Category: Print Media

Color Me Bad(d)

colorsIf you get that reference, chances are you are older than 30 or have a strong propensity toward early ’90’s R&B. Either way, no judgement. Moving on.

Everything we see, smell, hear or touch gives us a reaction. Sometimes we are highly aware of what that reaction is, say when you smell baking cookies . . . But other reactions aren’t obvious to us. We aren’t aware that while our conscious mind isn’t affected, our subconscious one is.

That is something we pay close attention to when designing. There are many implications to shapes, straight or curved lines, and even the way paper feels in your hand. In this post, however, we will be talking about color.

Have you ever wondered why fast food restaurants almost all use the color red? Red signifies a lot of things: passion, rage, warmth, loudness, but it also has an actual affect on your physiology. It makes you hungry!

What about spas? Ever notice how much green is used in logos for this field of work? Soft green has a calming feeling to our psyches.

Part of our research when we have a new client is we ask them to give us adjectives that describe how they want to be perceived. So if a client says bold, fun, creative we would choose colors that brought that out in a person. If they say prestigious, reliable, knowledgeable, that would incur a completely different set of colors.

An easy mistake one can make when creating a brand is choosing colors solely based on preference. This only means that the one person who is designing is arbitrarily picking colors off what they like rather than making an informed choice on a look that will appeal to the correct audience.

Start taking a look around. See what colors a company chooses to incorporate in their logo and materials and then see if how those colors make you feel aligns with how they are trying be. Hopefully, if done right, it will resonate.

What Inspires Us?

So many things in the world can inspire us.Ever listen to a song and get completely transported to a different time? Maybe it is a moment from your childhood, or maybe it is just a feeling that washes over you, and it changes your mood in an instant.

Is there a person that whenever you are around them, your whole world becomes electrified? The sky is a more vivid blue and the birds are alarmingly more joyful.

When you get home from a long day at work and put on your favorite sweatshirt, do you become immediately relaxed?

I hope you answered yes to at least one of these questions; otherwise you are sitting there saying what are the kids at Woodward Design ON?

But, seriously, we are affected by our surroundings. Everything affects us, even if we aren’t aware of it. The smallest change can lift us up or bring us down.

Being designers we have to be more alert to what is happening around us. That is how we stay current, keep on top of the next thing and continue to have audiences engaged in what we are doing. Because of this heightened sense, so many things in the world can inspire us.

Of course we are in awe of other designer’s work. We flip through Communication Arts pointing, laughing, sighing, and moaning about all the work we wish we had come up with. But, inspiration doesn’t come just from other’s ideas.

A crack in an old building, an elderly couple holding hands, steam from a coffee cup, and the list goes on. Anything can spark an idea, an emotion, a thought, and a feeling that can lead to the creation of work. You just have to be open to accepting the world around, in, so that it can translate itself, out.

Everything, is the answer. Broad, overwhelming and completely exciting.

Does Paper Really Matter?

What you desire from your paper.

You could have an award-winning design, but if the paper choice is wrong, it could ruin the whole thing.

Not all paper is created equal. Nor are there only the choices of, white or off-white. There are many different kinds of papers, finishes, degrees of environmentally conscious, varnishes, shades, textures and the list goes on.

Say you are a photographer and you are creating a brochure to highlight your work. The choice of paper would be very important.

Depending on the mood of your photography would depend on the paper tint you would choose. If a white stock has a slight yellow cast to the paper, it will cause photos to appear warm. The opposite goes if the sheet is running on the blue side.

Having a new sheet, or virgin sheet, might be important. This is a paper that has no recycled material in it and has never been used before. The reason we say you might want to use that is because recycled and post-consumer stocks can contain flecks in the paper from the recycling process. A photographer may find this upsetting to his photos if a piece of matter is in picture where it shouldn’t be.

Then comes the question of matte, gloss, or uncoated paper. For a photographer, I would most likely choose a gloss or satin finish to a paper. The reason being, this kind of finish holds the ink on the surface. Allows the colors to and photos to shine. If you go with an uncoated stock the ink sinks into the paper creating a softer and muted look. While that can be desirable for many jobs, a photographer would want their photos to show as clearly as possible.

What kind of presence do you want? Do you want the stock to be heavy and substantial? Do you want it light and delicate? This is where the decision of paperweight comes in. Another thing to think about if the piece is being mailed. The weight of the overall piece affects mailing cost and you have to factor that in when choosing a weight.

Are you overwhelmed yet? Because we could keep going. No need to be if you are. There are many things to think about just in paper choice when designing a printed piece, but once you decide what kind of design you are going for, the feeling, look, need, you can start to check off what you desire from your paper.

Woodwardesign Is Buzzing

Woodwardesign is jamming this month with lots of great projects. Everyone is coming out of hibernation and is ready to start their design projects.

We have the much anticipated alumni magazine Potash Hill commencement issue for Marlboro college, a new logo and naming process for a local council on aging organization followed by a website, the course overview and Summer Abroad catalogs for the SIT Study Abroad, reunion brochures for Dartmouth College, websites for A’s Auto and Vermont Films, and the new collateral and website for Windham and Windsor Housing Trust. Whew!

We love when the warm weather rolls around and green grass and new jobs come up. Not to mention the four-day work week next week. Hope you have a great July 4th!