The red and green color combination is synonymous with Christmas. Any time those colors are used together, the viewer will inevitably think of the holiday season. Color combinations also act as identifiers for movements, campaigns, brands and countries. The rainbow flag is a symbol of the LGBTQ community. Pink has become the color of breast cancer research and awareness. Tiffany & Co. is known for its specific shade of turquoise.
All visual designers have to be aware of how color adds nuance to our work. For example, an illustration in a cool palette could evoke completely different feelings than the same illustration in a warm palette. Color has a profound ability to act as a storytelling mechanism in art, and especially in film. In particular, filmmakers like Wes Anderson and Tim Burton are known for their distinctive use of color.
In the spirit of the holidays, I’ve taken scenes from six of my favorite holiday movies and simplified them into color palettes. Can you guess what the movies are just by looking at the colors? Some are easier to pick out than others. The answers are below.
Small brands are discovering that they can grow by targeting the customers that big brands leave behind. By discovering niche audiences that industry giants ignore in advertising, small companies have found a way to thrive while also making their customers feel unique. Meanwhile, Reddit is punishing trolls, Uber is infringing on customer privacy and Netflix finally allows content to be downloaded for offline viewing.
Small brands are cropping up and taking advantage of customers who feel left behind by big brands. Many of them are using social media to target their unique customer, allowing them to grow intelligently with a fraction of the advertising budget of their larger competitors.
Animated GIFs became more accessible than ever when Apple created its GIF keyboard for iOS 10. The addition offers users a fun, easy way to interact with friends on mobile that has further broadened our digital forms of expression. GIFs provide us with a visual way to describe how we’re feeling. My wife knows exactly what I’m trying to say when I send her a simple GIF of Michael Jordan crying, or Kim Kardashian rolling her eyes. Though sending these types of GIFs is an entertaining form of expression, they don’t even begin to show how powerful animated GIFs can be as a storytelling device. Businesses have an opportunity to use custom-designed GIFs to help tell their story and expand their reach. There are many super-talented artists creating amazing GIFs that transcend how most people view the medium, and companies should take notice. I’ve listed some of my favorite artists below:
For me, watching the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Team destroy the competition was a highlight of the Rio Olympics, especially in comparison to their more highly touted male counterparts who occasionally struggled to squeak out wins. The women straight up dominated on their way to winning gold (for the sixth straight time), outscoring their opponents by an average of 37 points. Their superiority made me wonder: why does the WNBA settle for such terrible names and logos for their teams? These women are athletes and competitors. They deserve better than to play for the Sparks, Sky, Fever and Dream. The especially irksome names are all derived from NBA affiliates, with the women’s team being the lesser of the two. The Wizards (an awful name in its own right) have the Mystics, the Timberwolves have the Lynx, the Spurs have the Stars, and the Mavericks have the Wings. Let’s give these women the respect they deserve and come up with some team names that are cool, and logos that aren’t simply bastardizations of their NBA brothers.
We’ve given Weekly Reads a CenterTable facelift. Since the news and notes revolve around social media and digital trends, it seemed appropriate to officially transfer Weekly Reads over to CenterTable, GroundFloor Media’s sister agency. It’s a new look, but the Weekly Reads formula will remain the same.
Barack Obama is the first president to have a Twitter account (@POTUS), and it is clear that social media will continue to play an increasing and integral role in politics. This election cycle, no candidate has moved his tiny thumbs more than Donald Trump, whose 140-character rants have put him in the spotlight almost as often as his orange glow and atrocious comb-over. Though his tweets have often gotten him into trouble, he’s found a committed audience through social media. Hillary Clinton has also amassed a strong following on Twitter, though her tweets are wisely curated, unlike Trump’s stream-of-consciousness dumps. Read more after the jump…
When we decided to form GroundFloor Media’s sister agency, CenterTable, a design challenge arose in the form of a new identity. Unlike logos for most new businesses, CenterTable’s had to show a connection to an established brand. CenterTable had to look new and unique, while also calling to mind its relationship with GroundFloor Media. As soon as we figured out the name for our new venture, I began sketching out dozens of ideas. Below, I’ll summarize the process of breathing life into CenterTable’s identity.
Step 1: Initial Sketches
Knowing the logo had to incorporate some elements of GFM’s design, I chose to focus on shape. With a shared hexagonal silhouette, the logos look cohesive when placed side-by-side. Read more after the jump…
I’m in the middle of an important meeting, with a room full of eyes looking at me as if I’ve lectured about quantum physics. Glazed over stares trying to hide that they have no idea what I just said, nodding along in agreement. I can tell by everyone’s faces that I’ve drifted a little too far into the design lexicon, leaving them in a trail of tracking, kerning and leading. I retrace my steps and dive back in, this time speaking in terms that normal people will understand. The confused looks melt away and genuine smiles reappear on their faces. Read more after the jump…
Design evolves year after year, naturally growing from changing styles and trends. Elements of design are appropriated from the past and refined. We take trends that seem over the top and scale them back, stripping away the audacity to craft subtlety. What was a trend 20 years ago becomes a visual element that informs contemporary design. The bold neons that pervaded design in the 90s are now used more conservatively. In retrospect, we can see that design with too much neon is outdated and looks overwhelming, whereas contemporary design that pulls in a little bit of neon can look clean, fun and modern. As designers, we learn from our mistakes and use them to elevate our work.