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Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,023 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

Copyrights: Are they always Black and White?

Copyrights: Are they always Black and White?


Hello COLOURlovers!

Copyrights are well known topics that continually float around the community. So I've snagged someone in the business of creating and selling vector artwork to explain in laymen's terms the crazy in's and out's of copyright (with digital art). I'd like to introduce to the blog authorship, Ray Dombroski, founder of The Vector Lab (thevectorlab.com) and a COLOURlover himself.

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Enjoy the post ~ Molly Bermea / Blog Editor


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Copyrights

Intellectual Property and Copyrights

Whenever an artist creates a new original work in the United States as well as in many other countries, it is automatically covered under copyright protection.  With the use of licensing, that artist can grant certain additional rights to others. A license can be written to give someone else the right to resell the art or create derivative works (remix or change the art), for example. These licenses are important when it comes to using stock art or clip art for your own designs.

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Lover Feature: Designer, Shawna Crouch aka "sec9586"

Lover Feature: Designer, Shawna Crouch aka "sec9586"


Some of you may already know our own sec9586, some of you may have just heard of her as the designer of the Betabrand plaid pattern, "Betabrand2" in our contest, "Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers". Either way, we're featuring her today so you can get to know her even better!

Shawna Crouch, aka "sec9586", is the owner / operator of CrouchDesign. She attended Murray State University, where she graduated with a BS in Studio Art/Graphic Design in 2009, and specializes primarily in print design. Along with her designing day job, she runs a small shop on Zazzle as CrouchDesign, where she offers freelance design services. She also has an Etsy shop,  AquaNetNightmare, set to reopen September 1st, 2011 which will offer jewelry, cards, invitations, stationary and drawings.


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Shawna continually uses COLOURlovers in every which way for both work and fun. Let's take a peek at how she does it...

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Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers

Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers


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.



View the Contest Gallery

Color this plaid pattern template to enter (Betabrand2)

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MadPattern Educational Series: The Awesomeness of Patterns

MadPattern Educational Series: The Awesomeness of Patterns


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 Types

 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.

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Seamless Studio Design Tutorial: Nine West Contest Feature

Seamless Studio Design Tutorial: Nine West Contest Feature


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.

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The Design Minute: Threadless Product Director Ross Zietz on Color Wheel

The Design Minute: Threadless Product Director Ross Zietz on Color Wheel


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!


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Review & Giveaway: The Smashing Book #2

Review & Giveaway: The Smashing Book #2


Don't go anywhere!!! There's a super fantastic book giveaway after our feature presentation!


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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...

Chapters include:

  1. #1 The Principles of Great Graphic Deisign
  2. #2 Visible vs. Invisible Design
  3. #3 Designing Mobile User Experiences
  4. #4 Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping
  5. #5 Red Flags (Warning Signs) in Web Development
  6. #6 The Future of Web Typeography
  7. #7 Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design
  8. #8 When they Click: Psychology of Web Design and User Behavior
  9. #9 Design Patterns in e-Commerce Websites (Study)
  10. #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.


THE GIVEAWAY!

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!

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Chromatic: The Crossroads Between Color and Music

Chromatic: The Crossroads Between Color and Music


Support this project on KICKSTARTER.

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

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2010 Printmaking Round-up

2010 Printmaking Round-up


You know, the computer screen just doesn't do any of this work justice, but that's certainly not going to stop me from gushing. And this year there's a number of innovative twists on this old-timey medium which always makes for compelling work. So, here you are, best of the best (at least from my seat) printed pieces of 2010.

This poster is most memorable for it's darling childish hand and classic message. A father & son collaboration, by Studio on Fire and Koen (age 6), the doodles were assembled digitally and letterpressed 14x20" with yellow and gold ink. $30 for sale here.

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Print Trends: White Fungus Magazine

Print Trends: White Fungus Magazine


White Fungus is an experimental arts magazine based in Taichung City, Taiwan. Featuring writing on art, music, history and politics, plus original artworks, poetry, fiction and comics, White Fungus is an ongoing experiment in community media art. As the spores have been released its creators look forward to seeing which way the wind blows. The only thing more uncertain than its future is its past.

白木耳雜誌 是一本發源於台中的當代前衛藝術雜誌, 內容詳細介紹了關於來自世界各地的前衛音樂 、歷史、 政治、 原創作品、 詩、 短篇小說 與漫畫。白木耳雜誌本身既是一個社群媒體藝術的實驗過程。當這些實驗性的孢子逐漸成熟而散落,雜誌創刊者十分期待風會將這些孢子傳遞至何方,但關於未來,一切則充滿了新的生機與各種可能性。


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