Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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Understanding color can be a daunting task with many dead ends. Have you ever taken a color theory class only to be left feeling like it didn’t teach you anything to do with applying color in the real world?
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Maybe you have an awesome natural instinct for putting together cohesive palettes or colorizing fabulous patterns perfectly, but why are you so good at it? Validating the why, where and when of color will change your entire outlook on color and what it can do to your personal or professional life.
Color opportunities exist in many industries. Companies need color design expertise to guide them through the many choices they have to make as a successful business. Choices they must make involving color range from advertising, product design, branding and many more. You need credible, verifiable information to back up your decisions as a consultant or designer and you need more than a simple love for color to get you there.
Neon is one of those palettes that often finds itself on the wrong side of the high-brow/low-brow division. Most of us associate the vibrant colors with things like the blinking signage advertising the local bar or fast-food spot, or our favorite "Saved by the Bell" inspired outfit from middle school.
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But neon "throw-back" clothes are back, and just as neon's having a fashion revival on the street, it also has a place in the couture scene.
Take these three projects, which insert the hues for dramatic touches that serve as the centerpiece of the images.
Paper dolls and their costumes provide a look at cultures from around the world. They give us a glimpse at what was worn by men and women through the centuries. Celebrities were turned into paper dolls, as were storybook characters. Its easy to find your favorite subject in paper doll form; from Little Fanny to the Bobbsey Twins and The Flintstones to political cartoons. The history of the paper doll is likely unknown by many, so today, we're going to take a trip back in time to unearth the history of what every child was once familiar with!
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Our story begins in 1810 when S. & J. Fuller produced a small book. The moral story was accompanied by a series of hand colored little boys in various costumes that correspond with the story. They were somewhat unusual in that there was not a full body paper doll. Instead, there was a single head for the set of dolls that neatly fit in a v shaped horizontal slit on the back of each costume. Presumably one head was used to require the child to move the head from costume to costume as the story progressed. The book was titled The History & Adventures of Little Henry. It was the first in a series of similar books that became quite popular. The second book, also published in 1810 was History of Little Fanny. (source)
The paper doll was even used in a Political cartoon from August 15th, 1925. The ad, originally in black and white, was restored and colored by Judy M. Johnson of Paper Goodies.
This ad encourages its readers to "see just how she uses three of the Cutex "smoky" shades by cutting out the figures above" and goes on to talk about the 12 "smart shades" that are available for only 35¢. Yes, you read that right, just 35¢ in 1936!
When paper dolls surged in popularity as toys, manufacturers of all kinds of household goods took advantage of their popularity by using them to promote their wares. Paper dolls appeared in advertising, some die-cut, some as cards to cut out. A few of the products advertised with paper dolls were Lyon's coffee, Pillsbury flour, Baker's chocolate, Singer sewing machines, Clark's threads, McLaughlin coffee and Hood's Sarsaparilla. These dolls were plentiful and are still fairly easy to find today, often pasted into colorful scrapbooks. Later, from the 1930s to the 1950s, companies put paper dolls into their magazine advertisements to sell such goods as nail polish, underwear, Springmaid fabrics, Quadriga Cloth, Ford Cars, Fels Naphtha and Swan soaps, Carter's clothing for children, and more. (source)
The 1930s through the 1950s can perhaps claim the title "Golden Age of Paper Dolls," as their popularity during those years has never been equaled. Barbie may be credited or condemned for the decline in popularity of paper dolls in the 1960s. Paper-doll versions of Barbie and her sister, Skipper, were strong sellers in the 1970s. Boyfriend Ken and girlfriend Midge were also made as paper dolls. Paper Barbies appeared in books and in boxed sets from 1962 through the 1990s, and have dwindled to nearly nothing in the first years of the 21st Century.
Paper Dolls Today
VaVa farmed paper dolls from her childhood.
Zevi likes to recreate paper dolls using fabric. This one in particular is Dolly Dingle.
A playful portrait of yourself, your pets or your family. You provide the photos and choose the clothes, and they illustrate a quirky stylized moveable likeness of your favorite animal/person.
This gorgeous oversized postcard has all you need to dress Miss Clara up in her favourite winter outfits.
Imogen is approximately 7 inches tall (18cm) and is printed on heavy weight matte card stock. She comes with quite a wardrobe as well! Summer outfits, winter attire, beachwear and sleepwear. 8 outfits in all, plus coordinating accessories.
These lovely paper dolls are printed on heavy-duty water-resistant magnetic paper. These magnets preserve the detail of the original watercolors. They will stick to any metal surface: fridge, file cabinet, or anything else in your nest that needs feathering.
I love these Betsy McCall Halloween paper dolls from 1953.
It is possible to unearth paper dolls from the past. Looking in books and through loose pieces of paper is a great way to start. There are paper doll conventions held throughout the year if you're hoping to find antique paper dolls from their early debut. Creating your own paper dolls can be really fun, especially for kids! It allows you to personalize your dolls clothes, hair, facial features etc. The possibilities are endless!
Power, speed and vibrant color were the dominating themes in posters created in the 1920s. The artwork, referred to as Art Deco, allowed posters to take on a new form with simplified shapes and sleek, angular lettering replacing the curved lettering of the Art Nouveau style. (source)
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The term Art Deco comes from the 1925 Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris, where people flocked to view a spectacular display of this new type of art.
This vintage 1927 movie poster epitomizes a very vivid sense of power that was a popular theme in the posters created in the 1920s.
1926 Poster “Don Juan,” starring John Barrymore (grandfather of Drew Barrymore) (source)
This vintage 1926 movie poster practically drips with brute strength and speed. It also features a variety of lettering styles and colors to add a bit more excitement to the overall picture.
1920's George V. Hecker's Flour Vintage Poster (source)
Printed in the lithograph style, you will notice that this beauty was laid out horizontally, suggesting that it was used as an insert for advertising on a train, trolley or bus.
1920s Original Antique Vintage Clothing Poster (source)
The well-dressed couple depicted in this poster is wearing the flapper-style clothing that was popular in the Art Deco era. Another thing that sets it apart, which cannot be seen in a digital image, is its linen back, which was a common printing surface in this time period.
1920s Lori or Lora Harrington & her Gypsy Wayfarers Vintage Vaudeville Music Poster (source)
Printed by Quigley Lithograph Co., this rare music poster uses a simple color scheme to draw the audience in and make the lettering litterally pop out at you. Another interstesting tidbit is that it was mounted on linen and machine folded for distribution.
Have you ever wondered how drinking cow’s milk became so popular? Apparently, the National Dairy Association started its campaign back at the turn of the twentieth century. The bright yellow in the National Dairy Council poster definitely catches the eye. In contrast, the deep shades of color in the Lawrence Wilbur poster showcase illustrative and graphic arts printing methods at their best.
1920 Dairy Milk and Airplane Poster (source)
Produced by the Dairymen`s League Cooperative Association in New York City, this poster also promotes the drinking of milk by combining the themes of power and speed with a traditional American landscape. Although the airplane is the focus, this poster offers many other elements such as the machine-age skyscrapers in the foreground encompassing the airplane, a milk truck on a highway and a steam engine train, backed by a colorful patchwork of farm lands.
1920s Corticelli Fabric Fashion Poster (source)
Fashion at its finest! This simple, yet elegant poster uses the idea of “less is more” to convey its message.
1920 French Railroad Poster (source)
This work of art reveals lithograph at its finest. Advertising the French Railway as your host for excursions to Normandy, it was printed in France and designed by well-known French graphic designer, poster artist, and illustrator Charles-Jean Hallo.
1920s Doctor Lynas’ Extracts Poster (source)
This poster is unique in that it was printed on cardboard. Its bold typography adds emphasis to the fact that Dr. Lynas’ was a well-known brand of the era.
1920 Eveready Flashlight Christmas Poster (source)
This charming photomontage poster mixes text and photo elements to create a sense of expression that is sure make you smile. The detail that went into printing this almost “life-like” gentleman reveals the use of some very detailed and tedious lithography techniques.
These “posters” take linen backing to a whole new level.
In retrospect, while many posters from the 1920s were detailed works of art, a great many more were simply humorous, cheeky, or down-right ugly. Together, these posters helped to form the foundation of modern-day advertising, and give us great topics to blog about, too!
If you would like to find out more about vintage posters, visit http://vintageposterworks.com.
Millions of pink Breast Cancer products get ready to take October by storm. The colors of awareness are popping up everywhere by any number of businesses large and small…
“Buy this pink product and all proceeds will be donated to breast cancer.”
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photos by me | The Human Bean donates all proceeds to the local hospitals on a certain day in October.
This might be one of the most successful marketing ploys of the twentieth-century. Why? Because people don’t mind contributing when they feel like they are getting something out of showing their support.
Take a look at the average consumer, who generally does not have or want to spend the extra cash to simply donate. Now they can donate and get something in return. Wouldn’t you much rather spend $8.00 on a pink water bottle than donate $8.00 directly to a charity? I am going to buy a water bottle anyway.
Embrace Activism Products specifically designed around Breast Cancer
The sheer number of charities asking for donations can be daunting. How do you pick one if you don’t necessarily have a sentimental reason to go with one or the other?
Being an average person and general consumer of every day products, I have no personal reasons to choose to financially support a cause. So unless someone asks me to donate I most likely wouldn’t think to donate if it wasn’t right in my face when I go to the store. But, since I’m there, I might as well buy the loaf of bread with the pink ribbon graphic promising to donate for me. I feel good about supporting a cause and I get my loaf of bread, everyone wins.
Simple Methods, Big Impact
A couple basic cause-based advertising models…
Spare Change: Asking customers if they would like to round up their purchases to donate the extra change to a certain cause or charity. Normally something at a grocery store, but you could use this on a smaller scale in almost any type of situation.
Color it Pink or add a Pink Ribbon: This is the biggest marketing scheme we see on a daily basis. Companies small and large use this method to generate awareness for their brand, products and the cause (of course). Pair up with a foundation or simply donate to local programs (organized charities, hospitals, groups) to draw in community members.
Small & Large Scale Business for Charity:
With October just a hop over the fence, there is ample opportunity to get in on it some way or another! From using the color pink and boobies in unexpected product design or creatively funny ads, it's a great way to step out of your regular routine and make a splash at it!
Products & Proceeds
Putting on events or being involved in events can get your brand out there in any number of ways...
I'm actually surprised at how little Etsy crafters have made for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I'm even more surprised that more than half the crafters displaying content for sale, are not even trying to pull off donating proceeds or a percentage to some foundation or another...which would probably help their purchases. Maybe we'll see more pop up as we get in to October more.
- Bag by Pampered Knitting | keychain by BeachBMXDesigns
- cake pops by DaintyButton | bag & tote by Bagsmadetoorder
So is it wrong or right to run creative promotions and sell product based on Breast Cancer Awareness?
With October being the official month for Breast Cancer Awareness, there are plenty of opportunities to run a caused-based promotion with your small business be that an Etsy shop or physical business.
So morally, is this a bad thing to run a creative promotion or sell your products based around Breast Cancer Awareness? When it comes down to the dollar and the sense of it all -- what this has really done is create HUGE avenues to more regularly and more actively generate money and massive awareness for these causes. Think of how much more funds have been raised due to proceeds and percentages donated by businesses than before when people were simply asked to provide a dollar donation.
However funds are raised, the cause is important and breast cancer takes too many of our wonderful women. And as always directly donating to an organization is a great way to make a difference. Foundations such as the SUSAN G KOMEN - for the CURE provides tons of resources to understand Breast Cancer for both the diagnosed or if you just want to know more about it along with donating and finding things like races and events to be a part of.
What's the coolest breast cancer product or ad you've seen?
If you are a Breast Cancer Survivor or know someone who has been diagnosed, what are your thoughts about businesses donating proceeds and percentages?
The business card: Your most powerful self-marketing tool. From basic black and white to lavish die-cut, colorful pieces of art, they all do just about the same thing—they introduce and retain your personal or business brand. In some countries they are traded with no formality while in others they are exchanged with great ritual, you probably have at least two or three in your wallet right now, they are EVERYWHERE! Probably the single most used marketing tool in the world today, the business card has been utilized for centuries as a means of introducing oneself. So, how did this simple rectangular piece of paper come to infiltrate the business culture of today? (source)
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Designed to catch your attention while leaving a lasting impression, billboards have an interesting place in history. From humorous to thought-provoking, they decorate our roadsides, draw-attention to our buildings, and often stick with us long after we leave them behind. So, where did these over-sized advertising tools find their start?
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(source - This is the only image available for this billboard)
Drive-by advertising has been around since the circus came to New York City in 1835. Early billboards were basically large posters attached to the sides of buildings. In 1889 the world’s first 24-panel billboard was erected, paving the way for what was to come.
Hand-painted billboards were created in large studios. The image was projected onto panels, outlined, and then painted on using large brushes and oil paints. After it was installed the artists would touch-up the paint where the panels came together.
The Quick Response Code, better known as the QR code, has come a long way since it's start in 1994 as a tool for the automotive industry. This two-dimensional barcode was originally created for tracking vehicle parts and was ideal because it could hold a lot of information and could be read at high speeds (source).
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A basic QR code is not limited to, but generally made up of black and white square clusters, almost like a very pixelated looking vector image. It looks like a funky blob to me, but apparently it can do quite a few nifty tricks!
The Many Creative Uses of QR Codes
Because the creation of the smartphone seems to provide us with endless possibilities, it only seems natural that QR codes have become prevalent everywhere and used on everything. I've seen them used most commonly in magazine ads, mainly for website URLs or store locations. Upon scanning the QR code with my iPhone it takes me to Google Maps showing me their location nearest to me.
Using patterns in print design can really punch up a project. It's nothing new, but I'd like to point out a few different variations you might see as key benefits.
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Single Use Design Pieces
Simplify a project by using patterns. In this design, the abstract pattern with the perfect color palette, truly resembles a feel for the arts. It doesn't restrict the design to a certain type of art where the festival might cover anything from painting, sculpting, fiber arts and more. Using an artistically geared pattern keeps that visual open.
Coordinating Design Pieces
Using patterns in coordinating print projects can easily lend a hand in matching sets of items such as wedding invitations which usually contain a main element, the invitation - plus response cards, enclosure cards, save the date cards and thank you cards. Not to mention possibly following through with the design on wedding day programs, seat placement cards, etc.
Reusable & Customizable Design Pieces
When working with products you want buyers to customize, simple two-color patterns make it easy to do so. This makes it a snap for you to go in and adjust the pattern palette before shipping a digital file or physical product off to a client.
No matter what type of print project you have, these are a few benefits to using patterns to speed up your design or business process, not to mention a great way to add a ton of interest in your work.
Using COLOURlovers Patterns in your designs...
Here at COLOURlovers you can download an .SVG file of your pattern designs as long as you were the original Pattern Template creator. Additionally, if you have Seamless Studio, you can export designs as: .SVG, .JPG or .PNG to be able to use in other graphics software for design.
The Giveaway - How to Earn Your $75
This is a random giveaway picked from those who leave a comment. You have two choices:
Link to and place an image of a project you have designed with patterns. This can be from a yesterday or today, real or fake and must be a complete looking project. Does it fall under one of the three examples above?
Link to and place an image of a print piece or pieces (such as a wedding invitation set) you adore and think is a prime example of one of the above three examples.
In addition, I'd love to know why you like using patterns in your design or why you like seeing patterns in design.
Entries will be collected through Sunday, August 28th, 2011 (by midnight PST).
Next Day Flyers, the postcard printing specialists will be providing gift a credit of $75 to the randomly selected winner!
***THIS CONTEST IS OVER***
Designing promotional materials for print as a small business or freelancer can be daunting; but shouldn't be. With business cards, post cards, fliers and such - your canvas is small so keep it simple, direct and most of all - attention grabbing!
Apple has taken the clean white look (which has been copied over and over), your bank has taken the look using stock photos of "happy customers", your competitor is using "cute" clipart on their fliers... so what are you going to do to stand out? When your postcard turns up in the mail, what will keep your recipients attention?
Pop it with Pop Color.
Without getting in to too much detail of Pop Culture itself, I'm going to focus on color (of course). If you've learned anything from the color use of Pop Culture, it should be,"LOOK AT ME!!!"
Do not mistake Pop Color for simply tossing bright colors down to grab attention. Using Flourecents or Astrobrights will not cut it. Pop Color is a method that almost resists the rules of combination itself, but it works!
For example, Andy Warhol's famous Marilyn Monroe piece very marvelously displays a combination of colors that almost defy how colors should be used together - but it obviously grabbed attention.
So Let's Pop Your Print!
Keep the color palette minimal, bright and lusty or muted but defiant. It doesn't always have to be screaming with color, but make smart design choices.