Dec 16, 2016
2017 Graphic Design Trends As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, we’re already looking forward to emerging technology and […]
As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, we’re already looking forward to emerging technology and trends in the graphic design field for 2017. Here’s what we are seeing in the industry, and what you can expect in the coming year.
Gone is the rustic, distressed and vintage look. Modern “retro” is reminiscent of newer eras, from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Pixelated text and homage to the retro technology like the original NES, cassette tapes, and flip phones are common characteristics of this trend, as are the retro patterns and neon colors of the era’s clothing.
Mainly used in web design, cinemagraphs are a still image with one or two minor animations. Usually developed and viewed as a .gif, cinemagraphs quickly convey an action when words or multiple images aren’t practical. For a population that now has an attention span that is less than that of a goldfish, cinemagraphs can be a highly effective medium.
We’ve been seeing this trend develop for a while now, and for good reason. In line with the shorter attention span of consumers, minimalist graphic design uses fewer focal points, plenty of white space, few words, and rudimentary graphics. It’s the difference between expressing human equality with a single equal sign versus a photograph of a diverse group of people. It creates fewer distractions and forces the consumer to develop their own creative representation in their mind.
Graphics that are hand-drawn, or that appear to be hand-drawn, add a human element that can’t be bought with stock photos. They convey the people behind a brand, and are effective at eliciting nostalgia and a reminiscence of childhood in their simplicity.
Incredibly popular with web design for young business owners, modular design uses blocks to separate and stack images and text. It is not minimalist in design, but it is also not a long cumbersome block of text. While modular design often requires more scrolling, the visitor is rewarded with more imagery, less “filler” text, and more attention-grabbing details. And, making each block clickable to take the visitor to another page to learn more enhances site navigation while eliminating anchor text links in copy.
You likely already have a responsive site, optimized to be viewable on any device. But what about your logo? Simply shrinking it to view on a mobile device doesn’t necessarily provide the best user experience. Your logo is a defining part of your brand and should be clearly visible – and clickable – on any device. A responsive logo, like a responsive site, is optimized for visibility on any device.
If your graphics are beginning to feel a bit dated and you’re ready for an overhaul, Design & Promote can help! Our graphic designers stay abreast of the latest trends and have a pulse on designs that really work.
Design & Promote offers cutting-edge graphic design services to Naperville area businesses. Contact us at 630.995.7109 to learn how we help give your brand a fresh look in the New Year.
Whether you’re building a brand from the ground up, or you feel like your business’s logo could use a facelift, you might be surprised to learn that there is actually a science behind effective branding and logo design. While being recognizable and memorable is priority number one in a logo, the colors you choose will elicit subconscious emotions from people. This is important to understand because these emotions should be a reflection of your brand’s meaning and values.
Before you engage a logo design firm to start work, consider how the basic element of color will impact the perception of your brand.
Science has shown that color can stimulate a wide range of emotions, from euphoria to anger and everything in between. Let’s take a look at some of the moods each color tends to invoke:
Red – The color red physically stimulates the human body by raising the pulse rate and causing excitement. In small amounts, it can be the ideal color if you want to quickly get a person’s attention, but too much red can cause stress and anger. Target, Pinterest and Coca-Cola are famous all-red logos that positively stimulate the brain with pleasure and enjoyment emotions.
Black – The color black is bold, simple and sophisticated. It is often used to represent expensive brands or products. The Nike Swoosh and Chanel double “C” are instantly recognizable all-black logos that bring to mind high-end brands.
Yellow – The color yellow brings to mind sunshine. It evokes warm, happy emotions and can reflect the positivity and helpfulness of a brand. At the same time, yellow is the universal color for caution, and is used for tape, signs, flashing lights and other applications that require attention to safety. McDonalds, IKEA and Yellow Pages are all examples of brands that effectively use yellow in their logos.
Orange – Like yellow, the color orange triggers positive emotions. Known for boosting creative, energetic and youthful moods, brands like Nickelodeon, The Home Depot and Harley Davidson all use orange effectively.
Blue – The color blue is calming and evokes a sense of stability, confidence, power and credibility. While it should come as no surprise that professional brands such as JP Morgan, American Express, and Microsoft Word all use blue in their logo design, its prevalence in social media logos like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Vimeo, Flickr, and Skype might indicate that users are more trusting and embracing of brands with blue logos.
Green – The color green represents nature and the peaceful, relaxing and hopeful emotions surrounding it. Businesses in outdoor adventure, organic cooking, and science and engineering often use green. Whole Foods Market and Land Rover are popular all-green logos that successfully capitalize on the emotions that the color inspires.
Purple – The color purple has long been associated with wealth, royalty and luxury. It is also connected with spirituality and the arcane. Hallmark and Crown Royal use purple and physical crowns in their brands that are well-known for quality products, while SyFy and Wonka use purple to represent arcane and magical aspects of their brands.
Pink – The color pink is nurturing, warm and healing and is often associated with femininity. Although a variation of red, pink is soothing rather than stimulating, and is used by well-known and trusted brands such as Barbie, Mary Kay and LG.
White – The color white evoke emotions of purity and sophistication. Personal care brand, Kleenex, utilizes an all-white logo, as does technology mogul, Apple.
Choosing a color for your logo design is one of the first steps toward creating a memorable and instantly-recognizable brand. To learn more about the impact of color, and for bonus material about how to use shapes in your logo design, download the free whitepaper, “The Science Behind Logo Design” from Chicago-based branding and logo design firm, Design & Promote. To learn more about our services and schedule a consultation, call 630.995.7109 or visit our site.
First and foremost, I apologize for the lack of audio in my tutorial videos. I’ve tried to talk over them a few times, but only end up getting annoyed with the sound of my overly-raspy voice. That being said, I’ve lined out my steps below for you.
In this example, I’ve downloaded two shutterstock images; one for the background, and one as a main image.
Step 1: Paste your background layer.
Apply Filter >> Camera Raw Filter to the background image. As is the case with all tools & filters in photoshop, I encourage you to overly use this filter and all its options to get a better understanding of its capabilities.By swinging the clarity level back and forth, you can get a feel for how heavy of an effect you want. Keep in mind that this is the background image and we will be blurring it later, so the effect doesn’t need to be as heavy as what you’ll do in the foreground. Play with the temperature & levels until you like it, then click apply. In this example, I played around with the levels and sharpening effects to get the look I wanted.
Step 2: Paste your foreground image and apply Filter >> Camera Raw Filter, this time bringing the clarity all the way up. Ideally you want to zoom in on the face or a detailed area within the photo to see your detail amount. Once the clarity is up, adjust the other levels to your liking.
Step 3: Blending.
To blend it with the background, set the layer to “multiply.”
Then duplicate that layer, select your first layer, then select the background with your magic wand, and delete it. Set this layer back to normal from multiply. Right click, select pixels, and set the lightness to be 100%.
I didn’t do this in my example, but ideally, you’ll want to take your eraser and clean up your white layer to avoid having excess white space.
Step 4: Blur The Background: Duplicate your background layer and go to “Filter, Blur, Lens Blur.”
Slide the blur amount to where you like it then apply.
Take your eraser and set the opacity down to 50% and erase the areas closest to the foreground.
Select your foreground image again and go to Filter, Sharpen, unsharp mask. Swing the amount upward until you like the level and apply.
Lastly, add a new adjustment layer: Photo filter, to the very top of all your layers. Adjust this until the image flows together the way you want it to.
Add your text/design/ad copy to the top, and viola! HDR photo effect in photoshop!
Here are some screenshot examples of the different sections & uses of the raw filter. (Click the image to view larger version.)
At Design and Promote, most companies come to us with one of two requests for logo design: design a brand new logo for their new company or update their existing logo. While both requests yield a similar result—a fabulous, custom, logo that expresses what their company does at first glance—each requires a different approach and some soul-searching on the part of the client.
Creating a New Logo
For a brand new company, creating a logo makes it all feel official! The logo is the “special ingredient” that makes it possible to produce all the rest of their marketing materials like their business cards, website, flyers, or signage. The possibilities are endless. So, where do you begin?
Research. Look at similar companies and currently used logos in your industry. What do you like? What do you dislike? How do you want to position yourself in the marketplace to compete with them? How can this be expressed in your logo?
Preferences. Are there favorite colors you want to include, or NOT include? What kind of font do you prefer? Is there any specific imagery you want in the logo or DO NOT want used?
Personal Touches. Is there anything special about your business, the company’s origins, history, location, or beliefs that could be incorporated into the logo? Is there anything specific about your industry that should appear in the logo? How about the company’s owner? Is there anything interesting about his or her story that can be used graphically in the logo?
Format. Where will you be using the logo? How will the logo look blown up onto a billboard or reduced to fit on a golf ball? What file formats do you need? All design studios are not equal. Make sure you receive your logo in all the formats you need for any possible marketing material you may create in the future. Our logo package includes formats for use everywhere, including online and for printing.
Especially for new companies who are not yet well-known, it’s important that the company name works well with the graphics incorporated into the design. This was important to a cupcake company that came to us for a logo design but did not yet have a company name. We brainstormed company names and offered designs with several names before the winner (see below) was chosen. Also, the company owners specifically requested “no pink”, which is a typical, appetizing color associated with cupcakes. Instead, we chose to express their use of natural ingredients in our color choice by using neutral, natural colors while still creating an appealing graphic that clearly expresses what the company does with an appealing, delicious looking cupcake. The selected design also worked well with the company name.
Updating a Logo
Sometimes an existing, established company feels the need to update their logo. Logo updates are often accompanied by the need to change or create other marketing items as well, such as a new website, new company uniforms, merchandise and other collateral. Sometimes the need to create a new logo has to do with industry peer pressure! It doesn’t look good for a firm to have an old-fashioned, tired looking logo in circulation when the competition’s logos look fresh, inviting and progressive.
If you need a logo update, you should take some of the steps required of companies needing a new logo, but with a twist.
Research and Analyze the Competition. As an established business, you probably have some direct competitors by now. Take a look at their logos. How does yours compare and why?
Preferences. How has your logo stood the test of time? Do the colors and graphics you chose then look modern or dated now?
Personal Touches. Is there any elements of your logo that are so essential or sentimental that they simply MUST be included in the new design? A talented designer will be able to give your logo a facelift while retaining elements that are important to you.
Format. Did your old logo perform equally well when it was enlarged and reduced? Make sure you once again receive the logo in all the formats you need from your designer.
DuPage Swimming Center came to us requesting a logo update. The owner had previously conceived the idea of juxtaposing a human and a dolphin swimming together and wanted to retain that in the new logo. The original logo had been created to read “DuPage Swim Center” when the company name was actually “DuPage Swimming Center”. The new logo needed to reflect this name instead.
Our solution demonstrated our ability to listen and respond to the client’s requests to retain their favorite elements of the logo, yet infuse the logo with energy and passion.
Take a look at your own logo. Is it time for an update? Call us for an evaluation of your existing logo and learn how a simple update can make a difference in how your logo performs for your company and against the competition!
Good logo design is one of the key ways you establish yourself as unique in the marketplace. Logo designs should be powerful, but not overly complex, and make an almost instantaneous and memorable impact. Design and Promote’s professional team of designers give you a choice of unique and genuinely original logo ideas f unlimited revisions and a full suite of high resolution and low resolution EPS, Web and JPG files for use in print and online applications. We can even create associated stationery packages and business cards that will maximize the impact of your chosen logo design.
A professional, and well designed facebook graphic makes your company stand out in the ever-growing world of social media. More and more, potential clients are searching within facebook for services and products, so displaying the right image for your company is essential.
Dec 16, 2016
2017 Graphic Design Trends As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, we’re already looking forward to emerging technology and […]
Jul 01, 2014
In this complimentary video tutorial, I show you how to create an HDR effect on your photos using the built-in “Camera Raw Filter” inside of photoshop!
Jul 31, 2013
At Design and Promote, most companies come to us with one of two requests for logo design: design a brand […]