Pictures are worth a thousand words…

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And colors! Colorful palettes are everywhere. It’s what you do with them that is important. With color, any mood can be persuaded from a consumer, and by the company.Have you ever found yourself at a loss looking for color inspiration? Love the colors in a photo or a fabric, but unsure HOW to get the colors or pull the scheme? That is where Adobe Kuler comes in handy, to say the least. The picture above is a lovely photo of my husband. Below it are two color samples pulled from the picture, using Kuler. The first is “colorful” the second is “muted”.

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The colors pulled from favorite pictures can evoke strong feelings, and not just for you! If used appropriately they can be used to evoke feelings in consumers. If there is thought and care put into the message that a company wishes to convey to a customer, then the colors and text will be thought long and hard about, so that those feelings  (whether nostalgia, hunger, or desire) are brought to the surface for the consumer subconsciously and therefore provoking them to spend.

The second picture I have shared is one of my favorites. It shows so much. And that poor tired girl off to the side is just done. Period. This picture brings smiles to me. That is my daughter, who after a long day of hunting for perfect pumpkins, is ready to be done with us all, and ditch us for dinner!

Kuler is a tool where you can pull colors from your favorite photos and more. If you are feeling adventurous than you can play with the color wheel. If not, just drag a picture that you love and let the program pull the colors for you! Please visit this fun site, https://kuler.adobe.com, and play. When we take the time to play, inspiration is not far behind. And from inspiration we find our greatest pieces.

 

Wow…Loving Artists & Graphic Designers Market 2014….

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Let’s touch base, for a moment. I FINALLY received my copy of Artists & Graphic Designers Market 2014 book. I love, love, love it! The ideas! The resources! The listings of companies and more that a person can submit to, to get their work shown! The freedom of freelancing at it’s best!

Personally, I have had ideas upon ideas flood my head, as I scan the listings of companies for different freelance opportunities. The possibilities are endless. Only a persons’ fear could hold them back if they have this book! Or their lack of organization!

Aaahhh…there it is…Organization. We need it as artists. It goes completely against our nature, yet it is the one thing that will help us propel forward. Take heed and proceed with caution. If you choose to purchase this book, or purchase a membership online, then take the time to read HOW to use the book/website to the best of it’s ability, or all that wonderful information can become overwhelming and lost in translation!

Now excuse me while I hunker down and use this reference to it’s highest capabilities!

And the “winner” of Pantone’s color of the year 2014 is….

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Here it is! After waiting with bated breath… the color of the year is… Radiant Orchid…!!!! A stylish purple to say the least. If this is a favorite color of yours (as any purple is for me), we should “rehash” what purple can represent and mean for a person on a personal level.

  • Having either purple or violet as your favorite color means you are sensitive and compassionate, understanding and supportive, thinking of others before yourself – you are the person others come to for help – being needed motivates you but sometimes people take advantage of you.
  • You are a gentle and free spirit. Your feelings run deep and you can be quite sensitive to hurtful comments from others, although you would never show it.
  • Being a personality color purple, you have a peaceful and tranquil quality and a quiet dignity about you. People are drawn to your charismatic and alluring energy.You are usually introverted rather than extroverted and may give the impression of being shy although this is not the case.
  • You are creative and like to be individual in most of your endeavors, including your dress and home decoration – you love the unconventional.
  • You are idealistic, and often impractical, with a great imagination, dreaming of a future in an ideal fantasy world where you exclude the ugly side of reality – you tend to look at life through rose-colored glasses. People who don’t understand you sometimes think you are eccentric because you spend so much time in your fantasy world.
  • With your personality color purple you inspire others with your creative thinking and your ability to deal positively with adversity.
  • You are very intuitive and quite psychic or at least interested in spiritual growth or the occult – you seek spiritual fulfillment. You look for the meaning of life.
  • As a personality color purple, you are a generous giver, asking for little in return except friendship.
  • You can be secretive, with even your closest friends not really knowing you well.
  • If you constantly surround yourself with too much purple you can become moody. If this is the case, balance the purple with some magenta.
  • You dislike responsibility and have difficulty dealing with real day-to-day problems.
  • You dislike being part of the crowd, wishing to stand apart from the mob – you like to be noticed for your individuality. You don’t like to copy others and you don’t like them to copy you.
  • You are a visionary, with high ambitions, dreams and desires, and a compulsion to help humanity and to improve the planet earth. You often hold positions of power because you are visionary, but you delegate to others all the minor details that you aren’t interested in.
  • With a personality color purple you like to have the best of everything, so you aim high.
  • Being the free spirit you are, you love to travel to experience different cultures and meet new people.
  • You are a good judge of character and sum others up quite quickly and accurately, although you usually see the best in everybody.
  • Time means little to you and you are often late for everything. You trust the flow of the Universe to take care of everything.
  • You need to be careful not to take on too many projects at a time as you can become quite scattered in your thinking, resulting in stress and confusion.
  • Meditation is a good activity for you to help you become centered and balanced.
  • You can sometimes appear arrogant and conceited if operating from a negative perspective.
  • You can be selfish and self-indulgent as you don’t like being imposed upon by others beliefs and regulations.

Now… What does purple mean for businesses? For logos, brand identity and so on?

At http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/purple-in-business.html purple can be considered a definite power color! As stated:

In using purple in business applications you need to understand the traits, qualities and mood of the color along with the psychological meaning. The messages the color sends to your customer base can have a major impact on your business success.

Purple suggests wealth and extravagance, fantasy and the world of dreams. It enhances spiritual pursuits and enlightenment.

 Physiologically, it heightens people’s sense of beauty and their reaction to more creative ideas.

It is often used to denote a high quality or superior product, such as Cadbury’s chocolate or some women’s cosmetics.

If you are in a service business, use some purple in your marketing to denote your premium service.

Purple is often connected with the 18 to 25 year old market as they see it as sexy and rebellious, while innovative designers connect it with sophistication and power.

It is most often used by businesses in creative fields -designers, psychics and cosmetic manufacturers are common users of it.

Purple is a color that works well with gold, taupe, turquoise, jade green, deep red, magenta and yellow. Combined with orange it creates a unique contemporary look.

The keywords most associated with purple?

Positive Color Meanings in Business:

unusual and individual, creative and inventive
psychic and intuitive
humanitarian, selfless and unlimited
mystery, fantasy and the future

Negative Color Meanings in Business:

immaturity
impractical
cynical and aloof, pompous and arrogant
fraudulent and corrupt
delusions of grandeur and the social climber

What does all this mean for us? BE CAREFUL with this color. Play with it. Use it, enjoy it. But be careful of the hidden meaning this color can portray when used wrong! Also, watch out for this color being overused in trends to come!

 

Overused Trends

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Helvetica. Comic Sans. Flourishes. Circles. Sun rays. Splatters. Flowing lines. Smoke texture. Reflected images. Torn, scruffy paper. These are just a few of the so called “overused”. You can go to Pinterest and see a nice picture with a fading or abstract light background with quotes slapped on them in Helvetica, the most used (and considered the most neutral) of all the fonts, in thousands and thousands of posts. Comic sans has popped up on and in the most inappropriate documents and places, like official police warnings and on plaques that adorn important physical places. Flourishes, once used to give pieces a regal and important feeling, are everywhere. Circles used in abundance, at all sizes and widths, to give a vintage vibe to images…Sun Rays, splatters, smoke textures…Reflections. They are everywhere. Design overkill. The masses have access to what was once considered a mystery domain. And they don’t know HOW to use what they have their hands on. Not in pleasing ways. And when they do know, or figure out, a way that is pleasing, they use it to the death.

The most interesting thing here, though, is…we are ALL guilty of it. Because we mistake what we are seeing as trends. When in reality they are a hybrid of trends that won’t die and the general public’s overuse. It has been long known that through out history, that once we (as human beings) find things that we are comfortable with, we stick with them…even when it’s no good for us any longer. Then a “rule breaker”, or a person who has “thought outside of the box”, comes along and “surprises” us with an improved design, only to have pulled the wool over our eyes, because all they have done is taken what we are comfortable with and played with it, and made it their own; their signature look. And then a designer will REALLY think outside of the box, and give us all a beautiful piece, and the masses (public and design trained, alike) will clamor to imitate it. And the cycle is begun all over again.

There are  tricks to using these overused design habits. Like really knowing WHEN Comic Sans is appropriate (if ever). Knowing HOW to make one of these “trends” one of your own signature pieces…Knowing how to be original. And let’s face it. With design at EVERYONE’S fingertips, it is hard to be original. It is hard to think for yourself when the computer is at the ready and stock images (free and paid-for) are at the ready always.

So, I challenge us all, as DESIGNERS to close our computers and grab a sketch pad. Even if you don’t know how to draw…It’s not about drawing. It’s about getting your original thought, your original idea, onto a page, before you research images on the computer. It’s about pulling from your subconscious. It’s about finding that piece of you that will forever become embedded ORIGINALLY within a design, rather than looking through stock images or pulling from another designer- or worse, pulling from an amateur who didn’t know better, when we’ve been trained to know.

Graphic Design Trends part 13

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Science Fiction. Hobbits. Robots. Unicorns. Ogres. Knights, elves, princesses, aliens… You name it, it will, can, and has made it into mainstream consumer products. The image above is from Kia’s superbowl ad, featuring their robot woman.

Sci-fi is interesting. It allows us to bring in a totally unpredictable and unique aspect to companies that are looking to expand their consumer bases. Comicon and other sci-fi conventions have become increasingly popular as the consumers of the day are looking for any outlet from the reality of life. We are all looking for an escape from the here and now, and sci-fi allows that escape, and takes our imagination with it. What better way for companies to grab new consumers and clients by including their product in the imagined future?

Sci-fi is sexy. It allows us to push boundaries that are there, but in a way that make the boundary lines flexible. And let’s all be REAL for a minute. Sex sells. A lot. If there is a way to make something look sexy by bringing in a princess or robotic woman, then it is a win-win for client and company.

Off topic from trends 2013..But on color!

I started this blog with my love of color, and color psychology and the role it plays in design. I know I am supposed to be writing about the third trend out of ten, on a list, but I saw this article on color and how color affects a shoppers mood. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to guide you all to one of my passions: color.

To refresh everyone’s memory, color affects us in ways that only our sub-conscience can determine. We are not usually aware of HOW it affects us. Colors can change a mood, cause a mood, influence how much we eat, or, as the following article reminds us, affects what we spend. From how the packages are colored, to the signs of the shops that we frequent color is used to influence us and move us, whether it’s in a direction we want to go in or not. Enjoy the following link, and please share if you find any other similar information!

http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/color-affects-spending-162500304.html

Time to explore…Graphic trends 2013, in depth…

It is time for us to explore more deeply the different trends that are up and coming for this year. It is hard to believe were are almost one quarter fully through the year.

To begin, I thought we would all tackle each item on the lists one at a time. We shall start with the list from Creative Bloq(http://www.creativebloq.com/design/trend-predictions-2013-11121414). First on their list was geometric design.

What is geometric design? It is really self explanatory. It is the use of geometrical shapes in a design.

The reason this is something that is up and coming in this years trend is that geometric design promotes simplicity. The intricate patterns that one can see when looking at designs made geometrically is usually brought not just by the boldness of the geometric patterns, but by the color used. This is also thought to become a trend because of the rise in interest in infographics. (For some wonderful examples of infographics, please enjoy this link: http://www.example-infographics.com/) Infographics can be as simple or complex as a designer would like. They engage a reader to partcipate by encouraging them to move their eyes around the WHOLE piece, not just read down a page, and the majority of infographics is definitely enhanced with geometric shapes.

Please enjoy this link, http://www.designyourway.net/blog/inspiration/35-great-geometry-based-graphic-design-illustrations/, and enjoy some wonderful pieces that depict this idea in a beautiful way.