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Seeing red…

 why that color?Color makes a statement….sometimes it’s a whisper, sometimes a shout.
In our world of advertising and design, we follow color trends, but a color should not be chosen because it is trendy. Decisions about color should be strategic, inspired – the right color for the job.
Take red, for instance…
 
What do Coke, Target and Staples have in common? All use red in their logos. 
 
“Red is a very eye-catching color, very memorable and emotional,” TCG art director Kim Smith says. “That’s why many memorable brands use it.”
 
Color is a form of non-verbal communication. Think of the businessman who chooses a red power tie. He wants to make a statement that he is in charge and ready to take action. 
 
Retailers pay close attention to the psychology of colors. Visual cues, including color, help persuade shoppers. Red is seen as a color that motivates action in retail settings, both online and in-store. KISSmetrics, provider of online analytics tools, says that red creates urgency and is often used in clearance sale notices and signage.   
 
Sometimes, red is used to suggest anger or rebellion. But it also is the color most associated with two beloved holidays—Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Like every color, red has its upsides and downsides in design.
 
“If you need to use the color as shades, tints or values, it goes pink, which often doesn’t work well,” Kim says. “Sometimes, red is tough to work in conjunction with other colors, like green. Then it always looks like Christmas…always.”
With some business categories, red carries negative connotations. In healthcare, red reminds people of blood. In finance jargon, to be “in the red” means you’re losing money.
“The bottom line,” Kim adds, “is that red is often a bold color choice and best used with care.”
Did you know that red is the highest arc of the rainbow? Learn more fun facts and interesting information about red from international color expert Kate Smith, ICS, CMG: All about the Color Red

what’s old is new again—and really cool

businesscardswebTake a look at our new business cards. How fun are these? They were hand-printed by the very talented Megan Zettlemoyer of Typothecary Letterpress & Designin downtown Lancaster. A tour of her studio is inspiring, not to mention like a mini-lesson in printing history.

It’s so cool to combine traditional letterpress printing with the technology of today. The more advanced the design industry becomes, the more unique and charming the old way of doing things becomes. Check out the photo of Megan in her print studio, filled with beautiful old printing presses, papers, drawers filled with old letterpress type, and these funky old wooden spacers. A feast for the eyes, for sure!

This is Megan in her studio.
megan_web

why that color?

Why That Coloro Blog Image

Any number of factors can influence the selection of colors for a client project. Kim Smith, our art director, explains that it’s never just a random process.

“We follow color trends, but never choose a color because it’s trendy,” Kim says. “We consider the project lifespan. If it’s a one-time piece that doesn’t have longevity, a trendy color that really pops may be a great solution. If it’s something that sticks around, it may be best to go with color choices that stand the test of time.”

A client’s corporate colors also can affect the choice.

“There has to be compatibility with their corporate colors—or at least not an unnecessary clash,” Kim says. “You want a friendliness among the colors you use.”

Ultimately, color makes a statement. Sometimes it’s a whisper, sometimes a shout. We believe our color decisions are thoughtful, inspired and strategic…always the right color for the job.

For a look at how we use color creatively, check out our “What We Do” section.

happy halloween!

halloween-blog
We love Halloween. Not for the candy (well, not only for the candy), but for the chance to get all creative with a certain member of the gourd family – the pumpkin!
Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years, but were not native to the continent. In 1584, French explorer Jacques Cartier was poking around in the St. Lawrence region of North America and reported finding “gros melons.” The term was translated into English as “pompions,” which eventually evolved into “pumpkin.”
Carving pumpkins to create the classic jack o’ lantern face is believed to have originated with the Celtic culture, which celebrated summer’s end and the last harvest on October 31st. As part of the celebration, children carved turnips or gourds and placed a burning lump of coal inside to welcome loved ones who had died in the past year and also to protect against mischievous spirits.
Our premier pumpkin carver is Julie Rehman, our production manager and “the glue” that keeps the agency together. With four children, now all young adults, Julie has years and years of pumpkin-carving experience under her belt. Check out the spooky-cool scene she created for this Halloween!

where do ideas come from?

ideas-blog

In creative brainstorming, we say no idea is a bad idea. Every idea came from somewhere and deserves consideration.

James Webb Young, a copywriter of renown in the early years of advertising, devised a practice for generating ideas. In the 1940s, he wrote it all down for others in advertising. Eventually his wisdom became a published book called, “A Technique for Producing Ideas.”

Here’s an overview of his process:

  1. Gather “raw material.” This includes anything specific to the project or challenge at hand, as well as general knowledge.
  2. Think hard about the problem. Try various combinations of the elements to create a workable solution. Young said you need to “feel your way” though each bit of knowledge that you gathered. He advised working yourself “to a standstill,” meaning keep at it until you believe you have exhausted every option.
  3. Allow everything to incubate. Take a break and let your unconscious mind go to work. Young suggests that you turn your attention to “whatever stimulates your imagination and emotions.” Neuroscientists have conducted research that shows the brain is hard at work in the time right before an insight or idea comes to light.
  4. Welcome the “Eureka!” moment. The perfect idea, the right answer, the ideal solution comes to you, as if from nowhere. But in reality, you had been thinking about it on some level all along.
  5. Develop the idea further and let it take flight. Test, edit and polish it.

In Young’s view, the most important principle in his little book (it’s just 48 pages) is this: “An idea is nothing more, nor less, than a new combination of old elements.” We think that this charming perspective has never grown old.

More information: http://techniqueforproducingideas.com