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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 1,989 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

20 Stunningly Colorful Commercial Designers

20 Stunningly Colorful Commercial Designers


Often when we think of commercial design work, we imagine 3 color logos and simple illustrations... but not all commercial work is so plain. Here are 20 commercial designers who create stunningly colorful work.

Matthew Curry | Imagefed

imagefed.com

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Classic Colors: Atari Game Manuals

Classic Colors: Atari Game Manuals


I came across a lovely little 'Atari Game Manuals' flickr set from Joe Kral the other day and thought it would be a perfect addition to the wonderful collection of nostalgia inducing color palettes.

While technology may have limited the color palettes of some of the first, and most popular, video games, their colors are no less influential on modern game design and culture as a whole, and an important part to any design is its packaging. The game manual art on many Atari games may have been a bit exaggerated and deceiving leaving the gamer wishing the game looked more like the picture on the box, but are nonetheless full of classic color palettes.

atari-13.jpg    BOXING
Another sports title from Activision, Boxing presents a top-down view of a boxing arena, pitting you one-on-one against another boxer. You have two minutes to either score 100 points and win the fight or finish with the highest score at the end of the round. Your goal is to target your opponent's nose with either a left or right jab, and a successful hit causes your opponent's face to reel back. You can choose to fight against a computer opponent for a single player game or against a friend for a two player bout. This is old school boxing with no white towel and no referee, so keep your guard up and your wits about you and never give up!

 

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atari-8.jpg    GALAXIAN
Galaxian expanded on the formula pioneered by Space Invaders. As in the earlier game, Galaxian featured a horde of attacking aliens that exchanged shots with the player. In contrast to Space Invaders, however, Galaxian added an element of drama by having the aliens periodically make kamikaze-like dives at the player's ship.

The gameplay was relatively simple. Swarm after swarm of alien armies attacked the player's ship that moved left and right at the bottom of the screen. The ship could only fire sparingly by default, but rearmed instantly when an enemy was hit.

 

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Classic Colors: DC Comic Characters

Classic Colors: DC Comic Characters


Started in 1934 by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, DC Comics, then known as National Allied Publications has created some of the most colorful characters in Comics. The abbreviation "DC" came from their first popular illustrated series Detective Comics which introduced the darkly colored character Batman. Since then, DC Comics has become one of the largest publishers of English language comic books. Here are a few of their classic characters who have frequented the shelves of comic book stores throughout the years.

Classic DC Comic Characters

250px-batmanlee.jpg    Batman
Batman (originally referred to as the Bat-Man and still referred to at times as the Batman) is a fictional comic book superhero co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger (although only Kane receives official credit) and published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy industrialist, playboy, and philanthropist. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child leads him to train himself to physical and intellectual perfection and don a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.

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250px-wonderwomanv5.jpg    Wonder Woman
One of DCs "big three," Wonder Woman is the Emissary to Man's World, Champion of Themyscira, and possesses the Speed of Hermes, The Wisdom of Athena, Stronger than Heracles and as lovely as Aphrodite. Charles William Moulton Marston had created Wonder Woman during World War II as he saw that the DC Universe was dominated by male characters such as Superman and Batman and then came patriotic heroes such as Captain America who were to defeat the Axis. He wanted a superheroine, to create a strong and leading female character to even the odds. He thought up a new hero who would fight injustice not with brute strength or violence, but with love.

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Superman is a fictional character, a comic book superhero widely considered to be one of the most famous and popular of such characters and an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster in 1932, the character first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) and subsequently appeared in various radio serials, television programs, films, newspaper strips, and video games. With the success of his adventures, Superman helped to create the superhero genre and establish its primacy within the American comic book.

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The Colors Of Global Brand Identities

The Colors Of Global Brand Identities


Today, more than ever, companies need to separate themselves from the others who share the same crowded marketplaces, and it is being done with branding and creating a unique and easily recognizable visual identity. The visual identity of a business can be one of its most valuable intangible assets, and big part of that visual identity is color.

Referring to Business Week's 'Best Global Brands 2007' (link to PDF) report, which ranks "brands which place high importance on managing the economic value of their intangible assets, and primary their brands, consistently out preform basic economic measures," we selected what may be the most easily identifiable logos in the corporate world today, then stripped them of every line and gradient to pullout just the color palettes. See if they are just as strong without the logo itself.

Google ebay

Pizza Hut Nintendo

Coca-Cola Shell

Kodak McDonalds

BP Ikea

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The Colors Of Skateboard Art

The Colors Of Skateboard Art


With more and more artists being commissioned to create original work for some of the largest skateboarding companies in the market, the skateboard deck is becoming a highly sought after medium by both artists and collectors. We thought we would take a look at some of the more colorful decks currently influencing both skateboards and art collectors. The images from Chocolate and Alien Workshop are accompanied by the writing of Sean Cliver as he talks about his life as a skateboard designer and his inspiration behind Disposable: A history of Skateboard Art, his current book highlighting over 1,000 skate board graphics from the last 30 years.

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Alien Workshop

Disposable: A history of Skateboard Art: The Making Of

In my late teens and early twenties, my attitude was all piss and vinegar,
and the only time worth living or acknowledging was the present—
the classic attributes of any skateboarder, I guess. Then, without
even realizing it, 15 years passed and I found myself going, “Whoa,
how the hell did that happen?!” With this spatial wedge of time driven
between my insolent years of youthful abandon and present state of
being (which now includes a wife, son, and slightly more long-term perspective
on life), I fell into a pronounced period of reflection—mostly just
wondering how I made it out alive. Leafing through my catalog of memories—
an increasingly difficult thing to do living in California, where seasons
are nonexistent and the endless sunshine bleaches all recollections
to an indiscernible haze of months and years—I established the
one constant in all my prominent life experiences: skateboard graphics.

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Alien Workshop

To make a long story short—at least for now, that is—I was just an
average kid from Wisconsin who first staked his claim in life on art and
then years later skateboarding. The combination of these two elements
ignited an unbelievable journey that would first and foremost involve
winning an “art contest” advertised by Powell Peralta in 1988, whereupon
I moved straight from the sticks of the Midwest to the spasmodic
heart of the skateboard industry in California. There I somehow managed
to live, thrive, and survive as an artist throughout one of the most
amazing and tumultuous eras in the history of skateboarding, when
graphics transformed into formidable marketing tools and pushed all
possible boundaries from sex, drugs, violence, race, religion, politics,
and copyright laws.

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The Color of Money from Around the World

The Color of Money from Around the World


In honor of this month's release of the United States' redesigned five dollar bill I have been scouring through the 191 currently circulating currencies of the 192 member states of the United Nations to find some of the most colorful, unique and dramatic bank notes.

The New Five

Photo from moneycenteral.msn.com

The redesigned $5 bill was unveiled on September 20, 2007, and was issued on March 13, 2008. Previously covered here on COLOURlovers, the redesign involves some very noticeable changes, mostly for security reasons, but also in an attempt to make the bill more friendly to the visually impaired.

The new five incorporates the use of micro printing of type to make it more difficult to copy. On the front, "FIVE DOLLARS" is written inside the left and right borders. "E PLURIBUS UNUM" is printed at the top of the shield. "USA" is between the columns of the shield and "USA FIVE" is printed on the edge of the most noticeable change, the giant purple "5".


Photo from moneycenteral.msn.com

The giant purple "5". Yes, well, it was added to help those who are visually impaired but it may just leave more of us wishing that we were. Not that I necessarily dislike it, mostly I'm not too concerned with what the money looks like since I'm not collecting it for its aesthetic qualities, but a more reasonable choice, or at least a more colorful choice, would have been just to make the whole thing purple and start color coding all of the bills, much like many, if not most, other countries do. Maybe the Government doesn't want to get too far away from our 'greenback'.

One Interesting thing about the new five is the use of the EURion constellation which many photocopiers will refuse to copy. This pattern, which is used for the series of little yellow "05"s, is used on many other currencies as well.

Other changes to the bill include the increased use of water marks and an added security strip like those already used for higher denominations.

The Most Colorful Currencies

Compared to those previous drab gray and green bills the US has made some colorful changes to the currency, but it is still nothing compared to the beautifully crafted and colored currencies of Venezuela, Switzerland, and Kyrgyzstan.

The Bolívar Fuerte

Bolívar Fuerte

The Bolívar Fuerte is the new currency of Venezuela since January 1, 2008. It replaced the old Bolívar which was the currency between 1879 and 2007. My personal favorite currency, it is a great example of the amazing bright and colorful notes that are seen throughout many South America countries.

The Bolívar Fuerte includes illustrations of Francisco de Miranda, Pedro Camejo, Cacique Guaicaipuro, Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi, Simón Rodríguez and Simón Bolívar, on the fronts. On the backsides, the notes feature Amazon river dolphins, a giant armadillo, an American Harpy eagle, the hawks bill turtle, a spectacled bear and the red siskin.

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Colors of the Top 20 Magazine Covers

Colors of the Top 20 Magazine Covers


I've always been fascinated with the cover font color choices magazine editors make. We've begun to index those choices in our Magazine Color Trends section, but we thought we would look at some of the most iconic covers in history. In 2005, the 40 greatest magazine covers of the last 40 years were unveiled at the 2005 American Magazine Conference (AMC) in Puerto Rico, by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) and AMC. Looking at the top 20 has shed some light on some of the most interesting color choices in the industry. Starting with number twenty, we'll take a trip back through the world of publication color.

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blue magazine diver   

#20 Blue (October 1997)
A man diving appears on the premiere October 1997 issue of Blue. Art Director David Carson, known for his innovative typography and photography designed the cover. Editor Amy Schrier launched the first adventure lifestyle magazine, covering outdoor recreation, action sport and adventure travel for men and women. The magazine also explored the diverse cultures of the world and took a look at their political, economic and social concerns.

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Color Palettes of the Top Grossing Movie Posters

Color Palettes of the Top Grossing Movie Posters


Armin Vit at Speak Up took an amazing look at the 25 movie posters of the top grossing movies of all time.

Not only did he organize the top 25 posters and break them down to simple palettes... He even created a larger image that showed the percentage of color usage for each film rating. Mr. Vit might just be our new best COLOURfriend.

Armin: "I looked for the final theatrical posters - as opposed to teaser or character-specific posters — which most fully represented what people saw on the streets or in movie theaters. Once lined up, I went over them one by one selecting a) the overall or background color, b) one or two of the most visible colors, and c) one or two accent colors. Ignoring any minimum-impact colors along the way. After picking out the colors, I arranged them, via gradients, on a horizontal bar, using the background color as the base and then eyeballing the "amount" of the rest of the colors to create an approximation of the colors you would see if you squinted at the poster or if you had really blurry vision."

          PG-13 Movie Poster Color Palettes

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