Make Animations Online - And More!


It is never too late to discover new digital tools that make your life easier! Today, we are giving you 9 software that can help you cut your working hours and simplify your design solutions, as well as inspire new ideas when you feel lost.

 

1 Venngage

 

Venngage is here to help you with your visual storytelling. This platform creates infographics for you - all you have to do is choose the perfect template, insert your data and customize. You can either sign up for free or pick one of the paid plans for more advanced features.

 

2 Animaker

 

Animating was never easier than with this animation machine. Choose your graphics, drag, drop, play and let your creativity shine. Animaker gives you six animation styles, which you can combine any way you want, to create a unique content you need. They offer a free plan, but the pricey ones aren't all that pricey either.

 

3 PS Express

 

Adobe Photoshop Express, an application from Adobe Systems, makes image editing and collage making on mobile phone a breeze. It's also free. Plug your imagination and creativity and get more from Adobe. It is available on iOS, Android and Windows phones, and tablets, while surprisingly easy to use.

 

4 BeFunky

 

BeFunky is a creative platform for photo editing, collages, and graphic design. Their main advantage is that it's super user-friendly, made for everyone, regardless of designer experience. Its funky layouts make it attractive for social media designers, although their mega long adds don't keep your attention and literary shout to you how big the competition is, making them not stand out as much.

 

5 Lightroom

 

Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Systems image manipulation software, is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and tvOS. You can import, organize, tag, edit, and share plenty of digital images. Why should you choose Lightroom? Their user-friendly interface and a whole 1TB of cloud storage! They operate under a Trialware license, so you can try it out first, to see if it fits.

 

6 Pixlr X

 

Pixlr X is the next generation of Pixlr editing. With their smart tools, Pixlr x makes editing faster, efficient, optimized and more sophisticated. It's great to quick fixes to your photo, but also fancy and reliable for professional editing. Easy navigation and digital drawing combined with photography are what makes Pixlr X stand out. Not a fan? Don't worry, Pixlr is still available for all users. Pixlr X, Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Pro or Pixlr Express? Web or Mobile? The choice is all yours.

 

7 Placeit

 

This brilliant app lets you imagine beyond your possibilities as a designer. Create everything with only one app - logos, social media designs, but also mock-ups and videos! They have nearly 30 000 templates waiting for you to play around with them and turn them upside down for your special project. Mock-ups were never so close and so beautiful. Slide, drop, resize, slideshow, gif around, all that while looking incredibly cool. 

 

8 Infogram

 

Get more of infographics and reports with infogram.com! This is more than a designer software, it is a platform for collaborations, where you can brand every design to fit your companies guidelines. Create a custom template and never worry about brand colors again! This doesn't make things easier only for you, but for the whole team to stay in the framework of your branded voice. Achieve more by making your designs interactive and engaging for the audience. Get analytics data for the impact of your infographics, track interactions, shares, and experience. Their basic plan is free, forever, so you're out of excuses to not give it a go!

 

9 Desygner

 

Desygner is made for desygners, not designers. It offers simplified design solutions and easy-to-use interface. Also, their logo is pretty cool. You can have it on your PC or your phone, drag and drop elements, customize color, text, font, and images; play around with layers and different effects. All that for no money at all. Handy, and doesn't take up much space or RAM.

 

As you already noticed from our articles, and your research in the world of software for visual expressions, there are countless options, possibilities, restrictions, open-source or pricey, useful, complicated, faster and slower ways to create your designs. Every day new apps launch and other ones, such as Recite, go down. 

 

When I researched for this article, Recite was one of the apps I wanted to mention in 10 apps I would present to you, but by the time I started writing, it was already gone from the internet. The competition is growing bigger, both for laics and professional designers, digital marketers and Instagram influencers, which is why we will often be surprised with amazing open-source resources and software, and create with no restrictions whatsoever.

 

Author: Nina Petrov, ninapetrov.com

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All You Need to Know About Colors in Your Logo Design


Now, more than ever, we, humans, are visual beings. Our eyes scroll through thousands of information every day, and we keep being hungry for great visuals to get us inspired, productive, entertained, excited. Right now, telling a perfect story with visual digital tools is the most important part of getting your message across and attracting more people. Every color is a story - what role colors play in this game and how can they help you speak to your audience?

 

White

 

White is known as the Switzerland of colors, neutral and universal. White is the color of virginity and pacifistic state of mind used most often in logos as negative space or text. If you combine it with dark blue, you get the world's most famous logo - Facebook, and when you add red, you get the logo of Pinterest.

 

Yellow

 

Yellow can suggest different things, depending on what you combine it with. It can be cheerful and infantile, sunny, full of light and warmth. It is easy to get attention using this color, and it is the most popular color of the season. Darker versions are shining with credibility in IT or creative industries.

 

Orange

 

A true foodie color used often in the food industry logo (tasty food, fast deliveries, nice ambiance). Often used as a gradient color between red and yellow, to draw attention and stimulate urgency and alert mode. Just as yellow, orange is playful and warm, emotional color.

 

Red

 

Vibrant, strong, dominant and bold, this color gives character to your logo design. Red can be used as a color of heat, danger, alarm, and hostility, but at the same time for love, care, passion, and blood. Whatever aspect of red you are using - it will leave a strong impression. Red is known for raising people's blood pressure and making them hungry. It's most known for its role in Youtube and Mc Donald's logo, combined with white and yellow.

 

Pink

 

Pink has always been a girly, Barbie, color. It unlocks deep feelings, tenderness, understanding, love, femininity. It also interacts as a color that represents youth, virginity, tidiness, beauty, style, well being. Industries it takes place are beauty, health, and fashion. On top of these applications, pink is a sweet, sugary color, so it is often used to advertise candy or ice cream. For example, it is used in Flickr, in combination with light blue.

 

Purple

 

This magical color is one of the transeasonal colors we have written about before, which means it is always popular and always a good choice. It is a silver lining between cold features of blue, and all the warmth and heat from red. It's used to describe fancy, royal, sophisticated brands, especially in the industries used by women. Purple is also known for it's mystical and spiritual properties, useful for making people hooked and intrigued. If you like chocolate, it can also be delicious. Yahoo! uses purple combined with white.

 

Blue

 

Giving a cold shower to your audience is only possible with blue. Blue is your asset for cold and calming stories, showing security, reliability, and professionalism. Also, it is one of the most-loved colors in the world. Used mostly in medical brands, it leaves the impression of success. Just under yellow, blue is the most trendy color of this season. Fun fact: blue pigments are almost impossible to find in nature and synthesize. Used by popular brands such as Skype, Twitter, and 4square, all three in combination with white.

 

Green

 

Green is the color of tomorrow! It represents nature, the Earth, rebirth, and healthy human behavior. Used mostly in circle formats, it stands for life and preservation. In other contexts, it can come across as naive, insecure and liable. However, the most common use is for ecology purposes and social responsibility. 

 

Brown

 

Also an Earthy color, grounded, calm and stable, this color is used for furniture companies logos, but also real-estate and commerce. Natural and woody, this color is also well-known for cocoa and it's implications of chocolate and deliciousness. Brown is also warm and close to dark red colors, but dark enough to become neutral, like black.

 

Gray

 

Very fancy, stylish, and cold, gray is used for frames, thin lines, and backgrounds. Sometimes, dark versions of gray are used in logo design to avoid pitch black. For any color and tone you choose - there is a shade of gray that matches it perfectly! If you need a neutral color, I would always recommend using a shade of gray instead of white or black. Wikipedia highlighted the use of gray in combination with white.

 

Black

 

This color is antagonistic, mostly used for its readability on most backgrounds. It is extremely powerful, especially since it's simple and smooth, as well as sophisticated. It is often used in logos, but mostly for shapes and word art, in combination with yellow (IMDB), white (Apple) and green (Starbucks).

 

I hope you feel better prepared for your logo design and are ready to mix exotic colors up!

 

Author: Nina Petrov, ninapetrov.com

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Colour Is The New Black : Men’s Accessories Trends in 2019


men's accessories

Know how to say colour in 18 different languages? We do. And this year, it seems the French do too. Trendhim’s Colour Report ranks Europe’s most colourful countries in 2019.

 

The Top 10 Most Colourful Countries (and how they say “colour”) :

  1. France – “couleur”
  2. Germany – “farbe”
  3. Belgium – “kleur” / “couleur” / “farbe”
  4. Finland – “väri”
  5. Portugal – “cor”
  6. United Kingdom – “colour”
  7. Hungary – “szín”
  8. Netherlands – “kleur”
  9. Spain – “color”
  10. Switzerland – “farbe” / “couleur” / “colore”

 

We all know that the French generally put a great effort into the way that they dress, and that they excel in wearing a lot of black and grayscale shades to refine their minimal and modern look. But if you are planning to tour around the Champs-Élysées this summer, and expect to surround yourself in a sea of monochrome, we will save you from the Paris Syndrome; the French are buying more colourful accessories than any other country in Europe this year.

 

Reflecting on this year’s Paris Fashion Week Men’s, this information is hardly surprising. Between the 18th and 23rd June, the City of Lights transformed into the City of Colours as many vibrantly dressed local and international guests flocked to the streets of Paris to express the strong seasonal vibes of summer.

 

Off the streets and onto the SS20 runway, models representing French brands such as Louis Vuitton donned a range of colour palettes and patterns inspired by flora tones, including a range of different pink and blue hues. This coincides with Trendhim’s Colour Report; while France is recently one of the highest ranking countries for buying accessories of general colours from the summer palette, they are also notably buying the most pink accessories in Europe.

 

Our research shows that there’s an uptick in colourful accessories in both Europe and around the globe. Compared to spring 2018, an improvement of 2.21% more multicoloured items have been purchased this year (spring 2019). But while black didn’t factor into our ranking, it’s still the #1 colour choice in Europe. And for good reason – wearing black is an easy way to add contrast to bright accessories and let that one statement piece really take the spotlight. For example, black is a good way to lay the foundation for a vibrant bow tie or lapel pin.

 

But as black is the #1 ‘colour’ in every country on our list, France taking the top spot for buying colourful accessories means that this year they are consequently buying less black accessories. Colour is the new black; bad news for the Parisian selling black berets.

 

Whether you’re a top-ranking Frenchman, adept at the art of wearing colours, or an 11th-place-wherever, adding colour to your outfit this summer seems officially the right thing to do. Europe supports you, and so does Trendhim. Time to add ‘couleur’ in your life.

 

The Colour Report is based on shopping habits in men’s accessories at Trendhim for May 2019. Data was compiled looking at all colours across all accessories with the exclusion of black, white and grey. See the compiled dataset here.

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Free Illustration Sources For Designers


When you are preparing a design project, presentation, UX prototype, pitch for a product, etc, sometimes you need a few shortcuts to get things done faster and focus on the logistic instead of the finesses. Before you are listed our best pics of websites that can help you get appropriate illustrations, absolutely free.

 

1 Streamline Illustrations

 

Streamline Illustrations gives you 50 illustrations for free, plus another 250 LGBT illustrations. You can choose between multicolor, duotone and monotone, and then download them for Illustrator, Sketch, SVG, PDF, PNG or Iconjar vector files. The illustrations themselves are cute, cartoon-like, and applicable to almost every topic.

 

The full pack includes 3000 customizable illustrations, and their price is only $199.

 

2 DrawKit

 

DrawKit gives you practical illustrations for your design, usable for startups and small businesses. They are under MIT license, which means that you can use them for commercial purposes. Acknowledged as No 1 Product of the Day by Product Hunt, DrawKit offers free categories, but also three different packages - Packs, Modular Kits and Animations, all for different prices. As Bukowski would say: Find what you love and let it... (p.s. this is not actually Bukowski, the internet just assigned it to him).

 

3 Absurd Design

 

The sole name of this source makes you love it. Absurd Design is a weird, journalistic-comic type of drawings, black and white, available for your designs. They give you a total of eleven free designs, that you can use in commercial purposes, in PNG format. For the big players, they offer a monthly membership, that opens the gate for colored illustrations, SVG vectors, and all the drawings you can get.

 

4 Bottts

 

Well, this is a whole different story. If you grew up loving Dr Who (like I did), or you come from a geeky background, you are going to flip to these designs! Bottts is a library, which gives you the elements to combine together for your perfectly designed robot illustration. You can mix the elements up using a Sketch App (they are basically a Sketch library themselves), design your robot's frame, antenna, colors and more. Look them up, they are adorable ?

 

5 Ouch

 

Best kind of deal - you get free design, and in return, you have to link back to the source. This gives you a free resource and gives them visibility in return, so it builds a very respectful, symbiotic relationship between the designers and the illustrators. Ouch.pics is a project developed by Icons8, that aims to free vector illustrations for the user interface. They offer a clean, contemporary look to your designs. Alongside with stock photos, free icon packs, and free music, their desire is to build a design platform and change the way people create.

 

What are your favorite open-source platforms? Let us know in the comments below :)

 

Author: Nina Petrov, ninapetrov.com

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Top Podcasts For Artists


Podcasts are so IN this season! If you didn't get yourself hooked on them yet, let us make a selection of our best picks - podcasts designed for designers, artists, creatives and innovators.

 

1 Do It For The Process

 

Led by an artist and educator, Emily Jeffords, this podcast is intended to boost your creativity and help your career. Emily talks about her professional life as an artist, the common issues of surviving in the art world, improving your social media, digital tools such as video editors and photo editing apps. She is sharing her movement from a starving artist to a successful creative entrepreneur. 

 

2 Art Juice

 

As fruity as it sounds, this podcast finds its audience among artists, creatives and art lovers. Through their experience of color mixing, creative process, mixed media, we are being led by Alice Sheridan and Louise Fletcher, which are using humor and storytelling to open these important topics for COLOURlovers and artists.

 

3 Artist / Mother

 

A unique podcast that interviews artists who are also mothers, whose guests share personal stories about pursuing their art careers while also being present as parents. Exciting episodes are taking us through questions on commitment, ultimate dream vs reality topics, creating art while breastfeeding, and many more.

 

podcast for mothers

 

 

4 Make Share Grow

 

The pitch of this podcast is sharing behind-the-scenes stories about art, craft and the creative process. Julie Marriott aims to inspire a new generation of artists and creatives, share meaningful insight into a life of an artist behind the curtains - exploring the process of creating an artwork, collective art-making, artist studio development. You can also find out about the resources you can use and didn't discover yet.

 

5 Carrier

 

Starring Cynthia Erivo, directed by Dan Blank, this not-a-podcast is bringing something more than just a story. The authors are creating a unique audio experience, and they are riding you through a storyline that is more than an audiobook. The character we are following is a truck driver who picks up a loaded trailer, not knowing what's inside. This drama, mystery, horror, and comedy is a precious 20-minute experience that makes you look forward to the next one but also lets you think in a wider framework - mixed media, storytelling, audio-visual mystique.

 

Do you like our choice? Get your daily creative vibe with your favorite podcast apps or on your browser.

 

Author: Nina Petrov

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Website Builders For Your Designer Portfolio


We live in a digital world, and everything around us is a worldwide web, coded and embedded, and to be present nowadays means to be online. This is why an essential part of being a freelancer, an artist, a creative studio owner, is having a branded website, with a kick-ass domain name, perfect (minimalist) design and well-structured website map.

 

If you don't find yourself as a website builder, an HTML and CSS master, and you want to avoid hiring a developer to build you a perfect website, and then update it from project to project, maybe we can help.

 

It is good to know that different platforms are available and affordable for you, to build the perfect website to showcase your artwork, all by yourself. As a designer, or a visual artist, you know exactly what kind of website would do you right, and it is super easy to dive into playing around with elements and pages of your own branded website.

 

Jimdo

 

Jimdo is a website builder software specialized for artist portfolio websites. What Jimdo offers you, except the digital tool, is a step-by-step instruction kit guiding you from building the website to selling and search engine optimizing your work online. They offer a great deal of advice on what is good practice when you are promoting your work, and how to optimize the content presentation itself. It is great for beginners who want a simple and awesome representation of their style, for the type of website you can show off on your business card when you work. 

 

They have various templates you can choose from, and you can also pick your domain name on the spot. Jimdo is cool because they let you play with the website for free, and then upgrade it to another plan when you feel ready. You can choose among five different plans, starting from $0 to $39 per month, depending on how many seriously cool features you want.

 

www.jimdo.com

 

PageCloud

 

You. Have. Got. To. Love. This. Builder. PageCloud is not as famous as Wordpress or Wix, but it deserves to sit at the big boys' table. It is super easy to use, has a drag and drop system where you can arrange the elements of how you see fit and edit every page to match your style. It offers a number of integrations, including a simple e-commerce system, so your shop can stay a part of your all-inclusive website. You can either choose a template or create your own page layout, stylize it with the right font, add your images and embed your video. Among many integrations, there are some of our all-time favorites: MailChimp, Instagram, Shopify, PayPal, and Instagram. For more serious players, it lets you change the source code and get the most of your web presentation.

 

How much for all this, you wonder? They do not have the usual plan system; instead, they give you everything for $20 per month. Pretty good, isn't it? On top of that, you get a 14-day free trial to see if you are happy with what they are giving to you, and as a bonus, you get a free domain name and Google G Suite for the whole first year.

 

www.pagecloud.com

 

ArtSquare

 

Artsquare is not really a website builder, but a very unique and useful tool you should try out for sure. Their tagline says "One portfolio to rule them all", which is why you won't regret this clever network of the apps you love. Artsquare enables you a simple way of posting your visuals to all the platforms at once, making it easy to reach your audience. They partner up with selling websites such as Ebay and Amazon, so you can set up your shop easier than ever. Once your product is sold on any of the platforms, it is automatically sold on all of them, and off the market. Ship and sell your originals worldwide, with no limits and this awesome time saver builder. 

 

The best part of Artsquare? It is completely free for everybody. You get unlimited uploads, integrations and career advice absolutely free. I'd sign up now if I were you.

 

www.artsquare.com

 

Did you try your luck with any of these tools? What is your experience? Tell us everything in the comment section below.

 

Author: Nina Petrov

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Where to seek inspiration online


You have a new project, but you are feeling uninspired? Here are our top pics for websites where every designer can find the right dose of cool designs to jump-start the creativity for the day.

 

COLOURLOVERS

 

When looking for design inspiration, Colourlovers is a great place to be. This community helps you connect emotions, words and colors, all in one place. Find experienced, creative colourlovers and their best-featured palettes on our website. Engage in design-related conversations on our forum and widen your knowledge every day.

 

colourlovers.com

 

DRIBBBLE

 

This is a website we probably have mentioned already, but it doesn't harm to make a reminder, and this time really opens that bookmark. Dribble chooses highlights from designers and creatives from everywhere on the planet. From business card designs to app mock-ups, you can definitively find what you are looking for on Dribble. And if you join that community, you have the chance of showing your work to thousands of people. What are you waiting for?

 

dribbble.com

 

FONTS IN USE

 

Now, Fonts In Use, unlike other websites listed here, presents a collection of designs where popular or unusual fonts are used. Ever wondered how the font you are choosing is going to look on a cover album? Do you want to know if somebody used it like that already? If there is any chance of you finding that out, it lies on this website.

 

fontsinuse.com

 

think outside the box

PINTEREST

 

If you have read any of my previous website reviews on Colourlovers, you would know how awesome I find Pinterest. Here is a hint: this is not a sponsored article for Pinterest, yet here I am, telling everyone how much I'm using it for every line of my work. Pinterest goes from one of the best apps to scroll in the toilet, with nothing to do, to the greatest professional support you can get. Search for the terms you are interested in, and let yourself be splashed with waves of ideas, visually captured from all over the internet.

 

www.pinterest.com

 

SITE INSPIRE

 

Which website do you go to when you want to feel inspired? There is a website called Site Inspire. You don't say? Yes, there really is. Besides pretty design, you can also find interesting insights into the design process of well-known designers, so aside from inspiration, this website is professional support to designers worldwide.

 

www.siteinspire.com

 

TREND LIST

 

Their name speaks for itself, but their tagline really says it all - Trend List is exploring visual trends in contemporary graphic design. Amazed by the simplicity of their website, they gained my full trust, saying that they know what they are doing. Graphic designers, click subscribe today.

 

www.trendlist.org

 

 

turned on Focus signage

 

TYPEWOLF

 

What is hot in the world of typography? You don't know? Typewolf does. This website takes you on a tour of current trends in type, spicy letter designs, and magic fonts. This website comes quite handy when you are designing a big brand that cares about being the best.

 

www.typewolf.com

 

TYPOGRAPHIC POSTERS

 

Just as their name says, Typo/Graphic Posters is a wide archive of various poster designs. Explore many artists and their playful ideas, pick your favorite and spin of their posters! Just for fun :) 

 

www.typographicposters.com

 

YALE TUMBLR

 

Yale School of Art and Architecture opened their Tumblr blog, where you can discover various art forms and impressive artwork. This blog inspires you to think out of the box and be courageous in design.

 

yalegraphicdesign.tumblr.com

 

DESKET

 

Desket is essentially an online mug store, but they do have some funny and clever designs which can find their way to your table. They also offer their resources, which are worth checking out.

 

desket.co

 

BEHANCE

 

Behance is also one of our favorite online communities for visual art. Many artists and designers join Behance every day, getting feedback for their design from leading artists in contemporary design.

 

behance.net

 

BOOK COVER ARCHIVE

 

Book Cover Archive is exactly what it says it is. Like Typo/Graphic Posters, they keep their own collection of book cover design. If your project is to design the worlds greatest book cover, this website is made to inspire you and show you what to do and what not to do :)

 

bookcoverarchive.com

 

What are your personal favorites? Tell us in the comment section below.

 

Author: Nina Petrov

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5 Color Palettes to Inspire Your Branding


Brand your business with amazing color combinations to ensure a positive reaction from your potential customers. Consider the fundamentals of color perceptions, which we will mention ahead, and get your colors on!

 

When you brand your business with pleasing color palettes, you make your target feel comfortable enough to do business with you! It starts from the moment your create your logo whether you decide to use color pantones or hex codes. A Logo Creator for example, gives you template options which you can work on if you don’t feel like starting from zero. Color your brand with your personality and your values!

 

Colors Impact People Emotionally

 

Color schemes have a psychological impact you need to consider while you build a brand. This is why picking your colors is such an important task! You can create the perception you’re after in order to attract the specific market you want. People are very visual, so colors can impact them emotionally. To understand this better, let’s take a look at general meaning behind the most commonly used colors:

color scheme

 

Get Inspired with These Color Combinations

 

We have gathered the best color combinations for different business industries so you don’t have to break your head coming up with a harmonious mix. First, determine your brand’s personality by asking yourself:

 

  • Is my brand masculine or feminine?
  • Is my brand playful or serious?
  • Is my brand luxurious or affordable?
  • Is my brand modern or classic?
  • Is my brand youthful or mature?

 

This will help you decide which colors best represent your business personality and which will attract the kind of customers you want. Now let’s get to it by industry and get some color palette ideas that are on point!

 

Colors of Technology

color combination

 

Most tech businesses want to look innovative and bold, like they will be the next big thing. Because you are trying to appear innovative, don’t be afraid to step out of the typical blue or green. You can use other great colors like purple, yellow, orange, etc.

color of technology

 

As you build your tech business, colors are an entirely personal decision. You should be informed on color psychology plus your brand's personality in order to make a more informed decision. Consider things like, is your business related to social media? Is it an app?

 

Colors of Healthcare

color combination

 

You trust healthcare businesses with your life and this is why their branding should evoke that feeling of security. Because these kinds of businesses have a huge responsibility with the community, their image should be professional, authoritative, and peaceful at the same time. Most healthcare businesses rely on mainly blue tones, but you can definitely get inspired by these colors and try something fresh!

colors of healthcare

 

Colors of Legal

color combination

 

Legal businesses should have a minimalist logo. Most legal businesses choose sober colors to appear professional and keep it basic. They usually decide to use only one or two colors.

colors of legal

 

Colors of Marketing

color combination

 

Marketing brands usually want to appear as young, modern, and creative! They want to dazzle their clients while still keeping it professional. The challenge for these kinds of businesses is to have branding colors that are both cool while classic. I mean, they still need to be taken seriously. Among the industry, most leaders opt to use purples and they see their brands as feminine.

colors of marketing

 

 

Colors of Real Estate

color combination

The real estate competition is fierce! Clients need a brand that they sense they can rely on. If your business is in real estate, just like in healthcare or legal businesses you want your colors to say: trust me. This is why most businesses go with a blue color. Remember you can use awesome color combinations to give your customers the whole message! Try these:

colors of real state

 

Using a Logo Maker

 

Inspired by a huge library of templates in combination with helpful information on color perceptions, you can design your logo easily using the best colors for it! The rest of your branding is a piece of cake once you have your logo and your branding colors (fonts are huge too by the way). If you decide to create your logo design with an online tool, look for one that allows you to input your exact hex codes for your brand colors.

 

So now you know! Start creating that unique experience for your customers with a totally fabulous color palette!

 

Authors Bio:
Valeria Santalla is a multi-disciplinary marketer and content writer that loves to create branding assets for local business. She currently collaborates at Placeit.net, one of the largest logo maker and design template libraries on the internet.
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How to Effectively Integrate Your Brand's Colors into Your Storefront Location


color branding

Brand consistency is one of the most important aspects of making your store memorable to consumers. Every time customers interact with your brand, online or offline, they should be reminded of who you are, which requires using the same images, logo, colors and message.

Experts estimate it takes five to seven impressions before someone remembers a brand. That number may increase as more and more brands go online and clamor for the attention of a limited pool of customers. If you want to be memorable, you must present your brand in a similar way over and over using a variety of methods.

Using your brand colors in every interaction, including in your storefront location, is a great way to create a memorable impression. However, integrating brand colors into a storefront isn't always easy. You may be limited by the construction and colors already present in a rented space, for example. Fortunately, there are some features business owners have control over when it comes to storefront branding.

1. Create Display Windows

Creating window displays that draw people inside is a bit of a challenge. You have to highlight some of your more popular or recent items. However, your display windows are also a great place to integrate some of your brand colors, either through signage or selected products. Think about what might catch the eye of passerby as they walk past your store. What colors surround your windows and what will pop out to potential customers?

2. Change the Wall Colors

If you are in a location where you're allowed to paint, change up the wall colors so they coordinate with your brand colors. Think about the colors in your palette and what compliments them. If your colors are vivid, you may only want to use the brand colors as an accent and stick with trendier neutral tones for the background. Different types of colors have a different impact on your audience. For example, you can use black as a neutral color and to create a sense of mystery or stick with light greens and sandy browns for a sense of tranquility.

3. Add Signage

Signage is a way to incorporate the colors you want without changing the walls or altering more permanent store features. Using signage is particularly useful if you're still developing your brand colors or testing out colors before making a change. Signage is relatively inexpensive, but still makes an impact on store visitors. Use vinyl signs in the color of your choice or add color elements over a white vinyl sign. You can also use signs to point customers toward your register, sale items or to highlight new arrivals in your store. Don't be afraid to incorporate both brand colors and accent colors for attention.

4. Invest in Bags

What color are the bags you put purchased products in? Using customized bags is a great way to add additional branding that utilizes your company colors. Whenever the person leaves your store and others see the bag, the bag should be immediately recognizable as a company standard. Using a signature color boosts brand recognition by about 80 percent, so business owners should look for every opportunity to do so.

Think about the last time you visited a local mall. You may have seen someone walking out of Victoria's Secret with a pink and black striped back. You immediately knew what brand they purchased from. Perhaps you noticed a black back with white letters from Hot Topic. What colors scream your brand identity, and how can you put that on a bag so everyone sees the visualization?

5. Employee Uniforms

Depending upon what kind of store you run, employee uniforms might be a good idea. Keep in mind that uniforms allow store visitors to readily identify who works there in case they need assistance. The uniform should match the overall branding of your business. If pink is your signature color, invest in pink shirts with your logo or black shirts with a pink logo. Think about what type of uniform best represents your brand and how to add your company colors to the outfit.

If you've ever gone to Best Buy, you know employees are easy to spot because of their shirts with the bright Best Buy logo. Go out to eat somewhere like Hooters, and the orange shirts of the servers pop and grab your attention. No matter what your brand colors may be, your employee outfits should highlight them and make the store memorable.

6. Floor Signage

Adding signage to your floor draws customers in for sales and other events and directs traffic through your store. You can even use three-dimensional signage to draw them into a sensory experience. Signage can be used both outside your store, such as in a shopping mall (if the mall allows it) and inside the store to direct customers down a planned path. Think about footprints in your primary brand color that lead the way to a new, featured product.

Brand Colors Matter to Storefront Locations

Adding in brand colors gives your store a unique identity. Keep in mind, though, that the overall aesthetic of your store is much more important than simply throwing up certain colors. It's okay to limit how much you use your brand color, but there are some places you shouldn't shy away from it, such as a sign for your storefront. With a little attention to color and how it impacts your store visitors, you should find a balance between branding and usability.

 

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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Breaking Out of the Norm for Valentine's Day


colors

Wining and dining is the traditional way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but you don’t have to follow the crowds for a meal out and a dozen red roses delivered to her office if you and she don’t want this. Having a date night on Valentine’s Day that is just a little bit more special will still be a great celebration of this day of love.  Colour can play a big part in your Valentine’s Day celebrations, which whilst traditionally represented by red, has in more recent years embraced an entire range of popular colours.

Red is famously romantic, but other colours can be used to choose your Valentine’s Day gift, with green representing renewal and yellow conveying optimism. When looking for Valentine's gifts for her, whichever colour you choose can add extra meaning.

Colours to love

For many of us, colour raises emotion, and we instinctively have a favourite for a whole host of reasons. Yet, throughout history, specific colours have been used to define different feelings and to mark different cultural events and ceremonies for centuries, going back to ancient civilisations.

Colours also affect us subconsciously, in the sense that we may not even be aware that we are being affected by it. This is why colours are separated into two groups of warm and cool colours. You can use the meaning of different colours to add to your Valentine’s gift that fits your beloved best.  She will appreciate the extra efforts you have made in choosing their special gift.

Red

For passion and drama, red is the most popular Valentine’s Day colour with its association with love, courage, strength and excitement. In Chinese culture, red represents luck and prosperity. If you are buying a gift for someone who loves red, you know they are passionate people, with enthusiasm for life. Tickets to see a favourite sports team, a band or admired singer is a great gift for this individual.

Orange

Orange is the colour of encouragement, warmth and enthusiasm. Orange is also a great colour if she wants to be inspired into action or have a positive outlook on life since it is both a motivating and encouraging colour. Gift ideas for those who love orange include charity gifts to support those less fortunate or a book of favourite photographs from the last year or the best photograph of you both as a couple.

Yellow

The colour of optimism and youthfulness, this is also the colour of sunshine. A sunflower bouquet is something that will be adored by this Valentine, in place of traditional red roses. Yellow is also the colour of success and confidence, whether you have it or want it since it is said to stimulate the left side of the brain, responsible for clear, fast decision making. For Valentine’s day, add a letter of love to let your beloved know they are the sunshine in your life, so they do not misunderstand the colour of yellow, which can also mean cowardice.

 

Pink

Mixing the passion of red with the purity of white creates a message of tender, nurturing love. This is the perfect colour of gift for your Valentine if she has become a new mother since the last celebration of St. Valentine.  A new jumper in pink or some magenta leggings would make a great gift.

Blue

A shade of blue, the colour of the sea and sky is a tranquil, peaceful colour that also conveys trust. The colour also inspires confidence, loyalty and responsibility. Those who like blue are usually conservative in nature, so if you’re planning a big party for Valentine’s Day, include them in the planning as they’re not so keen on surprises.

Green

Growth, renewal and a celebration of life are all conveyed by the colour green. Plant a tree in your joint names, either in your own garden or in a plot special to you both. Make the tree a fruit tree, and you can be enjoying apple pies together in the future. If you have less space, a rose bush, or a bonsai tree may be a gift your Valentine will love.

Violet

A mix of red energy and blue calm, violet is the colour of spirituality, reflection and self-awareness. Those who like violet are usually introverts who may enjoy books, walking holidays and the simple pleasures of a lunchtime picnic in the local park as a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Brown

Brown denotes stability and a solid foundation, reliable and wholesome; warm and reassuring. On it's own, brown can seem like a dull colour but combined with others, including gold and copper, it can become elegant. A wood framed mirror with embellishments or a photo frame personalised with your names and the date you met will make a perfect present.

Most of us have a favourite colour, a colour that we wear because it suits us better than any other or because it makes us feel happy. For some, colour reflects who we are on a deeper level, reflecting our personality. When buying your Valentine a gift, consider what their favourite colour is now, since preferences do change. If you are unsure, consider co-ordinating your gift with the colour of their birthstone. If you are looking to buy a joint gift for a married couple, use the colour palette they chose for their wedding, which you can search out on old photographs or from the wedding invitation. Irrespective of whether your gift is a designer shirt or vase, choosing their favourite colour will make your gift extra special.

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