Color Schemes Set the Tone

Munsell color sphere

Munsell color sphere

What is a color scheme?

As Dictionary.com defines it:

an arrangement or pattern of colors or colored objects conceived of as forming an integrated whole

As designers, we are trained to seek out color schemes to communicate an idea and to justify its use in our work, whether it’s a graphic logo, a painting or even an interior space.Read full post...

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Turned out to be a best-seller

The covers

The covers

What began as freelance project to illustrate a book cover turned into an opportunity to design the entire book.

The owner of a small start-up publishing house, who is familiar with my work and has also bought a few of my paintings, asked me to illustrate a cover for a book she was putting together. She had held a contest, inviting local writers to submit short stories about their experiences revolving around a beach house — any beach house — in the Rehoboth Beach vicinity. Read full post...

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Hey, it’s just advertising. Nobody dies, right?

This reassuring advice was offered early in my career, as I sweated over every word of a telephone-banking ad. Fast-forward to ab+c Creative Intelligence. Since joining the agency, I’ve transitioned from a purely b2b writer to also being involved in healthcare and life science accounts.

SYSMEX hematology analyzer ad

SYSMEX hematology analyzer ad

I’ve gone from promoting electronics, trucks, doors, chemicals and building products to writing my first six-page insert for transcatheter aortic valve replacement — a procedure that surgeons performed, mind you, on an 87-year-old woman while her heart was still beating! Along the way, I’ve also worked on endoprostheses (devices that seal off abdominal aneurysms before they burst), hematology analyzers that spot blood conditions before they become life-threatening, and more.Read full post...

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July 21, 2014

So, you draw stuff for a living?

No, not really. It’s a common question and a tough one to answer. What does a graphic designer do? Webster’s defines graphic design as “the art or profession of using design elements (as typography and images) to convey information or create an effect.”

To understand what graphic design is, think about how it affects your life. Just open your kitchen cupboard, your medicine cabinet or your latest issue of (insert popular magazine here). Someone has designed almost everything you touch every day: the label on the cup of soup you have at lunch, the billboard you pass every day on your way to work, even the print on the toilet paper you use to — well, you know. Yep, that is someone’s job.  Read full post...

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Color is all relative

Munsell Color Stacked BlocksThough we all know about color — the ones we like and the ones we don’t like — color is often misunderstood. In certain combinations, colors can scream or whisper. This is because colors are influenced by adjacent colors. In our industry, designers understand how important color choices are. To the untrained eye, color choice — when not dictated by corporate graphic standards — may appear random. Far from it. We put a lot of thought into our decisions. Certain color combinations create harmony. Contrasting colors ensure the legibility of the message we’re trying to communicate. Colors are all relative — to each other. The difference between a message that’s screaming for attention and one that should be softer in tone can be achieved by which colors are used in the design.Read full post...

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Building the creative professional of tomorrow

The creative director of the future needs a different skill set — he or she will need to come out of the ranks of public relations, social media and interactive digital.

The creative director of the future needs a different skill set — he or she will need to come out of the ranks of public relations, social media and interactive digital.

In 2009, there was a terrific documentary on advertising called Art & Copy. It’s an inspirational film that celebrates the most influential creative professionals of the past five decades. And there is something very telling in the title. Most of today’s creative directors rose out of the ranks of art director and copywriter — art and copy. In the era of print, TV and radio, this made perfect sense.

But if, like me, you are one of those creative directors, you may find recent trends to be frightening. Broadcast television ratings have been going down for decades. Newspapers and magazines are struggling to survive. Broadcast radio is competing with iPods and Internet radio. And now, here come the Millennials. This generation is larger than the boomer generation. The oldest of them are entering their 30s. In the next 10 years, they will start to dominate as consumers, employees and clients. Not only do they distrust paid mass media advertising, they’re finding it easier than ever to avoid it completely.Read full post...

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How color can influence your audience

Color Blocks

Color Blocks

So, I’m driving along an unfamiliar country road enjoying the scenery when I approach a crossroads with a red octagonal sign but no words. What’s a guy to do? Instinct tells me to take my foot off the gas and come to a stop. This may seem like a no-brainer but there’s a reason for my actions. Is it the sign’s octagonal shape? Maybe. But more than likely it’s the sign’s color. Since prehistoric times, red has been associated with blood and fire. So, naturally, this guy decided to stop.

In marketing

Colors affect each of us in so many ways. Colors can even reveal your personality or mood, and yet most of us are unaware of their influence in our lives — or of the subtle ways we use them. In marketing, for example, it’s valuable to know how colors resonate with your target audience. As a marketing communications designer, I’m constantly involved with color and color decisions: How do we make this poster “edgy”? Can this brochure be more “corporate?” What will make you look at this billboard and grasp its message — all in 2.3 seconds? Just as the red of the unmarked sign alerts us to the possibility of imminent danger, there are other colors that can influence in other ways, even physiologically.Read full post...

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