Category Archives: Design

A Case for Animation & Motion Graphics

A Case for Animation & Motion Graphics | CenterTable Digital AgencyAnimation and motion graphics provide an alternative method of storytelling that lights and cameras might not always be able to. Whether it’s quantitative data and graphs or bouncy shapes and vectors, animation offers limitless creativity to implement and communicate visual ideas. There are several key benefits to implementing motion graphics into your video marketing strategy.
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Graphic Design Trends to Look for in 2018

Every year I look back at what was popular in graphic design and make my predictions for the trends that will stick around for another year. In 2018, graphic design will continue to incorporate cropped and chaotic typography, bright colors, gradients and custom illustrations. These trends will be pushed even further in the upcoming year, though. Colors will be brighter, and designers will utilize patterns and hues that are reminiscent of the 1990s. Squiggles, triangles and dots in neon colors will be transposed over bold, disjointed typography. The soft pastel shades that were popular a few years ago will be replaced by rich, full-bodied colors, like purple, turquoise and ultramarine. Serif fonts will make a resurgence, especially for headlines on the web. Custom illustrations will still be a useful tool for businesses looking for a handcrafted touch that separates them from competitors. When done right, illustration is a powerful storytelling tool that fosters connections between brands and customers.

Below are some examples of the graphic design trends you will likely see more of in 2018. Happy New Year!

Cropped and Chaotic Typography

cropped-chaotic-typography cropped-chaotic-typography-2 Read more after the jump…

Pantone Looks to the Future for its 2018 “Color of the Year”

groundfloor-media-pantone-ultra-violetSimply look up at the night sky to see Pantone’s 2018 “Color of the Year.” Ultra Violet is a bold, blue-based purple that evokes the vastness of the cosmos. Pantone calls it, “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade [that] communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

According to Pantone, purples have been historically symbolic of unconventionality and artistic expression, calling to mind icons like Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix. Emotionally, Ultra Violet inspires individuals to explore their unique position in the world and evolve creatively. Ultra Violet is also symbolic of mindfulness and spiritual growth.

Perhaps Pantone’s decision for 2018 “Color of the Year” forecasts that we can expect technological advancements and a collective spiritual awakening in the coming year. At the very least, it can serve as a reminder to look up at the stars and recognize that all of us are so very small in relation to this vast universe we call home.

Here’s to Ultra Violet, 2018 “Color of the Year!”

Questions to Consider Before Discussing a Project with Your Graphic Designer

questions-graphic-designer-ben-hock-featured

Though I do my best to anticipate client needs, problems occasionally arise when clients haven’t fully considered what their design needs actually are. It’s easy to say, “I need an infographic,” or, “We want an updated logo,” but it’s much harder to dissect the who, what, when, where, how, and why of a creative project.

Graphic Designers are trained to glean as much information as we can from interactions with our clients, but a reciprocal relationship in which the designer and the client are open and honest always results in the best work.

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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:

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