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Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.

Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,179 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Printing Neon Colors in CMYK: Is It Possible?


If you want to know if it is possible to print neon colors in CMYK, read on throughout this article and find out the answer to this query. New Street Real Estate

Experimenting with color printing might be an exciting thing to consider especially if you are into designing something. However, there might come the point in time wherein things become confusing, and you actually don’t know what to do. Have you also asked yourself if it is possible to print neon colors in CMYK? Or do you think you can convert neon RGB colors to CMYK for printing? Well, these things seem to be a challenge to the majority, so let’s discuss it below.

What is CMYK?

It is best first to be equipped with what CMYK is. Well, simply saying, CMYK refers to CYAN, MAGENTA, YELLOW, and BLACK. CMYK color is created with the use of a subtractive process, and this means that every additional color means more light is being removed to form it. If you combined C, M, and Y, you would not have pure black, instead, a dark brown color.

K or BLACK is used completely in order to remove the light from the printed picture in which the eye sees as black.

How about CMYK Printing?

On the other hand, you should also know what CMYK printing is. It is the standard option in the printing industry. CMY would cover most light color ranges, and the K gives it the ability to create darker deep colors.

The CMYK color offers a wider range of colors, but limited than the RGB color profile. This RGB color is being used through electronic devices that are emitting red, green and blue light as for creating other colors. And unfortunately, CMYK color and the RGB color don’t translate well.

Is it possible to print neon colors in CMYK?

There might be an instance wherein you created a design, like for a logo, that is made with RGB colors. Could you print your design in CMYK?

Generally speaking, you cannot print neon colors in CMYK, and that is because of certain factors. On the other hand, take note again that RGB is known to be additive so the more color you add, the closer that you will get to white.

Nevertheless, CMYK is subtractive wherein the more color you add, like using neon colors, the closer you get to black or even muddy brown. CMYK offers a smaller range of colors than the RGB color.

Then, what to do now?

If you certainly need that particular neon color to be printed, there is a need for you to find a spot neon color and stipulate that in the printer you are using. And this would mean that the ink would be pre-mixed to create the neon color and would be laid on a plate, rather than mixing the CMYK inks to achieve your desired result. This also means that it will serve as the fifth color and could also lead to the extra cost.

Besides, neon colors aren’t like ordinary pigments or inks. Instead, they essentially reflect more visible light that falls on them. This neon is a fluorescent dye which absorbs an incoming ultra-violet light and turns such energy into a visible color like green, magenta or yellow which it then emits. And that is why they have to glow. So, your printer will not take inks with fluorescent dyes.

So, how to print neon colors?

Compared to standard printing jobs, printing neon colors is referred to be a custom job, and it could also be a more expensive way of printing as it requires special handling. With that, there is a need for you to consult with your local printer for advice before making a final decision.

You should also choose the right paper for this printing job and select the number of neon colors to be used. And bear in mind that neon inks are best used on a highly absorbent uncoated paper. Take note as well that neon colors would fade within a few weeks once placed in direct sunlight.

There you have it! This information presented above could definitely help you when it comes to dealing with printing neon colors or other things associated with CMYK printing.

Hit like, share and comment now!

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How to Simplify Your Business Graphics using Bannersnack


Bannersnack is intuitive and easy to use online tool for streamlining your visual and rich media advertising and marketing.

Gone are the days when you could get away with using stock images and unbranded visual media. In order to elbow out the competition, your business must be producing their own rich, unique media and high-quality content.

This not only includes the branding of social media, website and third-party platforms but also media buys, advertising and banners.

Why Use Bannersnack

Bannersnack is a rich image creation and management tool that enables you to produce high-quality and branded content for your website. It can create and manage your ad campaigns, social media platforms and rich media marketing online and across platforms.

Bannersnack enables you to keep all of your visual marketing for your media advertising campaigns in one place. You can create professionally animated or static advertising banners and then export them in multiple formats.

You can also embed the banners and rich media you create directly into your website or compatible third-party websites.

Being an online tool, Bannersnack can be accessed by individuals and teams in any location. It enables collaboration and multi-user functionality.

All designs and development can be organised and catalogued across departments, industries, niches and work teams.

Bannersnack Integrations

Bannersnack works with all major advertising networks including Google, Doubleclick, Facebook and more. It provides multiple formats for exporting your rich media, banners and animated artwork.

Social Media Marketing

Status network Smith Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

The measurements for cover, post images, headers and banners for these social media platforms is pre-configured.

Simply drag and drop the text and features you want to incorporate into your media.

Google Advertising

Bannersnack is fully compatible with Google's advertising network and platform.  The tools within Bannersnack are compatible with HTML5 creation and include all the size variations you need for any Google advertising campaign.

You can create beautiful looking ads with just a few clicks and then either upload your banners to the Google adword manager or use the embed codes.

You can also add clickTag in order to track clicks in your Google advertising campaigns.

CMS Integration

Bannersnack works seamlessly with WordPress and all major cms platforms.

The interface includes full drag and drop functionality and allows you to create stunning and comprehensive visual media and images.

These are the kind of high converting images and banners that will enrich user experience, deliver pop-ups or exit intent marketing to your website.

AMP Compliance

Bannersnack will also create AMP HTML compliant banners and advertising material to use in the amp library.

This is a brand new feature of Bannersnack and has been built using the latest mobile-friendly technology in order to deliver the highest quality ads and banners for mobile users.

The Accelerated Mobile Page Project is a major advance in mobile technology and the delivery of high-quality media to Smartphones.

If you're wanting to ensure that your ads and which media get delivered and are seeing favourably by Google then Bannersnack is your best choice for rich media and visual creation.

Create Individual Items or Complete Sets

One of the things I really like about Bannersnack is that you can flick between a single item and the creation of complete rich media sets or responsive and animated images for your ad campaigns.

This saves a large deal of time and will enable marketers to get their campaign up and running quickly.

Basic standardized advertising images which are static to animated GIFs and fully mobile responsive HTML5, Bannersnack provides a huge number of templates and formats for you to work with.

It's not an overstatement to say that you can begin creating advertising campaigns or basic visual media for third-party sites in a matter of minutes.

Bannersnack can also be used to streamline and ensure consistency when it comes to content design across your website and business channels.

Bannersnack is helping more and more business to accomplish the development and creation of their visual marketing strategy in less time.

With Bannersnack you can give new life and vibrancy to your ad campaigns with little or no technical or coding knowledge.

The tools that enable collaboration are a big plus with Bannersnack. You don't need to work in isolation.

You can collaborate with other key players in order to track, catalogue and produce quality and consistently branded content.

Price-wise, Bannersnack is reasonable for a business of any size. Rather than paying for multiple tools or engaging designers for ad hoc and one of the pieces, your own in-house teams can take control of the quality and consistency of your branding and marketing campaigns.

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Creative Commons Copyright


By the definition, commons is a kind of resource that belongs to the whole community - it is used and improved by all. Cultural commons stand for physical or virtual cultural property which is shared within community. It can also represent an intellectual property (such as library) available to community on a certain physical or cyber space.

 

Creative Commons is nowadays a well known US based community platform, that is structurally a non-profit organization, devoted to make artwork available for sharing and define legal boundaries of creative products which are used for commercial purposes. Their licenses are enabling users to download and use their content free of charge. However, there is a set of rules and variety of Creative Commons licenses you should know about.

 

video production CC license

 

CCO license

 

CCO is the type of license that gives you all the freedom with the content. This means that the work is open for public, the author does not require any credit and you are not restricted to the personal use of the content only. This is the most carefree type of license you should look for, if you want your experience to go smooth and never thing about plagiarism set of laws.

 

CC BY 4.0 license

 

CC BY 4.0 is also known as an attribution license. Within this type of license, you are obliged to give credit to the content author, specify if you made any changes to the content and also insert a link to the license itself. For better knowing how to give credit, you can find the information you need on the wiki website of Creative Commons. Although, this license requires more work from you and it's not particularly handy if you are using it for commerce or your own marketing campaign.

 

CC BY-SA 4.0 license

 

This license has the same rules and restrictions as the CC BY 4.0 attribution license, although on top of it, if you make any changes to the work, you are required to distribute your own work with the same license as the original. This license reminds you that in a community, except from taking resources for free, it is expected from you to give something back in return. SA in the title stands for "share-alike".

 

CC BY-NC 4.0 license

 

Following the restrictions of the attribution license, you may download and use the content for free, although this particular license doesn't allow you to use the credited content in a commercial purpose. These images and videos aren't your choice for a marketing video or poster. NC clearly stands for "non-commercial".

 

CC BY-ND 4.0 license

 

ND in this license title stands for "no-derivatives", meaning that the original content is free of charge to use however you choose, even commercially, under the restrictions of the attribution license (credit, link), but only under the condition that you do not make any changes to the original work. If you do change the content, you are not allowed to publicly expose and distribute it. This is a tricky license and also very demanding and complicated if you are looking for stock photos/videos for your own project.

 

photography CC license

 

In our previous articles, we have listed several websites where you can find free stock videos, as well as photography. Most of the titles from our list use their own policy regarding giving credits and hyper linking the shared content, while several use the set of rules by Creative Commons for their distributions.

 

If you have any doubts about your freedom of use of certain content, you can either contact the website owner or the content creator, or simply move on to the content with clear licensing. Before moving on to downloading the images from stock websites, it is recommended that you read the guidelines on the Creative Commons website, as well as to consider what is that you can do to give back to the community.

 

The world of free stock footage wouldn't exist if there weren't for selfless creators willing to share and contribute to the creative worldwide community. Think about your role in this global commune and find a way to improve and enrich this cyber space with your participation and contribution.

 

Even if the license does not require giving credit to the author, it would be a matter of respect to show in any way that we appreciate the work of our colleagues and how much their sharing helped us with our projects.

 

Another important notice on the topic of stock footage is that most of the websites have a disclaimer that the content must not be used in the process of creating a work that promotes violence, discrimination or any other offensive marketing campaign. We would like to remind you that the creative industry is not here to be led by these types of values and we strongly support the disclaimers of these websites.

 

Good luck with creating your next project and pay attention to the copyright of the stock content you use!

 

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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Self-Education: Trends in Graphic Design for 2019


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Graphic designers spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the meaning of things. They ponder why and how this info can be used to help others in a visual manner. Indeed, the art is involved in the graphic design but not in the way most people think. They say the art tries to reveal the world of an artist, but the graphic design tries to help others.

So, here is the list of trends in in the design for the next year. You might ask how we have worked it out. The PaperCheap team did a lot of research, compared and evaluated different international companies’ logo, images, websites, animations that took over the world and sparked an interest across the whole planet.

There are more than just seven graphic design trends for 2019. But these are the main ones to look out for.

Typography

The first major design trend we are going to see in 2019 is a creative typography. It is the use of text and fonts in different compositions. It became a key trend a few years ago but we are definitely going to see more leaps and bounds in the next year. There will be more dripping text, serif typefaces that have things missing out of it.

Nowadays everything bigger and bolder is better. So, designers are going to use artistic effects and bold type for the headlines of their designs. Typography is all about the text that stands out and captures attention. It can be combined almost with every design technique you can think of or by itself and still stand out.

Double Exposure

If you think about the last few years, I can almost guarantee that the word minimalism is popping into your mind somewhere along the line. But double exposure is the exact opposite.

There is a continuing trend of it. We will continue seeing a rise in the use of double exposure more and more in 2019. Designers are not only experimenting with its effects for fun artwork. It is used in advertising and other areas of design as well. There are a lot of step-by-step guides to make you a double exposure photo or poster in Adobe Photoshop. So, try it out and be in trend.

The Particle Backgrounds

With cryptocurrencies and their blockchain exploding in 2018 we have seen a massive trend come about 80% of all cryptocurrency websites featured the particle background. Particle animation is a great alternative to the standard hero sections on a web page. This kind of elegant cosmos-inspired theme works fine in combination with solid color illustration and vector drawings, as well as with photos. The great thing is that animation varies. You can create a bunch of dots that move chaotically or a constellation where you can connect circles with thin lines.

80’s Pastel Patterns

We are sure you heard of the bright and colorful hues of the 80s and the 90s. Well, it is gaining popularity once again. As we move away from ultra-flat design, you can expect to see more geometric patterns inspired by the era of our parents. The 60s rounded serif fonts never go out of style too. There are and there will be a lot of big chunky rounded serif in graphic design. It is definitely one of those things that has a retro feel but also in a way it feels new.

Color

Pantone 18-3838 ultraviolet is the color of the future year. It is used to convey meaningful, empowering and inspiring messages to people. Also, the use of watercolors is more prominent. Watercolor adds a level of hand-done painterly, emotionally an evocative way to create images that really offset the kind of type and stripe. Watercolor creates a very fluid juxtaposition between the type and the design elements and the illustration.

Cinema Graphic

In the graphics world, everything moves towards motion and away from the static design. Cinema graphics is an image with parts of the image that are video. It can be a fresh coffee and steam coming up off it or clouds that are moving around the top of the mountain. It definitely adds a cool element to the website. Whether it is through your blog post or a page background, it will definitely be in style for 2019.

Vintage Ultra-detailed

Everything old is new again. The vintage ultra-detailed graphics is a combination of many hand-drawn fonts, curvilinear elements, and block-printed compositions. This trend has been out there for quite some time but it certainly is not going away.

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Grids & layouts


Layouts are there to keep us organized, mark where the elements should go, and bring the whole design together to a structure which looks good to the eye. Besides easing your life, layouts and grids can be used to create a unique personal design style, something that will have you stand out and become instantly recognizable.

 

When setting up the margins, integrating modules into columns and deciding on the size of the gutter, most designers use a snap-to-grid tool, which helps to see if your object is lining up with other objects in the design.

 

 

When designing a layout grid, you can either listen to symmetry, or go for asymmetric design. Symmetric design is always centered and columns are the same size, while the margins are equal to each other, so this is usually a safe way to go. If you are going for asymmetric design, then there are also some rules of balance which should be followed.

 

In developing the composition of your design, you would want to pay attention to the Golden Ratio, as it has been the alpha and omega for aesthetics since we know it. Another rule, very useful for both column layout and landscape, is dividing your design into nine equal blocks with four lines that intersect. The main object of your design should be placed at these meeting points where the lines come together.

 

If you are designing a publication, another example where layouts come very useful is to use them to adapt your pages to the bound of the book/paper, so you can make sure that by bounding the pages you don't loose any details from your design.

 

 

Why are grids essential for visual communication is best shown on Instagram nowadays. Users have been creating different layouts for their entire profile. They have been telling stories row by row, sometimes also themed by colors, creating a rainbow effect on their profile page. They've also been publishing content to create columns of photos and texts.

 

Even the margins play their role in designer's Instagram page. Content with borders makes a profile much easier to explore, so this segregation has definitely been revolutionary in social media. More complex style of a profile would be a collage - when your photos overlap, and here the margins play big roles, as what makes this profile beautiful is the composition and balance between images.

 

As we said in the first paragraph, layouts can be useful for creating your brand. If you decide to stick to your signature layout, social media is your absolute sidekick.

 

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 Power of Color in Branding


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Understanding the power of color in branding can be extremely beneficial to those devising marketing strategies for businesses both small and large. Color is primarily associated with aesthetics, and this on its own is already an important factor in branding. However, color impacts much more than cosmetics. It can also help brands establish their message, improve brand recognition, and even drive website conversions. In this post, we’ll focus on branding and go through some telling facts and figures related to the impact of color, its relevance regarding brand message and brand recognition.

 

Color matters and research focusing on its impact has unveiled that it actually matters quite a bit. Information compiled by Design Advisor highlights that a potential customer takes, on average, 90 seconds to assess a product; in that short time, color is said to account for between 62 and 90% of the decision to purchase or not.

 

In terms of specific products, the set of options available for purchase can heavily affect sales, as two-thirds of customers will not buy an appliance if it isn’t available in their preferred color. These figures give us an introductory picture of what’s at stake. Let’s move on to specific cases and explore different ways of using color.

Color and meaning

Color works as a metaphor and carries symbolic connotations. Think of all the times you’ve gone through color motifs in literature class or heard praise of a particular way in which a movie director constructed a color palette in their film.

 

Having said that, it’s worth noting that context matters. Different cultures think of certain colors in different ways, and individual memories and emotions also factor into interpretations. However, color psychology helps us understand the common ways in which color is interpreted and associated, as well as the type of feelings it can convey to the observer.

 

For instance, green is typically associated with nature and connotes feelings of growth and harmony. Notably, it is used by businesses that wish to establish an eco-friendly or ethical approach, and many food companies use it to help associate their product with healthy foods.

 

Black connotes elegance and authority, which is why brands such as Jaguar, Mont Blanc, and Yves Saint Laurent utilize it in their logos and general design strategies. Another common choice for businesses wishing to convey a sense of elegance and polish is white. White is more approachable, yet still associated with perfection, which helps brands such as Apple set themselves apart without alienating market segments.        

 

It’s good to keep in mind that although differences in preference between genders are not stark, men tend to prefer bolder colors and shades, while women tend to prefer soft colors and tints. Still, sky blue and green are most liked by both women and men, which makes them good options for unisex brands, in the markets where this makes sense.

 

Brand recognition and storytelling

Up until now, we discussed color and its meaning, with examples drawn mainly from logo designs. However, there is much more to it than this. As mentioned earlier, color accounts for up to 80% of a business’s brand recognition.

 

Brands rely on specific colors to establish their identity and ensure quick recognition by potential customers. For example, Facebook is blue, Netflix is red, and McDonald’s plays with a combination of red and yellow. The repeated use of certain colors in a strategic way establishes a connection between the color and a brand. Think of it this way: wouldn’t Facebook’s page look odd if its interface was a different color?

 

Many up and coming brands are testing impact and recognition factors by alternating the color they use in their ads and choosing the most effective one. Research indicates that the effectiveness of color in branding depends on how appropriate it is for the product being sold; in other words, whether the color used in the branding thematically “fits” the brand. Thus, it is key to think of a brand’s story and overall message, before choosing a color scheme to represent it. Heinz, for example, decided to change their scheme from red to green and experienced the largest sales increase in their history.

 

When utilized correctly, colors can be a powerful profit driving tool. Consumers are more likely to choose an easily recognizable brand, which means that increasing and improving a business’s presence through strategies mentioned above can lead to gaining loyal customers.

 

Final thoughts

In an increasingly competitive environment, businesses ranging from small corner shops to huge multinational corporations would be wise to dig deep into their chest of branding tools and use everything to their advantage. Color can act as one such successful tool for brands attempting to set themselves apart, increase the intensity of their brand message, or simply wishing to establish themselves as a recognized brand. Smart use of color is the way to go.

 

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How to Improve Your Small Business's Social Media Presence


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The only way to grow your business is to gain new customers. One cost-effective way to secure new leads is via social media. However, it's difficult to know where to concentrate your efforts for the best chance of success.

Social media continues to grow in numbers and frequency of use. Facebook has about 2.2 billion active users each month, and other social media sites are on an upward trend as well. However, just throwing stuff out there — whether on Facebook or another social media site — isn't the most effective use of your marketing time or dollars.

If you want to improve your social media presence, here are seven key steps you need to take as soon as possible.

1. Know Your Audience

"Know your audience" is good advice for nearly every type of marketing. It's the basis of figuring out where to have a social media presence and how to reach the specific demographic of people you most want to reach. There are many ways to improve your knowledge of your audience.

Start by studying your website analytics. Who visits your site? Where are they from, and what type of device do they use? Collect as much information as you can. Next, look at your audience on social media right now. You'll also want to study the audience of your competitors and poll your current customers. Collecting all this data and looking at it as a whole allows you to gain a pretty good picture of who your audience is.

2. Connect With Younger Generations

Once you have an idea who your typical customer is, take the time to figure out how best to connect with the younger generations. Millennials are one of the largest generations in history, starting to surpass even the baby boomers. Gen Z is right behind them and coming into buying power of their own. If you want your business to remain healthy far into the future, you must connect with those who will be customers for many years to come.

The younger generations want a clean, uncluttered look on your website. They also want to be able to connect easily with your social media channels. Include links on your page so that they can like your social media with a single click or two.

3. Stick to Your Color Scheme

It's important to choose a color scheme and stick to it across all your channels. If you use blue and white on your website, use the same blue on your social media channels. While you can change the look a bit, the page should still be immediately recognizable as your brand. Different colors evoke different emotions in people, so choose wisely based on the emotions you're trying to inspire.

 

Shopify has a green shopping bag logo, and they use this same color bag and logo across all their online presences. Note the green logo used on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their website. The minute you land on any of these pages, you instantly recognize that logo, which is highly relevant to the shopping cart services they offer.

4. Measure Successful Campaigns

About 56 percent of businesses use social media metrics to track likes, shares and comments and figure out which campaigns work. When you see which ads perform best and which target audiences respond the most, you can use the money you spend on social media ads more effectively. The more information you have, the better. Part of this strategy goes back to point one of knowing your audience, but you also have to see the ways that audience performs on the specific social media platforms you're on.

5. Use Facebook to Reach Everyone

If you choose only one social media network on which to start, choose Facebook. The most commonly used social media platform is Facebook, boasting 79 percent of US-based people who are online. Even the rapidly growing Instagram is only a distant second place, at 32 percent of American internet users. While older generations do use Facebook more frequently than the younger generations, most individuals still maintain some presence on the social media giant to stay updated about family and friends.

6. Train Your Social Media Team in Customer Service

When consumers have a positive experience with a brand on social media, they're 71 percent more likely to recommend that brand to others. Spend time training your social media managers in your customer service philosophy, how to handle complaints and engaging with people online. The more positive the experience, the more likely people are to share information about your brand with others and expand your social media reach.

 

Adobe has a page on Twitter devoted to customer service called Adobe Care. Note how they respond to a customer complaint above. They apologize for the problem, let the customer know what's being done and offer a temporary solution. They also respond quickly rather than leaving the customer hanging.

7. Automate and Schedule Your Posts

Even the most diligent social media manager gets busy with other campaigns and misses a post here and there. Fortunately, some tools allow you to schedule ahead of time so that you never miss another timely post again. Automate posts by using apps such as Missingltr, PromoRepublic and HubSpot to automatically generate campaigns based on blog posts and fill out your calendar.

Some tools are free, and some cost a monthly fee. Use what you can afford, and as your company grows, invest in better tools that automate more of your processes.

Improve Your Social Media Presence

These seven tips generate a better social media presence for your brand. You can take several small steps on a daily basis that will improve your social media reach, such as adding vibrant photos, investing in video and finding your voice as a brand. With time, you'll gain more followers and drive more traffic to your site from your social media pages.

 

 

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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Awesome tools for exploring color palettes


In the never-ending seek for inspiration, new ideas that will blow our minds away, we've stumbled across these interesting tools that could offer you various ways of bringing something fresh in your design work. Whether you lack innovation or just want to play around with colors, these handy tools will take you on a trip trough time, space and internet to give you what you want.

 

 

1. time travel by color

Is your current design project asking to be a little more retro? Needs some funk and crispy taste of the past of mankind? We present you a platform called Color Leap, unique gallery of chosen artwork from over 4000 years of our past.

How is this online tool useful for you? The website stores over 180 palettes of artworks from all around the world. For every time period, you can find a selection of paintings or designs, check their palettes and copy their hex-codes right into your project. For every moment in time, you can also see additional palettes which relate to this epoch.

Whether you are looking for a vintage, 60's style design, or diving all the way back in the ancient civilizations, this unique timeline can provide you with fresh ideas and suggest palettes you might have not considered before.

 

 

2. the grass is always greener

...or what code should I use to present nature this time? Tired of having to try out all kinds of RGB shades every single time you get a new project? What if there was a tool which can just select the most suitable color for the terms your design relates to...?

Turns out, there is. The description found on their website is "Google, but for colors". And they basically are. Picular is a tool which uses Google Search and the result of Picular search is a selection of the most used shades which relate to your searched term.

What this app does is selects the prominent colors from top 20 images which Google Search locates under the search term. So, next time you are feeling playful, try out some interesting abstract terms, let the avangard inspire you, discover the color of loneliness, jungle and confidence, based on images of people from all around the world.

We hope you liked our new suggestions, and that these tools can help you unlock creativity, get inspired and overcome the routine in your work flow.

Have you tried Color Leap or Picular yet? Share your impressions and experience in the comment section bellow.

 

Author: Nina Petrov

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