Why Cybersecurity Should Affect Your Web Design


Cybersecurity should be at the core of your design before you consider any other elements of your site. Hacking is a serious problem, especially if you collect sensitive data. Your customers need to know they can rely on you to protect their personal information.

About 64 percent of companies have experienced some type of web-based attack. From the smallest business to the largest corporation, all are at the mercy of hackers if they don't put some security measures in place.

A hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds and impacts one in three Americans. With those statistics in mind, put your site users at ease by implementing the following security measures into your website designs:

1. Collect Less Data

One way to protect your customers is to limit the amount of data you collect and store online. Collect only what is an absolute necessity for you to complete an order. If you don't need their birth date, then don't ask for it. Minimize the information so if the worst happens and you do have a security breach, the hackers get less information than they otherwise would.

Some sites collect all types of information in an attempt to market to their users. While there is value in knowing the names of your customers' children and their ages, this also puts them at risk. This type of information is often used to gain access to sensitive accounts with qualifying questions.

2. Secure Your WordPress Site

About 75 million sites use WordPress as their content management system (CMS). Unfortunately, if not appropriately secured, it is vulnerable to hackers. Take the time to secure your WordPress site.

  • Use complicated usernames and passwords that aren't easy to crack.
  • Use a plugin to block anyone trying to log in with the username admin.
  • Change your dashboard location from wp-admin to something with a different name.
  • Utilize SSL.
  • Add a firewall.

Those are some basic things you can do today to protect your WordPress site. You should delve a bit deeper into the topic of securing your WordPress site and close off any backdoors that allow hackers to gain a foothold.

3. Secure Your WordPress Database Prefix

The default database prefix is wp-. Hackers are well aware that most people will stick with the default settings. You can throw them off and hopefully drive them away by changing the prefix you use for your database. Changing your database prefix isn't complicated, but you should always back your site up before making changes.

Changing your prefix protects you from SQL injection attacks. There are plugins you can install that allow you to quickly change your database prefix without a lot of PHP knowledge, such as Brozzme DB Prefix or iThemes Security.

4. Create a Privacy Policy

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now requires website owners to list clear policies on how they protect user data and how they use that data — even if you don't live in the EU. If you have even one customer who falls under GDPR, you must be compliant. You've probably noticed that some sites have privacy policies that are so complex you'd have to be a lawyer to understand them.

Don't do that to your site visitors. Keep your language clear and readable, so site visitors understand what you plan to do with the information you collect and the measures you have in place to protect them. Keep privacy policies simple and to the point. It's probably easier than you think to get GDPR compliant, but it is essential to pay attention to this aspect of your security plan.

5. Secure Your Own Devices

One way hackers gain access to websites is through your devices. No matter where you're working, upload files via virtual private networks (VPN). A VPN lets you remotely upload files without using a public network that might be vulnerable to attack. A VPN works similarly to a firewall to encrypt and protect your data from hackers.

If you are working in a public location and using their guest internet access, secure your device by choosing a public location in your Wi-Fi settings. Limit who can see your device to avoid a situation where another patron gains access to your files and thus to your website.

6. Do Frequent Backups

Let's say the worst has happened and a hacker gained control of your site. They've infiltrated every single file and you have no idea how to fix the problem. If you back up your site frequently, this is less of an Armageddon scenario than if you don't. There are programs you can install that run backups on a regular basis and many website hosting companies do their own nightly backups.

No matter how many safeguards you install, there is a possibility hackers will overtake your site. However, if you have a complete backup, then it isn't as much of a problem. You simply work with your hosting company to find the way they entered your site, secure it and wipe out the old data, uploading your backup in its place. Your site is only down a fraction of the time it would otherwise be.

One of the biggest challenges as a designer is getting into the habit of backing up your work every time you make the slightest change. It's easy to forget this step and lose hours of work because a hacker takes over your site. Either set up automated backups or get into the habit of doing one each time you finish changes.

Cybersecurity Matters

The most beautifully designed site in the world isn't useful if it gets hacked. Consider the backend of your website's design to prevent hackers from getting in. Make your site user-friendly, but also consider the type of information you collect and how you can keep it safe for those who entrust you with it. Cybersecurity is just another element of web design that makes your work better than your competitors'.

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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How to Simplify Your Business Graphics using Bannersnack


Bannersnack is intuitive and easy to use online tool for streamlining your visual and rich media advertising and marketing.

Gone are the days when you could get away with using stock images and unbranded visual media. In order to elbow out the competition, your business must be producing their own rich, unique media and high-quality content.

This not only includes the branding of social media, website and third-party platforms but also media buys, advertising and banners.

Why Use Bannersnack

Bannersnack is a rich image creation and management tool that enables you to produce high-quality and branded content for your website. It can create and manage your ad campaigns, social media platforms and rich media marketing online and across platforms.

Bannersnack enables you to keep all of your visual marketing for your media advertising campaigns in one place. You can create professionally animated or static advertising banners and then export them in multiple formats.

You can also embed the banners and rich media you create directly into your website or compatible third-party websites.

Being an online tool, Bannersnack can be accessed by individuals and teams in any location. It enables collaboration and multi-user functionality.

All designs and development can be organised and catalogued across departments, industries, niches and work teams.

Bannersnack Integrations

Bannersnack works with all major advertising networks including Google, Doubleclick, Facebook and more. It provides multiple formats for exporting your rich media, banners and animated artwork.

Social Media Marketing

Status network Smith Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

The measurements for cover, post images, headers and banners for these social media platforms is pre-configured.

Simply drag and drop the text and features you want to incorporate into your media.

Google Advertising

Bannersnack is fully compatible with Google's advertising network and platform.  The tools within Bannersnack are compatible with HTML5 creation and include all the size variations you need for any Google advertising campaign.

You can create beautiful looking ads with just a few clicks and then either upload your banners to the Google adword manager or use the embed codes.

You can also add clickTag in order to track clicks in your Google advertising campaigns.

CMS Integration

Bannersnack works seamlessly with WordPress and all major cms platforms.

The interface includes full drag and drop functionality and allows you to create stunning and comprehensive visual media and images.

These are the kind of high converting images and banners that will enrich user experience, deliver pop-ups or exit intent marketing to your website.

AMP Compliance

Bannersnack will also create AMP HTML compliant banners and advertising material to use in the amp library.

This is a brand new feature of Bannersnack and has been built using the latest mobile-friendly technology in order to deliver the highest quality ads and banners for mobile users.

The Accelerated Mobile Page Project is a major advance in mobile technology and the delivery of high-quality media to Smartphones.

If you're wanting to ensure that your ads and which media get delivered and are seeing favourably by Google then Bannersnack is your best choice for rich media and visual creation.

Create Individual Items or Complete Sets

One of the things I really like about Bannersnack is that you can flick between a single item and the creation of complete rich media sets or responsive and animated images for your ad campaigns.

This saves a large deal of time and will enable marketers to get their campaign up and running quickly.

Basic standardized advertising images which are static to animated GIFs and fully mobile responsive HTML5, Bannersnack provides a huge number of templates and formats for you to work with.

It's not an overstatement to say that you can begin creating advertising campaigns or basic visual media for third-party sites in a matter of minutes.

Bannersnack can also be used to streamline and ensure consistency when it comes to content design across your website and business channels.

Bannersnack is helping more and more business to accomplish the development and creation of their visual marketing strategy in less time.

With Bannersnack you can give new life and vibrancy to your ad campaigns with little or no technical or coding knowledge.

The tools that enable collaboration are a big plus with Bannersnack. You don't need to work in isolation.

You can collaborate with other key players in order to track, catalogue and produce quality and consistently branded content.

Price-wise, Bannersnack is reasonable for a business of any size. Rather than paying for multiple tools or engaging designers for ad hoc and one of the pieces, your own in-house teams can take control of the quality and consistency of your branding and marketing campaigns.

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Art Plagiarism


This is the topic we are all interested in, but somehow can't know enough about it. What awoke our curiosity is how pop artists used Mona Lisa to create all these series of colorful pieces, yet that is not considered plagiarism. Up to which point can we use someone else's work as a reference for our own art piece and not be plagiators?

Appropriation means borrowing, recycling, copying a piece of work to use it for a new creation. Appropriation as such has been a part of the tradition in visual art, although it is now considered a post-modern movement, in which artists used historically known artworks to create their own image. Appropriation artists are different from plagiators, meaning that their original intention is for the viewers to recognize the original image (such as Mona Lisa or WWII poster), and the work is centered on this clash of pop and history.

 

mona lisa

 

One of the most eccentric artists of appropriation is certainly Marcel Duchamp. His Mona Lisa with mustache left a curious audience, as well as the variety of Mona Lisa's known in the work of Paul Giovanopoulos. Although, Marcel is more known for his scandalous "Fountain" - an art piece - a urinal which made it to the list of significant landmarks in 20th-century conceptual art.

Pablo Picasso is also an artist of appropriation, but just as he borrowed and changed other artists work ("Las Meninas" by Diego Velazquez), he had his own artwork appropriated ("Lady Alabama" by Robert Colescott is originally Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon"). Thus, Picasso's famous quote appeared "Good artists borrow, great artists steal".

Unlike the above-mentioned artists, the icon of pop art, Andy Warhol, faced a series of lawsuits for his work. He is famous for silk-screening technique, using photographs made by some famous photographers. The reason he was confronting these accusations was that his paintings and the original photographs were competing for products on the market of art buyers.

 

How to avoid plagiarism?

When letting someone's work strongly influence your own, it is recommended that you seek permission from the artist whose work you want to change. If your artwork is inspired by another, it is a good practice to give references and show gratefulness and respect to the artist. Although, the 20th century started a question which is still alive and makes us wonder - what is and what isn't art.

Some might say that taking two images and stitching them together or adding text into an existing image is not original artwork. One thing we know for sure is that using objects that are common (urinals, food cans) and misplacing them to create a new context is challenging the question of whether it is art, but so far it hasn't been called theft.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

 

 

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Designing for Digital Marketing: How to Get Started


It is not uncommon for web designers and developers to think about aspects such as search engine optimization (SEO) and email marketing when designing a website. After all, there are a lot of optimizations to be added to the design and even more benefits to enjoy as a result.

Interestingly, even site owners see digital marketing for its instruments rather than holistically during the design stage of the site. The site may be optimized for SEO and tweaked to work well with social media, but does it really support an integrated digital marketing campaign?

That is exactly the kind of question you need to ask when designing for digital marketing. There are some easy steps to take to get started, and we are going to discuss them in this article.

Think UX

User experience or UX is a big part of digital marketing. Even search engines now track metrics like time on site and pages visited to better understand how users are affected by the site’s UX. Naturally, you have to see UX from one or two steps back; from a wider angle.

Fine-tuning the UX of a website means making sure it performs well. It also means the site loads important content first and features a consistent navigation menu. More crucially, the site needs to function just as well on mobile devices.

Other aspects, such as the way the checkout process is designed and how users enjoy the information they are searching for, are also UX-related aspects that will help amplify your digital marketing campaign further.

Keep It Modular

Modern websites usually use CMS platforms like WordPress for better, easier development and maintenance. WordPress themes are highly configurable, so there is nothing you cannot achieve in terms of design.

What you want to avoid is adding custom functions into the WordPress core or modifying the core altogether. This may seem like the easiest way to go, but it isn’t a sustainable way of designing and developing a website.

Remember that digital marketing is a volatile field, and you have to keep the site as flexible as possible to be able to keep up with changes in trends and strategies. You already have thousands of marketing-related plugins to benefit from; don’t cripple the site from the beginning by editing the core.

Remove Annoyances

Last but not least, the website must have the ability to convert. In this respect, many site owners and web designers still take the wrong approach. Most marketing agencies offer an audit that will reveal conversion rates and other metrics associated with your site, but let’s start with something simple, shall we?

Imagine seeing an advertisement as you browse through Facebook. The ad is interesting, so you decide to click on it. You get taken to the advertiser’s website and…there is a huge, bright modal popup between you and the content you want to read.

Annoying, isn’t it? During the design and development process, that modal popup may make sense. You have to get users to sign up for your newsletter, don’t you?

When you audit the site further, however, annoyances like this pinpoint exactly how you lose potential customers. For the site to be optimized for digital marketing, it needs to have the power to convert. And for the site to have that power, it needs to be as pleasant to use as possible.

So, is your site ready to support an integrated digital marketing campaign? With the tips and tricks that we discussed in this article, you can optimize your site and boost your digital marketing KPIs in no time.

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Another Six Principles of Disney Animation


In our previous article, Six Principles of Animation, we learned about top six rules that leading animators at Disney use in their practice. Today, we will pay a closer look to another six principles that help Disney cartoon characters look so realistic and their movement natural or funny.

 

Arc

 

To create an impression of natural movement, we should pay attention to the arcs created by movements in our lives - for example, the arc that a ball makes when we throw it. By drawing this arc in animation, we add more sequences and make the movement seem more fluid. This technique can help us express the speed of movement as well - the straighter line of object trajectory when being thrown faster, or the arc a body makes on skates when slowing down.

 

Disney castle

 

Secondary Action

 

When creating an action, adding a secondary action to our main one gives more life to the scene. For example, adding the wind behind our character, making him scratch or whistle... These actions are supposed to support the primary actions, but not take away the attention. If the scene is dramatic itself, these actions are better left out.

 

Timing

 

Timing in animation refers to the number of frames per action. The importance of timing is super essential - it determines the laws of physics in your video, the emotional state of the character and even his/hers personality. Bare in mind that these rules here vary whether we are talking about drawing animation or computer animation.

 

Exaggeration

 

Exaggeration is particularly interesting when we are talking about comic animation or caricature, although up to an extent it is also very useful for the dynamics of realistic videos as well. Whether we exaggerate a part of our character's body (Popeye) or just highlight elements in the story line, Disney implemented this in his animations making them more interesting, while staying true to reality.

 

Solid drawing

 

Now, this is important in animating drawings, and it reminds us that it is necessary for artists to understand the bodies in 3D world, the weights of things, the way that light and shadows work, etc. Even though nowadays most artists animate digitally, it is still useful to have a drawing practice for a better sense of how things behave in real life.

 

wall-e saying bye

 

Appeal

 

For the viewers to be interested in your character's stories, they should be appealing to their eyes. This goes for the villains, as much as it goes for the protagonist. To make them look appealing means to make your character feel real and interesting. Most common technique for achieving this effect is to use simple faces and often baby-like faces, without many details.

 

These are the most important tips that best animators at the world's leading animating company wanted to share with us. Do you agree with them? Let us know in the comment section bellow and stay tuned to Colourlovers.com

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Six principles of animation


Did you ever wonder what is that makes animated characters look so realistic to you and how you can relate so easily? Are you working on developing your animated video and are wondering how to keep all laws of physics in order? Twelve Basic Principles of Animation is a book published by Disney and written by his animators, trying to explore the keys to lifelike animation. These principles apply regardless of whether you draw by hand or, much more likely, are using computer animation. Here are the first six principles:

 

Squash and Stretch

 

Rule number one is the most important rule which talks about giving a sense of weight and flexibility to your objects - this is especially important for facial expressions, although if you want to create a comic effect you can take this stretch into an extreme.

 

Anticipation

 

When developing a situation on screen, try not to make sudden frames, but rather prepare the audience for an action - focus the attention on the keys in the lock, before the character unlocks the door.

 

animation principles

 

Staging

 

This principle comes from techniques of staging from theater and film - simply know what is important and what needs to be in focus of each frame. Avoid unnecessary details that take the eye's attention from the point.

 

Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose

 

These are two different drawing techniques you can use in animation. Straight Ahead Action means that the process starts at the beginning and fluidly moves towards an end, drawing frame by frame, while Pose to Pose means that you start with some keyframes and then develop the story behind it. Most often the combination of these techniques is used, especially in computer animation, since the software removes the trouble of finding the right proportion and putting sequences together.

 

Follow Through and Overlapping Action

 

These two techniques are the ones that keep your character and objects under the rule of physics in real life. Follow through roughly means that arms of a walking character move while he is moving, and keep swinging just a little bit after he stops, in a synchronized movement. Overlapping Action considers that different body parts can move in a different rhythm, while a technique called "drag" does that well-known scene when a character starts the movement, but some body parts are catching up in the next frame.

 

Slow In and Slow Out

 

This is a notice that will help you make your scene look more real - when moving a character from one pose to another, draw this movement with many frames in the beginning and end of the action, with fewer frames in the middle. Try to make those frames full of details of the movement - facial expression, stretching of the body, etc.

 

Stay tuned to COLOURlovers to discover other six principles that guide the world’s most famous animators.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Why Graphic Designers Should Also Be UX Designers


Graphic design focuses on making things visually beautiful, while UX design focuses on the experience of the design and how functional everything is for the user. Combining both types of design results in aesthetically pleasing designs that are high functioning.

The world changes rapidly in the modern age, and social media has a lot to do with how immediate people expect things to be. Trends show that more and more companies are offering things immediately, including healthcare video appointments 24/7 and chatbots that talk to customers on social media sites. Here are six reasons you should add UX design to your repertoire.

1. Increase Your Income

UX designers make more on average than non-UX designers. In the United States, a graphic designer's average salary is $41,000 and a UX designer's average salary is $74,000. Adding UX design to your abilities increases your income by more than $20,000 per year.

If you work for a company, then understanding user experience may put you up for promotions and raises you wouldn't receive without that knowledge. If you own your own design company, you'll be able to bring in clients specifically looking to up their game and increase the user-friendliness of their sites.

2. Decode Artificial Intelligence (AI)

More and more sites are integrating artificial intelligence (AI) or augmented reality (AR) to create an overall exciting experience for users. However, the technology is still new, so there are bound to be glitches along the way. A UX designer will naturally focus more on the way AI integrates with the site as a whole and how the user is able to navigate various features. What isn't working, and how can it be fixed?

3. Understand Type

Typefaces are super easy to find in the 21st century. There are around 60,000 font families, so designers can choose from any of those or create a font of their own. However, knowing there are plenty of fonts isn't enough. You need to understand the emotional impact different fonts have and the story they tell the viewer. There is a long history of choosing fonts, cutting out elements to lay out on a page and coming up with a design that has elements that all work together.

Even though the process is all computerized today, the same concepts of allowing white space for the eye and using the right combination of images and letters to create an overall story apply. To fully understand what font to use where, you must first understand the background of various fonts and typestyles. Once you know the history and where those styles were used in the past, it's easier to figure out how they fit in today's world.

4. Shift Your Focus

Designers tend to have an eye for detail and want everything to line up perfectly and every pixel of an image to be 100 percent in line. However, UX designers focus more on the overall experience and how everything functions. Learning to shift your focus from general design to UX design may be challenging at first, but can also be a nice break from the perfectionistic tendencies you may have developed from years of graphic design work.

It isn't that you shouldn't present a beautiful and well-designed product to your users, but your focus is less on finding the perfect shade of red and more on how the color you did choose affects your site's visitors. You may conduct some split testing to see which shade they relate best to. You'll do a lot more usability testing as a UX designer.

5. Force Yourself to Be Mobile Responsive

More and more people are using their smartphones to access the Internet. Mobile Internet traffic is now 51.2 percent of all online traffic. As a designer, you're likely aware that more people are accessing the website via mobile devices, but as a UX designer, you'll test how the site looks on those devices. Issues such as loading times become more important as a part of the overall design.

So, if you have the choice to use a big, expansive file of a beautiful image or reduce the file size and slightly sacrifice quality, as a UX designer, you choose the reduced file size that loads fast on the user's screen.

6. Hone Your Problem Solving Skills

Some experts feel that UX design is more about identifying and solving a problem than the design itself. The process of UX design begins with studying the user and seeing what is and isn't working for them. You then design a solution to that problem and build the website or make changes that solve the problem for the user.

An example of this might be an eCommerce site where users are abandoning the shopping cart before entering the details. The UX designer will study the exact point of abandonment. Is it when they're asked to share a phone number, for example? The use of heat maps helps show the place the user is before exiting the site.

Next, the UX designer might poll some of the customers who have abandoned carts and try to identify if it was the request for a phone number that prompted them to leave. Once you recognize the problem, the solution is merely a matter of testing different options, such as removing the phone number field.

7. Resources on UX Design

If you want to expand into UX design, there are many free courses or paid classes online or via a local community college.

  • Udemy – There are a wide range of both general and very specific topics in UX design at Udemy. Prices vary, but courses start at only $9.99 each. Some of the courses include "User Experience Fundamentals" and "Mobile App Design in Sketch 3: UX and UI Design from Scratch."
  • Gymnasium – This site offers a 100 percent free course called “UX Fundamentals.” Lessons includes how to identify users, using wireframes and prototypes and analyzing users.
  • Open2Study - Open2Study is a project of the Open Universities Australia (OUA) and is a college-level course offered online at no charge. You'll learn how to create positive experiences for website visitors. The site also offers accredited courses as well.

These are just a few of the free and inexpensive resources to get you started. Your local community college is also a good source for expanding your UX knowledge.

Expanding Into UX Design

Designers learn from studying other artists, creating new things and taking courses. Hone in on the functionality of design, how to make things usable and the overall framework on which a site is designed. With a little effort, you'll become a pro at UX design and be able to add this element to your designer resume, too.

 

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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Free stock material for breathtaking videos


For everyone who communicates with their audience via social media, video content is shown to be amazing for getting your message across. If you are not a professional filmmaker or you don't have much time for shooting cool videos yourself, there is a number of website platforms where you can use the footage of your colleagues for free.

Videezy

One of the coolest platforms we'll recommend is Videezy - one of the largest base of stock videos you can use free of charge. They made it easy for you to discover what you like by searching the keywords or choosing the category of the video. They also offer their pre-made after effects templates for easy editing. These guys are perfect if, for example, you are creating a Thanksgiving / Christmas greeting video; something simple that you need done quickly.

 

 Ignite Motion

Ignite Motion is a web platform where you can find motion backgrounds for your video, for commercial use. Their community develops animated videos which are perfect for presentations in the sphere of technology, science, ecology, etc.

 

where to find free creative commons video

 

Motion Elements

Another safe space for discovering animated videos is Motion Elements, where you can find variety of videos, but also images, GIFs and audio clips. They require a tag back to their website if you are using their content, but they also offer exclusive videos which you can purchase. They add new stock clips every week.

 

Production Crate

For example, Production Crate functions in a way that they require you to make an account, in order to use their content. Free accounts are allowed to download five videos per day, while besides videos the website gives you access to some special effects, templates and audio for editing. They ask you to link your video back to them, although legally they don't specify this.

 

Motion Backgrounds

Unlike Production Crate, Motion Backgrounds gives you full access to all of their background stock videos, where you can download as many as you want and they will not ask you for any credits, so this can relax most of us.

 

Stock Footage 4 Free

Stock Footage 4 Free, as the name says it, leads you to number of free stock videos which you can use commercially. They would also ask you to create an account, but there are no obligations which come with it. They add new content several times a week and sort it under various categories for simple search.

 

Fancy Footage Club

One of the websites that is no longer operating is Fancy Footage Club, which retired leaving a storage full of free stock videos for downloading. Their database is still open for use, although their terms of use are no longer existing, so the question of licensing is not quite transparent.

 

free stock video

 

Clip Canvas

Clip Canvas offers a couple of hundred free stock footage, and a lot more available for purchase. For their videos you will not have to sign anyone.

 

Open Footage

Somewhat different model of management is created by Open Footage, which allows you to download lower quality of videos for free, while high resolution is only available for buyers. They are licensed under Creative Commons licenses, which is a type of copyright license to allow the content to be distributed under certain terms free of charge.

 

Videvo

One of more famous websites for stock footage is Videvo, which lets you use their content while asking you to give them a thumbs up on social media. They also have three different types of licencing, which you should read carefully to avoid confusion on which content is which.

 

Pixabay and  Pexels Videos 

Even though Pixabay is famous for their stock of photography, they also offer a large database of free stock videos. And just like Pixabay, Pexels Videos are a big resource of free images and videos. Both of these platforms are licensed under Creative Commons licenses.

 

Cute Stock FootageMotion Places and  Vidsplay

We've listed some trustworthy websites where you can discover and download for free, footage for your commercial video - marketing campaign, presentation, website promotion. Some honorable mentions to this list would be Cute Stock Footage, which require credit to their website, Motion Places, where you would need to subscribe to download videos, and Vidsplay, thw website offering you vectors, images, videos, templates, mockups and much more, while in return you would be asked to credit their website when using their material.

 

We have discovered that some of these websites give you absolute freedom to how you choose to use their materials, while other as you to subscribe, create an account or purchase higher quality video. Some of the best known websites choose to use A Creative Commons license, which regulates the way someone uses the content, even if it's for free. There are different types of licenses and a set of rules which apply under these regulations. However, since this is a wide and complex topic, we will explore more about Creative Commons license in our next blog post.

 

Stay tuned to colourlovers.com!

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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The science of colors


Did you know that human eye can recognize more shades of green than any other color?

Having in mind that forest was our natural habitat since Homo Sapiens started walking the Earth, this makes a lot of sense. In fact, throughout evolution, man’s survival was depending on our vision and sensitivity to colors – blue, trustworthy and calm, color of the sea reflecting the sky. Yellow, friendly and joyful, color of the Sun which lights every new day. Red, passionate and dangerous, color of the fire.

 

van colored yellow

 

After a history of relying on colors to evoke our instincts, nowadays, deep in civilization and the digital era, our brain still uses the power of colors for communication and signalization. Every child using dozen of different markers to paint a picture, knows that colors are a way of expressing feelings and reflecting the world around us.

Now, surely, we no longer live in the forest, and today we might primarily associate use of colors with something artistic. But how can we use colors today , what is their importance in technology and where is their place in modern communication?
The reality is that, as a modern society centralized in metropolis, colorful and shiny advertisement is something we can’t escape. We live in the time of consumerism and competition, where digital marketing is sending signals to our brain everyday, influencing our decisions on every level – what we eat, which toilet paper we use, how we paint our living room.

 

red roses next to closed window

 

And for every one of those brands we decide to like – science plays a big role in that liking. With every shade of every color a logo or an advert uses, a certain emotion, thought, association is evoked, we are inspired to trust them, to remember them, talk about them and buy that special product.

Further more, now that we know how exactly we connect feelings to certain colors, we can use that knowledge in our everyday life. Wouldn’t it be cool if we tricked our brain to be more productive in our office by choosing the right colors at our desk? Just like that, we could paint our bedroom in a way that would help us be more relaxed after a hard day’s work.

Make every moment of your life even more special by discovering all about colors around you!

It’s not Feng Shui, it’s science.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

 

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3 Ways to Perfect your Website Design Colors


Let’s face it!

 There is a lot more to colors than meets the eye. If anything, 85% of the shoppers base their product purchase decisions on product color. And, as it turns out, some of the world’s top-notch brands are very particular about their color choices, whether it’s Coca-Cola with its fiery fire-engine red or Pepsi’s with its predominant blue.

In fact, if you look at their logos, you will see that both these companies have interestingly used their choicest colors to stand out and build their brand identity.

As per a research, “Color increases brand recognition by 80 percent.”

The point is: Big companies don’t simply wing it when it comes to choosing colors for their websites or products. Conversely, they are strategically chosen because colors, powered by different attributes, attract shoppers to the product or site. Not to mention, colors alter consumer behavior well.

Now, with the internet providing a level-playing field to all, not just big brands, every small and big website are significantly focussing on getting their websites colored in a correct way.

However, here’s the rub:

There are no fewer than 10 million colors that a human eye can witnesses.  I repeat 10 million colors.

So, with a million colors swarming before the eyes, I daresay picking and choosing that one right color, to form the base of your website, is not an easy job.

And, mind you, you cannot simply wing it as there’s so much at stake...among others, your website’s bounce rate, conversions and more depend on colors.

I know what you are thinking now:

How to pick the starting color (dominant color) for your website with so many to choose from?

Here, I walk you through simple tips and tricks on choosing the starting color for your website. 

#a. First off, make the most of what you already have. That is, use the color of the existing logo as your starting color.

Never mind competitor’s colors. In fact, you need to delete competitors’ colors from all your color schemes.

#b. Look at your target audience. The website color of an IT company will be diametrically opposite to that of a real estate company.  So, it’s paramount to think about the users who will be using the site and the kind of emotions you want them to go through while browsing your site. Should they be excited, serious and so on?

#c. Think of the words you frequently use in your conversations with regards to your brand. See, if you can connect those words with any of the colors.

Finally, stay away from stereotypes. If the website is meant for bridal wear, look beyond the white and cream shades. Because it is said that clichés tend to undermine your credibility.

Some of the colors you can start experimenting with include red, green, blue, pink, yellow, and so on.  For more ideas on website design and colors, consult top web design companies.

Now, let me elaborate in detail the above-mentioned three points for selecting the starting color of your website.  

  1. Let the Starting Color Flow from your Logo

Remember: The starting color of your website will be your brand color, maybe forever. So, choose something that your brand invariably associates with. A color that your audience fancies the moment they think of you and even nudges them to check your site.

Like, I mentioned before, the moment you think of Coca-Cola, nothing but a conflagration of fiery red floods your sights. If you think about it for a moment, you will realize that Coca-Cola’s starting color (popularly referred to as the dominant color) stems from its logo.

So, if you are finding it difficult to arrive at the starting color of your website, don’t worry and do just one thing: Go by the logo color.

Again, if this seems difficult for you, you can go by the other methods as well:

  1. Go by your Website’s User Demographic

If the logo thing doesn’t help, simply take a break from your web designing activities and reflect on your brand and the kind of customers you want to linger on your site.

Should they be a really young crowd? Or should you be targeting highly sophisticated ones with huge disposal incomes? Or should they be gender-specific - geared toward male or female? Or should you focus on a specific age group?

Also, what sort of emotions you want them to experience while seeing your site?

You need to find answers to all these and more, before narrowing down the starting color of your website.

You can also take cues from other websites and see what they are doing. Most often, sites tend to play safe and go by conventions. For instance, if you check an organic product site, subtle colors like light green, light blue and occur yellow are commonplace over bold colors like red, purple and black.

In short, consider the emotions and personality of your target audience before deciding the starting color of your website.

When it comes to gender, for instance, if your website focuses only on women, might as well go by their favorite color:

As you can see from the above images, blue is liked both by men and women. So, it’s one of the safest bets as far as your website color goes.

No wonder, most-visited social media sites like Facebook and Twitter use blue prominently in their logos and campaigns. But then, there’s nothing like one-size-fits-all in terms of a website color. It chiefly depends on the feelings you want to convey to your visitors.

  1. Connect Brand Associated Words with Colors

Think of the words you frequently relate your brand with. Then connect these words with various available colors.

Check out this color emotion guide to nail down the starting color of your website.

 

Tips to use the starting color on your website

There’s a general rule of thumb to follow when it comes to using starting colors:  

Use them only in specific spaces where you want your visitors to pay attention.

# Phone numbers

# Contact forms

# Signing up of a newsletter

Basically, starting color is supposed to be used in those spaces that need to pop out.

#2.  Choose Accent (Complementary) Colors

Once you have nailed down the starting color of your website, finding complementary or accent colors will become easier. However, as the name suggests, they are complementary colors and should not to be widely used in websites. So, use them only in your call to action buttons, quotes, subtitles, information boxes and more. These colors help highlight the attention-worthy parts of your website.

However, here’s the rub: Blending various colors is not easy if you haven’t understood the color theory well. And, who knows, you may have to go through several trials and errors, before arriving at your perfect accent colors.

Thankfully, there are color matching tools that help you decide. And these tools include Adobe Color CC tool and Paletton.

Tips to use complementary colors on your website

Accent colors are primarily used for highlighting secondary information on your web pages.  The content, though not important, has to stand out. Nonetheless, there’s a limit to using accent colors, max 1 or 2. If you plan to use many accent colors, it might create several focal points which might confuse the visitors.

#3. Choose your Background Color

Your website visitors should feel at home while browsing your site. So, bold colors most likely will have an opposite effect on them. And, even blase background could prove to be a bad choice as your audience might overlook the crucial points you want them to focus on.

But then, it’s also nice to choose your colors depending on your industry you belong to. For instance, if your brand is into cosmetics, you might enjoy a free hand in terms of choosing your colors. You can either experiment with either with subtle colors or opt for alternative bold colors. Bold colors like red are known to drive visitors in colossal numbers.

Tips to use background color on your website

# If you are running a content heavy website or an eCommerce website, keep your background neutral or use shades of white. This is because the focus should be on the content of the site. And a white background might just draw more eyeballs to your content.

# For a corporate website, you can try you using less intense shades of your starting color. Bold colors might overpower the other key elements of the site. The background color should stay in the background. It shouldn’t overwhelm the visitors.

# For sites that are into fashion, beauty, restaurant, and other similar industries, you are free to experiment with most of the colors. There is no actual rule of thumb to follow as to what background image or colors are ideal for creative sites. For all I know, you can use all the colors of VIBGYOR or create magic using black and other bolder looking colors. The only point that you need to bear in mind is that your color shouldn’t overpower the text.  Content should invariably be the king of your website. To ensure balance between colors and content, speak to the top content marketing agencies, directly.

Putting it all together

By now you know that you can’t simply wing it when it comes to website colors. You need to go by your audience tastes and liking, because that’s only the way to establish connections with your audience. More importantly, your accent colors should be carefully chosen and not randomly applied.

Follow the above 3 steps to create a beautiful color coordinated website. Also, don’t forget to use color combination tools if you are still a novice in terms of selecting complementary colors.

But then, always remember, colors shouldn’t overshadow the content. Never ever.

How do you choose the starting color of your website or product? Go ahead! Share your experiences below.

Author Bio: This is Jennifer Warren, a Content Consultant with GoodFirms, a review and research platform for eCommerce development companies, digital marketing companies among many others.  I enjoy humanizing technology through inspirational content, devouring best sellers, watching war movies, and running behind my sunshine sons.

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