Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,279 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!
If it was a Jeopardy question, would you be able to identify the present status of the national terrorist threat level without guessing? That’s what we thought. As presently configured, this color-coded warning system seems to have all the gravitas of the flag rotation at the beach that advises of strong undertow or the presence of too many jellyfish in the water. Actually, the resemblance is uncanny. Each has a five-color system that seems to randomly land on a selection depending on what a lifeguard or the Director of Homeland Security had for breakfast. Is it time to simplify our terrorist warning system from five flags to three?
The History of the Flag System
Color has a powerful influence on humans, shaping our moods and having a larger than you might imagine effect on your personal opinion of any particular day. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, officials in the newly created Department of Homeland Security decided a color-coded system was the best way to gain the attention of the average citizen, enabling them to discern at a glance the prevailing overall threat level, ranging from Green for “low risk of terrorist attacks” to Red for “severe risk of terrorist attacks.” In the near two decades since its establishment, the Threat Level Advisory System has been adjusted 17 times, the last in 2006 when it settled on Yellow, a “significant risk of terrorist attacks.”
Recently, the Homeland Security Advisory Council decided there might be a few too many flags and they may drop the bottom two, presumably on the theory that there’s a good chance we’ll never have a “Low” or “Guarded” state of affairs again. We can look to Israel for guidance here. Think they ever let their guard down? We’re guessing not. And presumably, five flag colors upon which our life depends is deemed more than the average citizen can keep up with
Stay Out of the Water and Watch for Madmen in Trucks
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano received the bad news from her council in the form of an official letter describing the current public indifference and lack of confidence in the Threat Level Advisory System. Though some panel members were in favor of scrapping the colored threat system entirely, the current non-binding recommendation is to move to a simplified three-color system that includes:
Yellow: A “guarded” state in the nation that urges all citizens to assume “standard” vigilance against potential terrorist action. This would be the new lowest threat level.
Orange: An “elevated” suspicion level in which protective measures are implemented upon the basis of specific information regarding a terrorist plot. An example - Johnny Jihad gets on Facebook and threatens to blow up the Super Bowl.
Red: This “high” alert level is intended to exert maximum protective measures against an ongoing or imminent terrorist action.
Keep the Politics Out
One of the compelling reasons to change the color-coded threat system, according to the council, is a recent revelation in former Homeland Security head honcho Tom Ridge’s book, The Test of Our Times, that members of George W. Bush’s cabinet urged him to increase the national threat level in the days leading up to the 2004 presidential election, theorizing that the move would go a long ways towards securing a second term for the sitting president.
Obviously, this kind of political chicanery doesn’t do much to increase public trust. Now the politicians at Homeland have decreed that the new system, “for reasons of public credibility,” won’t be politicized. They go on to assure us in the most insistent of terms that the new threat level will be changed only when public safety and security compels it. Riigghht. We'll believe it when we see it.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the world is a squirrelly place; it doesn’t seem we’re safe online or off. For the former, there are legitimate security steps you can take to protect yourself. With the latter, it may very well make all the sense in the world to simplify the Threat Level Assessment System, but the way to gain credibility is not to claim there will be no politics involved. That’s an insult to Americans everywhere. Of course, there will be politics involved. Politicians can’t help themselves. The best we can hope for is that, along the way to politicizing this new system, they might inadvertently do a good thing for the rest of us.
An interesting, original and creative business card is excellent marketing for your business, but it is even more cost effective when you design it yourself. This can be made in a fun, professional-like way, even if you are not a talented artist when it comes to online drawing tools. In order to get one of the most original business cards on the market, all you need is creativity and, as extra-tip, follow these simple steps mentioned below.
You can get amazing design for your business cards by using programs like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft PowerPoint, Word or Adobe InDesign. It all depends on your level of knowledge connected to these programs and experience in creating promotional materials by using them. The standard size for a business card should be 2.5 x 3 inches and it should be printed on good quality paper, in order to make a good first impression.
Template is very important for a business card, it helps you unleash your creativity and design a truthful pattern. Until you decide for a template that reflects your personality and your business’s note, you are free to experiment, play with colours, text, logo and other defining items. Design programs help you organize all the necessary details, so check them all and decide which one will work better for you.
Like in every other area connected to design and creating your own style, colours are very important for business cards also. They can highlight important aspects from your card, so you should try working with 300 dpi resolution and using colours like Cyan, Yellow, Black or Magenta if you want to get an outstanding quality for printing. Background is very important also; you can experiment and play with colours before choosing the best one for you.
Your logo should be the main eye-catching detail from your business card. Since they are the memorable aspect from this presentation document, logos should be presented as creative as possible, maybe by using 2D or 3D effects, clip arts and other useful techniques that highlight your business’s profile.
Presentation texts are important, because from them potential customers should understand everything there is to know about your business. Also, fonts, colours and font size are other details you should consider. You should use at least 8pt size and two or three complementary fonts.
If your business card has two sides, why shouldn’t they be used? You might need every space in order to provide information like: business name, logo, line of work, your name, title, position, work and personal phone number, email address or social media channels.
Your business card is like the first impression; it could mean a lot for developing new partnership. The information you mention on it should be clear and simple, necessary after a first meeting with your future business partners, therefore do your best to make it as suggestive as possible. After you finished the design, ask for a second opinion regarding it and print it following high quality standards.
With the excitement building of Avengers 2 - Age of Ultron, another amazing Marvel movie, coming out this Friday, we thought it would relevant to take a look at some color related to the hero's. In the past, we've posted about The Colors of Good vs. Evil: Comic Book Color Palettes [infographic] and Classic Colors: DC Comic Characters. Today we are looking at three palette versions of the main characters of the Avengers Team.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
The world of comics has always been full of a dramatic array of colors! Notice over time how the color schemes used to be quite bright on spandex outfits, where the more pop culture hero series have taken them to a darker shade with added grit, grime and texture.
Comic characters initially started coming out in relevance to war going on and highly impacting families everywhere. The colors really inflect that super hero's were a pop of energy with added illustrative detail. When comic book characters first started making appearances, the color schemes in every day life were not popping off clothes and accessories, things were more dull and less dramatic.
Jump forward to today. We've got Neon trends everywhere (Keeping Up With Fashion Trends Neon + more neon). There is no lack of color in our every day lives. War to us is not a traumatic thing in the majority of the population unless you are directly connected to it within family or close friends. There is no draft, forcing fathers and brothers in to war. People today want, rough and rugged characters focused more on their personalities and war abilities than, their colors popping off the big screen. It's quite interesting to see that flow of change through time. Enjoy the graphic!
Color theory and psychology queries on the World Wide Web bring up so many different infographics about color. We've posted about The Meaning of Color in Marketing before and way back in 2008 History Of The Color Wheel (does this still feel relevant?).
With infographics having taken on mass popularity, I notice there are only a select few worth actually spending time poring over. While this infographic by RIPT Apparel is directed as a guide to Designers, it can be awesomely relevant to keep in mind when applying color with anything in life.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
The infographic itself is well designed with a beautiful layout that makes for easy reading. Not to mention it is quite attractive to scan down and catch each color block quickly. I don't know about you, but my sensory system is loving this. I could certainly see this made in to an 8 x 8 flip book for desk reference. Thanks RIPT for creating such an impressive piece of visual information. Oh and hey, RIPT, if you're reading this, note on the desk reference, I would be first in line to order one!
RIPT is a t-shirt company that creates absolutely stunning pop culture graphics illustrations.
"RIPTApparel.com sells unique, limited edition pop culture designs everyday on T-Shirts, Hoodies, Posters and more. Each design lives for only 36 hours and starts at just $11.00." - ABOUT RIPT
Enjoy a small ode to the pop culture tee design's on RIPT (check out more on the site, they are always changing!):
*This was not a sponsored post*
In the world of photography, overlapping two images is referred to as a "double exposure," however, in today's Pop Culture world of readily available apps, you may know this as "overlays." One excellent app you can do overlays in is PIXLR (by Autodesk). Amongst other great photo editing tools, PIXLR provides an easy toolset to get the desired effect.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
What I love about PIXLR, is that it is so flexible for all types of accessibility. For example, if you're reading this, you're either on a computer or a mobile device. Not all of us are able to download mobile apps, so Pixlr has an amazing PIXLER Free Web App available for non-mobile users.
For me, personally, I have it on my mobile devices, iPhone, iPad and on my iMac as a desktop tool. It's so versatile, I don't feel like I need to learn to use one app on my phone, and a different app on my computer. In addition, it is available to both desktop platforms, Windows and Mac, as well as IOS and Android. Wow! Really, there is not an excuse in the world to keep you from giving it a go with today's overlays technique.
Getting started is easy-peasy, check out this FREE PIXLR Power course (coupon link 100% off). This course will get you quickly familiar with the PIXLR Editor, if tinkering isn't your thing. In addition to the course link, join up on the Pixlr Power Facebook page for daily tips.
Double Exposure aka Overlay's are super trendy for all sorts of design and just for fun. Check out these impactful design styles to gather inspiration.
This is just the tip of the ice-berg on PIXLR Overlays. Using the basics in Pixlr to achieve neat overlays and different opacities is just a small step to learning how to mask off area's and produce an actual Double Exposure within Pixlr. Feeling limited with JUST the Overlays tool pane? Check out these tutorials for more advanced (and still easy) methods for double exposing:
Also check out another way to apply a mask:
Overlays are tremendously fun to fiddle around with. Something you can easily incorporate to your phone-ography or your real camera. PIXLR hosts weekly challenges, which is definitely a fun way to keep you practicing and stretching your personal editing boundaries.
I love to peruse the PIXLR Instagram stream for inspiration too - more specifically, check out the #pixlrgibson stream to see the most recent challenge submissions from all over instagram, hey, maybe even submit one yourself!
Pushing the boundaries of overlays in Pixlr using collage + overlay effects by langerismail
Looking Back: Other posts you might like on COLOURlovers:
Scandinavian design trends have brought on popular demand for folk art in many forms. The attraction in contemporary folk art might relate to the sentimental value with connections to generations past, although folk art was never actually considered a particular art form.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
Antique folk art was considered more a part of cultural trends in ordinary life, sharing community values and expressing lifestyle much like tribal art. An art form mostly based on cultural geography that continues to morph through modern day trends.
While it was never considered a movement in art, it certainly contributed to inspiration and influence for certain artists throughout history. Pablo Picasso for instance, was influenced by African tribal sculptures and masks.
Folk art has certainly gained a new spin and style by many modern illustrative artists. While many of these artists still seem fairly culturally bound by heritage, it again is not limited culturally and has spread to some degree to many more spaces of the world. The folk styling is much derived from personal tutelage and a portrayal of many different illustrative translations in art.
Styles like Ashley Percival, certainly portray an inkling of modern mixed with historic and geographic-culteral styles. While artwork amongst his Etsy Shop is largely centered around children's artwork prints, his colorful, unique creations can be seen on clothing, home-ware, decor, stationery, cards, and album covers. Ashley's client list certainly boasts that there is most certainly a place in this world for traditional art in modern product design showing that consumers today value it enough for it to become vastly corporate.
Recognizable brands such as Ikea, Urban Outfitters and Forever21 certainly speak volumes for what consumers desire in contemporary folk art designs. Ashley Percival is from the UK and has been a freelance illustrator, working professionally since 2010.
Helen Dardik is another fascinating folk artist! The shapes, the patterns and style cease to amaze me.
I have always seen Folk Art to be such a vintage trend based on things my mom had held on to from her childhood. My earliest, most distinct memory of loving Folk Art is a set of vintage Old Maid cards that were hers when she was a little girl. Ashley Percival and Helen Dardik both remind me so distinctly of those playing cards. Do you have a favorite modern or vintage folk artist?
"I know this great little place..." is something you've probably said or heard dozens of times. Well the folks behind Great Little Place decided to gather up people's recommendations for the amazing city of London and do something creative.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
This wonderful illustrated map of London's great little places was painstakingly hand drawn by Charlie Davis, an illustrator and designer based London. There's no doubt that a lot of hours and a lot of love went into every beautiful detail, just take a look for yourself.
Ah the holidays. A time for friends, family, and traditions. In my family, we watch westerns on Christmas. Don't ask me why. I know friends that look forward to their annual A Christmas Story marathon on TBS. And then there are others that prefer to have John McClane over for a little mayhem around the holidays.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
Whatever your preference, it's that wonderful time of year when you get to revisit your favorite movies with the people that you love. Join us as we take a look at some of the popular holiday films and their colors.
A delightful little film, Elf hearkens back to the old Christmas special claymations in just about every way, right down to the retro color scheme.
If you're like me, then you have a perpetual smile on your face this time of year. This is due on no small part to the delightful holiday artwork you encounter just about everywhere you look. From Christmas cats to hipster reindeer, we collected twelve quirky and wonderful illustrations that help make that smile a big one.
|Share this Post||Tweet|