Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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Designing promotional materials for print as a small business or freelancer can be daunting; but shouldn't be. With business cards, post cards, fliers and such - your canvas is small so keep it simple, direct and most of all - attention grabbing!
Apple has taken the clean white look (which has been copied over and over), your bank has taken the look using stock photos of "happy customers", your competitor is using "cute" clipart on their fliers... so what are you going to do to stand out? When your postcard turns up in the mail, what will keep your recipients attention?
Pop it with Pop Color.
Without getting in to too much detail of Pop Culture itself, I'm going to focus on color (of course). If you've learned anything from the color use of Pop Culture, it should be,"LOOK AT ME!!!"
Do not mistake Pop Color for simply tossing bright colors down to grab attention. Using Flourecents or Astrobrights will not cut it. Pop Color is a method that almost resists the rules of combination itself, but it works!
For example, Andy Warhol's famous Marilyn Monroe piece very marvelously displays a combination of colors that almost defy how colors should be used together - but it obviously grabbed attention.
So Let's Pop Your Print!
Keep the color palette minimal, bright and lusty or muted but defiant. It doesn't always have to be screaming with color, but make smart design choices.
Welcome to The Design Minute, a new feature on the COLOURlovers blog where we take a quick look at an inspired design, whether it be on a canvas, a t-shirt, a billboard or a passing elephant, and have a quick chat with the artist behind it. Today's design is called Color Wheel, and it can currently be found at ultra-cool t-shirt design site Threadless. Creator Ross Zietz has a few other designs under his belt, but this one was perfect for our color-obsessed readers (and yes, I'm talking to you).
COLOURlovers: Give us three words that you feel best describe this design.
Ross: vivid, bicycle, kaleidoscope-ish.
COLOURlovers: Do you have a current favorite Threadless design? If so, what is it?
Ross: Dead Pirate by McBess. Nice and Simple. Sorry it's not too colorful but it's the one I wear the most.
COLOURlovers: You have to create a design in under five minutes, using only words to describe it. Go.
Ross: Ha... A wide open shark jaw, just the two jaw parts (top and bottom)... The teeth look like normal sharp shark teeth from afar but when you look closer at them, you realize that they are actually sails to a bunch of tiny sailboats. I think i'm actually going to design this tonight!
When I think about car colors the first thing that always comes to mind is this famous quote by Henry Ford: "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." We've certainly come a long way from the single color option, but the color variations produced over the years have not strayed far from the "standards," and year after year the same colors reign in popularity. All of this brings up some questions in my mind, like what consideration are made when producing these colors, who are the people making these decisions, and are consumers really that afraid of different colors? Well, thanks to this guest post from the team working on the Range Rover Evoque we get a little insight into this vey conundrum.
Choosing a car colour from a range in a showroom is simultaneously the most difficult and most fun part of buying a new car. For Mel McWhirter, principal colour designer at Range Rover, choosing the right colour is very important. It’s her job. Mel is in charge of the colour range for the new Range Rover Evoque car.
Don't go anywhere!!! There's a super fantastic book giveaway after our feature presentation!
Just holding this book makes me go, "ahhh..."
Everyone is raving about the quality of book #2 compared to book #1 (or published media in general). I don't blame them. I almost didn't mention it, because everyone else has, but that was ALSO my initial thought upon receiving my copy of the book. Straight from the box, I instinctively noticed these things in this order:
First, I noticed that I can plop it in my purse, no problem (and I don't carry an overly-large purse!). It's not too heavy or too many square/cubic inches. That's important, because I dread getting a great book, but eyeballing how thick it is sometimes hurts as I rarely have time for reading real books. My arms aren't going to fall off trying to hold it up while I'm laying in bed reading it.
Second, most definitely the quality. Smashing Magazine did not skimp on getting this little ditty published. Quality, stitch-bound, hard cover and hefty pages that produce sharp graphics. It's a nice tight number that you'll probably keep on your desk or prop on a shelf just because it's so pretty.
Third, artwork and graphics, amazing! They seriously couldn't go wrong with using Yiying Lu (yes, forever known as the creator of the famous Fail Whale from Twitter.com). But seriously, who can resist that kind of work, I know my three year old can't! What three year old do you know peruses a web and graphic design book with focus and interest? I will admit mine has a great attention span, but still... I'm caught flipping through the pages simply studying the chapter artwork. I have to laugh at myself.
Fourth and last, the cutest little ribbon bookmark comes attached. What a nice little touch! I bet this is the most talked about ribbon bookmark in the history of books. I suppose I will not be lazily dog-earing my new book.
So hands down on the book construction and makeup. Smashing you get a full applause in that area (I think everyone else would agree, no?)!
My thoughts from reading & perusing...
- #1 The Principles of Great Graphic Deisign
- #2 Visible vs. Invisible Design
- #3 Designing Mobile User Experiences
- #4 Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping
- #5 Red Flags (Warning Signs) in Web Development
- #6 The Future of Web Typeography
- #7 Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design
- #8 When they Click: Psychology of Web Design and User Behavior
- #9 Design Patterns in e-Commerce Websites (Study)
- #10 How to Make a Book (Like this One)
I realize that you can make something look pretty dang great, but fill it with garbage. Not in this case. I might be a bit bias because I am a HUGE fan of Smashing Magazine and the fantastic information they continue to provide to the design and web communities.... I will note, however, that the previous Smashing Book #1 seemed somewhat of a letdown to a "few" folks, which has become more prevailiant with Book #2 being such a positive hit and maybe with more of a comeback in the comparisons being made.
My primary area is Design. Both in print and web. And I will openly admit, I'm not ever going to be in the one of the top designers of the world because of this and that - so a book like this is absolutely PERFECT for me. I think anyone who wants a nice review, more insight
What I enjoyed in the first chapter was the correlation between the two, how different and yet similar they are.
"It stands to reason, then, that the process of design involves making deliberate and appropriate graphical choices in order to best communicate the intended message. This applies as much to designing for the Web as it does to designing for print." - excerpt, page 15
What I most enjoyed about this chapter was it's focus on using design effectively and timelessly. When I was reading through the pages of Timeless Thinking - which included talk about simplicity, adding too much gaudy junk (aka ornaments), minimalism, contrast, space and tension... it really brought me back to the basics in art school and working with drawing techniques. Sometimes I feel that I start a project over-designing and after I get that part about needing to impress the client out of my system and go minimal, it never fails to be the winning pick - this chapter was a kick in the pants refresher.
Then I read on to variations of Type and its effectiveness as well as the role it plays. Overall, a golden chapter to set your path a little straighter or teach you a few things.
"While a good graphic designer works to create an attractive design for the client, a great graphic designer pushes further, striving to understand the crux of the project's objective. The great designer builds on the various concepts ..." - excerpt, page 44
My other favorite, is chapter 7: Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design. What I most enjoyed was the play off of understanding the correlation between the two to make an easier way to think about UX Design. My favorite part starting with the section, The Name of the Game which goes through each of the five key attributes of the "game" of online interaction. It became a fun way to think about UX Design.
In conclusion, I like that the end of each chapter will sum up with a number of useful resources, about the author, some history from that section and even a nice extra Reading List for more in-depth study on a subject if interested - actually, I would have liked more reading resources at the ends of more chapters. I thought that was very helpful and resourceful to place in one area, instead of having to dig back through my dog-eared and highlighted pages and notes to locate a good resource I just know I marked.
I do find that this book is something I will be keeping on my desk for some time to reference and re-reference when my mind is fogged or fighting to go a direction my gut knows I shouldn't.
Are you tired of hearing me blab blab blab about the book? Are you just dying to get your hands on your own copy? Well here's your chance, we have 3 copies in our giveaway!
Contest Rules are simple. This will be a random drawing of three lucky commenters who provide the following information in their comment:
Please provide what your specialty is be it Design Warlord, Freelance Web Designer or Couch Potato... but seriously, I would like to know what you do for money or fun in the relationship to wanting the book in your grubby little paws.
The contest will run from March 10th, 2011 through March 18th, 2011 - Winners will be announced the following week, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011. Winners will also be emailed via Love Notes on COLOURlovers.com so make sure you turn your notifications ON for both in-site and email so that I can collect your address and get your prize out ASAP. Contest is for COLOURlovers.com users only, so if you aren't a member, get signed up and get commenting!
update: Did I forget to mention you can of course buy the book here (at SmashingMagazine.com) as well as preview a sample from the book and get other details. Pop on over and check it out!
But wait there's MORE! Apparently there was just too much good stuff to go to print, so Smashing Magazine is GIVING you a FREE eBOOK called The Lost Files (free eBook).
*********SUBMISSION TO THE CONTEST IS CLOSED*********
Results will be posted Tuesday, March 22nd (unless they magically appear on Monday the 21st. ;) Have a great weekend everyone!
One of our Woman’s History Month spotlights has fallen on Angélica Lanzini Xavier (COLOURlovers user: angelicallxx), an Influential Woman of Today who lives and teaches in the Guarapuava, State of Paraná, Brazil. She is a graduate of music with a post graduate degree in Teaching Methodology of Art. Now a teacher of the State Education Network, she is leading the next generation toward a more colourful future with her innovative teaching methods and passion for art in all its forms.
The details are out about the latest book from ALARM PRESS, and i'm thrilled to be sharing them with all you color lovers, but to insure this book makes it to print we need to show a little love before April 8th, 2011 and pre-order or select one of the other support options on the project's KICKSTARTER page.
At nearly 400 pages of full-color artwork and editorial, Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music, is a dynamic print presentation of independent musicians and artists who are using or exploring color in unorthodox ways. Packed with vibrant images and colorful perspectives, the book includes content on: musical synesthesia, audible color: the proposed mathematical correlation between color and pitch, psychedelic color and music, timbre, blue notes, the chromatic scale, concept albums based on color, performers who use color to add to their stage presence, polychromatic cover art, bands photographed in their favorite colors, wild illustrations of musical notes translated into hues to create elaborate geometric works of art, and if that wasn't enough, there is a chapter with guest editors Seripop, the eccentric Montreal based printing and design duo. What filters through, with the help of the high aesthetic standards of ALARM PRESS, is the line where color, music, art and design meet, and ultimately how the experience of color and music is unique for each of us.
Sneak Peak | Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music
Istanbul is in the middle of everything. A symbol of how exchange, migration, condivision and connections are the base of evolution. Blurring the flag-colors of all the countries that have had long relations in Istanbul, The Flags of Istanbul is a project about globalization, nationality, geopolitics, borders and connections, and celebrates the diversity and reflects on the history of one of the greatest cities in the world. The performance and documentation of the project coincided with the celebration of the Turkish Independence day, October 29th, 2010.
In every sense of the word, Tears of the Black Tiger (Fah talai jone) very well could be the most colorful film ever created.
With its loud acting style, exuberant sets and stunning shots in pastel colours, this Thai cult film is as much a parody as an homage to the Western and the romantic tearjerker.
The fearless, color obsessed folks at Hair Crazy display their love for color conspicuously on top of their heads, and are leading the way for color expression on the fringe.
Even if you're not all about alternative, extreme, unnatural hair colors, and you're not about to walk into the office with Napalm Orange hair, the community provides information about all sorts of hair dyeing matters, such as: application techniques, styling guides, informational how-to's, as well as product (hair dye) reviews, and various other tips & tricks. Information any hair chameleon, natural or not, might find useful. Of course, if you are ready to make the eccentric leap to 'super colorful', then this is definitely the place to visit. You people might want to start with the member photo timelines or the gallery organized by color to find inspiration of the possibilities, devour the beginner guides then order yourself some hair dye.
You can check out the community's boldest and brightest hair colors and palettes in their hair color hall of fame, and keep up with the founder, Jude, as she works her way through every color combination she can think of on her willing test subject Adam.
Finally, for those who are perfectly happy with their natural brunette hair and wouldn't think of becoming a 'bluenette', the community offers plenty of old fashioned color inspiration for other applications. Here are few images from Adam's adventures and the most recent roundup of hair color hall of famers for color inspiration.