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.

 

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Is print dead?????

is-print-dead

Print isn’t dead. Wanna know HOW I know? I work in an office document creation business. We print all day long. We print posters. We print documents. We make copies. We print pictures. We print reports for businesses. We print reports for schools. We print calendars. We print off your USB. We print off your sim cards. We print from your email attachments. We PRINT all day long. We print because no matter HOW much you LOVE the web, you are not likely to sit down in a class or meeting with people staring at a screen while you “share” your information.

While the web is great to reach the masses- it misses the mark in groups that are sitting together and sharing. You can email a picture, but hanging it on the wall and looking at is less likely from an email- unless you are full of money and able to have you pictures electronically showing on your T.V. when you aren’t watching Netflix.

Print is amazing. It gives us a feeling. It gives us something to touch- without smearing for the next person to look at(when we allow the ink to dry). It allows us to share things in “unique” ways. Although it’s been around since…Anyone? Anyone? Does anyone know when print was first “invented”? I’ll tell you when: the year 618 during the T’ang Dynasty – the first printing is done in China using ink on carved wooden blocks begins to make multiple transfers of an image to paper. And if you go to http://theweek.com/article/index/250984/no-print-isnt-dead, you will receive a more in-depth explanation of print and when it really started , which is even earlier than what I just referenced! It’s been here for at least 1,396 years. We, as a race of human beings, have been communicating with ink and paper for almost 1,400 years! Has it really dissipated so much that it is disappearing? Nope. It is evolving. It has become “more personal” and “unique” and more “rare”.

Reasons that print is not dead are numerous.  (Found list at http://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2012/06/28/print-is-dead-not-so-fast/) Let’s list them:

-Tangible: it is something you can see and feel. No question if you clicked the right link to get the sale price, you know when and where the sale is, and YOU plan to go to it! Newspapers and magazines can sit in offices for years, giving a long term appeal  for ads and columns.

-Credibility: You are overwhelmed with popup ads on the web. Facebook and other social sites are bombarding your eyes with flashing lights, trying to beckon you to click “here!” Print, on the other hand, can give a more concrete sense of legitimacy.

-Branding: Print ads allow for a more consistent look and theme for you brand. The color, fonts, and types of images used can be seen more tangibly and side by side, allowing for you to see the consistency.

-Target Marketing: Placing ads in specialty magazines and areas that target your consumers, without them getting lost on the web and loosing interest or becoming distracted in their search.

-Less Print Ads: I know this one sounds odd, until you think about it. If there are less print ads, then there is MORE space for your ad to shine!

-PR Codes: Of course this one links paper and web experiences. Which is just nice.

-Variety: There is large format printing, vehicle wraps, substrates, packaging! Even printing for cakes!

And please, visit here: http://www.creativepro.com/article/print-dead, to read even more great things about print! I mean, who would have thought of print (“You’re killing trees!!!!” Gasp) as more green then the web?

Paper books still run the market of reading by holding tight at 75% of sales, even though Kindles and other reading tablets are popular. It is even said that by reading and FEELING the book, one is able to map out the information and retain the information better.

Of course, the best method in design is to find the perfect balance between both web and print. So, don’t forget to grab some flyers and market yourself, or send Thank you cards, or postcards to consumers you are hoping to sway in your direction.

2014 New trends are popping up!

Beards

 

What is popular? What is going on out there in our world that is visually captivating us, in general? As a society, we are seeing a shift, a sweeping change. Things are becoming a little more grungy (not in the 90’s styled way, either), a little more realistic, and a little more accepting of things and people as they truly are. We are not judging as harshly or quickly as we used to. Stories and images of single fathers (or attentive fathers), women models who are being embraced for their true body image, celebrities speaking up about being airbrushed. Lens flares are accepted as authentic rather than mistakes. Things are changing! People are changing! And that means NEW TRENDS. The same old question follows, as does with any trend: Which will stay trends and be overused, and which will stand the test of time…???

Visual trends are HUGE in our industry. It’s what grabs a consumer and pulls them in. It is what we count on and use  to it’s highest degree. At iStock (http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1619#.UuWSN_Yo4zY) there is an interesting infographic on some of the “newest” trends that are to be predicted for 2014. Listed, if you’d like a sneak-peak of what’s there, is diverse women, hands-on Dad’s, and beards. Just to name a few. What caught my eye about this infographic, and the few trends that are shown, is that most of these trends seem to call out timeless (well, except beards, those always come and go- at least it seems that way to me, and witches).

Our society is starting to change. There is a major shift going on under the surface of the “fake” that is put out there by the so-called “Reality TV”, and other “reality” fakes. One that we should be VERY sensitive to. We, as a society in America, want REAL. Real images of real people. Realistic women portrayed. Realistic, more positive, fathers portrayed. REAL stories. Authentic type pictures that have lighting that makes our minds wander to more simple times. We should be listening to the rumbling of the public, under the surface. There are waves being made, and people struggling to be heard and represented. We can help them. We can bring things to the forefront for them, with them. And we should be grasping that opportunity.

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!

 

Birth announcement!

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I shared with you all not too long ago the layout for this design. All I was waiting for was little Cooper to make his big entrance into the world. And here he is!

As I may have mentioned before, the colors and “monsters” were taken from the baby shower theme. And, the nursery. Planning ahead, and being allowed to do so, was wonderful as little was needed to be done except for minor adjustments. Less than 24 hours later and we are ready for print!

Glassware for beer

snifter1 stout tulipBeer, especially in other countries then America, is treated as something special, each and every time someone orders. At times, the different companies will release a special glass along with the beer. This glass is used to enhance the experience a patron will have while enjoying the product. But, here in America, many people do not know this. This is, and can be a foreign concept. A wonderful company located nearby is taking this and preparing to educated those of us who did not know. I have had the wonderful privilege of helping them, by designing labels for different types of glassware used for beers, so that when they have classes or patrons, they can have conversations about the glassware, and the glasses are well labeled. Here I have shared my examples. More information about the types of glassware that goes with the different types of beers is available at http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/glassware.

Graphic Design Trends part 7

Kimberlin coffeeHand drawn illustration. My favorite. I am, by no means, the BEST artist in the world, but I love to draw. I love to get into the ‘zone’, and loose myself in whatever image has come to me. The above picture/illustration is my take on spilled milk- with a coffee twist, as I am a coffee addict. And while I wouldn’t bat a lash at spilled milk, spilled coffee would give me pause. Lol.

Hand drawn illustration is seen as a trend for this year. Both hand drawn work and vector based work are popular, but they usually swing back and forth on the “popularity” measure, taking turns on which ever looks to be the trendsetter of the moment. This year, however, they are both popular, so much so that, unlike in the past, they are both popular at the same time. Illustrations are on the upswing, while vector based work is at a slow movement- but was already on the upswing, hence making both almost equal in popularity.

Aaron Jay is an artist with a whimsical (with a darker twist) drawing style that is sure to make people of all ages take pause. Enjoy his work here: http://izismile.com/2011/09/03/strange_but_funny_hand_drawn_illustrations_20_pics.html

Now, remember, one of the parts of this “swing” in popularity is also the combination of the hand drawn style in vector form, obviously, so that the art work is usable in all medias. The more free, original, hand drawn look the vector piece has, the higher probability there is that the piece will gain in popularity. It brings back a feeling of nostalgia; a vintage feel. Which, is popular in it’s own right.