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Colours and how they influence your life


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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

 

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

 

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.

 

The fashionable dress colours for the summer 2018

 

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.

The summer edit is 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.

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3 Unconventional Tips to Scale Your Freelance Design Business


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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:

 

  1. White-label your services to agencies

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.

 

  1. ‘Productize’ your services

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:

  • You can scale easily since you’re not limited by the number of hours.
  • Productizing can hide the actual effort involved in delivering a service, allowing you to charge more for less work.
  • Products are easier to sell since there is no lengthy sales process or consultation call.

If you want to scale your income, productization should be high on your priority list.

 

  1. Use project management best practices

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:

  • How to break down complex projects into their constituent deliverables
  • How to develop communication and stakeholder management plans
  • How to create a change management plan to track issues and requests

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.

 

Conclusion

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.  

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7 Ideas to Craft a Beautifully Designed and Informative College Presentation


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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.

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From a self-taught UX designer to a successful creative entrepreneur: interviewing Miruna Sfia


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.

Finding clients

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:

  • I took time for personal work, which meant experimenting, playing around with ideas, techniques, styles etc, which is very important because it allows you to play freely and unlock new ideas which you can later use in your paid work.
  • I shared everything I did online. When I was starting out I had this blog called Friday Illustrated, where I would interview artists and designers in order to learn from them (and this was a huge resource for me, in terms of learning). And almost every artist I looked up to said the same thing: always put your work out there, either through a blog or on social media or whatever, but just finish a piece, share it with people and move on to the next. And I started doing that, which helped a lot with getting exposure, over time. People get used to what you do and to your style and they always recommend you to others, or want to work with you when they need something designed - and that’s how I got my first big clients. They were people from my community, from my network, who were starting a business or wanted to redesign their brand and approached me, because they’d been seeing my work on Facebook for years and loved my style.

 

Briefing

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.

 

Creative process

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.

You can follow Miruna's work on Instagram and Behance.

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.

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Selection of Colors based on Page Layout


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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.

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Assessing Threat Levels by Colour


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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.

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From drugs to art: An honest interview with illustrator Fil Dunsky


 

1. Tell us about the time when you were starting out. How was that like? Did you have a specific plan for your career?

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.

 

 

2. What was the thing or who was the person that helped your career the most? In what way?

Well… I think there were a few people and things combined together that made me successful.

  • Office competition. There was a guy in the office I worked in who, too, had a passion for drawing. He showed me the basic principles which I am still using. He  ignited my passion for drawing with his passion and commitment. He inspired me to learn more. Every morning we would come to work showing each other  illustrations or sketches which we had done at home the previous night before going to bed. This started resembling a silent competition between the two of us. Whenever he'd show me something I thought was great, it made me immediately want to do something cool to show off as a response. That’s how it started.
  • Favorite illustrator. He also introduced me to my favorite illustrator Oksana Grivina. I fell in love with her style right away and I wanted to learn how to do it. I started to research and collect all her work looking through each and every pixel, trying to replicate it. My own style started shaping up while I was copying her.
  • Living example of success. Another great guy and one of my best friends Andrey Gordeev worked full-time in the office on the opposite side of our hometown Khabarovsk. He used his nights to draw amazing illustrations for Moscow magazines. Gradually he started to get amazing overseas orders. By the time he had done few advertising illustrations for American Colgate, his skills and earnings motivated me to continue learning illustration. Working at the office and going to work every day was a routine for me. I didn’t want to do it for the rest of my life. Andrey was my role model of a successful freelance illustrator.
  • Personal qualities. Another amazing thing that happened to me was getting introduced to yoga. I was searching for myself in drugs but when I first came to a yoga class, I felt it gave me so much more than drugs even could. I felt it gave me back a peaceful state of mind: my head cleared up from all the thoughts that were bothering me, I felt I always had high energy level and I felt good. It gave me the strength to do something. It made me focus on one thing easily. So I started to do yoga daily and it helped me overcome my addictions and bad habits. I also noticed my bad attitude to other people was transformed, I changed the way I was interacting with family members and it positively impacted all the other aspects of life.

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.

3. We could say you’re a famous artist now. Could you tell us about your struggles to get here? What were the challenges? What were the hardships?

  • I am helpless in drawing. When I was starting, this was my first thought every time I was unable to sell illustrations or make the sketch just the way I imagined it. It is absolutely fine to make mistakes. What you should do is not waste your energy on emotions. It's better to shift your focus and use the same energy to see what you don’t like and how can you improve it.
  • Thinking about the work 24/7. There were lots of projects almost every day. Years of work. Whenever I would walk outside to get a break, I was thinking I have to work. During the lunch time, I was thinking that I am wasting my time, I should work now instead. When I was freelancing under the shadows of a palm trees - I was thinking the same thing again. Whenever and whatever I had been doing I was thinking about work. This was really stressful and it took me 6 years to make life-work balance. Yoga helped in my case.
  • Waiting for an invitation. I never ever offered my illustration services to anybody because it I don't think it works that way. When you are the one that's offering, it means you asking someone to do you a favor. It’s like begging. When your customer comes to you - you have the upper hand. You are in the winning position and you can dictate your own terms and requirements. You can raise the price higher. Because they want you personally to draw it. It’s challenging to behave this way: simply letting go and doing your best creating beautiful things, uploading them to all the social media platforms and just waiting. Once I’ve realized that I took the lead in the situation.
  • Thinking impossible. It was hard to believe that some deadlines are possible to achieve. It was even harder to imagine putting a higher price on my illustrations. But as long as you start thinking about impossible as achievable, you will not get it. Like getting an order for say Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Success is just out of your comfort zone and the line of your sight.

4. Was it worth it? What would you have done differently?

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.

5. If you could give an advice to aspiring artists trying to make it, what would that be?

  • Copy-Paste. Don’t be afraid to copy others works while starting out. It doesn’t mean you should put them in your portfolio saying they're yours but do it just as a study. Try to adopt others ideas, color palettes, compositions or way of working and you will see fast improvements. People made lots of research regarding the same thing before you and they've already made lots of mistakes so you don’t have to start from scratch.
  • Fake it until you make it. If you want more people to see your work, don’t write  comments like “Please, go through my portfolio, I’ve just posted a new project…” You'll attract more attention to your projects if you apply logos of big and famous companies. I'm not saying you should lie. You should add a tiny caption explaining how that is a made-up project and you're just dreaming about working with big clients. This really makes sense. People usually DO NOT READ. They will look and think you're already working with those brands. This worked in my case on Behance as I really started to work with famous companies.
  • Practice every day. Draw every single day. Draw everywhere. Draw everything you see and like. And just relax. Enjoy the journey.

You can find Fil on Behance,  Facebook, Instagram

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.

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How to download YouTube videos safely


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You need a very good downloader to download YouTube video safely. Even though there are hundreds of such downloaders available, finding the right one can be little time-consuming and you may need to do some good research. The best downloader will have some definite advantage over the general downloaders which are available today. The following factors are very important in choosing a downloader which will help you to download you Tube video safely.

Speed up the downloader

Speed of the downloader is very important. There are some downloaders which are very sluggish and they need few hours to download a simple video. You cannot wait hours for the downloader to download a video. You need a downloader which will download your videos with a fast speed. There are some YouTube video downloader apps which will download a two-hour full HD video in just four minutes. Such fast downloaders use the multithread technology and as a result of that you get the benefit of getting your video within few seconds.

Supports any format

Find a video downloader that will allow you to download You Tube videos in any format. Which should download the videos in MP4, WebM, 3GP, FLV formats. You should also be able to save any YouTube music as MP3 files. Such a downloader should be able to rip web links to AVI, MKV, WMV, iPhone, PSP, Android, phones, etc.

Save several videos at once

Your downloader should allow you to save several videos at once. There are many downloaders which does not allow this feature. Would you like to keep downloading videos one by one doing everything manually? Definitely not. You need a downloader which will help you to save time by saving several videos at once as you want.

Original quality

Just make sure that the downloader you are using preserves the original quality of the videos. If you get a low quality video that you cannot use or which is very much pixilated, what is the use of downloading the video? It is just a waste of your time and Internet. You need a downloader which will preserve the original quality. Some of the downloaders may even help you to improve the quality by allowing you to download in a higher resolution. It is also important that your downloader allows you to download 4k and full HD videos. With time, the quality of the videos in you Tube and other sites are increasing and so you downloader should be able to handle the latest type of videos and download it for you within a short time. Find a downloader that supports different qualities such as 4K, 1440p, 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p, 240p, 180p.

Ability to limit download speed

It is important for people with slow Internet connection to limit the download speed. However, most of the downloaders are not sophisticated enough to allow such ability to limit download speed. However, there are some very good downloaders available which will allow you to limit download speed according to your wish. Choose a downloader which has this facility.

Ability to download from different sites

There are some downloaders which will allow you to download videos only from a few sites. On the other hand there are downloaders which will help you to download such videos from 10,000 sites. Which one will you choose? You should be able to capture online videos easily from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch, LiveLeak, Veoh, local and adult sites.

Freemake Video Downloader is a downloader that have all the above mentioned features. It lets you download YouTube videos and 10,000 other sites; save videos, playlists, channels in HD, MP4, MP3, AVI, 3GP, FLV, etc. It is absolutely free. Download it here

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Top 10 free photo directories you can use for your next creative project


Searching for that right image for your creative project can be tiresome. You put in a lot of time, patience and dedication, and when you finally find the perfect one, it is copyrighted and you cannot use it for your client or your friend’s commercial project. On the other hand, even worse, the resolution is so bad that you can barely see the shapes as soon as you zoom. Sounds familiar?

Well, struggle no more; you have come to the right place. Today we list ten of our favorite photo directories whose photos you can use stress free. They are all high quality and free from copyright restrictions. They all fall under the CC0 – creative commons license that allows you to use them without the previous permission of the photographer for both commercial and personal projects.

We list them in no specific order, as they are all special in their own way. Tell us which one is your favorite!

 

Unsplash

Unsplash is fueled by a community of generous photographers that give away their high-resolution photos free of charge. The site’s main values are sharing, caring and creating. Even the big companies like Squarespace, Medium, Slack and Trello use these photos. On Unsplash you can find different categories of photos ranging from landscape to business and food photography. Alternatively, you can explore their curated collections.

 

 

Negative space

All of the photos you find here are high-resolution images placed under sixteen curated categories, which makes it easy to find exactly what you are searching for.

 

 

Kaboompics

If you are searching for royalty-free stock photo database, you have come to the right place. Kaboompics is currently a photo directory containing almost 6000 images, with more than 80.000 users visiting it every month. All the photos are presented together with a 6-colours palette that is generated from the image itself followed by HEX codes and ready to be used instantly. A great thing you find on Kaboompics and do not see on many other photo directories is the data about the details of how the photo is taken: aperture, ISO, exposure and the lens type. These options and their blog can be of great help to everyone learning photography.

 

 

Stosksnap

Stocksnap’s photos will surprise you. You will be able to find various imagery from animal photos to business and fashion. Many already have applied filters so if you like them as they come, you can use them without additional editing.

Besides by using the search bar, you can search through images by categories, number of views and downloads, date or how a photo is trending and you can see the most favorite photos on the directory.

 

 

Gratisography

Ryan McGuire created and curates the awesome directory that is updated once a week with creative, fresh images. Gratisography is very specific in its content as all the photos are unpredictable, quirky and funny. You can search through six categories (animals, nature, objects, people, urban, and whimsical) or subscribe to get weekly bundles. He also offers bundles containing an unpublished bonus photo which you can buy for as low as 5$ to help him cover his expenses.

 

 

Pexels

Pexel is a directory with a goal to empower the creators giving them the freedom to use not only CC0 licensed photos but also videos. They currently have over 40,000 photos and upload around 3,000 high-res photos per month. Another awesome thing you can find on Pexels is the design break, a website that helps designers take five and amuse themselves by stumbling upon random inspirational stuff: watch topical videos, discover new websites, guess colors and much more.

 

 

Foodies Feed

If you are blogging about food or you need high quality photos of food for a cookbook for instance, you can find those on Foodies Feed. There are plenty of food images to choose, whether you are searching for indoor or outdoor images, with or without people in the shot. The website was founded three years ago and it had more than 1 million downloads since.

 

 

Jay Mantri

“Free pics. Do anything. Make magic.” is how the founder and main contributor, Jay, welcomes you to the site. You can choose from various content, including videos and quotes. Seven new photos are uploaded every Thursday.

 

 

Bucketlistly

Bucketlistly is actually a platform where you can list your bucket list goals and become inspired by the goals of other travelers, but its photo gallery is still an invaluable asset with more than 5000 images shot at different locations around the world. It is the go-to photo directory for travel bloggers, travel companies and guides. You can search by simply clicking on the world map or selecting the country tags below it.

 

 

Life of Pix

And last but not the least, Life of Pix is a platform that promotes one photographer/collaborator each month on social media and website. This directory, besides offering royalty free high quality photos, lets you be a part of a big community of photographers: customize your public profile to create an online portfolio, follow favorite photographers and have a look at all the photos you have liked.

It also offers CC0 video content.

 

 

Let us know which one you like the best. Is there any other CC0 directory you would like to add to the list?

 

About the author:

Ana Maksimovic is the community manager and editor at Colorlovers. Part-time traveler and part-time web and graphic designer, she loves working with sustainable brands. She supports circular economy and good businesses and writes about social entrepreneurship. She is passionate about photography and nature -  a never-ending source of inspiration.

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5 Premium Web Tools & Services That Will Help You A Lot


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Startups, entrepreneurs and company owners are spending a lot of time to grow their businesses. It’s not an easy task, the competition is strong and efficiency is something you wake up and go to sleep with. Luckily, there are premium solutions that can help you achieve awesome results.

After a couple of months of research, we are ready to share with you this showcase of 5 premium web tools and services that will help you cut costs, deliver on time and get new customers. You will find a logo and brand design service, two solutions for better-converting visitors into customers, a highly respected supplier of Premium Bootstrap themes, templates, and UI Kits. The 5th tool is Themify Ultra Theme, it is a powerful WordPress theme packed with everything you can think for.

Please share the article with your friends and leave your comments below.

 

 

 

When you first use Tailor Brands, it’s easy to miss out on all the amazing processes going on behind the scenes as the platform creates a logo for you. The company’s full-service branding suite delivers unique results and graphics that look professional, at a fraction of the cost. It starts with a few simple questions designed to help the company’s advanced AI match your preferences with its vast library of designs, color combinations, texts, and logotypes. Once it has uncovered a good match, Tailor Brands’ logo maker delivers a final product that becomes the basic building block of your branding.

The company’s full-service suite includes several other complementary tools like fully branded business materials. These include branded letterheads, presentation templates, business cards, and full EPS files to create branded swag and gifts for clients and visitors. Moreover, Tailor Brands produces a brand book for your company, making it easy to manage your strategy and ensure your logo and brand always shine through in the best possible light.

To get started on the social media front, the company provides a practical toolkit to boost your efforts. This begins with a weekly planner for posting that comes with ready-to-upload ads, posts, and covers that can be fine-tuned as needed. For flexibility, you can add your own posts or manage the planner as you see fit. Tailor Brands also includes a Facebook ad creator to help you gain exposure if you’re using a paid traffic strategy.

If you’re looking to get online quickly and have a polished, but simple presence, you can also use the company’s landing page maker, which presents you via a one-page introduction for potential clients and users to visit alongside a way get in touch with you.

For a $2.99 basic monthly subscription and a $10.99 monthly full-service branding suite, Tailor Brands offers you beautiful designs and branding at a fraction of the cost of a professional designer.

Price: Starting from $2.99 / month.

 

  1. Convertful

 

Convertul is highly appreciated, including by the marketing guru Neil Patel, for quickly converting visitors into leads and customers. It works with all website and eCommerce platforms, but also with all major email marketing software. In short, it works for anyone.

They are offering 50+ responsive and beautifully designed templates, a powerful drag and drop builder with whom you can easily add, move, and delete each form’s element, such as text, images, buttons, videos, follow buttons, page sharing controls, and countdown timers.

Convertful is packed with a lot of useful features like A/B testing, real-time analytics, dynamic data capture and much more. You should check their website for more info.

Sign-up for free and convert „cold” site visitors into leads.

Price: $29 / Year

 

 

 

 

Creative Tim is a highly appreciated place for web designers and developers where they can find Admin themes, Dashboards, UI Kits, Landing Pages, Free and premium templates and much more, everything based on Bootstrap 4, Vuejs, React and Angular. All their products have a great quality and were made with huge attention to details. Save time by having everything at your disposal and have a quicker and easier web development process.

It is already used by more than 300,000 happy people and numbers quickly increase. Their freebies are under the MIT license and they are offering 3 bundles with lots of things included. The Big Bundle has everything Creative Tim is offering and costs $249 for the personal license, the price being 80% reduced.

Browse Creative Tim and pick what you need.

Price: Depending on the product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon is one of the best-invented things, it helps us a lot to quickly sale and buy items. LandingCube is used to create highly engaging and converting Amazon landing pages that can be fully customized with branding, product images, descriptions, videos from YouTube, Vimeo and all major providers, FAQ, 5-star reviews and much more.

LandingCube gives you the option to capture emails in exchange for coupon codes. Once you capture someone’s email, you can market to her in the future. The possibilities are nearly endless: create your own product launch list, drive sales or stay in touch with customers using a weekly newsletter.

Sign-up for a free 14-day trial and check all the features they are offering. Having more sales is easy and it will greatly help you on the long run, as you will drive external traffic (Facebook, blogs, Pinterest etc), separate from what Amazon is pointing to you.

Price: Starts from $19 / month.

 

  1. Themify Ultra Theme

 

 

Ultra Theme is a powerful WordPress theme packed with tons of features and the latest technologies. Ultra now comes with design skins and pre-made demo sites! The skin not only transforms the site's design appearance but can also help you to set up a real sample site within minutes. With just a single click, you can import the demo setup that includes the theme settings, content, menus, widgets, etc., exactly like our theme demos. This is a time saver for creating client sites.

Price: $49 – Standard license.

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