Category Archives: Design

Even Professional Designers Need a Creative Outlet: Part 2

A few months ago, I decided it was finally time to carve out some time to work on an animated short film outside of work. Though I knew I would not be able to commit to an hour or more of extra work per day, I promised myself to work on this new endeavor for at least five minutes every day. The five-plus minutes could be spent taking notes, writing the script, drawing characters or designing landscapes. Read more after the jump…

Even Professional Designers Need a Creative Outlet

As the director of creative services at CenterTable, my goal is to make sure our clients have all the tools they need to visually tell their stories. I love the variety of projects I get to work on and all the amazing businesses and nonprofits I’m able to collaborate with. Telling meaningful stories is what inspires me to become a better designer and a more creative problem-solver. However, for a long time I’ve missed telling my own stories through art and design. Read more after the jump…

Pantone Picks a Cheerfully Optimistic Shade for 2017 “Color of the Year”

groundfloor-media-pantone-color-year-2017Every year, the Pantone Color Institute selects its “Color of the Year,” which is the color it feels best encapsulates the mood and attitude of the coming year. After what many (including me) have felt has been a tumultuous year, Pantone decided on a cheerful, yellow-green shade as the color of 2017. Introducing, Greenery (aka Pantone 15-0343): Read more after the jump…

Holiday Movie Color Palettes

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.

christmas movie color script How the Grinch Stole Christmas Read more after the jump…

The Storytelling Power of Animated GIFs

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:

Read more after the jump…

A Visual Analysis of Trump and Clinton’s Twitter Accounts

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…

Design Dictionary: Creative Terms Explained

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…

Past is Present: Graphic Design in 2016

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.

Read more after the jump…