Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,272 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!
The business topic that we're bringing up today, before we get into some bodacious banners, is making sure your identity, in this case, your banner on Etsy, complements your products and style. At the bottom of the post is a selection of banners for design and color inspiration, some incorporate elements that complement their shops very well while other were just chosen for their overall aesthetic and/or color palette.
Use Product Images or Incorporate Themes and Inspiration Into your Identity.
Your banner and your avatar are your shop identity, and will be the main image and brand shoppers associate with your shop... You should choose a design that will complement the items sold in your shop.
An easy and obvious way to get your products and style across is to include images of your products. If you're selling rings and only rings, it's okay to include images of rings. This kind of design can be restrictive in that it limits the perception of what your store or company is all about, and could inadvertently age your store if your products develop beyond what your banner portrays.
For a more subtle way to bring your products and identity together you could try incorporating images that abstractly complement the themes and inspiration behind your work. This also allows you to experiment with your product line without worrying about changing you overall identity.
It seems that long before Red Bull, Radio Stations and unknown hip-hop artists started visually polluting our streets with promotional vehicle wraps, Volkswagen was were already driving down a similar road, but one that was designed quite a bit better. In fact, it was a big enough part of VW's business that they produced dealer books to showcase this very promotional tool. Today we get a look at some fantastic scans from a VW spilt-window logo bus dealer book.
Found at CarType and generously collected and shared by VintageBus, here for our color inspiration are Vintage VW Spit-window logo buses. You can see the complete book (60 pages total) at CarType, and even more inspiration can be found at what is probably the best VW bus resource on the web, VintageBus.
Themeleon makes it easy to design your Twitter profile by helping you combine the more than 1 Million Color Palettes & 1 Million Seamless Patterns created by the COLOURlovers community. The newly relaunched Themeleon is making it even easier to design an awesome profile with ready-made themes and a redesigned workspace. Read on to learn more about the #NewThemeleon, or...
*Even if Twitter hasn't updated your account, we'll still give you a sneak peek at what it will look like.*
The #NewTwitter layout means more goodness is packed into each page and when designing your profile it makes sense to show you what that goodness will look like. We moved the entire Themeleon tool into the collapsible area at the top of the page and gave you a live preview of what your new profile will actually look like as you click around and design your perfect profile.
You'll still see a live preview of your work down below, but we've updated the preview with the new twitter layout.
We redesigned the workspace to be more compact and fit in ready-made themes from our new partner TweetyGotBack.com.
We also gave you a preview of the layout and how the colors fit into the layout. All you have to do is click one of the color squares and change the layout on the fly.
We're showing you by default the most interesting patterns being created by the COLOURlovers community... and some of the patterns being made with Seamless are absolutely stunning.
We are launching with 30+ beautiful ready-made themes from our friends at Threadless.com, NASA.gov along with a handful of other talented artists. And we'll be adding more and more themes from our partner sites and indie artists... Some of those artists could be COLOURlovers!
Soon you'll be able to save and access your previous profile designs, so you can switch things up for an event or holiday without losing and having to recreate your theme from scratch. And when you're creating those really amazing theme combinations, if you want to, you'll be able to share them with the rest of the 400,000+ COLOURlovers community like you already do with palettes & patterns... We know how creative and talented you all are and we're really excited about the quality of killer themes you'll be making and sharing.
The tool buttons are your friends. From top to bottom: Undo. Shuffle Layout Colors. Apply Layout Colors to Pattern. Apply Pattern Colors to Layout.
If you want to use a specific pattern on COLOURlovers in your twitter profile, all you need to do is click the follow button on that pattern and then change the drop-down under Background: Patterns to be your New, Following Patterns. (You need to be logged into COLOURlovers to see this option.)
Click the Hide Arrow to collapse the design workspace and see your more of your twitter profile design. To get the workspace back, simply click the Show Arrow that replaced the Hide.
If you ever forget what color is what in the layout area, you can always look at the layout preview for reference... but if it still isn't clear, leave your mouse pointer over a color square for a sec and a helpful label will pop up to tell you what that color is connected to.
Maybe our updated tool will inspire people to be even more creative with their profile designs... because when we looked into the colors of the social web and what color people used the most when designing their twitter profiles... Not many ventured that far away from Twitter's light blue colors. But, you bold color adventurers are sure to set sail for exotic destinations.
The effective use of color in design has a proven impact on readability, conversion and engagement both online and offline. Sometimes subtle changes in color for headlines and direct response cues can significantly increase a reader’s overall impression of the communication.
Color is shown to facilitate attention, recall, positive attitudes, perceived quality, and sales when compared to black and white. But, you knew that, or at least that’s one of the reasons you visit COLOURlovers so often.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
The trick is the effective use of color in ways that can positively impact associations to your brand and draw the intended response.
There is a fine work by Shigenobu Kobayashi the founder and director of the Nippon Color and Design Research Institute called Color Image Scale that presents this idea of moods in color use and is a great starting place for discovering the impact or mood your color choices can send when used in association with your brand or simply to create a feeling in an ad or direct mail piece.
Understanding how to use this element alone can have a dramatic impact on gaining reader or prospect participation. But, don’t default to red for attention getting, the research also shows that black and white can outperform or equate to color when used to evoke the necessary reaction.
Using color effectively in online landing pages is a great place to start your entire strategy and research for color use. A landing page is generally any online page where you send a prospect in response to an ad or specific offer of information. It has only one purpose and that’s to create an action – a sign-up, trial, subscription, purchase, etc.
Using color to help facilitate or repeat directional clues is often the best way to increase participation. Arrows and other hints may seem a bit cliché, but they are proven to increase participation.
Image credit: unbounce
Landing pages are such a great play ground for color use because you can test the impact of color or direction clues on conversion in near real time and use some of what you learn to inform your choices in other mediums or in ads and direct mail campaigns.
When it comes to color in landing pages there are four elements that should be tested rigorously. Using a tool such a Google Web Site Optimizer you create what are known as A/B tests that allow you to create two versions of a landing page (one with a blue headline and one with a green headline) to determine if one has more of the desired impact.
Image credit: unbounce
Common elements that benefit most from color are background, headline, core visual element and the “button” or call to action.
Background color can have a dramatic impact on the overall mood presented to the visitor and should coincide with the mood intended. By default this is an element that is ripe for testing.
Headlines often do the heavy lifting when it comes to grabbing the very short attention span of the reader. On top of containing a very compelling reason to read on subtle color variations have shown to cause dramatic upticks in conversion.
Effective landing pages and ads for that matter often rely on a core graphic or image to evoke an emotional response. These days that often includes video. Testing various images is very important.
If the primary purpose of a landing page is to get a response, then it must be painfully clear how to take the action. A big honking click here button outperforms a text link all day long, but red vs. orange or green vs. blue is something that must be tested.
When we released our report on the colors of the social web, based on data analyzed by our Twitter theme tool, we were surprised that blue was such a dominant color in people's profile designs. Was Twitter's default color influencing their design decisions? Or is blue really THE most popular and dominant color online? ...We decided to look at the colors in the brands from the top 100 sites in the world to see if we could paint a more colorful picture.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
Turns out the blue-berry doesn't fall far from the bush. The web landscape is dominated by a large number of blue brands... but Red occupies a large amount of space as well. What's driving this? You might want to say that carefully organized branding research and market tests were done to choose the perfect colors to make you spend your money, but a lot of the brands that have grown to be global web powerhouses, started as small web startups... and while large corporate giants with branding departments spend quite a lot on market research, user testing, branding, etc. Lots of the sites listed above got started with brands created by the founders themselves with little to no research into the impact their color choice would have. I once asked Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook why he chose blue for his site design... "I'm color blind, it's the only color I can see." ...and now 500 Million people around the world stare at a mostly blue website for hours each week.
While the initial reasoning for the colors chosen may be trivial, the impact that these dominant players now have in the web world will surely influence the smaller startups that want to share in the positive color associations created by their bigger siblings... Once a rocketship of a web startup takes flight, there are a number of Jr. internet astronauts hoping to emulate their success... and are inspired by their brands. And so Blue and Red will probably continue to dominate, but we can have hope for the GoWalla's, DailyBooth's and other more adventurous brands out there.
Color is an important part of any brand, but along with the actual name of a company... Is it a great brand that builds a great company, or the other way around? Would Google, Google just as well with another name? My guess is yes.
And almost 10 years ago, Wired Magazine looked at the Colors of the corporate America... Blue & Red dominate again.
Companies spend millions trying to differentiate from others. Yet a quick look at the logos of major corporations reveals that in color as in real estate, it's all about location, location, location. The result is an ever more frantic competition for the best neighborhood. Here's a look at the new blue bloods. [Wired Magazine]
And a brand can extend further than just your logo... On the web it reaches into the address bar in the form of a Favicon. It's quite amazing to explore, but the top 1,000,000 website Favicons can be browsed here at Icons of the Web:
See if you can find the COLOURlovers icon!
Last year Francisco Inchauste posted a very interesting article on SixRevisions about the limited resource of color... not in physical form, but in mind share. (Even linking to a post we did a while back about T-Mobile and it's trademark of "Magenta")
As a designer, it is important to be aware of the trending colors, and how they are being applied in products and work produced today. What really isn’t being discussed by the design world at large though are the limitations being set on color. Color is as free for us to use as the air we breathe… or is it? [SixRevisions]
You are the next great founder, designer, influencer or creative mind that may build the next Facebook. You have the power to influence future color trends... What colors will you choose?
In need of some inspiration? Check out Creative Market for some powerful color ideas.
For this episode of Local Color we travel to Milwaukee Wisconsin, a beautiful Midwestern City on the shores of Lake Michigan. While Milwaukee has a vibrant sports, art and maritime history, let's face it, when it comes to Milwaukee most people think of beer. And nothing goes with a beer like a burger.
Meet Joe Sorge, founder of AJ Bombers. This local burger joint has created quite a brand and quite a business by embracing social media in ways that few restaurants have ever done.
Little things can make a big difference when it comes to first impressions... your business card is not only an opportunity to let potential clients, friends, squash partners, and recipe swap mates Know what your business is all about, but it is also an opportunity to let them in on a bit of your personality.
Below you will find some links that we hope will inspire you to be a little more colorful, or at least act as a reminder that it's time to reorder more business cards.
When it come to business cards no one does it quite like the Japanese. Take a look at the history and tradition of Meishi, and check out a few other links to see what that long tradition has come to look like in the contemporary world today: Japanese Business Cards | Meishi The Art of Introduction | Business Card for Tamiya | Printing Museum Tokyo
Maybe look back to the first widely used business cards also known as Trade Cards.
Try out some DIY ideas.
At the end of 2009 we launched a fun app to let you the people define and share what color you saw representing 2010. Well this year isn't over and we still want you to name the color you feel best embodies this year... and to sweeten the deal, we're going to give away a huge box of color goodies to 5 random color trendsetters that name their color.
See, we at COLOURlovers think the smartest and most talented people in the world really do set the color trends... they create the next great designs that shape our creative landscape and they vote with their dollars and purchase the colors they love... So we want their option, YOUR opinion. Name your color of 2010 and win awesome COLOURloving stuff.
All you need to do is use ColoroftheYear.com - to name & describe your Color of 2010.
Your thoughtful entry will get you in the running for one of those 5 goodie boxes... and if you share your color via Facebook or Twitter, you'll double your chances and get a second entry in the drawing.
Win an Awesome Creative Goodie Box Worth $200+
We'll award 5 random trendsetters with a creative goodie box that includes:
|ColorSchemer Software ($49.99)|
The best professional color software from creative folks. The new ColorSchemer let's you browse palettes on COLOURlovers and a future update will let you start making and publishing palettes to COLOURlovers too.
|COLOURlovers Sponsorship (x2) ($40.00)|
We'll give you two sponsored memberships to COLOURlovers. Use one and give another to a friend. It lasts all year... and we're adding more and more great benefits for sponsors.
|COLOURlovers T-Shirt (x2) ($36.00)|
You share the color love all the time... Now you can wear the color love too! You'll get our logo shirt and our color love blind shirt.
|Spoonflower Gift Certificate ($50)|
Have you made some beautiful patterns with Seamless? Well, why not order that pattern on some fabric from our friends at Spoonflower?
|Action Method - Journal ($17.50)|
Take notes about all your wonderful ideas with an Action Journal.
|Moo Mini Card Pack($20)|
Moo prints mini cards with a selection of some great palettes from COLOURlovers... but you could also put something else beautiful on your cards... like your face. You decide!
Name a Color in 5 Easy Steps.
As you complete one step, the next will automatically give you suggestions to help you find your color.
1. Describe Your Color
2. Choose Your Hue
3. Set Your Mood
4. Select Your Color
5. Woohoo! You Found Your Color
Now all you need to do now is name your color. Share it with your friends and post the badge in the comments below too.
(Only 1 entry per person will count towards the drawing, but you're free to name more than 1 color of 2010. You have to name your color by September 9th... We'll announced the winners September 10th.
*And make sure you login somehow otherwise we won't know how to get your your goodie box.*)