Colors and brand personality


The effect that each color has on us depends mostly on personal experience and association an individual has about the color. We already know that colors symbolize different abstracts from culture to culture, but on top of that, there is a personal psychological level which is a non reliable factor when we're choosing the brand color.

When we're thinking about branding, there is so much to consider depending on the product we're designing the brand for. True, a lot depends on the visual aspects of a brand, but we shouldn't forget everything else in order to make a harmonic holistic approach to the brand personality. Things such as the certain smell we use for the shop, texture, patterns, customer service, music. So besides what the color represents, we should think about whether it fits what we sell and does it match everything else in the brand?

 

The role color holds in the brand identity is to make it easily recognizable, which is of great importance to the consumerist brain. Another thing to consider is which colors our biggest competitors use and how can we help the customers make an easy differentiation between the companies. Although, this is not always the right way to go when creating a brand. For example, both Twitter and Facebook use the color blue, and they are both social networks. The reason behind the color they chose is in fact very practical - since using these platforms requires spending time looking at the screen, they chose the color which is most comfortable to the eye so their users can spend more time on the network.

To think like successful brands, we need to think about our consumers, and not about the colors themselves. First we need to know what kind of emotions we want our customers to feel when using our product or service. What do we provide for them? Comfort, pleasure, confidence, excitement?

 

There are five dimensions of brand personality: blue for honest, welcoming, sentimental and friendly feeling; red for exciting, bold, creative and independent; green for reliable, successful, confident and smart; purple for elite, feminine, pretty and sophisticated; yellow for tough, outgoing, strong.

 

What do you want your customers to feel when they buy what you sell? Find the dominant emotion and focus your brand around it - think about practical factors and how to match every aspect of the brand with the color you choose.

 

About the author

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

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Red - the color of love and death


From the earliest cultures, colors have had their symbolic meaning. What they represented and the way they were used in cultural ceremonies varies from culture to culture, and was changed throughout history. Mystic meaning of colors often originates from religious, spiritual, social and historical events.

Red is the color human eye sees in the setting sun, fire, blood, sweet fruit, and it is also the color of human heart - which was treated differently in cultures which practiced human sacrifice.

 

The color red is known to be the color of love and passion in Europe and North and South America. Red is the color we use to celebrate Valentine’s Day, color of roses, candles, balloons we express our deepest feelings with.

 

Meanwhile in Asia and Africa, different cultures use the same color to express a variety of symbols. If we take a look at India - in Indian culture red represents various things: fear, wealth, purity, love, marriage, beauty. If a women is wearing red henna on their hands and indoor, they are telling us they are married.

Nearby, In China, red represents luck and fertility. During the celebration of Chinese New Year, they distribute small red envelopes to share good fortune. Women also wear red during their wedding day, as they connect it with fertility.

 

People of Thailand see red as the color of Surya, the sun god. In Thailand, every day is represented by color, and red is their color for Sunday.

 

Orthodox Church, for example, uses the color red to mark certain dates in the calendar, which are reserved for celebration of an important saint, and on that day, out of respect, people are not meant to perform chores in the house.

In some African cultures, red stands for death and grief. In Nigeria and South Africa, it symbolizes violence and sacrifice. Red on the flag of South Africa shows the violence during the fight for their freedom.

 

Now we see that some cultures particularly use red to mark the days for resting, praying, showing respect for the spiritual forces, while others, with more violent history, connect red with blood and rebellion.

Either way, red is the color that we'll always connect with something powerful and strong, the color which tells us to pay attention, be precocious and stop at the traffic sign.

 

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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Hey artist, get a real job!


In ancient human history, art was highly respected as it contributed the well being of the community. It used to bring change to everyday life, inspire development of science and technology; it literally led us, step by step, to civilization as we know it. Artists are the first to recognize the challenge. And they are the first to offer a visionary solution, which then the rest of society follows.

 

 

Today though, we cannot say that the society has high respect for artists, nor that artists are reaching their capacities as change-makers. The way that economy disciplined us into a consumerist society is that we are used to paying for what pleases us in a way that we can measure (or what has enough addictive substance). How do we measure the contribution of art in our life? Going to the theater or having an original painting - turned out to be a status symbol, more than anything else.

 

Hey, well, you are an artist, living and creating in the real world, today. If you came this far without hearing repetitive "yeah, that's a nice hobby, but when are you gonna find a real job?", you really are in luck. On the art planet, it's a jungle in struggling to make a living of your passion. But, hey, you do get something, don't you? What is that they pay artists with? Ah, yes, with exposure. And that's all right cuz you live out of thin air?? I don't think so.

 

So, how do artists get paid?

 

 

First thing you need to realize it that everything you do and you support yourself with, is a job. YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE IS YOUR JOB. And you deserve to be paid for what you create and what you provide. You're already doing it better than anyone else - you actually enjoy working. Yay!

 

But, as in any other job, you have to work really hard to get somewhere. And by working hard I don't mean creating more, I mean selling more. I know, not everyone can afford to hire a manager... It's 21st century! It's possible to learn any skill. Be your own manager. If you believe in your work and you love your work - let other people appreciate and love what you do as well!

 

Your audience is out there, and it ain't gonna reach itself.

 

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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Colours and how they influence your life


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Also find out about a new online site that will help you to find in trend and hip designer clothing to look better.

 

The dresses that you choose for yourself will either make or break your life. That is just the first step. The colours that you choose for your dresses becomes more important for you because of their integrated psychological importance.

The colour wheel

 

The colour wheel can help you to understand the relationship between different colours. And it can help you to choose the right clothes for yourself.

 

Primary colours- primary colours include red, yellow and blue. You cannot mix other colours to get these colours. Every other colour is derived from these colours.

 

Secondary colours-these are the colours that you can get by mixing primary colours at different proportions. For example, if you mix red and yellow, you will get orange; if you mix blue and yellow, you will get green and if you mix red and blue, you will get violet. These are known as the secondary colours.

Tertiary colours- these are the colours that you get by mixing a primary colour with a secondary colour.

The colour of your clothes reveal a lot

 

The colour of your clothes reveal a lot about your personality type. Depending on the colour you choose or avoid, it can reveal a lot about your personality. Your dressing is a form of personal expression and by wearing specific clothes you are sending out messages to the world. Now the question is- Are you sending the right messages?

 

Colours play a major role in our lives by influencing our moods and emotions. A colour can make you feel secure or feel uneasy. It may happen because even though you are consciously not aware of the symbolic meanings of some colours, your subconscious is very much knowledgeable about them and so you feel different feelings about different colours of your dresses. One colour may mean something to you and something different to someone else.

 

Black colours-you need to have the perfect black dress that is flattering to your body in your closet. Black is important for you because it symbolises extremes which means all or nothing. It can mean strength, power, elegance, sophistication and authority.

Blue colours- blue colour cools and soothes. If you are wearing a blue colour, it is sending out the masses that you are a creative, positive, peace loving, and loyal person. It will also symbolises that you live by your own rules. People who generally like blue are smart, have a quick wit and are independent. Do you like blue?

Brown colours- brown colours symbolise things that are solid and grounded because it is the colour of the earth. If you wear a brown, you are sending out the masses that you are stable, smart and dependable.

Grey colours- if you wear a grey most of the time, it may mean that you are indifferent, depressed and apathetic. It may mean that you lack self-confidence and you are suppressive.

Silver colours-if you like metabolic colours like silver, it means that you are not shy, you are adventurous, hip and are for anything.

 

Red colours- red colours can help you to stand out and grab the spotlight. It symbolises the life and it’s a colour of energy. It is very empowering and it can provide you with lots of confidence. It is also associated with sensuality, aggression, passion and boldness.

Orange colours- orange is the colour which makes you open for new possibilities. It is associated with creativeness, enthusiasm, good times, warmth and ambition. It will make you appear a positive, energising and engaging mood.

 

Pink colours- in general pink is associated with femininity. However, it does not mean that men cannot wear anything pink. If he is comfortable with both the masculine and feminine side of his personality, he can definitely wear a pink dress and rock it. It is associated with unconditional love and it reduces aggression.

Purple colours- purple is the colour of royalty and it is also a symbol of wealth. It can help you to send out the masses that you are rich both materially and spiritually. It may help you to mean that you have a rich inner life, you are artistic and creative and you also have great instincts about people.

Yellow colours- yellow makes you logical, happy, optimistic and cheerful. It can be overpowering at some times. It will help you by encouraging intelligence and inspiration.

Green colours- green colour is associated with generosity, healing and a rejuvenated state of mind. It is also closely associated with nature and money it is a calming colour. If you wear a green, it will convey the masses that you are charismatic and you also care for other people.

White colours- white means cleansing and new beginnings. It helps you to look fresh and bright. White is also associated with balance, higher money, purity and courage.

 

The fashionable dress colours for the summer 2018

 

After knowing about the relationship between colours, your personality and the masses you are sending out to the world, let’s find out more about the colours of the dresses brought in by one of the popular and successful destination for daring, exciting and edgy fashion- Zaful.com (Zaful). It is an online shop that specialises in offering most daring, exciting and edgy fashion apparel. If you’re looking for dresses in trend, design excellence and exceptional quality. If you’re looking for the latest and compelling designs for the fashionably hip people, you will find it here.

The summer edit is here

You can get ready for the summer with the new summer edit of Zaful. Whether you want tops, bottoms, dresses, bikinis, plus size clothing, everything is there. Dresses for sports and accessories are also available at the site. It is absolute favourite for summer outfits and swimwear as it is affordable, has a large selection, trendy and super chic.

 

Find out the latest collection of strapless dresses here.

 

And we bring you more info about so many new and different products which will help you to look gorgeous whenever you want.

 

From Milan to Milwaukee we're bringing all the best fashion colour ideas and inspirations together to help you design the right look, plan the perfect outfit or construct your new line- is what the fashion channel on ColourLovers is all about. And so you will find so many different some fashion colour ideas and inspirations at one place which you can use for your own creative and artistic designs, new product creation and construction of your new line. It will help you to find so many ideas about inspired cutting-edge fashion which is in an ahead of the trend.

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The ultimate guide for creatives


These days in the magic world of internet we are looking at various content tagging creativity, inspiration, guides on how to be creative. Many bloggers are now trying to teach us that creativity can be practiced as a routine, a skill which can be mastered. But where does creativity hide and what does it even mean to be creative?

 

 

To overcome the global conspiracy that creativity is strictly reserved for artists and innovators, people made of ideas and company owners who move the world forward, we will have to go down the memory lane and remember what it was like to be a five-year-old living in a fantasy world. Ask yourself, once again, what do you want to be when you grow up? While waving around with wooden sticks pretending they were light-sabers, or creating the whole love story for your Barbie doll, you were reflecting the world around you. Creativity is what drives this imagination - every child is creative.

 

So what happened with this creativity? Where did it go? How do we bring it back and use the most of it in our personal and professional lives? Well, first thing you need to realize is that you are still as creative as you once were. Take a look around you - the colors you surround yourself with, the books you read, fantasies you catch yourself daydreaming about. Creativity goes beyond developing a "creative industry" or creating a piece of art. Creativity is in every new idea that lights up your mood and gives you goose-flesh.

"The key to unlocking your creative potential" is accepting this idea you are so amazed with. Stop putting yourself down. That's too big of a bite for me - isn't a real thing. Of course, not all of us have the same set of talents and skills, but that's why it's such good news that team projects actually exist. Talk about it to your friends, let it out, share it and develop it. Who knows where it might take you?

 

 

If the idea is driving you crazy and you're so passionate about it, there's no reason not to go for it. The only thing coming in your way is yourself. So get out of your way! Go out there and do something amazing!

 

And stop reading guides for creativity.

 

 

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 Unconventional Tips to Scale Your Freelance Design Business


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It’s a tough world out there for freelance designers. You have to fight off agencies, other freelancers, and increasingly, design tools to get new clients.

Your skills and knowledge can only take you so far; to survive in this hostile, ultra-competitive environment, you need some business hustle and marketing chops.

This is where I come in. In this quick guide, I’ll share 3 tips and tactics you can use to explode your freelance career. Whether you’re a practicing freelancer or looking to start after getting inspired by ColourLovers, you’ll find these tactics more than handy:

 

  1. White-label your services to agencies

Imagine that a client comes into an agency looking for a new website. Halfway through the project, he decides that the company’s current logo is too bland. So he asks the agency to design him a new one.

The trouble is, the agency has never offered logo design services before. But since it doesn’t want to turn away the client to a competitor, it happily agrees, even though it has no clue how it will actually deliver the logo.

This is where you can come in. As a freelance designer, you can “white label” your services to agencies.

White-labelling means that you’ll do the entire creative work, but the agency will take credit for it. In exchange, the agency will give you bulk work without having to deal with the problem of finding and serving clients.

For freelance designers, this is as good as it gets to a guaranteed income. If you can stick to the creative brief, agencies will love to offload their work to you. This is also a great way to build relationships and start creating your own agency.

 

  1. ‘Productize’ your services

Pricing services by the hour is standard practice in the creative industry. For agencies, it has its advantages – they can calculate costs easily, distribute resources across projects, and bill clients quickly.

For freelance designers, however, hourly billing isn’t always the best way to go. By exchanging your time for cash, you essentially limit your income. After all, you can only bill for a maximum of 24 hours in a day.

The solution? ‘Productize’ your services. This means moving away from hourly billing to a fixed-fee model.

In this model, you sell each service (such as logo design) for a fixed-fee. Clients also get a list of “features” with the service (such as 2 revisions or guaranteed 5-day deliver). This effectively turns your service into a ‘product’ that clients can purchase with the click of a button.

Productizing your services offers several benefits:

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

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

 

  1. Use project management best practices

Have you ever felt overwhelmed while running a project? Do you regularly lose track of key objectives? Do you struggle to juggle clients and change requests?

If yes, you might be suffering from project mismanagement syndrome.

So many freelancers fall into the trap of focusing so much on their creative craft that they completely neglect the project and business side of things. They use ad-hoc processes to break down complex projects, eyeball project estimates, and use email to keep track of open issues.

This might be fine when you’re working on tiny projects and small clients. But as your practice grows, you’ll realize that neglecting managerial best practices makes it impossible to run complex projects. In fact, you’ll even find that larger clients expect you to know the basics of project management.

While project management is a massive discipline in its own right (the PMP exam requires about 7,500+ hours of active project experience), here are a few things you should know:

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

Refer to this guide to project management to get started. You don’t have to know everything in it (you can skip ‘project management methodologies’, for instance), but even understanding the basics will help you stand out.

 

Conclusion

Being a freelance designer is difficult in this day and age. As much as you’d want to focus on your craft alone, you can’t ignore the importance of knowing business and project management tactics. Follow these three tips to take your freelance design business further than it’s ever gone before.  

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May edition: Colours have feelings too


May was a month of many colors! We asked how palettes made you feel on our Twitter channel, and you answered. Thank you for being so active in voting Colourlovers. Let's review the questions that we asked and the winning palettes.

  • Which palette makes you feel ?
  • Which palette best represents ?
  • Which palette screams ?
  • Which palette best describes ?
  • Which palette reminds you of #fairytales the most?
  • How would you describe ?
  • The best palette to !
  • Which inspired palette do you like the best?
  • What better describes your today? (May 18)
  • What palette describes today's the best? (May 23)

 

1. Emotions - what color palettes made you feel

 

The palette that made you feel : safe&sound *



 

The palette that represented the best: Lena's Love Letter

 

 

The palette that said  the best: a d v e n t u r e

 

 

The palette that represented  the best: emanated soul
bit.ly/2HZ1Z6K

 

The palette that reminded you of #fairytales the most: unicorn milk

 

The palette which screamed  was: Powerful

 

The best  palette: Sweet Escape •
bit.ly/2IJA0bA

 

2. Best color inspired palette - the best purple

 

And last but not least the best  inspired palette: Influenza

3. The mood of the day palettes

 

The palette which described the of the day (18th May): Sunbleached

 

The palette that described the of the day (May 23): i demand a pancake
bit.ly/2x4850r

 

So, Colourlovers, what do you think about the palettes? Do you see any pattern? :D
Share which one is your favorite. We can't wait to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Ideas to Craft a Beautifully Designed and Informative College Presentation


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If there is anything most students dread even more than writing essays and term papers, it's giving an oral presentation. Almost nobody likes it and it can be very nerve-racking. You are being judged and critiqued in real time by both your professors and your classmates. It can make you feel like you're in a pressure cooker that's just about to blow.

 

The good news is that the anxiety and fear associated with giving an oral presentation doesn't need to cripple your performance or your chance to get a good grade. If you take the advice ahead and implement these seven ideas into the writing and delivery of your presentation, you'll do just fine.

 

#1 – Start With Good Writing

 

One of the advantages of presentations is that you don't have to be an expert essay writer or any kind of writing professional to stand out amongst your classmates. The language of a presentation is less formal, so you can write your script in a way that is more conversational than an academic paper. The freedom to do that should, in and of itself.

 

A well-drafted script, formatted like an essay or term paper, can help you get more comfortable with the information and its delivery. Start by drafting a comprehensive outline and build a script around that. It will help you organize your information and will decrease the likelihood of forgetting to include key details.

 

#2 – Study Your Draft

 

Once you have a solid draft written, read it over and over again. Resist the urge to make too many changes unless you spot some glaring errors or misinformation that needs to be revised. Getting familiar with the salient points in your script, along with the supporting details, will make it easier to transition to the next step.

 

#3 – Use Icons to Fortify Key Points

 

Remember that you are giving this presentation to a largely millennial audience that grew up on visuals as part of their overall communication style. Graphic interpretations of key concepts or those that accentuate your description or explanation of them will get you far. Make good use of icons in your visuals. They are a popular addition to many written conversations, so leverage them as powerful visual aids. Some great examples can be found here.

 

#4 – Make Good Use of Color in Your Visuals

 

Color is also a vital part of any visual presentation. Don't go the fast and easy route. Select templates and color schemes that accentuate the tone, mood, and feelings you are attempting to convey. Colorful visuals add an extra dimension to your presentation and can often go far toward clarifying key concepts or making your own thoughts and opinions clearer.

 

#5 – Use Your Personality to Your Advantage

 

Now comes the part where you need to deliver your presentation and you want that delivery to be as strong as possible. Stiff, practiced, monotone presentations are boring. They become interesting when the presenter adds his or her own personality to the delivery. Walk around, use your hands, use appropriate facial expressions. All of these things will help accentuate your message and keep your audience engaged.

 

#6 – “Um...” Don't Get Stuck

 

The curse of “um...” has taken down many a presenter. This is why you want to be as familiar as possible with your material and the structure of the presentation ahead of time. Silent pauses are much preferred to a nervous “um” so work those pauses in ahead of time.

 

#7 – Relax and Enjoy

 

Try to approach your presentation from an angle that personally interests you and organize the information in a way that is easy for you to understand. Doing so will boost your confidence along with the quality of your presentation. Don't try to impress with lofty details or ideas that are beyond the scope of the class. Stick with what you know and are being taught. It will earn huge points with your prof.

 

While we can't make the experience of giving a college presentation less scary, we hope that the above advice will help you at least feel more prepared when the time comes. Remember, out of all the things you'll be asked to write during your college career, this is actually one of the easiest so don't be daunted by the task. You've got this and we've got your back.

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Best tips for getting celebrity hair style


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You have probably experienced a time in your life where you have taken the plunge and decided to cut your hair short only to regret it instantly or even going to your hairdressers and asked for a trim only to walk out with a bit more than you anticipated. The 30 minutes you spent at your hairdressers might feel like it can take several years to fix.

 

If you would like your hair to grow it can feel like it is not getting any longer, even though the hair growth process is not something that’s easily noticeable, there are several tips for speeding up the process.

 

  1. Keep the Heat Styling to a Minimum

 

Heat styling is okay, but only in moderation. Excessive styling using heat products such as hair dryers, straighteners, and curling tongs definitely takes a toll on hair. Using extreme heat on your hair can damage it making it dry and brittle, which may result is hair breakage and shortening.

 

It is always advisable to keep heat styling to a minimum. Try washing your hair before you go to bed and allow it to dry naturally. If you have to use a curling tong or straightener, ensure that you only use it every other day. It is also advisable to apply some heat protecting spray before styling to help protect your hair.

 

  1. Getting Regular Haircuts

 

Regular haircuts are something that people looking to grow hair love to avoid. Most people avoid getting haircuts when they are trying to grow hair because they wrongly assume that their hair will simply end up getting shorter.

 

Getting regular haircuts especially after the ends have just been cut off really helps speed up the growth process. It is advisable to get your hair cut every 6 to 8 weeks. Regular trims help prevent hair from splitting. Hair becomes thin and breaks if it splits and goes up the hair shaft, which causes it to become damaged and shorter. If you get regular haircuts you can easily avoid such an unfortunate situation.

 

advisable not to have such treatments repeatedly since hair also needs to have a break.

 

  1. Choose a Celeb Style

 

There are numerous styles out there to suit your face and your own personal style and understanding the right one for you takes a little bit of thinking.

 

To make things a lot easier however, here is a great infographic that will give you an idea of not just celeb styles, but those that are also on trend.

 

 

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet

 

Eating right is one of the best ways to ensure that your hair stays healthy. Failing to eat a balanced diet can have quite an effect on the hair. Your scalp and hair can both experience problems because of a deficiency or excess of some nutrients in your diet. For instance, hair loss can be caused by an iron deficiency. Similarly, too much vitamin A can lead to hair loss in some people.

 

It is due to this reason that a balanced diet is critical to hair health. It is important to ensure that the body gets all the vitamins and nutrients that it needs to ensure that your hair and body stays healthy. It is very important to make sure that you get a mixture of complex carbohydrates and protein in your diet along with seeds and nuts that help keep hair healthy.

 

  1. Lifestyle Changes

 

Hair loss is sometimes due to one’s lifestyle. Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that’s quite common in women and people that have tight hairstyles frequently such as braids.

 

Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that happens over an extended period if the hair is under constant tension or strain. The hair loss is typically gradual caused by the pulling force applied to the hair. You might start noticing that your hair is thinning if you often have your hair in the same tight hairstyle.

 

It is always advisable to change your hairstyle regularly to avoid causing constant tension and strain on the hair. Avoiding tight hairstyles such as cornrows, high ponytails, and braids is also an excellent way to help prevent traction alopecia. Giving hair a complete break and leaving it unstyled and down also helps stop the risk of traction alopecia.

 

If you would like to learn more about how to keep hair healthy or information about any of the hair restoration treatments available, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We can arrange a no obligation consultation where one of our experts in hair loss can provide all the information that you need.

 

  1. Avoid Chemical Styling

 

Chemical styling refers to anything from drying the hair to chemical straightening to a classic perm. It is of great importance to understand exactly what you are actually putting on the hair with regards to chemical styling since overusing such treatments often leads to hair damage.

 

Chemical styling, just like heat damage can lead to hair becoming brittle and damaged, which results in the snapping of hair and hair never growing to its full potential. It is always advisable to only go for chemical treatments in salons where professionals can assess the current state of health of your hair and advise you whether the treatment is suitable for you. It is also

 

 

 

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


I’ve been working as a self-employed creative person for about 6 years. I say "creative person” because, even though for most of the time I worked as a graphic designer and illustrator - I had about 2-3 years when I also worked as a UI/UX designer for mobile apps and websites, which at the time seemed like a dream job for me. I know, you’re probably thinking it’s a big gap between designing apps and drawing things for a living, and you’re right, but I was always attracted to exploring different visual creative fields and I like how they can co-exist.

In all this time I’ve been working as a freelancer, which involves the whole package of finding clients, doing a briefing, planning a project, doing research and finally starting work on the actual designs. The process is pretty much the same for every new project I take, but of course it wasn’t always like this. Since I’m self taught, I didn’t always have a structure and I used to play it by the ear a lot back when I started, so I made many mistakes that in time helped me optimize the process I have now.

 

First of all, a little background. When I started, I had no experience as a designer, my background was in communication and a little marketing, so I had to learn Photoshop and Illustrator from scratch. It helped that I was always passionate about drawing, but not by much, since graphic design is pretty technical and I was very new to all of that. I also had to learn to find my first clients, deliver the work and get paid, even if I had no portfolio and nothing to show for my work. So I did the easiest thing at the time: started by using freelance platforms like Fiverr or Elance (now Upwork), asking for very little money (yes, I did logos for $5) and pitching my design skills to clients who had no idea who I was. It was hard work and the satisfaction of earning the first money on my own was incredible.

Finding clients

It took me a few months to become a decent designer and increase my fees, after which I started to find clients on my own, among my network. Ever since then, I never actively searched for design jobs, because I would always have people recommend me to other people or, once I got a little exposure on social media, I started receiving many emails from people who just happened to see my work and had a design proposal for me.

I would sometimes become so overwhelmed with the amount of work that came my way, that I would have to say no. That’s also when I learned another thing: as long as the demand for what you do is high, you can raise your prices and filter the projects you decide to take. I realized it's better for me to work on one big project that pays well, instead of working on 4-5 small projects that pay little money and take the same amount of energy as a big project, if not more.

 

So, after the first year in the business or so, I never had trouble finding clients. But I would say that I did two things from the very beginning, that I think helped me get clients in the long run:

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

 

Briefing

Once a client approaches me for a job I’m interested in, the process usually goes like this: we have a first meeting where we both determine whether or not we can work together, and if everything goes well we exchange a few emails where I ask many questions, in order to create a brief and see what exactly my job will be. Based on that, I estimate the budget and I send them a quote. I usually like to work with project based fees as opposed to hourly rate, because I feel like the value of what I’m offering isn’t always about the hours I put in. Sometimes I might spend 3 hours to reach a concept, sometimes it might take me 20 hours, depending on the project. But the value for the client is always about the end results; and the amount of time I spend getting there isn’t always a good indicator of that value.

If the client is ok with the price, we sign the contract, I usually get an advance of 25% (or 50%, if it’s a smaller project) and I start working.

 

My favorite part, the creative one, usually starts later in the process. I first need to dig deeper into what the client needs. In my experience, there’s almost always a difference between what the client says they need and what they actually need. So it’s my job as a designer to do my homework and make sure I ask as many questions as possible in order to get the bigger picture.

If it’s a visual identity project, for example, there is a lot to figure out before I start to design. I usually start by doing research about the brand, get as much info as possible on their core values, their goals, how their customers perceive them vs. how they want to be perceived (many times there are surprises here), I do research on the competition etc. This is very useful in order to offer the client a real solution, other than just execute what they say they need.

Once I have everything clear, I usually start by defining the brand’s personality, along with the client, and creating a tone of voice for the brand, which are the base for everything that follows. All the designs, communication, vibe of the brand, everything relies on these things we define. Ideally, these should be done by an agency, if the client has one, but if they don’t, these are steps you shouldn’t skip, if you want to offer quality work that will last in time. Your client will appreciate you more for it.

 

Creative process

Once we have this structure, it’s a lot easier coming up with a concept and creating the graphic standards around it. Because once you can define “who is the brand?”, “what is it like?”, “what adjectives you can attribute to it?” and other such questions often used in branding, it’s easy to come up with fonts, the color palette and so on. If the brand is formal and conservative, you go with a certain font and choice of colors (taking into account what services they offer, also). If the brand is playful, innovative and cheeky, you might choose a friendly font, you might use hand lettering, playful illustrations and so on.

 

So design has very much to do with context. This is why it’s always a red flag for me when a client says they want their logo in blue because it's their wife's favorite color. Or that they want something similar to someone else’s design (and send me a picture). I can always do that, it’s the easiest thing for me to execute and take the money, but I never do it, because: 1. they probably won’t be happy and will keep coming back for revisions, since that wasn’t what they “really” wanted; 2. because I love what I do and a big part of that is knowing that my work has real purpose.

Here’s a story on that subject. I once had a client who hired me to design his upcoming online teaching platform. When I asked him what kind of logo he wants, he told me he loves the Apple logo and wants something like that. Of course, my designer mind immediately went to the bitten apple symbol, used mainly on grey or black, with a super simple font assigned to the brand. I could do that. But was that what he really wanted? So I started asking question after question, trying to understand what exactly about the Apple logo he liked. Ten minutes later, I got to the conclusion that what he actually wanted was a brand that was "as respected and desired as Apple is". So what he wanted was not the logo, but rather the character of the brand, and he subconsciously associated that with the logo ?

 

This is why you need to ask questions beyond what the client claims they want.

 

Creating the logo and everything else involved usually starts once all this is made clear. And I usually put all this in a document and send it to the client to confirm.

 

Back when I started out, I would usually create 3-4 concepts of a logo and send them to the client to choose which one he liked best. Now, I prefer to work on just one concept, which I consider to be the best solution, and work from there. I always explain my point to the client and I always have objective arguments, so that they can make a decision taking into account my expertise. Many times, the client doesn’t agree with you, but when you explain it to them, they might change their mind and trust you more because of that.

When I pick a color palette, I start from all the above, but once I have it narrowed down to a few color ideas, I start looking for inspiration. I like using color palette websites (colourlovers.com has been my go to for years), but also Pinterest or Instagram accounts like @designseeds. Another favorite is Dribbble, where you can enter a color code and see all the combinations of colors used containing that one color (you can even filter according to the percentage of color present in each composition). It’s an amazing tool when you’re in search of ideas.

 

In this stage, I always like to create a moodboard of imagery that speaks to me, like a collage of color palettes, fonts, patterns, illustration styles and so on. They can be images I find on Pinterest, Instagram, photos I take on the street, images of other work I might have done before, anything that catches my eye. The purpose of this is to immerse myself in the atmosphere of the project and get a better idea of what I want to create. This moodboard, along with a list of keywords that are assigned to the brand, are the starting point to my design process.

 

Once I have the visual style ready and approved, I create a visual identity manual where I write down how everything should be used. Things like versions of the logo, dont’s of the logo with examples like: never stretch the logo, never place X version on a black background, never use the typeface without the symbol or whatever etc, so basically graphic rules. I state what the main font is, what the secondary font is (for both digital and print), what the color palette is (with all color codes), what is the minimum size for the logo in print and you should never make it smaller than that, what kind of imagery is associated with the brand (you might notice there are brands that always use sepia or black and white photos, or brands that always use photos from an up close angle, very detail focused) - all of this is stated in the brand manual.

You usually learn all these specifics over time and after doing many such projects, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look at other brands’ manuals and study how they do it (you can usually find them to download online, or if you have friends who work in advertising or print, they have easy access).

 

This is pretty much the whole creative process. Once all these rules are set (and verified, because you must be sure it all works together the way you designed it), I design all the materials needed. That’s usually divided in two: digital materials (website, social media etc) and print materials (which can vary from stationery to promotional materials or packaging). When I do print I always use a Pantone color code in order to check that the colors I pick are true (and even then, it depends on the type of paper they print it on, but that’s a long discussion). The deliverables can include editable files or not (depending on what we previously agreed on) and I like to use Dropbox to share them.

 

What is something I know now and wished I'd known before?

That the more time I put in improving the brief and narrowing down all the info, the more chances are that I will come up with a design that my client is happy with from the start - and therefore they won’t ask for many revisions, which I know is a nightmare for designers in the early stages of their careers. This is something that used to frustrate me a lot too, and sometimes I felt like the client is capricious and can’t make up his mind.

 

The truth is, if you communicate well and you spend time listening and asking questions, you will more likely be on the same page with your client. I used to be afraid to do that, because I thought if I asked too many questions they will lose patience and become annoyed. But on the contrary, they will end up trusting you more, because you help them define what they want. And right there is why they pay you their money, that’s the value you provide for them.

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

What do you think about Miruna's story? Did you learn something from her experience? Did she inspire you? Let us know in the comments below.

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