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One major advantage of the web design galaxy is the existence of oh, so many open source digital archives for fonts, vectors, images, videos, etc. In our previous articles, we have listed some useful websites where you can find stock images and videos, as well as free fonts, while we never really explored where all the free icons hide. In this article, you may find referrals to some addresses you can knock on for free package of icons you'll love.
Daniel Bruce designs are publicly available on Entypo, a lake of web fonts. More than 400 icons are available, under a CC share-alike license, and there are two sets available for your icons - the main set and a social set. Whatever you are designing online, Entypo has you covered.
The famous Ionic Framework, a top-notch open source digital infrastructure, is one of the easiest frameworks for building and distributing apps across all platforms. They have recently released their icons, creating a web font they call Ionicons. It is available on their website, completely free for download.
Font Awesome is considered one of the oldest big open source icon font. It grows and gets updated all the time, so it is always fresh and up-to-date with contemporary designer's needs. You can scale all their icons, and even change colors, shadows, and background while maintaining them in CSS.
This pack specialized in tech-related brands, so it is most handy if you are dealing with tech logos and brands. Although someone might say that it is useless unless you are working on a tech-related project, Devicons, being completely free and quite broad, makes me encourage you to get creative and inspired by using these icons for something new and groundbreaking. This is how Devicons made the list.
Octicons is an icon pack being given to the world by GitHub. They made their own icon pack available for the crowd, for free, uploading loads of icons with simple symbols, to be used in various purposes. Because of their simplicity, these icons are likely to work on almost every interface.
Typicon is often recommended to the community as one of the best free sources for icons online. With their rounded shapes, these icons are simply adorable, making you wanna use them on whatever project you are currently working on. They will melt your heart.
Author: Nina Petrov
The secret of great design lies in following the rules and the famous 6 principles of design, and great design masters know how to break or bend those rules to inspire new style, and a new age of amazing combination of shape, color, and composition.
How far is too far? A good designer has a sense of proximity, the distance between elements, but a great designer pushes these limits until something beautiful emerges. Harmony also means recognizing a similarity and creating a repetition of elements alike, giving the design rhythm and extending the pattern continuously.
Having a good balance in design is the key to evoke a visual experience among the audience. More than just a golden ratio, a master of design know when to use symmetry or asymmetry, and to keep a good balance in the design when using elements which are different from each other. Depending on what the design represents, many choose circular form to distribute different sections.
Designs are visual storytellers, a shortcut for pitching a product or an idea. Different patterns are telling different stories, which is why a hierarchy matters when arranging your graphic elements - whether you implement an order of a tree or nest, or you distribute your factors according to their class and give them adequate weight.
Every factor of your design has to be in a relationship with others. You can express this relationship by scaling the elements by size, harmonically distribute it in a ratio, according to laws of geometry, or choose the main focus and explain the connection of other elements using division.
An element that stands out can be highlighted with its size, but there are other ways to create beauty without making something bigger (or something else smaller). Your focus can stand out with its shape - a unique shape surrounded with others which are similar, and also color, which is more frequent in colorful designs nowadays - in other words, if you want an object to stand out, let it shine.
Do you know that drawing where all the lines are straight, but one of them is freely wiggling around? When working on a new project, think about that special focus of the design and make it be the first thing someone sees. Practically used in advertising, a visual add in a campaign could look like "Everybody does this, but we do it this special way", so this contrast will make a design appealing and also serve a purpose of selling the product. Another common technique to achieve contrast is to use color and particularly contrast between light and dark shade.
As it said at the beginning of the text, a great designer is not only a master of these principles and techniques but is also not afraid to think out of the box and use the rules to create outstanding designs to remember.
Author: Nina Petrov
Deciding on a color palette which fits your mood is like choosing the right playlist for the day. Colourlovers are explorers who discover new palettes for every occasion, matching perfect shades with perfect tones, for the blues and the jazz of a perfect day.
We came across a list of palettes by Reux Design Co, their top picks for five different ambiances.
If you are feeling poetic, full of care and tenderness, this delicate flower which is created with this choice of colors can make your day even more romantic. This palette fits vagabond souls, nature-loving and free spirits, it is a spontaneous yet gentle combination. Every shade is a soft pick, but put together they are a perfect fit for dreamers and love birds.
#c6d8cf | #dfbbb6 | #e7c9b1 | #f6e3c4 | #dc7863
Black and white are always giving a strong impression, like a good cup of coffee in the morning. This combination is exuding simplicity and clear rationalist view. Strong blue and green are empowering this simple base and giving the "muscles" to your combination.
#5c5ba7 | #43a472 | #f0f0f0 | #000000
Now, this palette is like riding a roller coaster. It has everything you need for a bright sunny day - the gray is a firm base for the cheery shades of blue and red, not too strong but not subtle either. Smooth shades of orange and yellow are adding the sweetness, playfulness, and goofiness to the combination. Almost if you can taste the lollypop, sugar melting in your mouth, just from looking at these shades full of flavor.
#40979b | #acb0ad | #f06134 | #ffd2aa | #faf6a7
Sophisticated color palettes never get old. Everybody has a moment when they need one - like a royal outfit combination to make us come across as more mature and serious. This choice, however, doesn't have any haughty statements but offers a wiser point of view, full of understanding. These colors remind us to appreciate life and the knowledge that comes with time.
#adc9c7 | #254a45 | #d9b9a9
This brave color composition is contained of very strong, juicy shades, on a dirty white base. Even though it appears playful, nothing about this palette is innocent. The purple shade is the most tricky one - one thing is to be brave, and another not to know if we can pull something off. This blend is both feminine and masculine at the same time, which is its true wealth.
#842279 | #f5290b | #f1f0e8 | #171e4b
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.
30% of new businesses fail within the first two years, according to the Small Business Association. As such, when you’re launching your own personalized portrait business, you need to have solid marketing in place to attract customers. Additionally, you’ll need all the stock and tools required to create an original, quirky, and colorful piece that your customer will treasure forever. But, how do you ensure that you don’t overspend and ruin your growth potential?
Before you even consider launching your personalized portrait business, you should produce a detailed business plan, highlighting how you plan to grow your business and cover your expenses. As part of this plan, you’ll need to thoroughly research how and where you’ll purchase your materials from. In general, buying canvases, paints, and pencils in bulk will save you an average of 45%, according to one wholesaler. However, you mustn’t let the lure of ‘buy more to save more’ tempt you as you’ll have to sell more portraits to make a profit. So, ensure you carefully plan how many portraits you can realistically produce in a three-month period initially, and only buy the materials required to cover this output.
When you’re starting out in the custom portrait business, it can be tempting to offer customers portraits in standard sizes and formats to keep your costs down. However, customized goods are typically given as gifts, and this presents a great opportunity when you’re keen to get your business off the ground. By offering portrait cards, gifts, gift wrapping, colorful frames, and the option of adding a personalized message to your portrait, your business will stand out from the rest. Of course, this will increase your initial expenses. So, when you’re considering your business costs, you may need to borrow more capital in order to earn more income.
Customers are prepared to pay high for personalized portraits as a unique and fully customizable design is something you can’t put a price on. But when consumers are sending you images, color swatches, and specific requests, they expect to be able to contact you as and when they need to. It’s, therefore, crucial that you have multiple methods available for them to contact you on. If you’ve met up face to face, handing out a business card is wise, whereas, being active on social media, having an easy-to-use contact form on your website, and an email address is crucial. By providing a good first-time experience, you’re much more likely to get repeat custom, positive reviews, and referrals.
Launching a personal portrait business takes a lot of enthusiasm and investment. But, by being smart with the way you launch your new venture, you can keep costings to a minimum while growing your business at the same time.
In our previous articles, we've talked about color and psychology, the meaning of colors in different cultures with particular attention to how colors evoke emotions. We know that music holds the same power - we are able to experience a variety of emotions by listening to music, and today we are wondering what is the connection between sounds and colors - can we connect one color with a certain sound and whether these have the same meaning when interpreted by our brains?
To discover more, we are talking to Umut Eldem, a composer, pianist, and art researcher. His main field of research is synesthesia, and he will tell us more about this curious phenomena.
Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which a person experiences multiple senses from only one sensory input. For example, along with hearing a sound, a person with synesthesia can also feel a certain taste; or while reading they can see that some letters are in different colors. What is particularly interesting for me is when people can see colors and shapes when they hear music, also called chromesthesia (sound-to-color synesthesia). Every synaesthetic person usually has their own colors they associate with different notes, letters, and so on.
Do we know any famous artists who had/have synesthesia?
It is known that certain composers had synesthesia, such as Olivier Messiaen, Franz Liszt, and Duke Ellington, but we didn't know much about it until recently. Now, we can do MRI scans and see that different parts of the brain are active when people with synesthesia experience an input of sound or other senses, which is different than the reaction of an average brain. Science couldn't prove it before the technology allowed us, but what is more interesting for me is to understand how these composers correlated notes they wrote and instruments they used to create music with their condition and the colors they saw. This could also help us understand their music better - the ideas they expressed and what we actually identify with.
There are many scientists researching synesthesia, especially cognitive scientists and neuroscientists, and what they are exploring is a more practical side of synesthesia. They are researching whether is more common to males or females, is it more common with artists, left-handed people, etc. They are trying to answer the question of why is it happening.
As an art researcher, I am looking into the ways that we can have a better understanding of the artistic manifestation of synesthesia, and how to use it to express ourselves as artists in more than one discipline. What I'm exploring is how we can use synesthesia even if we don't have it, and how an average brain connects colors and sounds. Knowing more about it can help musicians experience musical concepts of the composers they listen to better and bring the process of creating and performing music to the interdisciplinary scene.
My current research is pointed at discovering a general theory of how we connect colors and sounds in order to develop software which can convert music into visual ideas, shapes, and colors in an intuitive way, and to use it as a tool for performing musicians. So, for example, as the violin plays, you can project the video performance which directly responds to the music played. This will, of course, be different from the audio visualizers on media players of computers, where it just mathematically connects frequencies to visuals.
I am also conducting artistic experiments where I can see how visual input affects musicians. I am adding ‘synaesthetic’ colors to their sheet music and finding out if it is easier for them to play like that, or more difficult. The practical result of this research will be to enhance music performance.
Before learning about synesthesia, I didn't. But now, my interest is growing and I am implementing colors in my performances. For example, I did a performance with a narrator, which was reading a piece to the audience, and my soundscape was playing from four speakers set in the room. I used light bulbs which were connected to an app on my phone, so I was able to change the color of the lights based on the tone of the story and also the sound, integrate different colors in different parts of the text.
The thing is, when you present an audio-visual piece, music, and colors together, the audience will usually find it pleasurable as long as they roughly go along together, so it is difficult to understand these sensations deeply. However, I have received comments from the audience that they did find harmony in the way the lights were responding to the music and the story, and connect to the story on a new level.
Although, what is much more interesting for me, as I said before, is to have a video that responds to live music in an intuitive way to our perception. This might be a new way of experiencing music.
What is interesting for me to work with is improvisation. I like to see how a musician plays a "red triangle" for example. If they see shapes changing on the screen, how will a pianist, a violinist, and a drummer react to these shapes as they change? For me, as an observer, this reaction of music to visual art has an aesthetic value, but for the musicians, it has an insightful significance - by doing this they discover more about themselves and how they correlate visual ideas with the music and which aspect of music they will turn to.
Visual art is usually stationary, comparing to music when we talk about paintings for example. There is a static image that we process in our own time and have an individual experience, while music is a more temporal process and we all have the same time to experience it. When a classic artist responds to music visually, they are putting music into one frame. There are synesthetic painters who draw the music they hear, such as contemporary Melissa McCracken. When you are a visual artist with chromesthesia, it is easier to express it because you already see colors and you are creating a visual output. It is also easier for the audience to relate to the synesthesia of a visual artist, but for music, it often requires an explanation or an additional dimension, like a visual element to realize the synesthetic potential of the music.
I would say that it depends on the artist, but we all have the ability to connect what we experience between different senses, with or without synaesthesia. We are all reflecting differently, it is all very idiosyncratic. With synaesthetic people, everyone has their own color for the same source, and you will usually get something different. The interesting thing is that even though we always react to music in our own way, there is still a pattern in the big picture. Our experience is unique, but there is a general tendency of people to connect music and art in the same way. For example, we tend to combine warmer colors with fast, happy, exciting music, while we combine colder colors with the opposite- slow and sad. I immediately think of the ‘Blues’ music genre. I believe that the biggest value of my research is understanding this general tendency in combining visuals and music in creating something unique.
Next week I am delivering a workshop as a part of my project "Drawn to music", as a part of the project week NextDoors, in Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, in Belgium. There will be musicians playing in response to visual art, but also the musicians that will draw what they hear. This two-way process will repeat itself and we will see how artists react visually to music and musically to visuals.
Umut’s lecture on synesthesia you can find on youtube.
Author: Nina Petrov
As we mentioned in our previous article, the thing with VR software is that everybody has a preference and each company is developing new features every day. Here are top picks from designers around the world, and some of their main features.
Developed by Autodesk, Forge represents a great platform with team management features. Their great toolkit enables you to merge your design with engineering and enable you tools such as Model Derivative API, Reality Capture API and many more.
This modeling application was developed by Google, with excellent tutorials to get everyone to model basics quickly. This is an absolute winner for beginners, to get you used to the language quickly before you move on to modeling on some more professional platforms. There is a free trial for this software, so see for yourself.
Blender is a perfect example of what you can move on from SketchUp, although you can also dive into it straight away. Blender is open source and free for all, which makes it favorite for many developers. This software uses Python and it is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac. Another great advantage is the ability to export your work in many different formats, including a format for JanusVR with a free open source plugin FireVR.
UE4 is the main competitor to Unity 3D, also a leading gaming software with many integrations, wide store, and good support. It is comparably good as Unity, although some say the results are much more realistic and with better navigation. Unreal Engine also allows you to export to various formats, although not as much as Unity.
These are our current top five picks of software to design an awesome virtual reality. Their abilities range based on their target groups - some are more basic like SketchUp, and some way more advanced like Unity 3D and UE4. What software do you prefer for designing and modeling virtual reality? What are the most important features for you, how important are the learning materials and the community?
Tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.
Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com
The carefree moments of playing and living in a world of our own abstract creation are essential to every childhood. Playing is how we discover the world, how we get to know ourselves, how we interact with others. Playing is our way of experimenting, pushing the limits, breaking the borders, learning about love, friendship, resilience, pain, ethics, everything that matters in the human world.
As we grow older, we have less time to discover, relax, or investigate something in depths. We no longer just take our time to grab a metal bar, swing it around pretending it’s a lightsaber, while not paying attention to a chandelier above our heads that we will smash to pieces in a minute (guilty!). This is why we like to be introduced to games from time to time, games designed to project our brain into a different reality, the one we are no longer creating actively ourselves as we once did when we were children.
Designing a game is an art form on its own - it is a beautiful combination of designing a visual space and making it interactive and user-friendly. Game design merges a variety of knowledge about psychology, aesthetics, mathematics, social phenomena and the process of learning, and it creates an art piece which communicates and develops different parts of the human brain.
Game design implies creating a set of rules and goals, with many challenges on a journey to reach the goals. Each set defines a game, be it board game, role-playing game, dice game, card game, sport, war game, casino game, video game, or a simulation of a life segment that brings different outcome from interaction with the player. Depending on what we are designing our game for - different aspects of the game are in our main focus. A game which has a goal to educate will focus more on the strategy and iterative decision-making, while Googles dinosaur just goes on and on until you're back online.
Games offer us an inexhaustible way to learn about human behavior, psychology, and sociology, but also discover more about the way our brain cells are connected (The Stanford Prison Experiment might not be the best example). It is scientifically interesting what impact video games have on the minds of those who play them, and scientists confirmed that some abilities such as orientation, pattern-shaped memory and sense of time are more developed among people who play more video games.
If you are thinking of becoming a game artist, as a designer you will have an opportunity to help create a new world, starting with choosing and designing the figures, board, cards, or drawing a storyboard for a video game. Designing games can teach you how to use narrative elements and storytelling for game plots, visualize many different storylines and challenge your designing skills, especially if you dive into video game design.
What is truly revolutionizing the video game industry today is a rapid development of virtual and augmentative reality software and technology. This tech is giving us more possibilities by month, enabling us to discover games which are placing the game features into our own bedroom, able to turn your home into an escape room - and all you need is a pair of lenses. The world we grew up with is struggling to catch up with this fast technological evolution, and all over the sudden - sci-fi features are not so sci-fi anymore.
Virtual reality is yet to be exploited as an art tool, and many contemporary creators are theoretically exploring the possibilities for virtual galleries, theaters, and concerts. The important focus of their research is that VR lets you enjoy the art piece without distractions, but also without collective empathy of the audience. But, more importantly, VR can sustain more interactive art, which is turning art into a game with an unlimited number of participants.
The gaming industry is growing bigger every day, expanding the variety of tools which are built for the sole purpose of gaming. If you have an urge to explore, and start designing life-changing stories which the users can experience with all of their senses, here is our recommendation for where you can start.
Unity 3D is the leading 3D engine which is super friendly to new users enabling you to learn how to use it fast, and very strong to satisfy you when you progress into a reality designing expert. This software is completely free for every game-builder and with a little help from GoogleVR plugin you can create your first game in just five minutes, and play it on both IOS and Android.
It is a fun and creative way to spend your afternoon, and you can learn something new every day. The only technical equipment you would need for this is a VR headset, which is now easily available for everyone.
If you are not so much into the virtual world, there is a large field of designing board games and card games (in fact, this industry makes the biggest capital on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter), which is worth exploring and playing with. One thing is absolutely certain - game design has a great impact on the development of our society. Maybe you can be the change we want to see in the world?
Sources: Unity 3D, Mind Field, Instructables, Pergamon Press
Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com
There is always a wonderful feeling to designing something great, having it printed, and sending it to the right audience. This is the reason designing flyers can be both a lot of fun and rewarding. Here are top five tips to designing a good flyer.
Before you start designing your flyer, create an effective design strategy. Think about what you intend to showcase to your audience, how the flyer will be distributed, and the level of budget you plan to work with.
Addressing these issues can help you figure out the size and shape your flyer should have. Having a good strategy and a clear goal will help you plan how to incorporate a vital message into the flyer design in a more meaningful way.
A common mistake when it comes to the creation of a flyer is thinking that you can simply fit any kind of message and graphics in. Instead, you should make a strategic choice about your key content. Keep the flyer’s key elements that correlate to your specific goals of the targeted audience.
Generally, high-contrast visuals are easy to notice at first glance and are believed to be attention-grabbing. Unlike sites, where visitors can only view visuals by clicking or even typing in a specific address, a flyer requires a strong pull to get your target audience to gravitate towards it.
Think of posters, brochures, and other materials you have ever seen from a distance and walked towards them just because they were attractive and interesting. You need to create that type of contrast to help bring your target audience to the design.
Certain phrases or words can help you sell the information in your flyer design. Make these phrases or words bolder, bigger, and brighter than the other lettering in the flyer to create emphasis. Put more emphasis on words like ‘New,’ ‘Easy,’ ‘Save,’ and more.
Though you may not click it, does not mean a call to action should not be included in a flyer design. In fact, the opposite is true. Why should you create a flyer if you don’t want your target audience to take a particular action?
Focus on creating a distinct, easy, and actionable item for every client or prospect who sees the flyer. That can be anything from calling a specific phone number to visiting a specific site. Ensure that the content is easy for everyone to read and understand.
Nothing can make or break a flyer design like the quality of image and composition. Note that a perfect design must have a top-quality image that relates to the details on the page. The image should be easy to read and comprehend at a glance. It should also help your audience to connect the different elements in your flyer design. Always ensure that the graphics on your flyer must enhance the message you are sending.
Everything is associated with a particular color. For painters, marketing professionals, and designers, it is vital to use various color shades to achieve business success. But very few know that color can affect learning abilities as well.
Most educators admit that colorful desks and chairs along with glowing bulletin boards can turn a faded classroom into a bright place that holds students' attention. Colors do more than just animate a surrounding environment. They are so powerful that if used incorrectly, they can cause students to become overexcited and overactive.
The use of a particular color can greatly affect the learners' feelings and performance. Thus, when it comes to the design of classrooms, it is crucial to understand the psychology of colors so that one can find out which colors to use and which ones should be avoided.
Green Helps to Concentrate Better
You have probably noticed that by having a walk to the woods. Along with delivering fresh air, green trees make people restful and calm, boosting their creativity and increasing their focus. Therefore, this color is a great choice for sharpening students' concentration. Except for being one of the best for our eyes, it is associated with nature. For this very reason, actors relax in green rooms while not performing. This color helps learners to maintain their concentration for a long time, making it a perfect choice for school. The same cannot be said about red, which produces an opposite effect.
There is scientific evidence indicating that those who study in green classrooms show better academic performance than those who don't. In fact, the color enhances the students' mental state and thus improves their learning capabilities. It is recommended to use green in the school design so that students can always look at it for a while to revitalize and turn their focus toward educational materials with ease.
Orange Enhances Mood
Orange can enhance mood, promote comfort, and boost the brain functioning of students. There are facts indicating that an orange surrounding affects the oxygen supply to the brain and stimulates attentiveness. When learners get an increased amount of this color, they start to feel more revitalized and ready to put things straight. There are many examination halls painted in this color to improve students' results.
Schools should remember that bright orange can overstimulate those who are inherently highly energetic. This color is perfect for underlining the content presented on the screen as it draws the recipients' attention. Thus, many teachers refuse to use the usual red color in favor of this color for obvious reasons.
However, because it is very bright, it can create an overwhelming effect. In ancient China, this color was used for sharpening concentration and promoting self-discipline. But then again, they avoided bright orange as it could have caused them a headache. Taken all, it is good but only if used in small doses.
Blue Increases Productiveness
The conducted studies have shown that those with increased cognitive load, such as educators, learners, and so forth, feel better when surrounded by blue. But with all this, it is nonsense to live in a monochrome environment - cool colors should be combined with warm ones. The best solution is to balance one color with its complementary one.
The blue color helps to learn in challenging situations. It also helps readers to better assimilate information. Therefore, the use of blue paper and ink for employment is a fairly reasonable solution. While this color, especially its light shades, seems to be soothing and calming, its darker shades may cause anxiety.
As for professionals, many of them advise to combine blue with orange, especially for drawing students' attention to important educational materials. In a nutshell, blue can help teachers to engage learners in a high level of thinking, but too much of it can cause apathy and unamiability.
In preschool and elementary school, it is advisable to use warm colors, which greatly complement the extroverted nature of kids. In middle and high educational institutions, cool colors can do the trick as they help students to relax and focus on educational materials better. Light shades of green will work well in libraries as they promote calmness.
Even though most educators cannot decide on what colors to use for walls in classrooms, they can choose school desks, chairs, bookcases, and wall decorations. Therefore, instructors and learners can benefit from the colors of school furniture and decorative elements. Using brightly-colored desks and chairs in places where students are supposed to acquire new information can make a difference. Cool colors will work well in areas where kids are supposed to relax and get more concentrated.
When it comes to bulletin boards, there is no need to combine too many colors; two or three colors complementing each other are more than enough. If schools overdo with colors, students can get overwhelmed and confused, and have the only desire that someone, for example, Pro-Papers, will do all the tasks for them.
Like schoolers, educators also come under the influence of colors. It is important for them to be surrounded by proper colors as they have to spend a whole working day at school too. To stay motivated and inspired, teachers should use soothing shades around their desks.
In conclusion, many studies show that every color has its effect on both the psychological and physiological states of a person. While some colors are soothing, others seem to be more stimulating. By applying an understanding of the psychology of colors to school design, one can see how vital it is to make sure that the colors used in school settings bring maximum results in terms of the academic progress of children.
Let’s stop lying to ourselves - we’ve all been there! Choosing the right colors for your design or artwork can be a real pain when you are just starting out.
Many Colourlovers actually started learning about color looking through other users’ palettes and trying to see how they match and mix them.
A good piece of advice I can give you as beginner color users is to take a look at some of the pieces your favorite artists have produced. How do they use color? How do they emphasize what’s important and what’s not? How do they create contrast? Do they use a particular color throughout their work in the same way? What message does that send about their art?
Whether we talk about designing, illustration, painting, photography, craft or any kind of art form that involves using color, what’s important to consider is the meaning of each of the colors in the color palette we chose for our art piece?
Colors have more to them then just to make our work look pretty. Besides making it come to life, they also send a message to our audience.
First, let’s understand the basics.
Primary colors are red, blue and yellow. All the other colors derive from these three.
We get secondary colors – orange, green and purple as a combination of two primary colors.
The first on the list is purity. A pure color is the one that hasn’t been mixed with any other color, therefore its intensity remains original. A good example is the primary color blue. If it’s mixed with a bit of red, it loses purity as its intensity changes.
Hue is dependent of the dominant wavelength and it is independent of color intensity. When choosing color for a specific artwork, you might need a certain color to be a hue closer to green rather than yellow.
Shade (tone) and tint are in effect terms defining two opposite processes. When we want a stronger tone of green, we add more gray to it. A quieter version of the same green will have a higher purity, meaning less gray added to it.
When creating a tint of green, we will add white to it. The more white we add, the lighter the color becomes. Primary or secondary colors amalgamated with white create pastel colors.
Lightness or value is a property that tells us about the amount of black or white mixed with the chosen hue. It is represented on the scale 0-100%. Green with 100% lightness is pure. Green with 50% lightness is darker.
Today we’ll learn about color and the cultural connotations certain colors have. I chose a couple of often underrepresented colors to analyze. For more colors and meanings, take a look at the book “The Designer’s Dictionary of Color” to comprehend color theory on a much deeper level.
This color awakens a sense of happiness without being intrusive. Depending on how we use it, in some combinations it can seem washed out and pale. On the other hand, when using butter we minimize the risk of unfavorable cultural implications.
Most nations relate butter to happiness, optimism, the feeling of general positivity. Its soft character makes it a good color choice for branding institution or trying to invoke a feeling of domestic bliss.
Other names: Lemon, Vanilla, Cream.
One of the successful applications of butter was using it for the color of post-it notes in 1974.
How would you use this color?
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Nor green nor yellow, this color got its name after a French liqueur that is produced in a monastery close to Grenoble. This color screams creativity, boldness, youth. It shouldn’t be used as a green that presents nature as it’s more aggressive.
Other names: citrus, lime, yellow-green.
Cultural connotations can be positive and negative. Positive ones are growth, prosperity and travel. The negative ones are sickness and envy.
Which colors would you match chartreuse with?
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The word coral stems from old Latin word “corallum”. It’s a color often associated to femininity, the tropics, softness, courtship. In the culture of the Caribbean countries, it is regarded as a carefree, festive color. It is seen as a friendly color, and a tidbit more sensual than pink.
In the cultures of the East it symbolizes life force and longevity.
Marilyn Monroe used to wear a coral lipstick. It was contradictory with the rest of her black outfit. These colors were selected on purpose to send a message of her dual personality: simultaneously sensual and innocent.
Other names: salmon, shell pink, watermelon.
Have you ever used coral? If so, which colors did you match it with?
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Mint is a color that resides on a playful border between blue and green. Mint recalls of life, nature, financial prosperity. It’s associated with growth, youth, innocence, and beginnings. It is a cool color that has to be carefully sent to print. A slightly bit more of yellow can turn it into a turquoise, and not enough yellow can turn it into light blue.
It’s often used for brands related to spiritual pursuits or holistic healing.
It has to be carefully combined with other colors in the palette in order to avoid it looking too cold.
Other names: pale green, aquamarine.
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If red conveys a feeling of energy, scarlet conveys feelings of danger and passion. As a color, it's attention-grabber. It can be used more successfully than red alongside a color such as blue as it is less probable it will resonate and create a contrast that's unpleasant to look at.
It was used in times of Old Romans as a color that informed of one's prestige. Catholic cardinals often wore it.
Nowadays, as a color it often relates to education and knowledge, but also adultery.
Other names: Burgundy, brick.
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And last but not least - peach. Color peach reminds us of the fruit. It's regarded as warm and soft. It has been associated with the goddess Venus.
When selecting our nuance of peach, we need to be careful not to add too much yellow because that might remind of jaundice.
It is used in branding of a couple of prestigious restaurants around Europe, one of them being Sant Ambroeus in Milan.
Other names: Apricot, melon, shell.
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New year, new colors. Even though we love colors, sometimes we catch ourselves repeatedly using all the same combinations for our designs, and for our crafts. This short guide can help you understand more color choices and how and when to use them. Stop making excuses.
What color will you choose to include in your designs?
About the author:
Ana Maksimovic is the community manager and editor at Colorlovers. Part-time traveler and part-time web and graphic designer, she loves working with sustainable brands. She supports circular economy and good businesses and writes about social entrepreneurship. She is passionate about photography and nature - a never-ending source of inspiration.