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In our previous blog post, we were talking about the importance of using certain colors, color theory and color psychology, as well as why some color combinations are more pleasant to the eye. Today, we will explore one of recent history's most famous example of how colors are used to communicate within an art piece.
A painting we are referring to is, of course, Mark Rothko's "Untitled (Yellow and Blue)", a piece of art which value reached $46.5 million at Sotheby's auction in New York. Painted in 1954, this art piece is called "unequivocal masterpiece" by Sotheby auction house.
“Untitled, (Yellow and Blue)”, by Mark Rothko as found on http://news.bitofnews.com/rothko-painting-yellow-and-blue-sold-for-46-5-million/
Significance of the work of Mark Rothko is his astonishing understanding of colors, beauty of the contrasts he used, as well as gradient of colors in his paintings. "Yellow and Blue" is particularly interesting for us, as it is a perfect example of the effect a good color complement achieves in the eye of the viewer, and remember the previous article - Marge Simpson and Joy (Inside Out) - their skin colors with the colors of their hair balances their characters and gives them visual personality.
Through oil paint on canvas, one could say Mark was speaking about his philosophy and psychology of his method. So, for "Yellow and Blue", we can now picture a character that he would describe, a personality. Given how yellow is the dominant, energetic color, blue is contributing to the painting by balancing it out, but not taking over anything that yellow was meant to tell us.
An example of gradient he used in his work - his "Orange, red, yellow" - has been sold for $86.9 million, which was the highest price ever for a piece for contemporary art. This piece, painted in 1961, shows the artists deep understanding of color meanings. Looking at the composition of the work, you can feel variety of emotions, just as you do when you look at the setting sun, which shades exactly he used for this piece of art.
Rothko's "Orange, red, yellow" as found on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Orange,_Red,_Yellow.jpg
This famous and very expensive contemporary artist ended his life in 1970. His work has been auctioned and sold for billions of dollars years after his death. He is now labeled as one of the most successful artist of the 20th century, and maybe one of the artists who explained best the color philosophy. His communication is purely explained through colors, shapes are there to support the expression of shades and they are not interfering with the whole composition. A true color lover, we could say.
About the author
Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.
I love designers. It’s a strong statement and I can shout it out in front of millions of people, probably WordCamp will be one of the best places to do it. They do a fantastic work in a very difficult, competitive environment.
There are many tools designers as well as developers should use in 2018. They should not need to start from zero to build any new project. Especially when it comes to a huge project like building a directory website, ListingPro got your back.
Also there are multipurpose WordPress themes which are excellent and website builders that are doing a great job.
Below we wrote about almost 30 web tools and services that are effective, fast and wallet-friendly.
With customers from over 170 countries, prizes as the No.1 Best Seller in 2017 and 5-stars support, ListingPro is absolutely the best WordPress directory website you can get. No additional plugins needed for the basic features and there is no need to have special knowledge. Anybody will benefit by having a ready to go package to launch its own directories like Yelp, Airbnb, Capterra and other directories. Some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry is using this solution.
Their website is super simple, yet packed with the most important info. You will find more than 30 case studies with real examples of directories built with ListingPro. The features page includes more than 40 important things that this WordPress theme can do for you.
If you are looking for a feature or design elements that is not available with the purchase, they do offer customization service, so reach out to their team for a free quote.
The pricing for the basic license is $69 only and you get everything you need. Launch your directory website and start monetizing right out-of-the-box.
Userfeel is an excellent usability website and mobile app test service that is different from A/B testing and heatmaps. Here you will get impressions from real life testers that you will use from the vast network created by Userfeel. You can even add your testers to the project. Testers can be selected from various criteria like age, gender, country, web experience and language.
Userfeel is great for website owners, it is used by web designers, web developers, internet marketers and web consultants who want to open their eyes to the real world of their site's or internet market's users. It’s a good service for pretty much anyone who wants to be sure that his website is offering its visitors the experience they want to have.
A great feature that is making Userfeel even more powerful is the fact that they are working with over 20,000 testers that speak 40 languages. You can test any website in any language and you can ask testers to provide comments in your language.
For $49, the price per desktop test session, you will get a video with voice comments, you will see the tester movement mouse and the written answers to the questions you have provided when launching the project.
Dealjumbo is a place where you can find exclusive deals for designers, developers, and pretty much all kind of web professionals. They offer incredible bundles for great prices. Their prices are awesome, the amount of money you save is remarkable and can help you big time in your projects. If you lower your costs you can lower the bid for a project and win it. Think about it.
On their website, you will find everything you are looking for: premium fonts, beautifully designed graphics and more. There is an on sale section and a freebies page, check both of them. You can download 1580+ free fonts & graphics. All comes with standard commercial license.
Forget everything you knew about building websites without skills and effort. Brizy is the best visual WordPress page builder on the market, transforming the user into a professional in an instant. Anybody can now create gorgeous websites that are a perfect fit for their needs and all of that in less than 1 hour.
The Brizy WordPress plugin comes with 150 excellent predesigned blocks, 4,000 icons, and options that are there for you but are not being put all in your face to complicate things. The interface is super simple to use and intuitive, being your close friend from minute 1.
Brizy is free, can be tested right now on their website and the pro version will be packed with even better things.
With almost 550,000 downloads, Deeezy is a major web design deals where web professionals will find awesome premium fonts, mockups, bundles and much more, everything is hugely discounted. You will get an extended license, that means you can use the items for unlimited commercial projects.
Check Deeezy and get free and premium fonts and graphics.
actiTIME is a powerful time tracking software loaded with strong features: simple time tracking, work scope management, project cost control, leave time management, time billing reports and others.
Create project scope, assign tasks to your team, record work hours and keep everything on track with the insightful data.
The 30 days trial lets you test all the features, try it.
Notism is a simple collaboration tool, yet very powerful, which includes video collaboration if needed. You can communicate via notes or sketches right on your uploaded work; share, review and sign-off visual content right where it makes sense and much more.
The price starts from $9 per month and it includes 5 projects, 5 collaborators, 10 archived projects and 2 GB space. Collaborate with easy, use Notism.
Goodie is a professional web development service which will get your website designed and coded by professionals from only $999. The results are outstanding, discuss with Goodie experts for your next project.
Codester is a huge marketplace where web professionals can buy and sell scripts, app templates, website themes, plugins, and graphics. Everything you need can be easily found on the website.
Always check the Flash sale section where items with huge discounts are being sold.
If you want to make an extra income, sell your items on Codester, they don’t request exclusivity over your products.
Designhooks is loaded with awesome free stuff for web designers and developers. The website is very well structured, items being easily found. There are PSD Mockups, Sketch, HTML templates, WordPress themes and more.
Come and get all you need, it’s free.
Uncode is a pixel-perfect WordPress multiuse theme which you can use to build unlimited websites. It is loaded with layouts, icons and all the features you can think of. The drag and drop Visual Composer will help you build stunning pages, you don’t need to write a single line of code.
Pixpa is a powerful portfolio website builder with integrated e-commerce. The drag-and-drop builder is making wonders in terms of ease of work and functionalities. Everybody can use it without having any coding skills or experience.
You can try it for free for a period of 15 days to test all the features.
Format is a stunning free website template that can be used to create your next portfolio website. It is a perfect fit for designer, web studios, and agencies, with a gorgeous design and useful features. Check the demo and use it in your projects.
Chasing customers to send the content is a demanding and time-consuming task. Content Snare can do that for you in a few steps so you can focus on the work. You create “requests’ with all the piece of information you need from the client, you set a due date and a follow-up schedule and the rest is being handled by Content Snare. When the customer will send the content, you will be immediately notified.
The pricing starts at $29 per month.
uSocial.pro is a convenient builder of “Like” and “Share” buttons for your website. More than one hundred button designs with hover effect and counters will help you find a perfect match for any page. uSocial buttons are mobile-friendly and make it possible for your followers to share interesting content with their friends through Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram and SMS in one tap.
Whenever you want a beautiful logo in seconds and you want a budget-friendly solution, Instant Logo Design is the perfect software to help you. You simply enter the business name and you will get several options to choose from. The pricing starts at $29.
uCalc.pro is a service for creating custom calculators that need no coding skills. You can use a ready-made calculator template or show your creativity and make it from scratch. uCalc has many benefits: convenient editor of calculator fields with various design settings, all kinds of available fields (text, number, checkbox, radio button), contact data collection, SMS and email notifications, PayPal invoices, and even more.
InkyDeals is a powerful name in the design deal industry, being loaded with awesome, hugely discounted items. There are great bundles to get, gorgeous graphics, WordPress and Photoshop items and much more.
Always check the free deals and Best Deals section, great stuff can be found also there.
Subscribe for the daily newsletter so you can know what new deals are available.
Crello is a powerful visual editor that you can use to create gorgeous graphics, everybody can be a designer with this tool. It is packed with 60 million photos, 12,000 templates, 33 design formats and 12,000 free photos and vectors. Try it.
MailMunch will help you convert your website visitors into customers, subscribers, and long-time readers. The powerful built-in editor will help you create and customize gorgeous forms that will attract your visitors and convert them.
Start with the free forever plan and upgrade it when needed. The premium plans start from $15 per month.
Elementor is the Number 1 WordPress page builder with more than 900,000 users. The builder is lighting fast and can be used with any template you have installed and even if you change the theme, your designs will stay in place.
Try it and you will never let it go.
Controlio will help you monitor employees PC activity from anywhere. You will have real-time surveillance, screen capture, key logging and you will always know what apps and websites are being used.
The software can be used for employee monitoring, insider threats, and productivity optimization. All of that can help any business to grow.
UpTimeRobot is a service that will check your website downtime every 5 minutes (free plan) or every 1 minute (premium plans starting from $4.5 per month, billed annually). You will be notified very fast via e-mail, SMS, Twitter, Slack, HipChat, Telegram, push and web-hooks.
Never let your website stay offline.
InvoiceBerry is an online invoicing software for small businesses, sole traders, and freelancers. Business owners can sign up within 2 minutes and start sending their first invoices to clients. The pricing starts at $15 per month.
If you’re looking to create custom vinyl stickers, labels, decals, or other sticky products to market your brand, StickerYou has you covered. You can print any size, shape, and order quantity with StickerYou. Our products are perfect to hand out at events or sell to make extra money.
Foxy.io is a powerful and complete cart and payment page. You can use it to sell physical products, digital products, subscriptions, donations, services, and more. It integrates with WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Webflow, and anywhere you can add a link or embed html. Foxy.io supports more than 90 payment methods (ex: Stripe, Braintree, Authorize.net, Amazon Pay, Bitcoin, Apple Pay) and has powered billions of dollars in transactions for thousands of users all over the world. Be sure to check out their Success Stories page.
Pofo is a highly creative, modern, blazing fast and professionally built responsive multipurpose WordPress theme designed for use by creative individuals, teams, bloggers and agencies. Pofo features an outstanding selection of portfolio, blog and eCommerce design elements, and bundled with the popular and widely-used WPBakery page builder and Revolution Slider plugins.
RumbleTalk will help you add a web chat on your website without having any coding skills or previous experience. You can do it in a couple of minutes, offering your website visitors the possibility to quickly contact you. This can help increase the conversion rates while spending only a few bucks or even free (they have a free forever plan).
WrapPixel is offering great admin templates, UI Kits, Mega Bundles and even Freebies. Everything is handpicked, that’s why you will see that the quality of the products is outstanding. Check their portfolio.
The effect that each color has on us depends mostly on personal experience and association an individual has about the color. We already know that colors symbolize different abstracts from culture to culture, but on top of that, there is a personal psychological level which is a non reliable factor when we're choosing the brand color.
When we're thinking about branding, there is so much to consider depending on the product we're designing the brand for. True, a lot depends on the visual aspects of a brand, but we shouldn't forget everything else in order to make a harmonic holistic approach to the brand personality. Things such as the certain smell we use for the shop, texture, patterns, customer service, music. So besides what the color represents, we should think about whether it fits what we sell and does it match everything else in the brand?
The role color holds in the brand identity is to make it easily recognizable, which is of great importance to the consumerist brain. Another thing to consider is which colors our biggest competitors use and how can we help the customers make an easy differentiation between the companies. Although, this is not always the right way to go when creating a brand. For example, both Twitter and Facebook use the color blue, and they are both social networks. The reason behind the color they chose is in fact very practical - since using these platforms requires spending time looking at the screen, they chose the color which is most comfortable to the eye so their users can spend more time on the network.
To think like successful brands, we need to think about our consumers, and not about the colors themselves. First we need to know what kind of emotions we want our customers to feel when using our product or service. What do we provide for them? Comfort, pleasure, confidence, excitement?
There are five dimensions of brand personality: blue for honest, welcoming, sentimental and friendly feeling; red for exciting, bold, creative and independent; green for reliable, successful, confident and smart; purple for elite, feminine, pretty and sophisticated; yellow for tough, outgoing, strong.
What do you want your customers to feel when they buy what you sell? Find the dominant emotion and focus your brand around it - think about practical factors and how to match every aspect of the brand with the color you choose.
About the author
Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.
Also find out about a new online site that will help you to find in trend and hip designer clothing to look better.
The dresses that you choose for yourself will either make or break your life. That is just the first step. The colours that you choose for your dresses becomes more important for you because of their integrated psychological importance.
The colour wheel can help you to understand the relationship between different colours. And it can help you to choose the right clothes for yourself.
Primary colours- primary colours include red, yellow and blue. You cannot mix other colours to get these colours. Every other colour is derived from these colours.
Secondary colours-these are the colours that you can get by mixing primary colours at different proportions. For example, if you mix red and yellow, you will get orange; if you mix blue and yellow, you will get green and if you mix red and blue, you will get violet. These are known as the secondary colours.
Tertiary colours- these are the colours that you get by mixing a primary colour with a secondary colour.
The colour of your clothes reveal a lot about your personality type. Depending on the colour you choose or avoid, it can reveal a lot about your personality. Your dressing is a form of personal expression and by wearing specific clothes you are sending out messages to the world. Now the question is- Are you sending the right messages?
Colours play a major role in our lives by influencing our moods and emotions. A colour can make you feel secure or feel uneasy. It may happen because even though you are consciously not aware of the symbolic meanings of some colours, your subconscious is very much knowledgeable about them and so you feel different feelings about different colours of your dresses. One colour may mean something to you and something different to someone else.
Black colours-you need to have the perfect black dress that is flattering to your body in your closet. Black is important for you because it symbolises extremes which means all or nothing. It can mean strength, power, elegance, sophistication and authority.
Blue colours- blue colour cools and soothes. If you are wearing a blue colour, it is sending out the masses that you are a creative, positive, peace loving, and loyal person. It will also symbolises that you live by your own rules. People who generally like blue are smart, have a quick wit and are independent. Do you like blue?
Brown colours- brown colours symbolise things that are solid and grounded because it is the colour of the earth. If you wear a brown, you are sending out the masses that you are stable, smart and dependable.
Grey colours- if you wear a grey most of the time, it may mean that you are indifferent, depressed and apathetic. It may mean that you lack self-confidence and you are suppressive.
Silver colours-if you like metabolic colours like silver, it means that you are not shy, you are adventurous, hip and are for anything.
Red colours- red colours can help you to stand out and grab the spotlight. It symbolises the life and it’s a colour of energy. It is very empowering and it can provide you with lots of confidence. It is also associated with sensuality, aggression, passion and boldness.
Orange colours- orange is the colour which makes you open for new possibilities. It is associated with creativeness, enthusiasm, good times, warmth and ambition. It will make you appear a positive, energising and engaging mood.
Pink colours- in general pink is associated with femininity. However, it does not mean that men cannot wear anything pink. If he is comfortable with both the masculine and feminine side of his personality, he can definitely wear a pink dress and rock it. It is associated with unconditional love and it reduces aggression.
Purple colours- purple is the colour of royalty and it is also a symbol of wealth. It can help you to send out the masses that you are rich both materially and spiritually. It may help you to mean that you have a rich inner life, you are artistic and creative and you also have great instincts about people.
Yellow colours- yellow makes you logical, happy, optimistic and cheerful. It can be overpowering at some times. It will help you by encouraging intelligence and inspiration.
Green colours- green colour is associated with generosity, healing and a rejuvenated state of mind. It is also closely associated with nature and money it is a calming colour. If you wear a green, it will convey the masses that you are charismatic and you also care for other people.
White colours- white means cleansing and new beginnings. It helps you to look fresh and bright. White is also associated with balance, higher money, purity and courage.
After knowing about the relationship between colours, your personality and the masses you are sending out to the world, let’s find out more about the colours of the dresses brought in by one of the popular and successful destination for daring, exciting and edgy fashion- Zaful.com (Zaful). It is an online shop that specialises in offering most daring, exciting and edgy fashion apparel. If you’re looking for dresses in trend, design excellence and exceptional quality. If you’re looking for the latest and compelling designs for the fashionably hip people, you will find it here.
You can get ready for the summer with the new summer edit of Zaful. Whether you want tops, bottoms, dresses, bikinis, plus size clothing, everything is there. Dresses for sports and accessories are also available at the site. It is absolute favourite for summer outfits and swimwear as it is affordable, has a large selection, trendy and super chic.
Find out the latest collection of strapless dresses here.
And we bring you more info about so many new and different products which will help you to look gorgeous whenever you want.
From Milan to Milwaukee we're bringing all the best fashion colour ideas and inspirations together to help you design the right look, plan the perfect outfit or construct your new line- is what the fashion channel on ColourLovers is all about. And so you will find so many different some fashion colour ideas and inspirations at one place which you can use for your own creative and artistic designs, new product creation and construction of your new line. It will help you to find so many ideas about inspired cutting-edge fashion which is in an ahead of the trend.
It’s a tough world out there for freelance designers. You have to fight off agencies, other freelancers, and increasingly, design tools to get new clients.
Your skills and knowledge can only take you so far; to survive in this hostile, ultra-competitive environment, you need some business hustle and marketing chops.
This is where I come in. In this quick guide, I’ll share 3 tips and tactics you can use to explode your freelance career. Whether you’re a practicing freelancer or looking to start after getting inspired by ColourLovers, you’ll find these tactics more than handy:
Imagine that a client comes into an agency looking for a new website. Halfway through the project, he decides that the company’s current logo is too bland. So he asks the agency to design him a new one.
The trouble is, the agency has never offered logo design services before. But since it doesn’t want to turn away the client to a competitor, it happily agrees, even though it has no clue how it will actually deliver the logo.
This is where you can come in. As a freelance designer, you can “white label” your services to agencies.
White-labelling means that you’ll do the entire creative work, but the agency will take credit for it. In exchange, the agency will give you bulk work without having to deal with the problem of finding and serving clients.
For freelance designers, this is as good as it gets to a guaranteed income. If you can stick to the creative brief, agencies will love to offload their work to you. This is also a great way to build relationships and start creating your own agency.
Pricing services by the hour is standard practice in the creative industry. For agencies, it has its advantages – they can calculate costs easily, distribute resources across projects, and bill clients quickly.
For freelance designers, however, hourly billing isn’t always the best way to go. By exchanging your time for cash, you essentially limit your income. After all, you can only bill for a maximum of 24 hours in a day.
The solution? ‘Productize’ your services. This means moving away from hourly billing to a fixed-fee model.
In this model, you sell each service (such as logo design) for a fixed-fee. Clients also get a list of “features” with the service (such as 2 revisions or guaranteed 5-day deliver). This effectively turns your service into a ‘product’ that clients can purchase with the click of a button.
Productizing your services offers several benefits:
If you want to scale your income, productization should be high on your priority list.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed while running a project? Do you regularly lose track of key objectives? Do you struggle to juggle clients and change requests?
If yes, you might be suffering from project mismanagement syndrome.
So many freelancers fall into the trap of focusing so much on their creative craft that they completely neglect the project and business side of things. They use ad-hoc processes to break down complex projects, eyeball project estimates, and use email to keep track of open issues.
This might be fine when you’re working on tiny projects and small clients. But as your practice grows, you’ll realize that neglecting managerial best practices makes it impossible to run complex projects. In fact, you’ll even find that larger clients expect you to know the basics of project management.
While project management is a massive discipline in its own right (the PMP exam requires about 7,500+ hours of active project experience), here are a few things you should know:
Refer to this guide to project management to get started. You don’t have to know everything in it (you can skip ‘project management methodologies’, for instance), but even understanding the basics will help you stand out.
Being a freelance designer is difficult in this day and age. As much as you’d want to focus on your craft alone, you can’t ignore the importance of knowing business and project management tactics. Follow these three tips to take your freelance design business further than it’s ever gone before.
If there is anything most students dread even more than writing essays and term papers, it's giving an oral presentation. Almost nobody likes it and it can be very nerve-racking. You are being judged and critiqued in real time by both your professors and your classmates. It can make you feel like you're in a pressure cooker that's just about to blow.
The good news is that the anxiety and fear associated with giving an oral presentation doesn't need to cripple your performance or your chance to get a good grade. If you take the advice ahead and implement these seven ideas into the writing and delivery of your presentation, you'll do just fine.
#1 – Start With Good Writing
One of the advantages of presentations is that you don't have to be an expert essay writer or any kind of writing professional to stand out amongst your classmates. The language of a presentation is less formal, so you can write your script in a way that is more conversational than an academic paper. The freedom to do that should, in and of itself.
A well-drafted script, formatted like an essay or term paper, can help you get more comfortable with the information and its delivery. Start by drafting a comprehensive outline and build a script around that. It will help you organize your information and will decrease the likelihood of forgetting to include key details.
#2 – Study Your Draft
Once you have a solid draft written, read it over and over again. Resist the urge to make too many changes unless you spot some glaring errors or misinformation that needs to be revised. Getting familiar with the salient points in your script, along with the supporting details, will make it easier to transition to the next step.
#3 – Use Icons to Fortify Key Points
Remember that you are giving this presentation to a largely millennial audience that grew up on visuals as part of their overall communication style. Graphic interpretations of key concepts or those that accentuate your description or explanation of them will get you far. Make good use of icons in your visuals. They are a popular addition to many written conversations, so leverage them as powerful visual aids. Some great examples can be found here.
#4 – Make Good Use of Color in Your Visuals
Color is also a vital part of any visual presentation. Don't go the fast and easy route. Select templates and color schemes that accentuate the tone, mood, and feelings you are attempting to convey. Colorful visuals add an extra dimension to your presentation and can often go far toward clarifying key concepts or making your own thoughts and opinions clearer.
#5 – Use Your Personality to Your Advantage
Now comes the part where you need to deliver your presentation and you want that delivery to be as strong as possible. Stiff, practiced, monotone presentations are boring. They become interesting when the presenter adds his or her own personality to the delivery. Walk around, use your hands, use appropriate facial expressions. All of these things will help accentuate your message and keep your audience engaged.
#6 – “Um...” Don't Get Stuck
The curse of “um...” has taken down many a presenter. This is why you want to be as familiar as possible with your material and the structure of the presentation ahead of time. Silent pauses are much preferred to a nervous “um” so work those pauses in ahead of time.
#7 – Relax and Enjoy
Try to approach your presentation from an angle that personally interests you and organize the information in a way that is easy for you to understand. Doing so will boost your confidence along with the quality of your presentation. Don't try to impress with lofty details or ideas that are beyond the scope of the class. Stick with what you know and are being taught. It will earn huge points with your prof.
While we can't make the experience of giving a college presentation less scary, we hope that the above advice will help you at least feel more prepared when the time comes. Remember, out of all the things you'll be asked to write during your college career, this is actually one of the easiest so don't be daunted by the task. You've got this and we've got your back.
I’ve been working as a self-employed creative person for about 6 years. I say "creative person” because, even though for most of the time I worked as a graphic designer and illustrator - I had about 2-3 years when I also worked as a UI/UX designer for mobile apps and websites, which at the time seemed like a dream job for me. I know, you’re probably thinking it’s a big gap between designing apps and drawing things for a living, and you’re right, but I was always attracted to exploring different visual creative fields and I like how they can co-exist.
In all this time I’ve been working as a freelancer, which involves the whole package of finding clients, doing a briefing, planning a project, doing research and finally starting work on the actual designs. The process is pretty much the same for every new project I take, but of course it wasn’t always like this. Since I’m self taught, I didn’t always have a structure and I used to play it by the ear a lot back when I started, so I made many mistakes that in time helped me optimize the process I have now.
First of all, a little background. When I started, I had no experience as a designer, my background was in communication and a little marketing, so I had to learn Photoshop and Illustrator from scratch. It helped that I was always passionate about drawing, but not by much, since graphic design is pretty technical and I was very new to all of that. I also had to learn to find my first clients, deliver the work and get paid, even if I had no portfolio and nothing to show for my work. So I did the easiest thing at the time: started by using freelance platforms like Fiverr or Elance (now Upwork), asking for very little money (yes, I did logos for $5) and pitching my design skills to clients who had no idea who I was. It was hard work and the satisfaction of earning the first money on my own was incredible.
It took me a few months to become a decent designer and increase my fees, after which I started to find clients on my own, among my network. Ever since then, I never actively searched for design jobs, because I would always have people recommend me to other people or, once I got a little exposure on social media, I started receiving many emails from people who just happened to see my work and had a design proposal for me.
I would sometimes become so overwhelmed with the amount of work that came my way, that I would have to say no. That’s also when I learned another thing: as long as the demand for what you do is high, you can raise your prices and filter the projects you decide to take. I realized it's better for me to work on one big project that pays well, instead of working on 4-5 small projects that pay little money and take the same amount of energy as a big project, if not more.
So, after the first year in the business or so, I never had trouble finding clients. But I would say that I did two things from the very beginning, that I think helped me get clients in the long run:
Once a client approaches me for a job I’m interested in, the process usually goes like this: we have a first meeting where we both determine whether or not we can work together, and if everything goes well we exchange a few emails where I ask many questions, in order to create a brief and see what exactly my job will be. Based on that, I estimate the budget and I send them a quote. I usually like to work with project based fees as opposed to hourly rate, because I feel like the value of what I’m offering isn’t always about the hours I put in. Sometimes I might spend 3 hours to reach a concept, sometimes it might take me 20 hours, depending on the project. But the value for the client is always about the end results; and the amount of time I spend getting there isn’t always a good indicator of that value.
If the client is ok with the price, we sign the contract, I usually get an advance of 25% (or 50%, if it’s a smaller project) and I start working.
My favorite part, the creative one, usually starts later in the process. I first need to dig deeper into what the client needs. In my experience, there’s almost always a difference between what the client says they need and what they actually need. So it’s my job as a designer to do my homework and make sure I ask as many questions as possible in order to get the bigger picture.
If it’s a visual identity project, for example, there is a lot to figure out before I start to design. I usually start by doing research about the brand, get as much info as possible on their core values, their goals, how their customers perceive them vs. how they want to be perceived (many times there are surprises here), I do research on the competition etc. This is very useful in order to offer the client a real solution, other than just execute what they say they need.
Once I have everything clear, I usually start by defining the brand’s personality, along with the client, and creating a tone of voice for the brand, which are the base for everything that follows. All the designs, communication, vibe of the brand, everything relies on these things we define. Ideally, these should be done by an agency, if the client has one, but if they don’t, these are steps you shouldn’t skip, if you want to offer quality work that will last in time. Your client will appreciate you more for it.
Once we have this structure, it’s a lot easier coming up with a concept and creating the graphic standards around it. Because once you can define “who is the brand?”, “what is it like?”, “what adjectives you can attribute to it?” and other such questions often used in branding, it’s easy to come up with fonts, the color palette and so on. If the brand is formal and conservative, you go with a certain font and choice of colors (taking into account what services they offer, also). If the brand is playful, innovative and cheeky, you might choose a friendly font, you might use hand lettering, playful illustrations and so on.
So design has very much to do with context. This is why it’s always a red flag for me when a client says they want their logo in blue because it's their wife's favorite color. Or that they want something similar to someone else’s design (and send me a picture). I can always do that, it’s the easiest thing for me to execute and take the money, but I never do it, because: 1. they probably won’t be happy and will keep coming back for revisions, since that wasn’t what they “really” wanted; 2. because I love what I do and a big part of that is knowing that my work has real purpose.
Here’s a story on that subject. I once had a client who hired me to design his upcoming online teaching platform. When I asked him what kind of logo he wants, he told me he loves the Apple logo and wants something like that. Of course, my designer mind immediately went to the bitten apple symbol, used mainly on grey or black, with a super simple font assigned to the brand. I could do that. But was that what he really wanted? So I started asking question after question, trying to understand what exactly about the Apple logo he liked. Ten minutes later, I got to the conclusion that what he actually wanted was a brand that was "as respected and desired as Apple is". So what he wanted was not the logo, but rather the character of the brand, and he subconsciously associated that with the logo ?
This is why you need to ask questions beyond what the client claims they want.
Creating the logo and everything else involved usually starts once all this is made clear. And I usually put all this in a document and send it to the client to confirm.
Back when I started out, I would usually create 3-4 concepts of a logo and send them to the client to choose which one he liked best. Now, I prefer to work on just one concept, which I consider to be the best solution, and work from there. I always explain my point to the client and I always have objective arguments, so that they can make a decision taking into account my expertise. Many times, the client doesn’t agree with you, but when you explain it to them, they might change their mind and trust you more because of that.
When I pick a color palette, I start from all the above, but once I have it narrowed down to a few color ideas, I start looking for inspiration. I like using color palette websites (colourlovers.com has been my go to for years), but also Pinterest or Instagram accounts like @designseeds. Another favorite is Dribbble, where you can enter a color code and see all the combinations of colors used containing that one color (you can even filter according to the percentage of color present in each composition). It’s an amazing tool when you’re in search of ideas.
In this stage, I always like to create a moodboard of imagery that speaks to me, like a collage of color palettes, fonts, patterns, illustration styles and so on. They can be images I find on Pinterest, Instagram, photos I take on the street, images of other work I might have done before, anything that catches my eye. The purpose of this is to immerse myself in the atmosphere of the project and get a better idea of what I want to create. This moodboard, along with a list of keywords that are assigned to the brand, are the starting point to my design process.
Once I have the visual style ready and approved, I create a visual identity manual where I write down how everything should be used. Things like versions of the logo, dont’s of the logo with examples like: never stretch the logo, never place X version on a black background, never use the typeface without the symbol or whatever etc, so basically graphic rules. I state what the main font is, what the secondary font is (for both digital and print), what the color palette is (with all color codes), what is the minimum size for the logo in print and you should never make it smaller than that, what kind of imagery is associated with the brand (you might notice there are brands that always use sepia or black and white photos, or brands that always use photos from an up close angle, very detail focused) - all of this is stated in the brand manual.
You usually learn all these specifics over time and after doing many such projects, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look at other brands’ manuals and study how they do it (you can usually find them to download online, or if you have friends who work in advertising or print, they have easy access).
This is pretty much the whole creative process. Once all these rules are set (and verified, because you must be sure it all works together the way you designed it), I design all the materials needed. That’s usually divided in two: digital materials (website, social media etc) and print materials (which can vary from stationery to promotional materials or packaging). When I do print I always use a Pantone color code in order to check that the colors I pick are true (and even then, it depends on the type of paper they print it on, but that’s a long discussion). The deliverables can include editable files or not (depending on what we previously agreed on) and I like to use Dropbox to share them.
What is something I know now and wished I'd known before?
That the more time I put in improving the brief and narrowing down all the info, the more chances are that I will come up with a design that my client is happy with from the start - and therefore they won’t ask for many revisions, which I know is a nightmare for designers in the early stages of their careers. This is something that used to frustrate me a lot too, and sometimes I felt like the client is capricious and can’t make up his mind.
The truth is, if you communicate well and you spend time listening and asking questions, you will more likely be on the same page with your client. I used to be afraid to do that, because I thought if I asked too many questions they will lose patience and become annoyed. But on the contrary, they will end up trusting you more, because you help them define what they want. And right there is why they pay you their money, that’s the value you provide for them.
What do you think about Miruna's story? Did you learn something from her experience? Did she inspire you? Let us know in the comments below.
There are different principles when choosing a color scheme. Based on these you can put together color combination for any type of website. It is essential to know the purpose of the website right at the start. It’s obvious that you would pick different colors for outpatient clinic, for a restaurant etc.
Proven color combinations
The basic know-how of every designer is the ability to sense which color scale to apply when creating a website. There is a large number of variables involved in the website building process which can limit the designer’s creativity. One of the factors mentioned previously is the purpose of the website. There exist proven color combinations in this regard. What does it mean?
That they simply fit together.
On the one hand the individual colors and shades blend in. They may be monochromatic or complementary; or opposite. Simply these are any colors which fit into standardized color schemes.
On the other hand there are color combinations that users subconsciously associate with certain type of industry. Furthermore, the right selection of colors increases the click rate and page conversion.
As such color combinations are universal for certain website types, they became a guide or an aid for designers. Why to think of something that has already been invented and already brings the results?
Why all medical websites are white
Proven color schemes become a must-have for specific types of WordPress templates and websites. The associations these colors invoke for the users are the reason why these color scales can be recycled and repeatedly used for the given industry. And these color combinations will never go out of fashion.
White color will always be the designer’s first choice for creating medical websites, websites for doctors or dentists; because it is associated with the cleanliness, airiness and sterile environment (which is characteristic for hospitals etc.).
In addition, white color is absolutely perfect for any minimalist business webpage.
Also, it is not accidental that you come across a blue color whenever you open a bank or insurance website. Blue color (especially in dark shades) combines respectability, reliability and strength - the attributes that clients expect from financial institutions. But also from companies. Blue color will therefore always be a good choice for corporate websites and for Directory portals.
Analogous to white or blue color, there are also other colors that call up certain associations. Green color is related to environment or healthy lifestyle websites, black color to luxury product pages and so on.
How to choose the right color for the layout
Another factor that affects the use of a particular color scheme is the template layout itself. Not all the color schemes can be used universally for each layout type - the arrangement of individual elements can limit the color selection.
There are 2 completely different approaches to layout creation - Grid layout (or Card design layout) and Broken Grid layout.
Grid layout allows you to experiment with images
When working with Grid layout, you can choose from several color scales depending on the website type. For the presentation and business websites you can use more bold color combinations and shinier shades.
Apart from presentations, Grid Layout is often applied for websites with large amount of photos and content, such as portfolios, blogs and case studies.
If the Grid layout is used for portfolio, website color scheme should be simpler. Images in portfolio are highly colorful. Neutral colors should be used as a base, so that portfolio items can stand out. Thanks to simple colors it is possible to add and combine different photos - both color and type. Beware, however, of their composition.
You have to anticipate when using Broken Grid layout
Broken Grid layout is a new approach that violates the rules of organized boxy layout design. Since the main principle of Broken Grid layout is seemingly random placement of elements on the website and their overlapping, the selection of right colors is essential.
Therefore we recommend to sensitively consider color scale and ask yourself if it is suitable for this layout type. Will it visually fit together with other graphic elements, embedded pictures or typography?
Source: Multimedia Guides in Culture.pl
Where to find inspiration for your next website?
Even though design blogs and portals can be a good source of inspiration for color scale selection, WordPress themes as such often use proven color combinations therefore can provide useful guidance too. It requires some sense for colors, but remember that sometimes less is more, especially if you’re a beginner.
You will certainly pick your design WordPress template from 70 unique business and directory templates made by Ait Themes.
If it was a Jeopardy question, would you be able to identify the present status of the national terrorist threat level without guessing? That’s what we thought. As presently configured, this color-coded warning system seems to have all the gravitas of the flag rotation at the beach that advises of strong undertow or the presence of too many jellyfish in the water. Actually, the resemblance is uncanny. Each has a five-color system that seems to randomly land on a selection depending on what a lifeguard or the Director of Homeland Security had for breakfast. Is it time to simplify our terrorist warning system from five flags to three?
The History of the Flag System
Color has a powerful influence on humans, shaping our moods and having a larger than you might imagine effect on your personal opinion of any particular day. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, officials in the newly created Department of Homeland Security decided a color-coded system was the best way to gain the attention of the average citizen, enabling them to discern at a glance the prevailing overall threat level, ranging from Green for “low risk of terrorist attacks” to Red for “severe risk of terrorist attacks.” In the near two decades since its establishment, the Threat Level Advisory System has been adjusted 17 times, the last in 2006 when it settled on Yellow, a “significant risk of terrorist attacks.”
Recently, the Homeland Security Advisory Council decided there might be a few too many flags and they may drop the bottom two, presumably on the theory that there’s a good chance we’ll never have a “Low” or “Guarded” state of affairs again. We can look to Israel for guidance here. Think they ever let their guard down? We’re guessing not. And presumably, five flag colors upon which our life depends is deemed more than the average citizen can keep up with
Stay Out of the Water and Watch for Madmen in Trucks
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano received the bad news from her council in the form of an official letter describing the current public indifference and lack of confidence in the Threat Level Advisory System. Though some panel members were in favor of scrapping the colored threat system entirely, the current non-binding recommendation is to move to a simplified three-color system that includes:
Yellow: A “guarded” state in the nation that urges all citizens to assume “standard” vigilance against potential terrorist action. This would be the new lowest threat level.
Orange: An “elevated” suspicion level in which protective measures are implemented upon the basis of specific information regarding a terrorist plot. An example - Johnny Jihad gets on Facebook and threatens to blow up the Super Bowl.
Red: This “high” alert level is intended to exert maximum protective measures against an ongoing or imminent terrorist action.
Keep the Politics Out
One of the compelling reasons to change the color-coded threat system, according to the council, is a recent revelation in former Homeland Security head honcho Tom Ridge’s book, The Test of Our Times, that members of George W. Bush’s cabinet urged him to increase the national threat level in the days leading up to the 2004 presidential election, theorizing that the move would go a long ways towards securing a second term for the sitting president.
Obviously, this kind of political chicanery doesn’t do much to increase public trust. Now the politicians at Homeland have decreed that the new system, “for reasons of public credibility,” won’t be politicized. They go on to assure us in the most insistent of terms that the new threat level will be changed only when public safety and security compels it. Riigghht. We'll believe it when we see it.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the world is a squirrelly place; it doesn’t seem we’re safe online or off. For the former, there are legitimate security steps you can take to protect yourself. With the latter, it may very well make all the sense in the world to simplify the Threat Level Assessment System, but the way to gain credibility is not to claim there will be no politics involved. That’s an insult to Americans everywhere. Of course, there will be politics involved. Politicians can’t help themselves. The best we can hope for is that, along the way to politicizing this new system, they might inadvertently do a good thing for the rest of us.
I was working as a graphic designer in 2006. I was fortunate enough to work in a small company with a very good boss. He employed me as a designer but he knew I liked to draw and gave me a chance to learn more about it at work place. Even if I had something to design he was always giving me free time to experiment with drawing anything no matter if that was related to the current project or not.
At that point I was sort of searching for myself in a wrong way, and also experimenting with drugs. My drawings looked like this:
I keep this artwork that dates to the beginning of my career as a reminder and a storyteller of my artistic and personal development. I also use it to see how much I've grown as an artist. It is still available in my portfolio at Behance. What you'll see in this folder is not something we can call illustrations that you could sell for big money. So, the first piece of advice would be: if you want to become a successful illustrator, don't try to draw like this.
Well… I think there were a few people and things combined together that made me successful.
It may sound unreal but it's actually logical. You are the center of everything in your life. What you think and feel, the way you perceive reality... it all influences the way you see the world and how you react to it. If you are at peace with yourself, you will be in harmony with the outside as well. Your attention and how to what you choose to dedicate it can transform your life.
For sure it was worth it! The only thing I would have done differently would be not taking up a couple of orders that I knew from the start would be a lost cause. I am talking about the ones where the customer didn’t know what they wanted nor why they wrote to me.
What do you think about Fil's story? Can you identify with it? Does it make sense? Do you have a story you'd like to share for COLOURLOVERS blog?
Tell us about it! We're dying to hear.