Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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Have you ever wanted to apply your color design abilities to a real-life product? Well here's your big opportunity! Rev up your color coordination skills and become the next palette designer for a plaid shirt offered through Betabrand! You'll get the unique opportunity to color a plaid pattern, see the design in action (applied to a template shirt) and the possibility of having your colors picked for print. How cool is that?!
Betabrand is an online-only clothing company based in San Francisco that produces unique designs in limited-edition batches every week. They make Cordarounds, Japants, DARPA hoodies, Farmer's Market backpacks, disco pants, and much, much more.
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Ready, Set, Contest Time!
We've had our very own, sec9586 create a pattern template for a new plaid flannel shirt that Betabrand plans to release in two versions for the 2011 holiday season. Betabrand has already chosen the colors for one version - the other is up to you!
How it works...
Easy, color the Betabrand plaid pattern template, Betabrand2.
Your colored pattern will automatically appear with the rest of the entries on the contest gallery page. You may color as many versions of the pattern template as you like.
If your colors are chosen...
The Betabrand design team will select one winner, who'll receive the following:
- - A real-life finished plaid flannel shirt;
- - Your COLOURlovers user name on the shirt label (for this 2011 production run - see above image);
- - $100 Betabrand Gift Card;
- - Recognition on the Betabrand web site and in all company communications; this includes photo of the winner in his/her winning shirt (optional).
The contest runs August 2nd - 11th (2011). Anyone who submits an entry will receive a coupon code for 20% OFF any Betabrand product - offer only valid during the contest timeline.
Patterns are way easier to make than you may think, you just have to learn the tricks. That's where I come in. It seems like the pattern world is real hush hush about their techniques and the tools out there are nothing short of awful - besides the COLOURlovers Seamless Pattern Maker and my own resources at madpattern.com. In this Educational Series I'll be helping you understand the different types of patterns. Let's first start with getting you Lovers up to speed on some of the universal laws of patterns.
Pattern examples A, B, C, D (P1, P4, P6M, P3M1)
It is mathematically proven that there are only 17 different types of pattern symmetries. this is a surprisingly nice and natural way to organize the patterns you see around you.
With the release of Seamless Studio BETA, there have been some fantastic creations submitted. We're pretty excited to see designs become more and more intriguing with the new features this enhancement of the original seamless pattern maker allows.
An opportunity popped up for us to showcase how you can use Seamless Studio as an amazing design tool for things outside of COLOURlovers.com. I'll be using a real-world design contest for some Nine West totes - hosted by talenthouse.
Etsy.com allows people to sell in many different ways. An excellent business model is selling your creations as PDF Patterns instead of the actual item itself. It requires almost no overhead so to speak since you are selling a digital file for the end-buyer to print themselves. It allows you, the seller, more creative time by simply selling the method rather than trying to keep up with demanding orders.
Featured Etsy seller, English artist Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams, does just that. She does it very well in fact by showcasing a few different finished products as eye-candy for each pattern. Versions of these creations shown in the store are merely examples of how cute these plushes can look, but the fabric choices are up to you, so you can make these projects look any way you want. Each purchase comes packed with a PDF pattern and instructions on how to create it. Sarah also provides some extra bonus links and advice for sewing dolls, along with your purchase.
Opening More Doors for Cashflow
Sarah's business model not only sell's cute doll patterns, but also provides a way to dress these dolls up with upselling. A very smart move and works beautifully for her shop. As soon as you see these guys in their outfits you can't help but want to also accessorize!
Sell the Idea - Make it Tactfully Visual
These doll's aren't anything small either at 18.5" tall! Sarah does an excellent job showcasing her product. She doesn't just provide a single image of one doll, with a note that it's a pattern. She showcases a great picture of the main product - the Owls three in a row, sitting and standing. Then an up sell image of the owl's dressed in clothing - sold separately - and finally a representation of size by having a child in the picture holding one. I couldn't wrap my head around what this 18.5 inch doll might actually represented until I saw the image of the child.
Recapping this selling structure:
- Include nice, clear, un-grainy pictures. Sarah does a simple white background (a piece of posterboard can work). Colorful items are best shown on a simple background.
-Include a variety of inspirational looks. Sarah does this with many different fabric variations of the Owls.
-Include visuals to how big the item is: a quilt - show it on a bed, a doll - show it in your hands or a child's (try to represent it in real life, not against a ruler), an outfit - show it on a real body, etc.
-Finally, if there is a way to accessorize your item show it, but make sure to note that the PDF does not come with such and such items, but you can [link] get them here.
Etsy sellers create many types of products, not only in the sewing or PDF world. A couple of different scenario's to add upselling to your product pages would be:
Jewelry - Selling a necklace? Show an image with a ring and earrings that match....note links to those products...run a special to buy all three, etc.
Sewing Patterns or Clothing and Accessories - we've covered a lot about the patterns as the main topic in this post, but putting doll's aside, things like clothing could include accessories such as a purse, belt or other clothing accessory that might go.
Lastly, don't be afraid to start networking with other sellers to create a cross-combo upsell. Wow, does that sound complicated? It's easy, if you make dresses and skirts and have no interest in making purses, connect with a fellow seller and work out an agreement. If you only make necklaces, connect with someone doing more:
-Simple Exposure Trade - each of you post a product and link in another product page for upselling to the other user.
-Commission - Instruct buyers to mention a code in the special instructions field at checkout for the item on the other sellers product to get some sort of benefit (%/$ off next order, etc). Basically create a way to track that they bought from both of you.
Overall, the PDF to Print business model is an excellent way to keep loving your craft, broaden your market and have more time ultimately for creating new products for your line. A would almost guarantee that selling a pattern over the actual dolls will gross ten times more. Opening your pattern license up to allow others to sell the finished products provides even more of a draw.
As an Etsy buyer and crafter myself, I would much rather spend $10 on a pattern than spend $25+ on a single doll. Remember, Etsy is a creative community. Most of the users who sell on Etsy most likely buy on Etsy - and those people like to create.
One look at the patterns in the Dolls & Daydreams store, and you can easily imagine yourself spending a long and lazy Sunday with your sewing kit out, creating these precious little plushes.
Handmade plushes always give me a rush of delight. As a person who loves craft and collectibles, there's something about owning an item that has been created by hand that feels better than purchasing a mass manufactured item. It's a similar feeling to receive a gift that's been made by hand.
All images copyright Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams.
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This post was written in collaboration with both Colette Bennette & Molly Bermea
We're throwing a contest for the best Mothers Day Floral Pattern Template design. Winner will receive $15 - ImageKind.com Bucks!
ImageKind is a community for artists to create and sell their work in many forms of print. Their goal is to develop an online art experience that provides both consumers and artists with an outlet for sharing, creating and buying art (from a digital file).
COLOURlovers is linked up with imagekind which allows you to easily import your COLOURlovers.com colors, palettes and patterns over to imagekind with the click of a button.
You MUST be the original creator of any colors, palettes and patterns in the COLOURlovers.com system to be able to import them to imagekind. If you are the original creator and are allowed to upload them to imagekind, you will see the section, BUY THIS PATTERN, on your item profile (fabric goes to Spoonflower.com, Artwork to imagekind.com).
It's a pretty neat deal! You can get your lovely patterns printed on canvas, posters or even framed prints.
Design a brand spank'n new Floral Template - Must be dated on or after today, May 3rd, 2011. Designing a template is not the same as coloring a template. You will need to use Seamless (COLOURlovers Pattern Maker).
You may submit as many new templates OR variations of your colored template as you would like (sometimes the paint-job makes a difference).
Add the finished and colored badge(s) to the comments - if you don't know how, ask me via love notes.
Get as many LOVES as you can before the end of day (11:59
AM PM PST) Saturday, May 7th, 2011. Winning colored template will receive $15 at ImageKind.com.
Floral - Can be display anything with: vines, flowers, buds, leaves, garden (am I missing anything here?). Can be abstract, mosaic or traditional as long as it pertains to some sort of floral appeal.
Clarification Updates (May 5th, 2011):
To try to eliminate some confusion I have answered some of these questions in the comments...
1.) I will add up ALL LOVES from both the Pattern Template AND the Colored Templates (your's or otherwise related to THAT template). Anything under that template will count.
2.) Post your submissions HERE in the COMMENTS section (below post)
3.) You must be the original creator of the Template.
*Thanks and maybe I'll run our next challenge a little smoother! :) You have until Saturday at midnight (PST) to contribute!*
Header Pattern and Palette:
Sample Pattern (in post screenshot):
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!
Thanks to the COLOURlovers who contributed to the Clients From Hell book giveaway and Pattern From Hell Challenge! We got some pretty cool patterns as well as some funny low-key patterns. Give yourselves a pat on the back!
I'm wishing I had four books to give away because there was a tiebreaker...and number four was still a great contributor. Alas, I only have three...so let's see who gets them!
The most LOVED pattern was contributed by mooberri. Using some well placed basic shapes and a minimal color palette it turned out quite nice I think! Congrats!
Mooberri's personal Client From Hell experience:
"Well my friend is the CD at one if the best design firms in Canada and i know how to use Photoshop so i know a lot about design." - This was said as the client pulled out hideous fliers he had designed.
Best Runner up!
I wanted to give a shout and pat on the back to sec9586 for her funny contribution of "It needs to POP!" She came in just behind the tie (above).
She posted that her favorite ClientFromHell.net quote was:
CLIENT: “Don’t worry, my daughter is very artsy, so I’m used to dealing with you people and your train of thought.” - story of my life lol - says sec9586
The pattern description is very funny too so don't miss that.
"If I hear one more client tell me that my design needs to POP, I'm going to POP their little head right off."
Overall, thanks to everyone again for contributing in both patterns, comments and votes. It was a fun contest and we had some laughs about some pretty crazy clients we've all had!
Clients From Hell, the perfect follow-up book to our more recent giveaway the Smashing Book #2. For any of you in the design industry be it graphic, print or web - you will truly appreciate the contents of this book with tears of laughter. I do hope they make a desk calendar next, it would make an excellent stocking suffer!
Having worked in the design industry, encompassing all of the above, both in the office and freelancing, I can truly find a place in my heart and a special spot on my desk for this book. I can't put it down actually. It brings back those memories at the office where my boss's most frequent design direction was, "Just make it fabulous!" the sad thing is, I learned how to design around that comment. I learned to put more gold, more frill and use fancy nonsense words in our designs for a cruddy product I didn't truly believe in - at least with the way the company was directing it.
At this point in my career, my brother and I were the website and design team - he was the programmer/coder/tech support guy (as do all small companies swamp their "computer guy") and I was the font-end designer of web, print and graphics. We shared an office and could probably write our own hilarious novel re-capping the many ridiculous meetings we came out of from that place. Yes, we even got the,"I want you guys to create a MySpace, Facebook combination, BUT for sports! This is going to be such a big hit! Google will want to buy it from us!" I believe this is about the time (2006-2007ish) when Google and Yahoo were buying out popular web apps and people were going crazy trying to develop the next big thing... I'm sure my bosses were not the only ones thinking they would have the next big thing.
"We’re going to leave Zuckerberg in the dust and think about how much he makes every year. Are you in or out?" - clientsfromhell.net
So I'm on a tangent with my story, but this book brings back the reality of those days - chocolate covered in laughter and makes me question how I kept my sanity working for those guys. Some of you may have similar memories of the things your bosses or clients may have said. Some of you are probably living it daily or still get those types of clients if you're a freelancer. It's never-ending.
"Isn’t it as simple as putting in a button to select different languages? Just look at Facebook." - clientsfromhell.net
CONTEST: Design a Pattern From Hell
Did I mention that I have THREE (3) books to do with what I please? Yep! I begged for 3 extra copies (not like I'm giving up mine!) to do a contest with. So without further adieu...
To honor all those design veterans and those of you still being tortured by clients and bosses similar to the ones from this book, we are going to do a fun contest! The rules are simple:
1. Design a NEW PATTERN using the COLOURlovers Seamless Pattern Maker (you must be the creator of the pattern).
2. Color it using the Clients From Hell color palette (consisting of red, black and white ONLY).
3. Submit your entry by copy/pasting your pattern badge in to the comments - code is located on the right side under SHARE THIS PALETTE when you are viewing your pattern (or palette or color swatch). It is REALLY important that you follow this step, as you need votes (aka LOVES) to win and I need to be able to link to your contest entry pattern.
4. Include your own client from hell experience and/or find a favorite from clientsfromhell.net (make sure if you use one from CFH.net that you let us know by linking or mention please).
And the winner...needs to get the most LOVES!
A winner will be picked with the most LOVES on their pattern. So make a really super cool pattern, make all of your friends and family cookies (if you need bribery) and tweet, facebook or whatever you need to about your pattern. Get some love!! Hey you could even paste it on your fellow lovers profiles to ask for loves... just saying.
The contest will run 7 days - Tuesday to Tuesday. That would be Today, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 - midnight Tuesday, March 29th, 2011. Results should be posted no later than Wednesday, March 30th. You must be a user to play (so SIGN UP if you need to), make sure your email notifications are on as I will need to contact you to collect your address to send you your book. Feel free to send me a love note if you have any specific questions on using the Seamless Pattern maker, etc.
update: Let me clarify.... you don't literally have to make this a pattern FROM Hell. :) Just make a super cool pattern limited to the color palette.
If you must have this book now, you can also order it on Amazon.com here (available in both print and on the kindle)...annnnd if having the book just isn't enough, there are a few other funnies you can get from the CHF store here.
And just because I can't get enough of these...
"I’m not trying to be cheap, I just don’t have that much money." - clientsfromhell.net
“I want the visitors to have a fresh experience each time they visit. So, I want you to design atleast 25 different websites so that every time they visit they will get a new experience.” - clientsfromhell.net
“In the interests of working together, I would appreciate it if you could do this free of charge.” - clientsfromhell.net
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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!