hugely important in the work I do. When using most software, lights and colors usually default to 100% black or white and most people tend to leave things there. Even in Photoshop, the defaults are 100% black and 100% white. When people make things "Black" or "White" they tend to use these defaults. It almost always makes for a boring and unrealistic design. One thing I talk a lot about is the idea that nothing in real life is 100% black or white. You should always add color and variation to everything you design. Adding slight variations in blacks and whites go a long way to making things more realistic and interesting. This took me a long time to figure out, but it's one of those things that makes a huge difference.
What's coming next for you?
What's next? I hope to continue posting fun or interesting stuff to my blog and to continue making more Photo based iPhone apps. I am also playing around with the idea of brining some of my iPhone Apps to the new Apple App store for use on desktops and laptops. Our CrossProcess app will probably be first out. It will allow you to take any of your digital photos and turn them into photos that look like they were shot on film and processed in the wrong chemicals. It gives them a really cool color and adds a TON of contrast. I'm really excited about that one.
Normal Colors Are For Babies
Pulled from the tag for his product, CrossProcess, the phrase "Normal Colors are For Babies" sums up quite well Nick's career path, i'd say. While many could never think of leaving a dream job, Nick choose to, and ended up supporting himself and a greater community of creatives in process.
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Etsy.com allows people to sell in many different ways. An excellent business model is selling your creations as PDF Patterns instead of the actual item itself. It requires almost no overhead so to speak since you are selling a digital file for the end-buyer to print themselves. It allows you, the seller, more creative time by simply selling the method rather than trying to keep up with demanding orders.
Featured Etsy seller, English artist Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams, does just that. She does it very well in fact by showcasing a few different finished products as eye-candy for each pattern. Versions of these creations shown in the store are merely examples of how cute these plushes can look, but the fabric choices are up to you, so you can make these projects look any way you want. Each purchase comes packed with a PDF pattern and instructions on how to create it. Sarah also provides some extra bonus links and advice for sewing dolls, along with your purchase.
Opening More Doors for Cashflow
Sarah's business model not only sell's cute doll patterns, but also provides a way to dress these dolls up with upselling. A very smart move and works beautifully for her shop. As soon as you see these guys in their outfits you can't help but want to also accessorize!
Sell the Idea - Make it Tactfully Visual
These doll's aren't anything small either at 18.5" tall! Sarah does an excellent job showcasing her product. She doesn't just provide a single image of one doll, with a note that it's a pattern. She showcases a great picture of the main product - the Owls three in a row, sitting and standing. Then an up sell image of the owl's dressed in clothing - sold separately - and finally a representation of size by having a child in the picture holding one. I couldn't wrap my head around what this 18.5 inch doll might actually represented until I saw the image of the child.
Recapping this selling structure:
- Include nice, clear, un-grainy pictures. Sarah does a simple white background (a piece of posterboard can work). Colorful items are best shown on a simple background.
-Include a variety of inspirational looks. Sarah does this with many different fabric variations of the Owls.
-Include visuals to how big the item is: a quilt - show it on a bed, a doll - show it in your hands or a child's (try to represent it in real life, not against a ruler), an outfit - show it on a real body, etc.
-Finally, if there is a way to accessorize your item show it, but make sure to note that the PDF does not come with such and such items, but you can [link] get them here.
Etsy sellers create many types of products, not only in the sewing or PDF world. A couple of different scenario's to add upselling to your product pages would be:
Jewelry - Selling a necklace? Show an image with a ring and earrings that match....note links to those products...run a special to buy all three, etc.
Sewing Patterns or Clothing and Accessories - we've covered a lot about the patterns as the main topic in this post, but putting doll's aside, things like clothing could include accessories such as a purse, belt or other clothing accessory that might go.
Lastly, don't be afraid to start networking with other sellers to create a cross-combo upsell. Wow, does that sound complicated? It's easy, if you make dresses and skirts and have no interest in making purses, connect with a fellow seller and work out an agreement. If you only make necklaces, connect with someone doing more:
-Simple Exposure Trade - each of you post a product and link in another product page for upselling to the other user.
-Commission - Instruct buyers to mention a code in the special instructions field at checkout for the item on the other sellers product to get some sort of benefit (%/$ off next order, etc). Basically create a way to track that they bought from both of you.
Overall, the PDF to Print business model is an excellent way to keep loving your craft, broaden your market and have more time ultimately for creating new products for your line. A would almost guarantee that selling a pattern over the actual dolls will gross ten times more. Opening your pattern license up to allow others to sell the finished products provides even more of a draw.
As an Etsy buyer and crafter myself, I would much rather spend $10 on a pattern than spend $25+ on a single doll. Remember, Etsy is a creative community. Most of the users who sell on Etsy most likely buy on Etsy - and those people like to create.
One look at the patterns in the Dolls & Daydreams store, and you can easily imagine yourself spending a long and lazy Sunday with your sewing kit out, creating these precious little plushes.
Handmade plushes always give me a rush of delight. As a person who loves craft and collectibles, there's something about owning an item that has been created by hand that feels better than purchasing a mass manufactured item. It's a similar feeling to receive a gift that's been made by hand.
All images copyright Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams.
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This post was written in collaboration with both Colette Bennette & Molly Bermea
With little space and few words available, symbols, and especially color, need to to be smart when it comes to creating logo identities to communicate your brand. Its nice to check in from time to time to see how designers are using color to make a big impression. Here is a selection of recent designs from logospire.
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There are plenty of companies out there providing a way for you to get a cool case for all your devices be it the iPhone, iTouch, Blackberry and so on. IMakeMyCase, a side job of case-mate.com, is no exception in that they are also a provider of cool cases, yet their concept is wildly unique - they collaborate with world-class artists and musicians to produce some pretty rock'n designs.
Not only does IMakeMyCase provide case designs from top artists in both the music and art industries, but they provide a unique experience where you can use design pieces of a particular artist's collection of style to be the designer yourself.
How it works:
I decide to go with the work of Chuck Anderson of NoPattern.com.
After I pick the artist I want to go with, the animation zooms me down to Chuck Anderson's Design Studio where you can either make a custom design based on Chuck's artwork and inspirational style or I can simply buy a pre-made Chuck Anderson case (pre-designed by Chuck - "what would chuck do?").
- 1) Start with a Background
- 2) Add design Elements
- 3) Mess around with design elements like mirroring them, changing colors or totally warping the design elements with the kaleidoscope tool.
When you first start designing you might feel limited with some of the artwork and tools, but actually the secret lies in laying a few things out and then completely mauling it with the Mirror, Colors and Kaleidoscope tools - many times over.
Floris Voorveld of FlorisDesign, is one of my new favorite artists in the freelance designers world. I originally discovered his work on logopond.com and became fascinated with his take on practicing creativity. Floris grew up in the Netherlands but currently resides in Spain. He creates some really nice, minimal designs.
Don't hate Design Contests, use them to your advantage...
Something that Floris does stood out to me. Being a designer myself over the past ten years, I have witnessed the flood of design contests online. This is a subject of strong opinion going both ways. Some designers feel that it can take value away from the proper design process and hard work, it cheapens the industry, etc. I think more and more designers are learning to see some value to the fact that the contests exist and are not going away any time in this millennium.
Floris has a great view about these contests on this blog post, Logo Contests. Part of what I want to re-state is third party by way of Floris stating from another source, but I like his thoughts on the topic.
"if you pay peanuts you get monkeys"
...although most of the time that is true, it's not always like that. The problem is that people who pay peanuts don't know squat about monkeys. They wouldn't know a good logo if it would hit them in the face, that's the problem. - thoughts from Floris on Logo Contests
Ultimately, view design contests as a means to slim out the clients who really have no idea what good design will cost, what a good design is or how to handle the creative process of design. So really, the contests are doing you, the designer, a favor.