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Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,207 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

Printing low resolution photos


Have you ever thought about bringing your favorite artwork out of its digital form, print it on a large canvas and frame it in your living room? Or maybe you are redecorating and you want to be a courageous designer and arrange the colors on your walls with style and good taste? Before you start choosing the perfect images to print, here is something you should bare in mind.

 

Most designers and photographers know how difficult it is to work with low resolution images. Sure, the resolution such as 72 pixels per inch is good enough for the screens of our devices, but when it comes to enlarging the image for printing, low quality can be quite an obstacle.

 

 

printing images

 

Most images we see on the web are 72 ppi, usually because they are "lighter", they don't take up much space, which is handy for fast loading. But, if we enter the world of canvas prints, stretching the image onto canvas is making every single pixel visible, which is why recommended size of the image for printing is 150 ppi or 300 ppi.

 

Even though printing your photos from Facebook in good quality might be difficult, it is not impossible. Designers use different tricks and effects in Adobe Photoshop and other designer programs, to offer solutions to this challenge. Sometimes, even the poorest quality image can look like a masterpiece in the hands of professionals.

 

printing low quality images

 

CanvasPop is dedicated to produce highest quality canvas prints. Their team of designers is passionate and talented to work with your custom resolutions and create the hottest canvas to frame on your wall. Even though printing low resolution images is possible, it is still recommended that you try to find this image in a larger resolution. Some websites have an option to view the image in its original size, so make sure to pick the right one for printing.

 

With Christmas behind us, the hype of celebrating the beginning of 2019 is growing, and maybe the perfect present for somebody you love is to give them what they love. Printed. On a large canvas.

 

Happy holidays!

 

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.

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5 Things You Need to Master for Stunning Designs


When it comes to getting started with creating stunning designs, two things are necessary: skills and resources. However, for starters, graphic design can all seem a little too overwhelming at first. From long hours of practice to an unending need for creativity; not to mention some graphic design resources cost a pretty penny, it can sometimes become an uphill task for novices. But that shouldn’t deter you from creating stunning designs. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of amazing freebies and affordable tools that can help you get the head start you need to become a veteran designer. Plus, with the right skills, you can be a master in the game without even trying.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight 5 things that you need to master in order to get an edge in creating stunning designs. Sound good? Let's dive right in.

UI Design

Here’s the blatant truth: No matter how amazing your designs are, it's pretty much pointless if they don't make a good first impression. That is to say, if people don’t like what they see at first glance, then you’re probably not going to wheel in as many people as you would want. So it makes perfect sense that we would mention the UI design here.

The truth is, UI design is pretty much a necessity when it comes to the graphic design front. So, it’s good you have all your bases covered in as far as skills go but every other graphic designer does too. So you need to ensure that you have an ace up your sleeve. If you make a good first impression, then whatever you call to action has a higher chance of being acted on.

Photoshop Overlays

Don’t take chances! You need to be able to create stunning designs every single time. But you and I both know that it’s much easier said than done. Not to mention your audience is a bit more particular and will often times shun blatant designs almost as soon as they see them. Therefore, you need to create compelling images. Images that will create a connection between you and your audience. Images that will ultimately convert your audience into customers. But how do you do that?

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of tools to help you create stunning designs. And one of the best in this front is Photoshop overlays. Photoshop overlays are one of the most versatile ways to transform the look and feel of your designs. With photoshop overlays, you can add texture and elements to an image and transform an otherwise uninspiring image to a stunning piece of art. So whether it's a stunning fog effect that you are looking for or a whimsical autumn, fairy garden or falling leaves effect, there are literally dozens of themes to help you create the perfect design. If you’re looking to create stunning designs, then you definitely need to master photoshop overlays.

Lightroom Presets

It goes without saying Lightroom presets are yet another resource you need to master in graphic design. From nitty-gritty aspects such as image exposure and white balance to more complex aspects such as curves, tones, and shadows. Along with ensuring that you create stunning designs from the onset, Lightroom presets have a lot to offer. Also comes in handy later on when you want to ensure that the final piece is nothing short of a stunning masterpiece. And the best thing about Lightroom presets is that they’re pretty easy to master.

Typography

Next up is typography. Typography is basically the art and technique of arranging the visual component of written words to make written language more legible. If you want to master typography, there are lots of typography tutorials to help. However, good typography often comes down to creative intuition. Once you grasp the basics, all you need to do is look for typography resources that will help you further sharpen your skills.

Here are some typographic considerations that you’ll need to take into account when mastering typography.

Size

Typefaces are not created equally. Some are wide some fat, some are narrow and yet others thin. So word sets in different typefaces take up a different amount of space depending on the size.

Tracking and Kerning

Tracking here relates to the spacing of characters applied evenly whereas kerning is basically adjusting spaces between characters to create a harmonious pairing.

Logo Designing

Here is another thing that you need to master to create stunning designs every time. In many forms and instances, the logo is what distinguishes a particular company from the other. Think about Guinness, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and KFC. They are all visually represented by their logos. It doesn’t matter where they are in the world customers will still flock towards the direction that these logos are.

The truth is, the importance of a logo cannot be underestimated. They not only help identify a company but they are also a succinct and efficient way of communicating more about the company. Which means that the designs have to be both intuitive and stunning to wheel people in.  And since it’s something you’ll probably be doing a lot of, it's definitely one of the many things that you want to master to perfection.

Conclusion

Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the number of graphic design skills you need to master to create stunning designs. Sure there are plenty more things that need to be mastered but these five are the most important. The bottom line is to ensure that you have mastered every aspect of photoshop overlays, typography, Lightroom presets, logo designing and UI design to come up with stunning and striking designs every time.

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Photographer's secret weapon: how to make your pics standout


When you see the work of great photographers, you possibly wonder how do they manage to do it. What magic is enabling them to create these masterpieces? You might think that success lies in having the right gear, professional models, enough money to travel around the world, and of course talent. But the truth is that behind every great photographer is a huge amount of passion, hundreds of hours of practice, and some simple secrets. So obviously, it's not about expensive gear (some photographers use an analog camera, proclaiming the independence from technology). It's not about traveling to exotic places and photographing famous people. It's about how much you love what you do and how you grow your creativity.

 

  • Grow Your Creativity

 

Creativity comes naturally to some people. But if it's not developed and maintained properly it may vanish during the struggle with procrastination. The good thing is that you can boost your creativity and find a source of inspiration for everyday practice.

 

 

  • Think Outside the Box

 

Great composition is essential in photography. What you put in the frame and how you put it, determines the success or the failure of your images. If all your pictures are in landscape format and taken at your eye level than it's time to make some changes. Challenge yourself to get outside your comfort zone, try to impose yourself temporary rules. For example, try not to use the landscape format for a couple of days. Another good practice is to make monochrome compositions. Black and white photography helps you better observe the shapes and the geometric elements. To add even more inspiration, try using some special effects, like Luminar's splash effect. It allows you to keep the color of a certain object, while everything else is in grayscale.

 

  • Treat Yourself with Artistic Experiences

 

Creativity needs inspiration. A visit to a botanical garden may give you some ideas. Take a long walk in the city. Even a local fair, a traditional market or a touristic landmark may be a good source of inspiration. Visit art museums, galleries, and photography exhibitions. Most people react to art, but it doesn't necessarily have to be paintings or photography. You may be inspired by classical music, jazz, theater or movies. It's important to expose yourself to art in any form.

 

  • Take a Course

 

Learning is always a good idea. Photography courses became fashionable lately. Among dozens of online classes for beginners, you can find some worthwhile courses and tutorials. Amazing photographers like Albert Watson and Annie Leibovitz teach technical classes, but also offer mentorship, portfolio reviews, and insights. From the master classes, you'll find out how to minimize the photo editing process. You'll find out that style and patience are the most important qualities of a photographer while technicalities are left to an image editor. For example, lightroom plugins can solve many of the basic adjustments, while you focus on finding your inner voice.

 

  • Do Snapshots

 

Scheduled photo sessions are good, but photographing unexpected events is even better. Take a camera with you or at least a smartphone with a decent camera. A photographer is an observer. Street photography and travel photography are based on snapshots. Be prepared and keep your eyes opened. Ingenuous female poses, candid children games, dramatic events, wildlife pictures, they all happen spontaneously. You have to be there and feel the moment. Some photographers choose a place and wait for something to happen. They believe in the magic of that place and can 'feel' a good shot. Doing snapshots is also a good practice. It helps you to get acquainted with your camera and change the settings fast.

 

  • Use Filters

 

To make your pictures standout, filters may be a great help. They aren't expensive or hard to use. Their functions are limited, but you can use up to two or three filters at the same time. The most common filters are the circular polarizing filter, the neutral density filter, and the color enhancing filter.

 

Photography is an art, even if today we all have a camera in our pocket. The biggest mistake you can make is to think that Camera will resolve everything. Sure, you have some amazing image editors, and cameras Henri Cartier Bresson wouldn't have dreamed about. But the secret weapons behind a great photographer are creativity, dedication, and motivation.

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The palettes of 2018


Being creative is hard work. Creative block is real! As an artist, you need to practice and motivate yourself daily. But when putting colors together is something that you love, it comes natural. Right?

We thank the community here @Colourlovers for being so supportive and accepting and for coming up with amazing color combinations this year.

Let's check out the palettes that marked 2018 and give a big round of applause for the authors.

colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018

Which one is your favorite? Can you decide?

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Best Christmas Card Designs 2018


If there ever was a perfect time in the year to show to your customers how much you care, we couldn't imagine a better holiday than Christmas. Aside from showing gratefulness, Christmas is the time of the year you should invest all you got into astonishing marketing, and spend the rest of the year watching how it paid off.

 

There are infinite creative possibilities to boost your market and reconnect to your old customers; one could really go wild with ideas. Although, whatever we come up with, nothing really shows care and dedication as sending Christmas cards. This is a very elegant, classy way to send best wishes to your mailing list, and you can rest assure that everybody will love it.

 

Following the cozy holiday spirit, Colourlovers are looking through the most personal, stylish designs for Christmas cards, which famous brands prepared for 2018.

 

1. Unique snowflake

cards

find project here

This year, Ideas Factory decided to send Christmas cards to its clients with a personal touch to each card. They developed an app which draws a special snowflake generated by the input which is mathematical value of the clients name.

 

2. Wrapped up present

christmas card

find project here

Alexander Boys from UK created something much more fun than the card - their card is a model for a 3D decorative box with a vintage bicycle design, and instructions for folding. This is a present for them, which can be used to wrap a present for you.

 

3. Handmade with love

christmas card

find project here

The designer Laura Louise drew her Christmas cards by hand, which is an intimate gesture, although not very practical if you are making an effort for a large number of people. If you are drawing digitally, you can also change special details for every client automatically.

 

4. Color yourself cards

christmas card

find project here

We Are Scout created the cards which are half way finished - and the final part is left to the recipient to play. By drawing the patterns, they involved the audience in the coloring process and left the choice of colors to them.

 

5. Wooden cards

Christmas cards

find project here

Collective 88 had their cards designed by Elly Ang, and printed on wood. This effort reached the heart of the clients and fitted into the warm Christmas atmosphere, while the palette of gray and brown perfectly matched the material they choose.

 

6. Paper and photo

find project here

New World School of the Arts had their Christmas card designed by a team of two - David Garcia and Camilo Rojas. They created the whole message from origami objects and letters in 3D, and then arranged them for a photo that is sent as a card. This interaction between 2D and 3D mediums speaks about experiment and dedication.

 

7. Christmas-up your brand

christmas cards

find project here

Here is an idea! Why wouldn't you use your own products and give them some Christmas magic? Nicko Dalton made an interesting choice of using Handy Haynes' builder's trowel and redesigns it to look like a Christmas tree with green paint over it. This was their choice for the Christmas cards, but also a great marketing campaign trick.

 

8. The card you keep

unique Christmas cards

find project here

Another interesting 3D card example is created by Hank And Maxwell. They used leather, shaped to be folded into a 3D reindeer. Their card is not just a card; it is a Christmas present you will be happy to keep.

 

9. Make the best of it

christmas cards

find project here

Miles Design had an impressive way to engage their recipients by turning them into something really useful. Their card can in fact be broken into a set of coasters, which the client will be more than happy to keep long after Christmas.

 

10. Oh, so white

christmas cards

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A beautiful image of pure whiteness coming from Ink Designs is their choice to show sophistication of their brand. They imprinted their white logo on the white background to present an image of a reindeer with a cute blue nose for their special cards.

 

11. DIY collage

christmas card

find project here

One of our favorite ideas for this year's chic Christmas atmosphere in love-giving marketing is coming from Pop and Pac. Their Christmas card is actually a set of cards, presenting different patterns in different colors, and a card of a Christmas tree. Their idea is that everyone can decorate their tree as they like, and change the design when they feel like it.

 

12. Digital, yet real

christmas cards

find project here

Last, but not least, the card that was popular five years ago made its comeback for millions of Christmas-lovers, available for purchasing on Etsy. The card is written in CSS code, while on the other side we can see the outcome of the code - the font, the size of the letters and the color. This might be a geeky choice, but it is still pretty creative and fancy.

 

What did your Christmas card look like? Tell us in the comment section bellow.

 

The COLOURlovers team is wishing you a merry Christmas!

 

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.

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The generation of remake


The constant growth of hipster culture popularity opened the art world towards new / old ideas. The newfound nostalgia of modern generations is somewhat a result of rapid technological changes and development. In the time of frequent and careless urbanization, there is an emerging trend to resist to these new trends and robotizing.

 

retro cat with glasses

 

This rebellion is marked with love and care for the planet, the environment, people and social encounters, as well as the cultures of 60's and 70's. Alternative urbanization movements inspire a different aesthetics than the futurism would imply. They remind us of the beauty of the nature while trying to plant green surfaces in our boring gray metropolis. This urge to save the planet made us dedicate more of our funding to ecological and social causes, while our lifestyle is often depending on technology.

 

What new trends have these alternative movements brought to design and the general observation of beautiful?

 

The upcoming generations of intellectuals are led by new values, appreciating old school tech and vintage furniture, retro fashion and industrial design. This has led to the mass popularity of antique shops and old fashioned looking coffee shops and hairdressers. Emotions associated with these appearances are the feeling of warmth, personal contact, intimacy and customer care.

 

changes in contemporary design

 

Furthermore, things like old-looking photographs are getting more interesting to the audience, where the use of vintage filters on social media are on the rise. The user wants to reflect on the culture from the past and at the same time upgrade it with new and fresh content. A lot of well situated brands discover ways of using this trend by remaking their old designs and giving the same product that retro glow to attract young customers (for example Coca Cola's vintage bottle design).

 

retro coming back to fashion and design

 

In the depth of this philosophy is the idea of recycling and reusing materials, but even so brand new products can sell better if they are designed in a nostalgic manner, with retro fonts and patterns. An important lesson can be learned from fashion and interior designers, which is that this new age is not about replicating old school ideas, but remaking them into something new and practical in the 21st.

 

Visual content which will be in the focus of the following couple of years is exactly the perfect balance between old and new, vintage and futuristic; the beautiful harmony of flavors to reach the upcoming generation of users.

 

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.

 

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Sexy Trends in Design


Contemporary design is responding to the habits and lives of contemporary people. In the web full of content, yours has to stand out, attract and take someone’s breath away. To create visuals that respond to the modern online eye, you need to get even further more outside of that box, think bold and exotic, passion-driven and consumer oriented.

 

Individualization

 

Over the past few decades, mankind got used to fitting boxes all the time - by gender, age, interest, hair color. Nowadays, the society is getting tired of being a part of a generalized audience, individualism is getting far in appreciations - everybody needs attention and unique approach. Therefore, the time of generalizing your User Persona is officially on it's way to retiring. It is time to put an individual in the focus of things, make everybody feel special, avatar by avatar.

 

retro is what makes contemporary design pop

 

Teasing foreplay

 

A contemporary scroll-er scrolls down through million of posts and adds every day, from the moment we wake up and grab our phones, to the moment we drop them next to our bed in the evening. To really get someone’s attention has never been this difficult. In the ocean of colors and codes, your idea needs to stand out and reach the thumb of your customer. It is no longer about pretty, elegant and sophisticated design, the next focus that will reach the market popularity is the shocking, provocative, teasing. The factor of unexpected is what gets people to stop scrolling and take a look at your visuals - this is the magic window for your success in design.

 

Go retro

 

Social disconnection is bringing the world to a state of nostalgia and melancholy, seeking for different party types, looking for alternative ways to connect. This is exactly why the era of our parents is so vital for this new emerging culture. The new, millennial, IT literate generation longs for a time of innocence and dancing, when the world just started opening up, but you could still have quality social time. This need to relax and enjoy life inserts a new type of groove and retro suddenly became cool. Your audience is buying the vintage dreams wrapped up with a bow, and this trend in design has been here for over a few years now, but it is only growing and expanding.

 

As we are approaching the end of the decade, black is the new black, and emotional strength and vulnerability is the focus of individual interests and passion. New trend, new consumer, dictates to be treated like a living, emotional being, and no longer as a data on a chart.

 

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.

 

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7 Valid Reminds for Increasing Client Leads as a Web Designer


A website is a tool to attract and generate leads, which should in return help you sell your products and get wider brand recognition. But, for all of this to happen, you need to put efforts into your role as a web designer. These efforts include more than just finishing your individual products, posting content and media, refreshing the old content and other website tricks you hear on daily basis. With the competition being as large as it is now, it is important that you create a design that helps you attract and convert more and more visitors.

To that end, we present you with 7 reminds that will help you increase the client leads for your website.

1.   Make an Online Portfolio and HR Resume

As a web designer, you want your name to get out there. This is the only way to get recognition and increase the client leads. Without a portfolio and a resume, you won’t get very far.

Thankfully, there are plenty of sites like Behance that you can use to showcase your work in the form of a portfolio. As for a resume, you can get professional help from some reliable resume experts on sites like Brillassignment.co.uk. Both these are essential for getting your name out there. Without a portfolio and a resume, potential clients won’t be able to see and evaluate your work.

When creating your portfolio, make sure to focus on the best pieces and prove the qualifications listed in your resume. It might be tempting to put every project you’ve worked on in your portfolio, but this will only make it crowded and draw the attention from your best work.

2.   Add Contact Information

You might think that adding a phone number and email to a website is outdated or irrelevant now that contact forms are all across the Web, but nothing says ‘a scam site’ more than the lack of contact information. Add an email address and preferably, a phone number to boost your credibility and provide potential customers with new ways to reach out and become leads.

3.   Include a Location

Google has reported that four out of five customers use the search engines to find a local business or website. Half of the people who find a local business on this search make a visit or contact the business that same day, and 18% of the smartphone searches result in a purchase that same day.

So, as a graphic designer, you should definitely consider adding a location to the websites to drive sales and increase your leads. This is also a grand sign that your website is legit, as is the contact information.

4.   Provide Social Proof

Nothing screams ‘social proof’ more than customer testimonials, but your job doesn’t end there. If you want to truly showcase social proof and make people trust your website, try to add photos to the testimonials. This should convince the audience that your sites are reliable and trustworthy, especially if you add the human factor to the testimonial pages.

5.   Install a Live Chat

Live chat is an instant way for a visitor to get the information they need, and considering that most people stay on a website for seconds only, you definitely want to provide them with such an option. Regardless of the website you are creating, a live chat helps generate leads and creates trust in your clients.

Some of the prospects might be unable or even unwilling to visit your location or contact you on the phone number, so you should definitely install a live chat option and provide them with instant responses. Nowadays, live chats are more popular than phone conversations, mostly because people are often too busy or prefer typing over talking.

6.   Offer Explainer Videos and E-Books

If you specialize in web design, making videos and writing books might not be your strong side. But, e-books and videos are an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and provide something free to the visitors. Free things always attract more audience, and with the help of experts like SuperiorPapers, you can turn those interested readers and viewers into actual leads.

Your e-book can be purely informational and relate to the website content, or it can direct the reader toward your services as a web designer. E-books are often very short and comprehensive, which is what makes them so effective – people don’t have the time to read large books on every website, even if they are provided for free.

As for videos, use explainer videos to tell the visitors how to use the website and what it offers. Your videos should be of high quality as any other multimedia you use on the website, but also short and to the point. A video can attract the attention of the visitor, but it is your job to create this explainer video in a way that keeps them interested in the website design.

7.   Make the Design Mobile-Friendly

The Pew Research Center has reported that over three quarters of Americans aged 18 and higher own smartphones. According to them, approximately 20% of all smartphone owners use the phone to access the internet. This makes it more important than ever to make your web designs mobile-friendly. Whether these are part of your portfolio or a website where you sell products and services, chances are that many people will access the sites from their mobile device.

If you fail to make your designs mobile-friendly, you will lose potential leads and credibility as a designer. There might not be a solution that fits all sizes when it comes to mobile devices, but there are things you can do to make your website mobile-friendly. Thankfully, there are many website themes that automatically adjust when opened on a smartphone of different size.

Conclusion

As a web designer, you need to have many tricks under your sleeve to turn customers into leads. Some things are essential, while others are based on choice. The tricks in this list should help you get more clients and improve your web design in a way that it attracts and maintains a wide audience.

 

Author Bio
Scott Mathews is an expert writer who works for several writing services. He’s been writing academic papers for myassignmentwriting.com.au for four years, and just a year ago began working part-time as an assignment writer at Assignment Geek. Scott is a dedicated writer and an insightful blogger who contributes on many websites online, including his work for A-writer.com. In his free time, Scott travels the world with his family of four.
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3 Design and Space-Planning Resources to Help You Plan Your Next Home Upgrade


Devising a new room layout is one of those strange design activities which manages to be both creatively rewarding and deceptively tedious. There’s no question that it’s exciting to recreate a living space. With just a few tweaks to furniture layout and color, it’s almost as though you’re living in a brand new space!

On the other hand, let’s be honest here. It’s work. Unless you’re astoundingly lucky and get that perfect aesthetic balance on your first try, chances are you’ll be shifting furniture and swatches around a lot.

You know how it is—the couch might protrude too far into a walkthrough area, the TV might not quite work in that corner, that perfect shade of eggshell wall paint may suddenly look bleak and institutional when combined with your glass coffee table.

Getting it “just so” requires a solid dose of trial and error.

This is where design and space-planning resources make a world of difference. Let’s look at three design and space-planning websites and apps which allow you to enjoy all the experimental playfulness you desire with none of the heavy lifting.

Amikasa - 3D Room Design Without The Frustration

A few years ago, using an app to virtually create a three dimensional room or house layout existed purely in the realms of science fiction. These days, 3D room visualizing apps are thick on the ground.

They all operate on similar principles:

  • Draw up your room layout as accurately as possible.
  • Position shapes roughly approximating your furniture where you think they should go.
  • Check it out in a 3D projected view.
  • Rinse and repeat until satisfied.

They’re pretty good. They do give you the ability to bring your idea into virtual reality before you lift a finger. However, they also come with a downside. Most of these apps are incredibly fiddly to use and require quite a bit of practice to master. Put bluntly, you’re trading grunt work for brain work.

But then, along came Amikasa! This app is arguably the best way to visualize a 3D space on the market right now, and for one simple reason. It’s incredibly easy to use.

Instead of relying on smartphone optics to guesstimate the dimensions of a room, or having you generate blueprint like dimensions from scratch, Amikasa starts with a simple question: what’s the rough shape of your room?

From there, it’s a simple matter of tweaking that shape to more closely resemble your room’s specifications. It’s beautifully intuitive and I found I could do in minutes what took me up to an hour in other 3D design apps.

But that isn’t Amikasa’s most significant selling point. What makes this app perfect for me is that you can then use 3D models of actual furniture shapes. You’re not locked into using abstract representations of your stuff. Instead, you’re working with virtual objects which are close enough to reality to make visualization a breeze.

Another big bonus I found is that you can also easily place your surround sound speakers into the equation, finding ways to maximize their utility and aesthetic appeal just as you would with standard furniture.

It’s a thing of beauty and available both for iOS and Android. Give it a try!

PHOTOCOPA - Creative Color Picking

You’d think there’d be a plethora of decent color visualization resources out there for finding that perfect color palette. But it’s actually surprisingly hard to find something genuinely useful, for a few reasons.

A lot of the apps and websites out there focus on (admittedly pretty cool) augmented reality to virtually “paint” your room with your chosen color. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great idea in theory, but I’ve yet to find one which works flawlessly enough to actually help me visualize a room and make sound color decisions.

More critically, screens won’t display color the same way a paint chip does. Your phone or monitor’s luminance, contrast and brightness settings all subtly alter how a color looks. Without an expensive color calibrated monitor, there’s simply no way to get perfectly accurate color matching on an electronic device.

As an aside, if you are contemplating extensive design projects requiring true color and serious graphics-processing grunt, I’d highly recommend investing in a computer system and color smart monitor which is fit for the purpose. If you’re near Northern California, check out Nerds On Call's Sacramento computer repair shop. Nerds On Call can provide solid advice on how to upgrade your computer to accommodate heavy design work.

But back to PHOTOCOPA. The reason this app works so well is that it neatly side-steps these design problems by focusing on what really matters—generating a pleasing palette of complementary and contrasting colors you can use as a starting point. Once I have that winning color combination, calibrating my chosen shades against paint swatches is a breeze.

PHOTOCOPA works by keeping it simple.

I start by taking a picture of a color I want to begin with. It may be on an existing piece of furniture, but just as easily it could be a color I stumble across while I’m out and about.

Most recently it was an unusual leaf I found on the sidewalk. But I digress.

You can then have PHOTOCOPA use this shade as a starting point, generating a beautiful assortment of color combinations which all work in different ways for different reasons.

What I love most about this site is that it refuses to be prescriptive. It doesn’t lead you down a false path of choosing one particular color based on a screen’s false rendering. Instead it focuses on what a design app does best: giving you ideas.

Once my creative eye is bumped in a new direction by a surprising color combination, I find it that much easier to see beyond what’s there to the possibilities lying beneath.

This app works by fixing your sights on all the wonderful color possibilities.

Pinterest - For Flashes of Inspiration and Clues You Can Follow

In every design project, whether large or small, there’s a moment where you might find yourself staring into a void. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve begun a home design upgrade with literally no inkling on the first step I should take.

When these dire, blank moments settle over me, invariably I turn to Pinterest.

Pinterest is to out-of-the-box idea generation as YouTube is to embarrassingly endearing cat videos.

It’s just a vast, eclectic soup of different tastes, styles and disciplines. Every time I delve through its images I find something I hate and something I love—both of which are invaluable in crystallizing where I want to take a design next.

Of course, there are thousands of boards in Pinterest dedicated to interior design, but you’ll be richly rewarded if you gate crash into completely new visual categories you know nothing about.

Try jumping into clothes design boards and look for colors which speak to you. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try phrases like “scientific art” and “sacred geometry.”

If just one idea in a hundred leaps out of the screen at you, note it down! It’s just one more quirky design possibility. And who knows? It may become the seed of an amazing design path for you to pursue.

The truth is, there’s thousands of tools out there which may bless you with that one golden design idea you’re searching for. Ideas and inspiration come from the oddest of places. However, if you’re going to play it by the numbers, I think these three products represent a fabulous place to begin.

They’re practical without being prescriptive. They’re unusual without being obtuse. Most importantly, they’re great fun to use. Happy designing!

 

Mark Lambert is a technology and computing writer for Nerds On Call. He likes to write about technologies which make life easier, more productive and just plain cooler.
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Pantone announces color of the year 2019


The end of the year is close and we are all wondering which color will be our lucky charm in 2019. Pantone definitely made our day announcing that the color of 2019 is a gentle, mellow, contemporary-style Living Coral (16-1546). This color is perceived as life-bringing and vivid, animating and energizing, which will give a certain sense of intimacy and tenderness to your life.

 

pantone color of 2019 living coral

Photo source brandchannel https://bit.ly/2EvZ03g

 

Living Coral is a soft and trustworthy color, good in small, detailed amounts, but it could also cover large surfaces. It can produce a calming, peaceful effect, when used in interior or fashion design. Curves and oval shapes go well with this color, unlike edgy and sharp objects. This color is making your space more comfortable, healing and caring.

 

In regards to the digital world, this color is dominating with its vibrant side. It evokes the sense of community, engaging the users in a sophisticated way. Living Color is very much alive, as the name says, its motion is subtle and captivating, while it is very easy for the eyes and slows down the pace in which we perceive information. In a way, we could say that Living Coral is teaching us that time is valuable and we should enjoy every single moment.

 

Living Coral is a perfect brand color if you are driven by humane, enlightening, social ideas. This color helps you communicate to your customers and builds a strong, intimate relationship. This shade is also very playful and enjoyable, while experiencing this color one may explore the meditative music that goes with it, or a flavor of sweet cupcake.

 

In combining this color with others, blue is your absolute ally. Coral will match the color of the sea or the sky, in almost every shade of blue. Having Living Coral details and images over a blue background is connecting us to the nature and the waves, bringing us closer to the Earth in a lovely, peaceful manner.

 

Pantone has been announcing their Color of the Year for 20 years, creating a big influence wave in all creative industries worldwide. This selection is done by gathered color experts from different fields, which analyze color trends and color migrations across the globe. Prediction for color of the year is based on the research of new innovations in the art world and fresh, emerging artists. These creatives are changing the direction of color trends, which then influence every sphere of our lives through Pantone.

 

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.

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