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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 1,994 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

Creative Invitations: Perforations at their Finest

Creative Invitations: Perforations at their Finest


Perforated paper is simply delicious. Those tiny dotted punctures have a nice look, have a fun feel, and make you want to interact with whatever it is they're on, whether it's something being used for functionality purposes or not. Ideally, they also tell the viewer what to do without actually telling them what to do, which can be pretty convenient when you want an uncluttered design.

This post brought to you by the leading greeting card and postcard printing company, Next Day Flyers. They're bringing creative invitations to life.

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In vite verb |inˈvīt| [ with obj. ] make a polite, formal, or friendly request to (someone) to go somewhere or to do something

Invitations tend to go hand-in-hand with the traditional carnival ticket as a form of entry to an event. By means of tradition and sentimental memories, utilizing the idea of a ticket in design doesn't always mean to literally include carnival tickets (but that can be a cute addition that never gets old, too!).

Wedding invitation booklet using digital, letterpress and perforation - by dolcepress.com

In these dramatic wedding invitation booklets (above), simple perforation was used to create a tear-off RSVP postcard. This postcard tear-out is an excellent idea as it cuts down on providing an extra envelope while also using a portion of the invitation to re-use (tearing out and mailing the RSVP).

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Posters from the 1920s—Art Deco Style!

Posters from the 1920s—Art Deco Style!


Power, speed and vibrant color were the dominating themes in posters created in the 1920s. The artwork, referred to as Art Deco, allowed posters to take on a new form with simplified shapes and sleek, angular lettering replacing the curved lettering of the Art Nouveau style. (source)

Presented by the offset printing services company, Next Day Flyers. They offer fast turnaround time on printed materials including business cards, postcards, flyers, and brochures.

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Tour Eiffel during the exhibition (source) | (source)

The term Art Deco comes from the 1925 Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris, where people flocked to view a spectacular display of this new type of art.

1927 Poster for Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” (source)
This vintage 1927 movie poster epitomizes a very vivid sense of power that was a popular theme in the posters created in the 1920s.

1926 Poster “Don Juan,” starring John Barrymore (grandfather of Drew Barrymore) (source)

This vintage 1926 movie poster practically drips with brute strength and speed. It also features a variety of lettering styles and colors to add a bit more excitement to the overall picture.

1920's George V. Hecker's Flour Vintage Poster (source)

Printed in the lithograph style, you will notice that this beauty was laid out horizontally, suggesting that it was used as an insert for advertising on a train, trolley or bus.

1920s Original Antique Vintage Clothing Poster (source)

The well-dressed couple depicted in this poster is wearing the flapper-style clothing that was popular in the Art Deco era. Another thing that sets it apart, which cannot be seen in a digital image, is its linen back, which was a common printing surface in this time period.

1920s Lori or Lora Harrington & her Gypsy Wayfarers Vintage Vaudeville Music Poster (source)

Printed by Quigley Lithograph Co., this rare music poster uses a simple color scheme to draw the audience in and make the lettering litterally pop out at you. Another interstesting tidbit is that it was mounted on linen and machine folded for distribution.

1920s National Dairy Council Milk Poster (source) | 1928 Milk Bottle Lawrence Wilbur Poster (source)

Have you ever wondered how drinking cow’s milk became so popular? Apparently, the National Dairy Association started its campaign back at the turn of the twentieth century. The bright yellow in the National Dairy Council poster definitely catches the eye. In contrast, the deep shades of color in the Lawrence Wilbur poster showcase illustrative and graphic arts printing methods at their best.

1920 Dairy Milk and Airplane Poster (source)

Produced by the Dairymen`s League Cooperative Association in New York City, this poster also promotes the drinking of milk by combining the themes of power and speed with a traditional American landscape. Although the airplane is the focus, this poster offers many other elements such as the machine-age skyscrapers in the foreground encompassing the airplane, a milk truck on a highway and a steam engine train, backed by a colorful patchwork of farm lands.

1920s Corticelli Fabric Fashion Poster (source)

Fashion at its finest! This simple, yet elegant poster uses the idea of “less is more” to convey its message.

1920 French Railroad Poster (source)

This work of art reveals lithograph at its finest. Advertising the French Railway as your host for excursions to Normandy, it was printed in France and designed by well-known French graphic designer, poster artist, and illustrator Charles-Jean Hallo.

1920s Doctor Lynas’ Extracts Poster (source)

This poster is unique in that it was printed on cardboard. Its bold typography adds emphasis to the fact that Dr. Lynas’ was a well-known brand of the era.

1920 Eveready Flashlight Christmas Poster (source)

This charming photomontage poster mixes text and photo elements to create a sense of expression that is sure make you smile. The detail that went into printing this almost “life-like” gentleman reveals the use of some very detailed and tedious lithography techniques.

Vintage ambient advertising for women's stockings, 1920s (source)

These “posters” take linen backing to a whole new level.


In retrospect, while many posters from the 1920s were detailed works of art, a great many more were simply humorous, cheeky, or down-right ugly. Together, these posters helped to form the foundation of modern-day advertising, and give us great topics to blog about, too!

If you would like to find out more about vintage posters, visit http://vintageposterworks.com.

header credit: poster source | palette

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First Impressions Matter: From Visite Biletes & Trade Cards To The Modern-Day Business Card

First Impressions Matter: From Visite Biletes & Trade Cards To The Modern-Day Business Card


The business card: Your most powerful self-marketing tool. From basic black and white to lavish die-cut, colorful pieces of art, they all do just about the same thing—they introduce and retain your personal or business brand. In some countries they are traded with no formality while in others they are exchanged with great ritual, you probably have at least two or three in your wallet right now, they are EVERYWHERE! Probably the single most used marketing tool in the world today, the business card has been utilized for centuries as a means of introducing oneself. So, how did this simple rectangular piece of paper come to infiltrate the business culture of today? (source)

This post made possible by Next Day Flyers, the online poster printing company offering fast turnaround times and amazing prices.

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1883 Die-Cut Card (source) | (left) Die-Cut Today (source)

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Printing with Patterns: Three Key Points + $75 Giveaway from Next Day Flyers

Printing with Patterns: Three Key Points + $75 Giveaway from Next Day Flyers


Using patterns in print design can really punch up a project. It's nothing new, but I'd like to point out a few different variations you might see as key benefits.

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Single Use Design Pieces

Simplify a project by using patterns. In this design, the abstract pattern with the perfect color palette, truly resembles a feel for the arts. It doesn't restrict the design to a certain type of art where the festival might cover anything from painting, sculpting, fiber arts and more. Using an artistically geared pattern keeps that visual open.

Print Magazine's, Color in Design Awards (2011) / Poster Design by Dave Whitley

Coordinating Design Pieces

Using patterns in coordinating print projects can easily lend a hand in matching sets of items such as wedding invitations which usually contain a main element, the invitation - plus response cards, enclosure cards, save the date cards and thank you cards. Not to mention possibly following through with the design on wedding day programs, seat placement cards, etc.

autumn textile by weddingpaperdivas.com

Reusable & Customizable Design Pieces

When working with products you want buyers to customize, simple two-color patterns make it easy to do so. This makes it a snap for you to go in and adjust the pattern palette before shipping a digital file or physical product off to a client.

Tea Invitation by FLIPAWOO (customizable pattern invitations)

No matter what type of print project you have, these are a few benefits to using patterns to speed up your design or business process, not to mention a great way to add a ton of interest in your work.

Using COLOURlovers Patterns in your designs...

Here at COLOURlovers you can download an .SVG file of your pattern designs as long as you were the original Pattern Template creator. Additionally, if you have Seamless Studio, you can export designs as: .SVG, .JPG or .PNG to be able to use in other graphics software for design.

The Giveaway - How to Earn Your $75

This is a random giveaway picked from those who leave a comment. You have two choices:

Link to and place an image of a project you have designed with patterns. This can be from a yesterday or today, real or fake and must be a complete looking project. Does it fall under one of the three examples above?

OR

Link to and place an image of a print piece or pieces (such as a wedding invitation set) you adore and think is a prime example of one of the above three examples.

In addition, I'd love to know why you like using patterns in your design or why you like seeing patterns in design.

Entries will be collected through Sunday, August 28th, 2011 (by midnight PST). 

Next Day Flyers, the postcard printing specialists will be providing gift a credit of $75 to the randomly selected winner!

***THIS CONTEST IS OVER***


header credit:
citricnonsense_colors

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Plywerk - Naturally Display Your Artwork

Plywerk - Naturally Display Your Artwork


Introducing...PLYWERK, an eco-conscious photo mounting and art panel company based in Portland Oregon. They work with professional artists, photographers, interior designers, point and shoot photographers, parents, and everyone in between!

Curly_Oak_Grove
Art pieces are a made up of your print adhered to a Plywerk Panel to create a beautifully natural piece of wall art. Gorgeous bamboo or maple are offered for the wood options.

Plywerk Anatomy 101

Bamboo & Maple Plywerk Panels

COLOURlovers has recently become a Pro Partner of PLYWERK. Why is this super notable to mention? Because you're going to get the best, most amazing deals ever when you create an account (which is free). These deals are customized to COLOURlovers Members Only under the Prodeal membership (which is also free). Pretty sweet huh?

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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!


Color_That_WheelPsychedelic_Wheel

wheel_of_colorMy_colorful_wheel

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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!


The_Smashing_Book_2

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。


White_Fungus_1

White_Fungus_2



White_Fungus_3

White_Fungus_4
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