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Choosing The Right Font


One of the biggest challenges in designing a brand, for me, is without a doubt - choosing the perfect font. We get on well in terms of shapes, colors, intonations, volumes, images to back up our brand, but we often underestimate the role of fonts in our presentation of ourselves.

 

And when we get to it - the step often seems impossible to finish. There is an absolute infinity when it comes to choices we are offered, and even then we trouble even selecting the right type of font to begin with. Why are some fonts better than others, some more expensive, and what do they really say about us to the large audience - that is what we will try to reveal by observing these four types of fonts.

 

Serif

 

Serif stands for a bit conservative and traditional font type. It is frequently appeared in newspapers and books, while designers seem to avoid this type of fonts because it is not the most readable one. This, however, was an obstacle that high quality screens easily overcame, bringing serif back in the game. Serif font is easily recognizable by its divots on the end of the letters. These can be different from font to font, and although serif is more readable on the screen, it is not nearly as used as the sans font types, or their hybrid sans serif.

 

This font is best used for the body of the text, good to pair with a sans serif font, and not recommended in large amounts - except if you want your text to have that old-fashioned look.

 

Sans Serif

 

Sans serif is a much simpler font type than serif, and this doesn't make it dull - it rather gives it the elegance and sense of fashion, and there is a lot to experiment with these fonts. There is a reason why this font type has been dominating the visuals online, and this is mostly because of its simplicity and the fact that it is super easy to read. With different fonts from this type you can make any statement you'd like - there are tall, thick, stretched versions of the fonts among which you can find the absolute perfect one for your brand. Even when we are talking about a font of this type that is often used, you can most certainly still match it with your identity.

 

It is great for the text body, but also for your brand name. Take precautions when choosing very thin or tall fonts, because of its readability. Best part about this type is that you can match them with any other font type you choose. My personal favorite from this family is Roboto.

 

Script

 

Now, this font type gives you the chills as if you have just received a hand written letter. And just like a real letter, besides the emotion flow, they are very difficult to read. This is why these fonts are the least common in the design world. The impression this font is giving to the reader, and the emotional connection it is establishing, may often come across as a feminine writing style. But, nonetheless, this font is also messy and it is not recommended to be used in a text block.

 

old type

 

It makes good few words, titles, brand names (arts and crafts frequently rely on these fonts), it gives your website the special ingredient. It is well combined with sans serif, just like the others.

 

Slab

 

Emerging from a serif typeface, slab has become an independent font type, referring to any other type with powerful thick stroke weights on the letters. This font type came in well when it comes to big headlines and this typeface is your expert on getting attention and focus of the consumer. In small amounts, this font is perfect for advertisement, but also for the news headlines - it shouts out the message and it sticks with the readers.

 

This aggressive approach is your choice if you are dedicated to marketing of your product/brand, and seeking to attract more consumers and attract them fast. These funky fonts can be used nicely in design when combined with photos - they are bold and there is a lot of space to be filled in the body of the letters. They are well combined with sans serif or serif for the text body.

 

 

There are four main types of typefaces, and they work best together if combined well. It is important to think about combining two different font types - one for the headline and one for the body. This achieves a great effect of highlighting the important headlines, but it is not confusing for the eye as they are not similar, not from the same family of fonts. My personal advice would be to figure out which body type you would like to have in your text, and then go from there - find another typeface that will match your base font. Now, these recommendations, rather than rules, are here to guide us into the right direction, where we can experiment and discover ultimate perfect combos ourselves. Enjoy!

 

What are your favorite font combinations? Tell us in the comment section bellow.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

 

 

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Matching Your Bed to Your Decor


Creating the perfect living space is a smart balance of colour and coordinating furniture and the bedroom is no exception. Your bedroom should be the perfect space for relaxing and sleeping and therefore should get something of a priority when it comes to decorating. There is nothing relaxing about trying to sleep in a mishmash of colour and clutter, so it is time to take control and get your bedroom up to scratch. Bed SOS has some great ideas for making sure your bedroom is the perfect space.

Decide on a Theme

There are lots of great themes for the bedroom but remember that colour can change the mood. Bright and acidic colours are perfect for living spaces but as a bedroom can make it hard to switch off and relax. Softer, muted colours work well in a bedroom with perhaps a splash of brightness on a feature wall. So, your first challenge is to pick your colours. Blues, purples, cream and chocolate all work well in a sleeping environment. You could opt for plain walls, and patterned curtains and duvet cover or vice-versa but again there is an argument for keeping it chilled and mellow as loads of patterns and colours can send the brain into overdrive and make it much harder to sleep.

Pick a Bed

In most rooms, the bed will be one of the most significant pieces of furniture. Certainly, in a room with a kingsize bed, you are looking at a large bed that can either make or break the whole look and feel of the room. There is such a wide selection of bed bases on offer that you have scope to really personalise and set the scene. Wooden bed frames tend to be more imposing that metal so if space is a premium you might want to consider opting for the latter. A divan bed is designed for practicality, and often they are not the best looking, but these can be hidden with valance sheets. Bed makers are getting on board with the idea of using the bed to make the internal decor work better, and therefore you will find a range of coloured beds in various finishes. Velvet beds have enjoyed a run of popularity and feature upholstered frames in a variety of colour to give the room an opulent look.

Consider Storage

The other useful features of many bed frames are the storage they offer, so as well as finding the colour and style of bed that best compliments your decor, have a think about storage. Whether you opt for an ottoman bed or one with drawers you can really make a room look bigger by removing clutter into the storage offered by the bed. This gives you space to store clothing or other things that you struggle to accommodate, and the room look is not impeded in any way. With so many different styles and colourways on offer finding the perfect bed to match the colour scheme of your room should prove to be a fun and enjoyable activity.

 

 

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What Your Customers Want From Your Company this Year


The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to set goals for your company and make decisions on where to invest your time and money. Satisfied customers come back to your business in the future and tell others what they love about your brand. Figuring out what your customers want builds your business on multiple levels.

In a study of consumers, researchers learned customers value a positive experience so much that by the year 2020, customer experience (CX) will become even more important than price and product features in highlighting some brands as consumer favorites.

CX is made of intricate layers and hard to define. Below are six key things customers want more of from brands they patronize.

1. Get Personal

The world becomes more impersonal every year. If you phone a company, a computer offers responses. If you go to a grocery store, a machine checks you out. However, even though more and more things are automated, people want a personalized experience that applies specifically to their needs.

Your first step toward a more personalized experience is understanding your target audience and their pain points. However, you should also target language, offers and customer service based on each customer. Search engines offer information such as the customer's regional location, and social media informs you of their interests.

Coca-Cola has a Share-a-Coke campaign that offers personalized coke bottles with a variety of names. Name Cokes are in stores, but you can also order a Coke with a specific name or saying through their website. Offering a product with your name on it is the height of personalization. Your site might provide ideas for services in the location of the site visitor or something more straightforward, but the more customization you give the better.

2. Respect Customer's Time

Most families today have two people working outside the home and children involved in activities after school. They don't have a lot of extra time, and their time is valuable. Anything that saves a customer time endears your company to them.

Speed up your website. Most people won't wait around longer than a few seconds for your site to load.

Offer conveniences and keep checkout pages and forms as short as possible. If you offer customer service or ordering via telephone, reduce hold times as low as possible.

3. Collect Detailed Information

Don't make customers repeat the same information over and over again. Collect the necessary details to serve them effectively and make sure key people in your organization have access to that data. If a customer calls and complains about a product issue, they shouldn't have to repeat their entire problem when they call back the second time. Instead, the customer service rep should pull up the data and instantly know the issue they're having.

DY Concrete Pumps offers a custom quote that allows them to gather contact information and provide a chance for the user to include a personalized message. The custom quote offer is located at the bottom of the landing page with a bright yellow call to action (CTA) button that grabs the users attention.

4. Embrace Augmented Reality

Experts predict smart augmented reality glasses with reach 5.4 million people by 2020. Already, augmented reality permeates everyday life. Cinemark theaters offer games on the big screen leading up to movies that work with a Smartphone or mobile device and allow movie-goers to play games through augmented reality. The phone works with the image on the screen.

Advertisers place ads in magazines that work with an app on your phone and come to life. Pokémon Go became all the rage a few years ago, as players used their surroundings to view Pokémon you can only see in the app. As AR becomes more popular, expect to see it utilized more and more.

One way of utilizing AR on your website is through images that, when hovered over or clicked on, become a 360-degree video the user interacts with. You could also consider developing apps for smartphones that allow a user to place the item in their home and see how it looks.

5. Offer Better Communication

Customers want communication with you to be easy and accessible. Around 51 percent of consumers state businesses should be available 24/7. Smaller companies and startups have a smaller budget that doesn't allow for 24/7 customer service. Fortunately, you can automate email and chatbot responses, answering some questions automatically and letting customers know you'll get back as quickly as possible on others.

Look at the different forms of communication offered on your website. If you only provide your email, add a live chat option and a toll-free number. Make communicating with your brand simple and painless as possible.

Razer offers high-tech products such as laptops, headphones and keyboards. Note how their support page provides several options to get in touch with them, including a searchable knowledgebase, live chat, a toll-free number, email and community help.

6. Exceed Expectations

Customers come into a transaction with your brand with certain expectations. Once you understand what expectations your typical customer has, you can not only meet but exceed them.

For example, if your typical customer expects 24/7 customer support, work not only to offer 24/7 customer support but to also shorten your response times.

When you receive a complaint, solve it beyond what the person asks. If they want a replacement for a product damaged in shipping, include a small free item and thank them for the chance to make things right and overnight the package. Create goodwill with your customers, and they'll tell others about your brand.

Talk to Your Customers

If you're not sure what your customers want, ask them. Send out a poll and ask what areas need improvement. Pay attention to customer complaints, as well, and see if there are any patterns. No matter what type of business you're in, your success boils down to the relationship between you and your customers. Find the right mix, and you'll keep the customers you have while also attracting new ones.

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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Mint, butter, chartreuse and others - colors we should love and use more often


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.

 

Color property

 

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.

 

 

Colors throughout cultures

 

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.

 

Butter

 

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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Chartreuse

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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Coral

 

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

 

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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Scarlet

 

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.

 

scarlet color palette

 

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Peach

 

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.

 

https://bit.ly/2N8XIeD https://bit.ly/2xItyd8 https://bit.ly/2xVm1qJ https://bit.ly/2DCy7uR https://bit.ly/2QdWEI8

 

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. She is a part-time traveler and part-time web and graphic designer working with sustainable brands. She is passionate about photography and nature -  a never-ending source of inspiration.

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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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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

find project here

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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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 Sacramento, check out https://callnerds.com/computer-repair-sacramento/. 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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