While a good deal of design has to do with layouts and lines, a major part of what makes a design good is expert use of color. We see reds, oranges, pinks, blues, and purples every day of our lives – perhaps not thinking how these shades affect us.
However, there is a definite psychology to color – one used in every realm of design from film to fashion to graphics. While you could dive deep into color psychology, here’s a little crash course on how certain colors can make you feel.
Reds are bold and can incite a variety of strong emotions: love, passion, danger, strength, and drama. Reds are also used in plenty of restaurant logos and designs (think of those shiny red diner booths) because it’s one of the colors that can make you feel hungry!
Orange – like the other warmer colors – can make you feel a deep sort of warmth. It can also stir feelings of childlike fun and sociability. If you want your design to feel full of positivity and energy, orange may be the color for you.
What do you think of when you see the color yellow? These are all of the things viewers will think when they see your design: brightness, positivity, happiness, joy, and the energy of the sun. For a bright, cheery look, go for yellow.
Yes, of course the color green can make you think of freshness, nature, and things that are environmentally friendly. But, it can also stir up an essence of wealth and growth (think money). Green is one of those great colors that can give off a lot of feelings, so it’s a great option when building a design.
Blue is another color with several options depending on the different feelings they incite. Do you want your design to feel calm, tranquil, or peaceful? Use blue. How about a design that gives off the feelings of loyalty, dependability, and order? Blue is perfect for that too!
Purple is the color of royalty, wealth, and luxury – but it’s so much more than that. The color purple can also be associated with things that are artsy; so, if you want to show off your uniquely creative side – pick a little purple. Also, if you want something feminine, but don’t want to go for pink, try a lighter shade of lavender to pull it off.
Most often known as the girly color, pink is perfect for themes that are soft, sweet and beautiful. But more than feminine themes, pink can also give off a feeling of health and wellness.
You may think gray is a little too boring, but this neutral shade also has a lot of cooler uses. Gray is a great color for technology or to convey modernity and futuristic feelings. Similar to blue, it can also be a very calming hue.
Think Batman: bold, powerful and dramatic. But then, there’s also the Bruce Wayne side to black. This side brings an edge of formality, class, and elegance. If you’re looking for the perfect balance between power and sophistication, consider using black.
The color psychology goes much deeper: bright green evokes different feelings than dark green and pink, fuschia, and magenta can all evoke different feelings. Hopefully, this little crash course gives you a better idea of how to use colors when it comes to design.
You don’t think superhero costumes are all about design elements? Think again. Here’s a look at how four of my favorite superhero costumes employ special design elements.
The latest rendition of Batgirl has a costume style that I absolutely love. It’s the perfect combination of style and functionality. The solid seam lines on the jacket and bold stripe down the sides of the legs gives the costume a feeling of clean uniformity: she’s a soldier in essence and has little need for extra frills – that’s why the cape can snap off at a moment’s notice.
However, she’s still a girl in her twenties: so the costume has a fun purple and yellow combo instead of the stark black of the original Batman look. But she’s still representing the Batman brand: so the familiar bat logo is clearly present.
2) The X-Men
Although their costumes go through many different renditions, they always seem to return to two major themes in their costumes: the bold yellow color and the obvious X – and for strong reasons. While their secret identities may be in hiding, the X-Men are a team meant for open combat – to be noticed. The yellow draws attention to them. Why not another color? As we can remember from color psychology, yellow is a bright, cheery color, meant to promote positivity.
The “X” is to echo the team’s namesake and creator, Charles Xavier, while also showing to the world that they are unashamed of who they are. They want to be seen, they want you to know they’re here to help, and they want you to remember their name.
Who can say this costume is not memorable? But can you articulate why? Superman’s costume is a bold use of the primary colors in stark, clearly identifiable ways. The main blue of his costume lets us know he’s dependable, the yellow background on his shield tells us he is a force for good, and the splash of red in his cape and S let us know that he isn’t afraid of danger.
In recent mythologies of the Superman storyline, the S represents Superman’s family crest back on Krypton, adding a further level of symbolism to the design elements present. Similar to the X-Men’s “X,” this S reminds you exactly who Superman is – phonetically and symbolically.
I wanted to take a look at Spiderman’s costume because it employs a similar color scheme as Superman’s (dominant blue and red), but in a different way. The use of these bold colors echoes the uncomplicated nature of this character – he’s your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman.
The use of the spider operates the same way Batgirl’s bat symbol does: to point to the hero’s namesake and hint at their abilities. Furthermore, the web-like grid overlay on the costume adds a level of depth to the costume and ties together the red, blue, and black spider in a smooth way – as opposed to the stark way the blue, red, and yellow in Superman’s costume stand apart from each other.
Now, every time you take a look at a superhero costume, look for the design elements: the use of line, color psychology, the presence of symbols, and the elements of functionality!
Hi there! I’m Haley and my goal is to help you master social media. For my last post, I laid out the basics of the 5 main social media platforms I use and how you can use them for your business. For this post, I want to explore some basic social media lingo that you may have heard. Let’s get started:
A post is anything you put up on a social media platform, whether it’s a long ranting commentary on Brexit for Facebook, a 140 character tweet about the annoying lady in front of you in Starbucks, or that super cute Instagram pic of you and your sister at that new restaurant.
This is how you let someone know you “like” their post. Facebook has given you a few extra options (I’ve never used them; call me old-fashioned). Twitter has a different name for it, but it’s all essentially the same.
This is how you go by on your social media platforms – other than Facebook (which just goes by your name). It doesn’t have to be the same for each platform. For example, my Insta username is @haleybear3, Twitter is @hbeastley, and Snapchat is @hbeastly. Mix it up or stick with what you like. You can always change it.
The cute little faces and symbols you can use to express your feelings. Various social media sites (like Facebook and Snapchat) have “stickers,” basically super elaborate emojis.
A meme can really be anything: a photo, film still, still clip from an animated show, or an illustration. They mean something and that one thing: an emotion, a stereotype (like the uncool dad), or anything else. Tack this meme on a situation that is relevant and you’ve successfully used one.
So, your “friends” don’t really have to be your friends. This is the term for people you follow or people who follow you on Facebook and Snapchat. The conversation goes like this “Are we friends on Facebook?” If the answer’s no, you exchange Facebook profiles. If you later realize you don’t want to see this person’s rambling extremist posts showing up on your feed every day, you can block them later.
Followers are the same as friends, but for Insta and Twitter. So, the conversation goes like this: “Do I follow you on Instagram?” And so on and so forth.
Shade is when you or someone else is being real sassy, but maybe subtly. This particular action of being sassy is known as “throwing shade.” It’s visual equivalent is the side-eye.
Tagging someone means you attach their name or username in the picture or tweet that you post.
Instagram filters are a lousy way of editing your pictures and everyone usually does it with a different app anyways now. Snapchat filters are where all those weird dog-ear pictures you’re seeing on the Internet come from.
This stands for “direct message.” In nearly all social media platforms, there’s a way to send a message to one person or a select group of people directly. If you send a message to an individual it’s known as DMing them. It goes down in the DMs.
This is the picture of you that everyone sees when they visit your page on any social media platform. Yes, you do need a profile pic – and a good one. In a day and age of smartphones, having a bad profile picture is just lazy and near impossible. Having no profile pic is a sure way to let people know you’re a creep.
If something’s trending on social media, it means it’s a topic everyone is currently talking about – breaking news or a funny meme that’s gone viral. They both trend at equal paces.
Remember the pound symbol (#)? Yeah, that’s called a hashtag now and it’s used in a variety of ways, some very smart and subtle. You can use it to tie yourself to a larger “feed” or a collection of hashtags. Example: you’re exploring LA, take a picture, and post it on Instagram with this: #exploreLA.
You can also create your own hashtag for an event. Events like ComicCon, Oscars, or even the opening of your local grocery store will use tags like #SanDiegoComicCon2016, #OscarsSoWhite, and #localgrocerystore.
You can also use hashtags to drop shade. My favorite? #sorrynotsorry
If this was helpful, check out my last post – or stay tuned for more posts on Mastering Social Media.
Are you confused as to how to use a hashtag? Not entirely sure what a meme is? Not certain what the difference is between Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook is? Never sent, nor have any idea how to send a hashtag?
This post – and the next few posts in this series – is for you. Let’s begin with basic social media platforms, starting with the most popular platforms and how you can use them for your business.
More likely than not, you’re familiar with Facebook. Many say it’s on its way out, but Facebook is an immediately easy way to match up with people. For the youth of my generation, it’s preferable to be friends with someone on Facebook than to straight out ask their number. For businesses, Facebook allows a way for you to open a page for your business and do some simple marketing if you’re not sure you’re ready for an entire website. (And when you are ready for a website, you’re in the right place). Facebook is also the way I remember all of my friends and family’s birthdays (shh).
Instagram is personally my favorite social media platform. It’s a visual based platform, where you share pictures and let everyone know what you’re up to. What started out as simple photo-sharing has evolved into a platform to showcase artistic talent. My instagram page (follow me @haleybear3) is a place where I put up carefully selected and edited posts to get some practice in photography. For businesses, it’s a great way to show off products or people involved in the business.
Twitter is basically Instagram without the pictures (although now you can add photos). Essentially, Twitter allows you to comment whatever you want in 140 characters or less. That’s all the space you get to say what you want. I use Twitter for quick news updates and to make snide little comments about my day. The character limit forces you to be clever in getting people’s attention. It’s also a great way to send little updates about your life or promotions going on at your business. Don’t forget to link back to your website!
Ahh, Snapchat. The latest social media craze. Snapchat asks as a messaging service. You send photos or videos of yourself to your friends or put them on your “story.” The catch? The photos and videos only last a few seconds (1-10) and then, they’re gone forever, gone in a snap (get it?). If you put a snapchat on your story, it only lasts for twenty-four hours. You can follow people close to you, celebrities, major media publications, etc. Businesses are still trying to find ways to use snapchat, but one good use for it is during events. For people who weren’t able to attend the event, they can get a little taste of it on your snapchat!
Possibly one of the most confusing platforms, Tumblr started as an easy way for anyone to have a blog. That’s what it is essentially – an amalgam of millions of different blogs by different people. My favorite thing about this platform is that it isn’t concerned with how many “followers” or “friends” you have. It’s about sharing with other people. It’s also a bit artsier (in my opinion) than some of the other platforms. For businesses, I’d say to make sure you find a definite tone for your tumblr page (are you going to go super artsy? Humorous? Technical and informative?). Once you find your tone, plunge headfirst into it and make sure your posts are consistent. Don’t be afraid to interact with other users as well.
LinkedIn is an amazing resource for businesses and people looking to get themselves out in the job force. It’s a platform for network, but without having to go somewhere and shake hands with a bunch of people exchanging business cards. You can fill out your profile and look for jobs that are perfect for you, make connections with your friends, family, and coworkers, and even join groups relevant to your career track. What’s my favorite thing to do on LinkedIn? I love to search for people who currently have my dream job and see what tracks they took to get there. Everybody has to start somewhere – and you could get your start with LinkedIn.
If this post was helpful, don’t forget to keep checking back for more updates in How to Master Social Media with Haley.
Ah. The dreaded PowerPoint Presentation.
At one point in everyone’s life whether in an educational or professional setting, they find themselves falling asleep to a poorly constructed Power Point Presentation with the same banal ingredients:
1) Generic screen designs with odd geometrics vaguely resembling early 90’s commercials.
2) Masses and masses of thick, packed text with which the presenter insists on reading every. Single. Mind-numbing. Word.
3) And who can forget the presenters themselves: droning in monotone, reading every word off the slide, looking at you with their glazed over eyes, everybody thinking the same thing—“How soon will this be over?”
You have inevitably been subjected to one of these tedious presentations yourself and dare you admit it—even been the presenter yourself upon occasion. No matter how this world changes and develops, one thing always seems to stay the same: people need to communicate information to other people. There’s no rule that says this information must be communicated well or in a manner that is in anyway engaging. Just that someone needs to tell something else.
Who are these people who need to communicate information? Bright-eyed students presenting on Philosophy and Lady Gaga, droning lecturers on Linguistics, coworkers presenting a new business deal, Hollywood producers pitching a new idea, your twelve-year-old son communicating why he should be able to drop out of school.
Presentations—like food and music—transfer across cultures, age groups, socioeconomic statuses, and backgrounds. Presentations are the always-present elephants in the room of life: something everyone knows is there and must be looked at from time to time, but what no one wants to address head-on as to how mind-numbingly awful it is.
The elephant doesn’t really need to be that awful.
Presentations can be, should I even dare to say it …
Imagine this: a world in which you attend a meeting and Marsha gets up to present, but instead of the boring screens and massive chunks of texts, you leave that meeting feeling … feeling as if you’ve learned something. And you didn’t even check the clock every one point five seconds to see how close it was to lunch. You watched Marsha’s presentation
You enjoyed Marsha’s presentation.
This doesn’t have to be a fantasy. This can be your life.
There is an entire wealth of presentation software out there that can revolutionize the way you present and receive information. Presentations that are bursting with color, movement, life. Presentations that can help you do your job and do it to the best of your ability.
The Old World of Presentations brought death.
The New World of Presentations will bring you life.
Tell it to me straight: do you really want to stare at another generic, pre-processed Power Point Presentation again and slowly feel your brain cells disintegrating one by one?
No. No, that’s not what you want at all. If you’re ready to change your life, if you’re ready to cast the Old World of Presentations aside and usher into a new era of light and life, then shoot Devin an email at email@example.com and step into the New World of Presentations.
You won’t be disappointed.
I make jewelry.
It started off with one of those generic Wal-Mart packs of beads, some wire, and a couple of hooks to make really official looking bracelets. The gift was given to me for one random Christmas present. I pretty much used up all the beads that day.
Then I kept making more stuff. A bracelet here. A necklace there. My jewelry designing skills made for the easiest and most personalized birthday presents ever (literally all my friends from high school got a Haley Beads Bracelet for every birthday, Christmas, and graduation present).
That’s pretty much all I used it for: gifts and relaxation. I’d come home after a particularly stressful day, making a couple of earrings and tuck them away for gifts later. People commented that I could probably make money off of my designs. I shrugged it off, never really giving it much thought.
Until one fated summer. I was back at home, working two internships that didn’t particularly satisfy my inner boredom. So, I decided, just up out of the blue, to throw my jewelry designs up on Etsy. I spent an evening watching a couple of Youtube videos about taking pictures for your Etsy store and how to set up your Etsy store and Etsy, Etsy, Etsy.
I love Etsy, I really do. It’s the perfect place to find all sorts of fun knickknacks and what-knots, but it’s also been growing rapidly since its inception. And the problem with that is if someone hops onto Etsy looking for jewelry, there is an infinitesimally slight chance that they will happen upon your store.
Type in “Jewelry” on Etsy and 250 pages of options show up. I did my best to market my wares on Instagram and Facebook, but without a central idea, message, and style to all of these outfits, I was drowning amongst the hundreds of other “handmade jewelry designers” out there, all vying for the same customers.
Things might have been different with my own website.
A website of my own would have provided a central location for all potential customers. On my own website, I could have a specific style, mood, and theme that would be easy to replicate across all social media platforms, instead of being forced to utilize whatever little individual personality design Etsy offered to its vendors. With my own website, I could control not only my image, but also the business transactions themselves.
On Etsy, you have to pay a fee every month to even have your own piece of jewelry present on your store. This is how the website makes its money, but having to pay Etsy for a spot on my own website took away funds I could put towards buying more supplies.
Don’t make the same mistakes. Don’t get lost in the hundreds of vendors on Etsy and other similar websites. They make it simpler to set up your own store, but it may cost you customers in the end.
With your own website, all of the traffic goes directly to you and no one but you. If you’re ready to take your business and services to the World Wide Web, take the time and money to invest in your very own website.
Not sure how to start? Hit up Devin with an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on taking your business to the next level.