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.

Read the full post

Why You'll Love The Colors of Southwestern Rugs


When it would come to decorating your home or office, it would be quite natural that you would like to add something unique and different. In that case, you could think about going for Southwestern rugs. This is because if you enjoy entertaining guests, you would very well understand the importance of making a good first and lasting impression. Hence, there would be no way that you would be able to keep anything unnecessary or unpleasant in your office or home.

It would be for this reason that the experts recommend to go with Southwestern rugs. Being a completely different and distinct style, it would definitely help in livening up your space and adding more personality to it. The most important thing to consider when decorating in the Southwestern style is to make sure you have the color palette. Southwestern rugs are all about their colors.

Fundamental Colors in Southwestern Rug Designs

Color would also be something which would need to be kept in mind when choosing southwestern area rugs. This decision would depend on the other color elements which have been used throughout the room. To help you out further, you could take a look at the color of your furniture or the walls. The most important colors to consider are:

Turquoise

Native American art is littered with bright turquoise colors. You’ll recognize Navajo jewelry by it’s excessive use of bright turquoise colors. If you’re looking for a bright rug then you’ll do well with turquoise accents in your design.

Earth Tones

Southwestern style is largely influenced by the natural landscape of the American Southwest. The rolling hills and sprawling deserts lead to Southwestern rugs having a lot of browns, dark reds, and copper or rust. These are all colors that can be found in the desert sands, dust or the clay dug up for pottery in the Southwest.

Forest Greens and Sky Blues

Similar to the way Southwestern rugs contain many earth tones motivated by the surrounding landscapes, you will also find hints of bright green from the occasional bit of lush vegetation in the Southwest. And also, bright, sky blues that symbolize the great, open skies of the American Southwest.

Bright Oranges and Reds

Although not as commonly used as turquoise, Southwestern style is all about bright, vibrant colors. You’ll find many rug designs that will feature highly saturated oranges or reds as their accent color. Southwestern style is full of color and life and is the reason that southwestern rugs are almost always the accent piece in a home and not a supporting or subtle piece of furniture.

How To Choose The Perfect Southwestern Rug For You:

When you’re in the market for Southwestern rugs, you need to find the right company. You have to be careful because many companies will say that they sell authentic Southwestern rugs, but will actually sell cheap knock-offs. There are a few online retailers that will work, but our favorite shop for southwestern rugs has to be Southwestern Rugs Depot. They have a great selection of beautiful, authentic designs.

Read the full post

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.

Read the full post

Creative Commons Copyright


By the definition, commons is a kind of resource that belongs to the whole community - it is used and improved by all. Cultural commons stand for physical or virtual cultural property which is shared within community. It can also represent an intellectual property (such as library) available to community on a certain physical or cyber space.

 

Creative Commons is nowadays a well known US based community platform, that is structurally a non-profit organization, devoted to make artwork available for sharing and define legal boundaries of creative products which are used for commercial purposes. Their licenses are enabling users to download and use their content free of charge. However, there is a set of rules and variety of Creative Commons licenses you should know about.

 

video production CC license

 

CCO license

 

CCO is the type of license that gives you all the freedom with the content. This means that the work is open for public, the author does not require any credit and you are not restricted to the personal use of the content only. This is the most carefree type of license you should look for, if you want your experience to go smooth and never thing about plagiarism set of laws.

 

CC BY 4.0 license

 

CC BY 4.0 is also known as an attribution license. Within this type of license, you are obliged to give credit to the content author, specify if you made any changes to the content and also insert a link to the license itself. For better knowing how to give credit, you can find the information you need on the wiki website of Creative Commons. Although, this license requires more work from you and it's not particularly handy if you are using it for commerce or your own marketing campaign.

 

CC BY-SA 4.0 license

 

This license has the same rules and restrictions as the CC BY 4.0 attribution license, although on top of it, if you make any changes to the work, you are required to distribute your own work with the same license as the original. This license reminds you that in a community, except from taking resources for free, it is expected from you to give something back in return. SA in the title stands for "share-alike".

 

CC BY-NC 4.0 license

 

Following the restrictions of the attribution license, you may download and use the content for free, although this particular license doesn't allow you to use the credited content in a commercial purpose. These images and videos aren't your choice for a marketing video or poster. NC clearly stands for "non-commercial".

 

CC BY-ND 4.0 license

 

ND in this license title stands for "no-derivatives", meaning that the original content is free of charge to use however you choose, even commercially, under the restrictions of the attribution license (credit, link), but only under the condition that you do not make any changes to the original work. If you do change the content, you are not allowed to publicly expose and distribute it. This is a tricky license and also very demanding and complicated if you are looking for stock photos/videos for your own project.

 

photography CC license

 

In our previous articles, we have listed several websites where you can find free stock videos, as well as photography. Most of the titles from our list use their own policy regarding giving credits and hyper linking the shared content, while several use the set of rules by Creative Commons for their distributions.

 

If you have any doubts about your freedom of use of certain content, you can either contact the website owner or the content creator, or simply move on to the content with clear licensing. Before moving on to downloading the images from stock websites, it is recommended that you read the guidelines on the Creative Commons website, as well as to consider what is that you can do to give back to the community.

 

The world of free stock footage wouldn't exist if there weren't for selfless creators willing to share and contribute to the creative worldwide community. Think about your role in this global commune and find a way to improve and enrich this cyber space with your participation and contribution.

 

Even if the license does not require giving credit to the author, it would be a matter of respect to show in any way that we appreciate the work of our colleagues and how much their sharing helped us with our projects.

 

Another important notice on the topic of stock footage is that most of the websites have a disclaimer that the content must not be used in the process of creating a work that promotes violence, discrimination or any other offensive marketing campaign. We would like to remind you that the creative industry is not here to be led by these types of values and we strongly support the disclaimers of these websites.

 

Good luck with creating your next project and pay attention to the copyright of the stock content you use!

 

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.

Read the full post

Top 7 Gifts for a Bearded Man that will Draw Out a Smile from All That Hair


It’s the resurgence of the beard, everyone! What started as a trend a couple of years ago has now grown into a full-blown grooming subculture. Having finally flourished from cavemen into dandies, our favorite guys are spending more and more time (and money) on keeping their hair sleek and soft.

You certainly have your own bearded guy too, so why not get him a special treat this holiday season?

From boar bristle brushes and tiny, tiny combs to luxuriously scented shampoos and lush ointments, there must be at least one beard-related product with your guy’s name on it. To help you pick the best one, we’ve done some searching and compiled this ultimate bearded man’s seven-item wishlist.

Some for treating, some for trimming, and a few for shaping.

 

  • Beard Brush

 

It may be a bit hairy, buying a beard brush as a gift, and you may or may not make a wrong pick. Your choice should depend on your man’s style and the quality of his facial hair, though you should also consider what he is planning to do with it. In case you don’t have any of these answers, just get him a bamboo-handle brush with stiff board bristles, since this is arguably the best one currently available.

 

  • Beard Shampoo

 

Rogue hair is the greatest enemy of a well-groomed man, but where brushes cannot help, shampoos come to the rescue. Being an essential part of a beard care kit, a shampoo enriched with apple amino acids doesn’t only help the hair grow in a controllable way, but it also keeps it healthy and shiny. You cannot possibly go wrong with HiLee Cosmetics and their signature ultra-soft beard shampoos.

 

  • A Beard Shaping Tool

 

The glorious manliness of a beard cannot be easily achieved and is virtually impossible to maintain without a proper beard shaping tool. Their main purpose is trimming, in case you’ve never heard of them before, but they are not the same thing as a trimmer. Crucial for accomplishing a perfect curve cut, shaping a neckline, and trimming sideburns, the best shaping tools are actually made of plastic.

 

  • Mustache and Beard Comb

 

A mustache and beard comb may just be the best gift for a bearded guy, especially if it’s a gift given by a lady. A dapper man will take his comb wherever he goes and admires it whenever he takes it out of his pocket. It will be the single most important thing in his grooming kit and it will always remind him of you. And the best thing about it is, you can always custom-tailor the comb to his unique style.

 

  • Quality Trimmer

 

A bit on the expensive side, quality beard trimmers make a brilliant holiday gift for men who pay attention to their looks. And trimming itself, ladies and gentlemen, is of the utmost importance. It doesn’t only help a beard look clean-cut and respectable, but it also prevents flaky skin, irritation, and bacteria. A high-quality trimmer is a thing of beauty, designed for both function and aesthetics.

 

  • Straight Razor

 

Beards are so fab that even the IDF was forced to relax some of its restrictions on facial hair for religious soldiers. You can read the full story in this article, and even print it out as a gift to a bearded man who’s decided to shave it all off. Alternatively, you can learn to respect his decision and get him his first straight razor. For sharp, solid, and impressive-looking blades, go for carbon or stainless steel.

 

  • Shaving Cream

 

You can choose a shaving cream based on its lush texture and seductive scent, but keep in mind that like all other skincare products, this one too works only when applied on a suitable skin type. For dry skin, opt for a glycerin-based cream that includes a skin soother (aloe, coconut oil or vitamin E). Allergen-free shaving creams are a must for sensitive types, while oily skin demands mild astringents.

In case that your favorite bearded guy already has everything he needs for treating, trimming, and shaping his lavish facial mane, other holiday gifts that celebrate beards are tobacco pipes (a match made in heaven), mustache-shaped tie clips (quirky and cool), and of course, Christmas beard lights!

Read the full post

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.

 

Read the full post

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.

Read the full post

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.

 

Read the full post

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.

Read the full post

Is Black the New Black?


If you have ever had even a passing interest in fashion then you will have come across the idiom “the new black.” The term is used to denote something that has had a sudden surge of popularity and can be used on various occasions, using the idea of black as a popular colour. You can also customize the term to suggest popularity in general; for example, if playing hopscotch was the new workout trend you might say “playing hopscotch is the new black in the world of exercise.” You can even use the phrase as a pun, as seen in the case of Netflix’s hit show Orange is the New Black which is a play on words as in this case the “orange” refers to the colour of prison jumpsuits.

However the phrase is used though, the underlying understanding is that black is a popular colour. Black is the colour that needs to be usurped. Black is trendy, cool and tough to beat. But what makes the colour black so special?

Why Simple Colours Are So Popular

SOURCE:PEXELS

What makes the colour black such a hit with trendsetters and designers alike is that it is so simple. The colour black goes with everything. By wearing black, you can make a neon-coloured accessory stand out or you can match a larger part of apparel (a dress or a jacket) for an extra bit of contrast. That’s the reason why many recommend that women own a little black dress or an LBD - these timeless black looks are perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s a night on the town, a business meeting, or a cocktail party where you need to get contacts, an LBD is a good companion for just about anything.

It also speaks to people’s love of simple colours in general. Simple colours and primary colours (red, yellow and blue) are especially popular because they are easy on the eye, familiar and, like the colour black, they’re easy to match with other colours. When looking at the most popular design palettes, you’ll notice that many of them include red, yellow or blue, even if they do feature some secondary shades as well. The same goes for logos, such as the red, white and black Delicious logo which pairs a more softer colour with an eye-catching dark colour to really make the name of the company pop. Like the little black dress, people are also encouraged to incorporate yellow in their wardrobe, all because of the wearability of these simple, primary colours.

What Are the Best Examples of Simple Colour Design?

SOURCE: PEXELS

But these palettes and dresses aren’t the only examples of simple colour design as this is a basic design principle embraced by creatives from a wide range of sectors and industries.

Take the refreshment company Coca-Cola as an example. Their red and white logo is renowned for its simplicity and the way that its white name stands out on the attractive red background. The contrast draws people in. Entertainment streaming platform Netflix uses a similar design. Its blockish logo stands out on a white background in external branding, while in the app it has a black background. This offers a design with minimal distractions. Speaking of apps, the design of the Betway mobile app uses blue and white throughout so that the category descriptions of the different table games and slots are easy to read. However, the logo of the brand itself and the category headers aren’t distracting. This is important as it draws the users eyes towards the logos of the different games available, helping players navigate to designs that interest them. And what of the companies that allow us to access these apps, such as Apple? Apple’s famous bitten apple logo is typically black or grey. This means that on the occasions that Apple does add a pop of colour to its logo, it makes it all the more special. Likewise, the multi-coloured Google logo that represents one of Apple’s competitors incorporates all three primary colours, although there is also one stick of green. With soft edges and gentle colours, the logo has become iconic.

Incorporating simple colours starts from the very beginning. Choose the right colours for your logo and then use them throughout your branding. Don't underestimate how much simplicity can help to make your message stand out.

 

Read the full post

Search The Blog

Subscribe & Share

Our Latest Tweets

Attention #colourlovers: If you'd have to decide on only one color that represents Christmas to you, what would tha… https://t.co/shyiW6VKnY
about 12 hours ago
Tweet this ArticleFollow @COLOURlovers

Latest Articles

//View More ›

Latest Colors

//View More ›

Latest Palettes

//View More ›

Latest Patterns

//View More ›