The importance of Graphic Design

Graphic design is a language for living. There needs to be a reason for everything and people take for granted that they are affected by graphic design hundreds if not thousands of times per day.

 

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Color Psychology: Purple

Purple is heavily associated with royalty, wealth, prosperity and sophistication. This is because the cost of purple dye was expensive, and only the very wealthy could afford to have purple clothing. Today, purple is seen as uplifting and calming to the mind and nerves.  At the same time, it offers a sense of spirituality and encourages creativity by expanding our awareness.

While viewing the color purple stimulates brain activity used in problem solving, too much of the color purple can promote or aggravate depression in some. It is one color that should be used extremely carefully and in small amounts by those who are vulnerable to these depressed states. Purple also supports the practice of meditation, promoting harmony of the mind and emotions, contributing to mental balance and stability.

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red, and according to surveys, almost 75% of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors. For that reason, bright purple is a good choice when promoting childrens’ products. Using purple can also lend an air of mystery or magic. Light purple shades like lavender, can be viewed as feminine or romantic. Dark shades of purple can be considered a wealthy color.  Adolescent girls are most likely to select nearly all shades of purple as their favorite color.

Orange Color Psychology

The color orange is warm, inviting, and stimulates two-way conversations because it is both physically and mentally energizing. Orange also inspires motivation and positive outlook in life. Many sports teams use the color orange in their uniforms and mascots, including the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Bengals, as orange has been shown to stimulate physical activity, competition, and confidence

Incorporating orange into designs targets a younger audience who are more accepting of the color. Some people see orange as a “cheap” color, so caution must be used when incorporating it into designs.

Orange around the world:

  • Native Americans associate orange with kinship
  • In Japan and China, orange symbolizes happiness and love
  • Christianity associates orange with gluttony
  • Favorite color of the Netherlands, where the country’s monarchy is called the “House of Orange”

Do you have more questions regarding orange and design? Contact us, we’d be happy to answer them!

Psychology of the color blue

“Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones… it will always stay blue; whereas yellow is blackened in its shades, and fades away when lightened; red when darkened becomes brown, and diluted with white is no longer red, but another color – pink.”  – Raoul Dufy, French Fauvist Painter, 1877-1953

Blue is associated with corporate America because so many large companies’ logos are integrated with blue. Intel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and IBM all have blue in their logos. These companies may have chosen blue because it enhances communication with others and aids intuition. Blue is also the least gender specific color, appealing to men and women equally.

Use caution when incorporating blue into designs. Too much of the color can be cold or uncaring. Blue causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming and sedating, too much blue may cause too many chemicals to be released.

Blue around the world

  • In Mexico, blue is the color of mourning
  • Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period” contributes to his transition from a classical to abstract artist
  • Blue symbolizes paradise in Iran
  • In China, blue is associated with wood, east, and spring

3 ways to choose a graphic designer and be happy

 

 

 

 

Ask your network

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the information you need. Your friends, colleagues and business acquaintances will have recommendations for you, and will be honest about their experiences with graphic designers. Feel free to ask more in-depth questions, as this will help later when you are determining exactly what your expectations for your designer are.

Portfolio

When looking at a potential design firm’s portfolio, look beyond the work.  A few key questions:

  • What kind of clients are they working with?
  • Do they have experience in the type of design you need?
  • Do you need a graphic designer, or a web designer or programmer?

Ask another designer

Designers generally have a completely different network than most business owners. If you work with a website designer and you need a new logo, ask them for a recommendation. This is also a great option if you’re not positive about what you need – a designer will likely be able to pinpoint it.

Do you have more to add, including what has worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments!

Microsoft default typeface

When Microsoft changed its default typeface from Times New Roman (Word) and Arial (Powerpoint, Excel) to Calibri, you might have assumed that Microsoft decided it was time for something different. But in business, there is always a reason for change. In this case, the change reflects a culture shift. Do you print every e-mail you receive? Probably not. In our blog Font vs. Typeface, we discussed how sans serif typefaces increase readability on computer screens.

Calibri is a san serif typeface created specifically for Microsoft by Lucas de Groot. It is part of Microsoft’s ClearType technology. ClearType technology was created to “improve readability on LCD screens.” Because LCD screens are the status quo for computers, tablets, smart phones, netbooks, and notebooks, the shift to sans serif was the right choice.  Our culture thrives on mobility and adaptability, and Microsoft aimed to increase readability with the default typeface change.

Did you notice when Microsoft changed to Calibri?

Widows, orphans, and rags- Oh my!

Today we have a quick typography lesson regarding widows, orphans, and rags. Even if you’ve never heard these words associated with typography before, I’m sure you’ve seen them in your reading.

A widow is a single word or short line at the end of a paragraph.  Widows create too much white space in between paragraphs and break the reading pattern.

An orphan is one word or short line at the beginning of a paragraph.  Although less common than widows, they still affect readability.

A rag refers to the vertical margins of a paragraph or page.  Bad rags are uneven and irregular, whereas good rags are in line or have slight differences.

What other typography terms have you heard, but are unclear on their meanings? We’d love to know so we can post about those too!

All about the color green

The color green is one of the most familiar colors to the human eye; which isn’t surprising because it occupies the more space than any other color in the visible spectrum.  Psychologically, green has soothing and calming effects, has been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, and nervousness, and can physically improve readability.

Although green is sometimes associated with negative things, such as being “green with envy” and evil witches being green, across cultures, the color has mostly positive connotations.  In Portugal for example, it signifies spring.  In Scotland green symbolizes honor, and in China, it is emblematic of virtue and beauty. The deployment of the environmental movement further increased its use in public space and has positioned green as an excellent color to embrace for its revitalizing and modern qualities.  When using green to convey a message, be aware of its’ characteristics.  If applied incorrectly it may become bland.  To convey your message, use this kind and tranquil color with due respect of its characteristics, because if applied incorrectly it may become bland or communicate boredom.

Facts:

  • Green is used in night vision goggles, because the human eye can discern the most shades of this color.
  • Green is popular in recreational clothing and interior design
  • Green’s complementary color on the RGB color wheel is magenta.
  • Green is increasingly used in web design, and when used correctly can draw attention to a call-to-action on a webpage.

Establishing a brand image that stands out

 

 

 

A quick quiz (don’t worry, you pass):

1.    What’s red, made it so Santa Clause was jolly and round, likes polar bears, is a tasty drink and “Gives the world a ….”?

And for question #2, same genre, different product. Good luck!

2.    What’s green, adventurous, male, a daredevil, and energizing? “Do the…”

Did you figure it out? Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew have established great brand images and consumer expectations. But can companies without multimillion dollar marketing budgets do the same? Here are a few tips:

  • Establish consistent colors. Your website, blog, and Twitter account should all look and feel similar. Reinforce your brand through every media outlet.
  • Logo: design (preferably hire a professional to design) a logo for your company. Put it on everything, even in-house documents.
  • Induce emotion: make sure everything associated with your company name makes your potential consumer feel the way you want them to feel. (link to Article on logos)
  • Use social media: tweet, blog, and update Facebook about things that are relevant to your field
  • Develop a mascot (follow ours on twitter: @doggydetails )
  • Follow through with your customer. Make sure they are getting what they were promised, in terms of experience, service, and products.