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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 1,931 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

The Art and Style of Friendship Bracelets

The Art and Style of Friendship Bracelets


There's just something beautiful about a friendship bracelet. I don't know if it's the 454 gorgeous colors DMC offers. The few materials needed to create something beautiful. Or the ease of making the bracelet itself, and how relaxing it can be. As a child, I have fond memories of making bracelets with my girlfriends.

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(source)

Neon!

For as long as I can remember, I have always been an entrepreneur. While most kids' first business is the adorable lemonade stand, mine, was friendship bracelets. I had the fancy little case, the bobbin winder, and cardboard bobbins. I organized them by color families, and remember just looking at them, thinking about how much I loved the colors! My love of friendship bracelets carried through high school, where I actually made a little money making bracelets and sometimes necklaces.

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Halloween Colors: Where Did They Come From?

Halloween Colors: Where Did They Come From?


Pumpkin orange and midnight black—the predominant colors of Halloween combine the Autumn season with darkness and scary entities.

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(source)

But how did these colors really come to dominate this most unusual holiday? The truth is, when it comes to the question of the origin of the Halloween colors, it can be hard to separate the opinions from the facts.

Unbleached beeswax candles (source | source)

The most common opinion about where the colors originated is steeped in the rich history of the Celtics and the Druids, with the burning of unbleached beeswax candles (orange) and ceremonial caskets draped in a black cloth.

Feng Shui candles are said to help create peace in the center of your house (source)

Now, let’s step into the world of Feng Shui, where a balance of energy reigns supreme. Believers of Feng Shui feel that the colors of orange and black were chosen because they are on opposite sides of the energy spectrum: orange is warm, happy, lively, and brings to mind the bounty of the fall harvest, while black represents mystery, void, power and protection (source).

(leaves source)

The most obvious answer to this question is that the classic color of Autumn is orange, while black can be equated with the approaching darkness of winter.

spider glasses | felted toysnapkinsBunting 

And, if you want to get really extreme, some people claim that black and orange were the only colors left after Christmas took red and green, and Easter took all of the pastels.

Of course, Halloween colors are not just limited to orange and black, you will also see a lot of blood red, eerie green, ghostly white and deep purples. So, where do these colors come into play? Here is a plausible explanation.

Celtic wheel of the year (source)

Going back to the Celtic festival of Samhain in 700 B.C., it signified the end of the harvest and the approaching of winter, or the end of one year and the start of another. The Celts believed that ancestral spirits joined them on this day when the past and the present are about to cross paths, which is why it was also considered a “day of the dead.”(source)

goblin | bat necklace | brooch | Boo

All of the Halloween colors seem to implicate some kind of connection to death and dying. Red is a classic implication of blood, fire and demons, while green represents goblins, monsters, and zombies. Purple draws in a bit of the supernatural and mysticism, while white reflects ghosts, mummies and a full moon.

Stepping away from color for a moment, Halloween is also dominated by an abundance of Jack-o-lanterns and children out trick-or-treating. These traditions also have an interesting origin.

Stingy Jack (source)

Jack-o-lanterns trace back to the Irish myth of Stingy Jack who died and, finding himself rejected by both heaven and hell, was forced to roam the darkness seeking a resting place for his soul. Legend has it that he hollowed out a turnip and used it to carry a coal to light his way. This said, the first Jack-o-lanterns were carved in turnips, and only changed to pumpkins when the tradition was brought to America.

jack-o-lanterns (source)

Trick-or-treating came about during the Great Irish Potato Famine. On Halloween, peasants would beg for food from the wealthy. They played practical jokes on those that refused to give them something. So, to avoid being tricked, the wealthy gave out cookies, candies, and fruit. It is easy to see how this turned into modern-day trick-or-treating. (source)

bracelet | plastic mustaches / lips | zombie clips | toy

No matter what history tells us, the Halloween color palette we see today is warm, bright, fun, and sometimes a little spooky. Each color has a place in the holiday and can find a place in your life as well, whether you are wearing it, eating it, decorating with it, or simply reading about it. So, have a happy, safe and colorful Halloween!


header credit: purple bats
Happy_Halloween!


Halloween Colors

Trick_or_TreatOctobers_EndTrick_o_TreatPumpkin_Moon_IF23toxic_psychedelicHappy_Halloween!halloween_treatPumpkin_Moon_IF23Nuclear_HalloweenHALLOWEEN_SOCKShappy_halloween!Retail_Halloweenho_ho_ho-lloween!!This_is_HalloweenHalloweenspooky_stuff

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The Sentiment of Paper Dolls Past and Present

The Sentiment of Paper Dolls Past and Present


Paper dolls and their costumes provide a look at cultures from around the world. They give us a glimpse at what was worn by men and women through the centuries. Celebrities were turned into paper dolls, as were storybook characters. Its easy to find your favorite subject in paper doll form; from Little Fanny to the Bobbsey Twins and The Flintstones to political cartoons. The history of the paper doll is likely unknown by many, so today, we're going to take a trip back in time to unearth the history of what every child was once familiar with!

This article presented by the offset flyer printing company, Next Day Flyers. Printing flyers and so much more.

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Our story begins in 1810 when S. & J. Fuller produced a small book. The moral story was accompanied by a series of hand colored little boys in various costumes that correspond with the story. They were somewhat unusual in that there was not a full body paper doll. Instead, there was a single head for the set of dolls that neatly fit in a v shaped horizontal slit on the back of each costume. Presumably one head was used to require the child to move the head from costume to costume as the story progressed. The book was titled The History & Adventures of Little Henry. It was the first in a series of similar books that became quite popular. The second book, also published in 1810 was History of Little Fanny. (source)

(source)

(source)

The paper doll was even used in a Political cartoon from August 15th, 1925. The ad, originally in black and white, was restored and colored by Judy M. Johnson of Paper Goodies.

1925 source

This ad encourages its readers to "see just how she uses three of the Cutex "smoky" shades by cutting out the figures above" and goes on to talk about the 12 "smart shades" that are available for only 35¢. Yes, you read that right, just 35¢ in 1936!

1936 source

When paper dolls surged in popularity as toys, manufacturers of all kinds of household goods took advantage of their popularity by using them to promote their wares. Paper dolls appeared in advertising, some die-cut, some as cards to cut out. A few of the products advertised with paper dolls were Lyon's coffee, Pillsbury flour, Baker's chocolate, Singer sewing machines, Clark's threads, McLaughlin coffee and Hood's Sarsaparilla. These dolls were plentiful and are still fairly easy to find today, often pasted into colorful scrapbooks. Later, from the 1930s to the 1950s, companies put paper dolls into their magazine advertisements to sell such goods as nail polish, underwear, Springmaid fabrics, Quadriga Cloth, Ford Cars, Fels Naphtha and Swan soaps, Carter's clothing for children, and more. (source)

1950 source

The 1930s through the 1950s can perhaps claim the title "Golden Age of Paper Dolls," as their popularity during those years has never been equaled. Barbie may be credited or condemned for the decline in popularity of paper dolls in the 1960s. Paper-doll versions of Barbie and her sister, Skipper, were strong sellers in the 1970s. Boyfriend Ken and girlfriend Midge were also made as paper dolls. Paper Barbies appeared in books and in boxed sets from 1962 through the 1990s, and have dwindled to nearly nothing in the first years of the 21st Century.

Paper Dolls Today

VaVa farmed paper dolls from her childhood.

(source/source)

Zevi likes to recreate paper dolls using fabric. This one in particular is Dolly Dingle.

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Vintage_Paper_Dolls

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A playful portrait of yourself, your pets or your family. You provide the photos and choose the clothes, and they illustrate a quirky stylized moveable likeness of your favorite animal/person.

(source)

 This gorgeous oversized postcard has all you need to dress Miss Clara up in her favourite winter outfits.

(source)

Imogen is approximately 7 inches tall (18cm) and is printed on heavy weight matte card stock. She comes with quite a wardrobe as well! Summer outfits, winter attire, beachwear and sleepwear. 8 outfits in all, plus coordinating accessories.

(source)

These lovely paper dolls are printed on heavy-duty water-resistant magnetic paper. These magnets preserve the detail of the original watercolors. They will stick to any metal surface: fridge, file cabinet, or anything else in your nest that needs feathering.

(source)

I love these Betsy McCall Halloween paper dolls from 1953.

(source)

It is possible to unearth paper dolls from the past. Looking in books and through loose pieces of paper is a great way to start. There are paper doll conventions held throughout the year if you're hoping to find antique paper dolls from their early debut. Creating your own paper dolls can be really fun, especially for kids! It allows you to personalize your dolls clothes, hair, facial features etc. The possibilities are endless!

Header credit.

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Get Your Spook On: Freebie Halloween SVGs from The Vector Lab

Get Your Spook On: Freebie Halloween SVGs from The Vector Lab


Halloween is approaching! What patterns, palettes and colors are you favoring as we get closer?

Cats_and_witches

We challenge all you COLOURlovin goblins and ghouls to create!

Ray, from The Vector Lab has made all COLOURlovers some Spooky SVGs to play with! You can download them for FREE until November 1st. SVGs can be used with Seamless Studio.

DOWNLOAD SPOOKY SVGs

 

Use code: HALLOWEEN

SVG vector set by The Vector Lab


Green_GhoulsGreen_Ghouls

spooksEve
 *You have to be logged in to The Vector Lab to be able to download the SVG files. 

Check out these other great Halloween Patterns by COLOURlovers!

litl_monster_cutiesHelloween
We_dont_have_it_hereCandy_Corn!
Halloween_Owlsone_sunny_halloween
halloween_devotionwanted_to_be_haunted

Maurin_Quina_Batsrosa_pumpkin_3


Header Credit:
spiders

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Signs: A Century of Fantastic Neon

Signs: A Century of Fantastic Neon


Neon signs first came to the United States in 1923 when a Los Angeles car dealer bought two signs for his Packard dealership. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, neon tubes were used for signage as well as decorative displays. By 1947, several casinos in Las Vegas began to draw attention with their elaborate neon lights.

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(source)

Many of these signs can be seen at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, sometimes referred to as the "Neon Graveyard" or "Boneyard Park". There are more than 100 signs that date back as far as the 1930's!

(source)

MCD_Neon

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Creative Invitations: Perforations at their Finest

Creative Invitations: Perforations at their Finest


Perforated paper is simply delicious. Those tiny dotted punctures have a nice look, have a fun feel, and make you want to interact with whatever it is they're on, whether it's something being used for functionality purposes or not. Ideally, they also tell the viewer what to do without actually telling them what to do, which can be pretty convenient when you want an uncluttered design.

This post brought to you by the leading greeting card and postcard printing company, Next Day Flyers. They're bringing creative invitations to life.

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In vite verb |inˈvīt| [ with obj. ] make a polite, formal, or friendly request to (someone) to go somewhere or to do something

Invitations tend to go hand-in-hand with the traditional carnival ticket as a form of entry to an event. By means of tradition and sentimental memories, utilizing the idea of a ticket in design doesn't always mean to literally include carnival tickets (but that can be a cute addition that never gets old, too!).

Wedding invitation booklet using digital, letterpress and perforation - by dolcepress.com

In these dramatic wedding invitation booklets (above), simple perforation was used to create a tear-off RSVP postcard. This postcard tear-out is an excellent idea as it cuts down on providing an extra envelope while also using a portion of the invitation to re-use (tearing out and mailing the RSVP).

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Mattel Hot Wheels: Coloring Playtime, One Car at a Time

Mattel Hot Wheels: Coloring Playtime, One Car at a Time


The launch of Mattel’s first line of Hot Wheels cars in 1968 was the beginning of what would become a big part of many of our childhoods. Almost 45 years later, Mattel estimates that about 41 million kids have grown up with their model toy cars, while the faithful enthusiasts have become collectors as adults. So, what was the secret to Hot Wheels' success?

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For starters, a constant stream of new models and concepts has enabled Hot Wheels to remain competitive. Its rivalry with Matchbox, which had a 15-year head start debuting in 1953, has resulted in a very colorful history that has transformed our entire preconception of what model toy vehicles should or should not be.

Hot Wheels 1968 Advertisement Featuring the Cheetah (source)

Often referred to by collectors as the “Sweet 16,” the first 16 cars that were released featured metallic “spectraflame” paintwork in such exotic colors as Antifreeze, Magenta and Hot Pink. Soon to follow were a collection of 48 cars released in the 1970s, which included the Paddy Wagon and models with rotating crash-panels called Crack-Ups.

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COLOR CONFERENCE NYC | 2011 - A Success!

COLOR CONFERENCE NYC | 2011 - A Success!


The entire COLOURlovers Team spent the better half of last week at Print's COLOR CONFERENCE in NYC. This was the first year of the event and I can definitely say we look forward to many more!

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Aaron & Darius (aka Bubs) | "Creative Differences" 

As the event organizer, Print had the tough job of narrowing down what topics would be covered to rein in color at its finest. Topics ranged from color trending to a variety of looks at color in product design to how color affects our lives on personal levels, business and even non-profit. Between some great speakers, fun activities and CMYK Cocktails, I'd say we all had a wonderful time discovering color in ways we hadn't thought of before. It was truly intriguing to meet and talk to so many people interested in color and who work with it in a variety of fields. From those who deal with it broadly between science and art, every attendee brought a unique addition to the conference.

If you'd like a full rundown on the happenings, see blogpost, Viva Color at Print's First Color Conference  - great images of the CMYK Cocktails, the speakers panel and many fun candid shots.

Andy Gordon of 48HourPrint.com using Jamie Aylwin's palette | "Planking" | @48hourprint

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Posters from the 1920s—Art Deco Style!

Posters from the 1920s—Art Deco Style!


Power, speed and vibrant color were the dominating themes in posters created in the 1920s. The artwork, referred to as Art Deco, allowed posters to take on a new form with simplified shapes and sleek, angular lettering replacing the curved lettering of the Art Nouveau style. (source)

Presented by the offset printing services company, Next Day Flyers. They offer fast turnaround time on printed materials including business cards, postcards, flyers, and brochures.

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Tour Eiffel during the exhibition (source) | (source)

The term Art Deco comes from the 1925 Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris, where people flocked to view a spectacular display of this new type of art.

1927 Poster for Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” (source)
This vintage 1927 movie poster epitomizes a very vivid sense of power that was a popular theme in the posters created in the 1920s.

1926 Poster “Don Juan,” starring John Barrymore (grandfather of Drew Barrymore) (source)

This vintage 1926 movie poster practically drips with brute strength and speed. It also features a variety of lettering styles and colors to add a bit more excitement to the overall picture.

1920's George V. Hecker's Flour Vintage Poster (source)

Printed in the lithograph style, you will notice that this beauty was laid out horizontally, suggesting that it was used as an insert for advertising on a train, trolley or bus.

1920s Original Antique Vintage Clothing Poster (source)

The well-dressed couple depicted in this poster is wearing the flapper-style clothing that was popular in the Art Deco era. Another thing that sets it apart, which cannot be seen in a digital image, is its linen back, which was a common printing surface in this time period.

1920s Lori or Lora Harrington & her Gypsy Wayfarers Vintage Vaudeville Music Poster (source)

Printed by Quigley Lithograph Co., this rare music poster uses a simple color scheme to draw the audience in and make the lettering litterally pop out at you. Another interstesting tidbit is that it was mounted on linen and machine folded for distribution.

1920s National Dairy Council Milk Poster (source) | 1928 Milk Bottle Lawrence Wilbur Poster (source)

Have you ever wondered how drinking cow’s milk became so popular? Apparently, the National Dairy Association started its campaign back at the turn of the twentieth century. The bright yellow in the National Dairy Council poster definitely catches the eye. In contrast, the deep shades of color in the Lawrence Wilbur poster showcase illustrative and graphic arts printing methods at their best.

1920 Dairy Milk and Airplane Poster (source)

Produced by the Dairymen`s League Cooperative Association in New York City, this poster also promotes the drinking of milk by combining the themes of power and speed with a traditional American landscape. Although the airplane is the focus, this poster offers many other elements such as the machine-age skyscrapers in the foreground encompassing the airplane, a milk truck on a highway and a steam engine train, backed by a colorful patchwork of farm lands.

1920s Corticelli Fabric Fashion Poster (source)

Fashion at its finest! This simple, yet elegant poster uses the idea of “less is more” to convey its message.

1920 French Railroad Poster (source)

This work of art reveals lithograph at its finest. Advertising the French Railway as your host for excursions to Normandy, it was printed in France and designed by well-known French graphic designer, poster artist, and illustrator Charles-Jean Hallo.

1920s Doctor Lynas’ Extracts Poster (source)

This poster is unique in that it was printed on cardboard. Its bold typography adds emphasis to the fact that Dr. Lynas’ was a well-known brand of the era.

1920 Eveready Flashlight Christmas Poster (source)

This charming photomontage poster mixes text and photo elements to create a sense of expression that is sure make you smile. The detail that went into printing this almost “life-like” gentleman reveals the use of some very detailed and tedious lithography techniques.

Vintage ambient advertising for women's stockings, 1920s (source)

These “posters” take linen backing to a whole new level.


In retrospect, while many posters from the 1920s were detailed works of art, a great many more were simply humorous, cheeky, or down-right ugly. Together, these posters helped to form the foundation of modern-day advertising, and give us great topics to blog about, too!

If you would like to find out more about vintage posters, visit http://vintageposterworks.com.

header credit: poster source | palette

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Breast Cancer Awareness: Using the Color of Cause in Business

Breast Cancer Awareness: Using the Color of Cause in Business


Millions of pink Breast Cancer products get ready to take October by storm. The colors of awareness are popping up everywhere by any number of businesses large and small…

“Buy this pink product and all proceeds will be donated to breast cancer.”

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photos by me | The Human Bean donates all proceeds to the local hospitals on a certain day in October.

This might be one of the most successful marketing ploys of the twentieth-century. Why? Because people don’t mind contributing when they feel like they are getting something out of showing their support.

Take a look at the average consumer, who generally does not have or want to spend the extra cash to simply donate. Now they can donate and get something in return. Wouldn’t you much rather spend $8.00 on a pink water bottle than donate $8.00 directly to a charity? I am going to buy a water bottle anyway.

Embrace Activism Products specifically designed around Breast Cancer

The sheer number of charities asking for donations can be daunting. How do you pick one if you don’t necessarily have a sentimental reason to go with one or the other?

Being an average person and general consumer of every day products, I have no personal reasons to choose to financially support a cause. So unless someone asks me to donate I most likely wouldn’t think to donate if it wasn’t right in my face when I go to the store. But, since I’m there, I might as well buy the loaf of bread with the pink ribbon graphic promising to donate for me. I feel good about supporting a cause and I get my loaf of bread, everyone wins.

Simple Methods, Big Impact

A couple basic cause-based advertising models…

Spare Change: Asking customers if they would like to round up their purchases to donate the extra change to a certain cause or charity. Normally something at a grocery store, but you could use this on a smaller scale in almost any type of situation.

Color it Pink or add a Pink Ribbon: This is the biggest marketing scheme we see on a daily basis. Companies small and large use this method to generate awareness for their brand, products and the cause (of course). Pair up with a foundation or simply donate to local programs (organized charities, hospitals, groups) to draw in community members.

Small & Large Scale Business for Charity:

With October just a hop over the fence, there is ample opportunity to get in on it some way or another! From using the color pink and boobies in unexpected product design or creatively funny ads, it's a great way to step out of your regular routine and make a splash at it!

Products & Proceeds

Jordan "Think Pink"Nike "Think Pink"

 

Pink tortillas, El Rey tortilla factory (2009) 

Putting on events or being involved in events can get your brand out there in any number of ways...

Ladies Golf Breast Cancer Day at Jamberoo Golf Club. 

2011 Camaro SS Pink Breast Cancer NASCAR Pace Car

Penny Lancaster Pink Ribbon Walk 2011

Etsy...

I'm actually surprised at how little Etsy crafters have made for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I'm even more surprised that more than half the crafters displaying content for sale, are not even trying to pull off donating proceeds or a percentage to some foundation or another...which would probably help their purchases. Maybe we'll see more pop up as we get in to October more.


 

So is it wrong or right to run creative promotions and sell product based on Breast Cancer Awareness?

With October being the official month for Breast Cancer Awareness, there are plenty of opportunities to run a caused-based promotion with your small business be that an Etsy shop or physical business.

So morally, is this a bad thing to run a creative promotion or sell your products based around Breast Cancer Awareness? When it comes down to the dollar and the sense of it all -- what this has really done is create HUGE avenues to more regularly and more actively generate money and massive awareness for these causes. Think of how much more funds have been raised due to proceeds and percentages donated by businesses than before when people were simply asked to provide a dollar donation.

However funds are raised, the cause is important and breast cancer takes too many of our wonderful women. And as always directly donating to an organization is a great way to make a difference. Foundations such as the SUSAN G KOMEN - for the CURE provides tons of resources to understand Breast Cancer for both the diagnosed or if you just want to know more about it along with donating and finding things like races and events to be a part of.

What's the coolest breast cancer product or ad you've seen? 

If you are a Breast Cancer Survivor or know someone who has been diagnosed, what are your thoughts about businesses donating proceeds and percentages?


Choose_to_Standout--Miracles_do_happen..Check_the_boobs!Survivor

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