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The Design Center / Creative Networking / March: "How Designers Sell" / April: Designing Spring  

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April: Designing Spring

... designers seem to think alinke

During March we invited readers of the Design Cafe list and DTG to write in and relate a comment or suggestion about design techniques, color palettes and ideas they use to sell their client's message for a Springtime Promotion... take a look:

2006 Color of the Year

Margaret writes:
      "From one link off a site this week I was able to load the 2006 spring color swatches for illustrator... not sure what to do with them though to make it work. Since then I have been seeing these colors on all the tv commercials! Off a pantone site I found the color of the year: cmyk 45-35-0-0 or RGB 144 153 203"
New Spring 2005 Colors Debut; Download Exclusive Swatches Palette by Pariah S. Burke, and download any of the Fashion World's "Spring Colors" in a software palette for Adobe or Macromedia products.
Apple has a great color department color for color management and other interesting things about color. See: Matias Bilbao's piece on warm-toned black and white images. See his favorite color palette!.
* John Paul Caponigro writes a commentary on subtle colors and grays called "neutrals." You can read the whole article at: where a series of dialogs with artists is well worth the time spent.
* While you're there, you'll also find Jody Turner's wonderful piece on Cultural Emotions, Creative Engagement and Adobe's own Russell Brown who shares his colors and how he changes them.
* Pantone offers this PDF Brochure where you can read to the last page and find this color palette for the Fall Colors for 2005.
If you want to see the color of the year go to
[END QUOTE] Margaret is a photographer from Lubbock, TX USA

Positive feelings...

Sandy writes:
      "With Spring comes taxes, spring break and house hunting! In my market I will begin to work-in fun images and bright or "clean" colors. In keeping with a corporate theme, I will mix in simple images with blue sky, rippled water, or solid bright color backgrounds. Most corporate neutrals can be jazzed up with "fruity" colors - kiwi, tangerine, blueberry, etc. - and by the way, come Spring, these colors (or variations of colors) never get outdated! In our business most clients will come to you with the project, it is up to the savvy designer to create the marketing for that project incorporating design and information into existing branding. So, think fun and young. Mix in young men and women in crisp white shirts and big smiles and cute kids. These themes will work well in any Spring project... and if it's a money or tax poject, a good colorful treatment of George Washington adds a splash of fun. The key is to offer a positive feeling through good use of imagery and color - taking the audience away from the winter dolldrums."

[END QUOTE] Sandy is a design professional from Dallas Metroplex, Texas USA

Citrus and Lime for Heather

Heather writes:
      "I'm using lightweight cursive fonts. Nothing too formal, a little loopy or lopsided. With a very plain sans serif, like Gil Sans light. For colors, I'm choosing citrus colors- all toned down a bit. Lime (PMS 396 or 584), lemon (393 or 602), orange (715 or 717) straight up or with large screened shapes. I like seeing what happens with the pen tool when I make a bunch of random points and start pulling on the anchor point extensions -- can create a very fluid abstract graphic which feels floaty and spring-like. Turquoise seems to be everywhere with pink and lime or yellow. No thanks. Dotted lines make me think of bee trails."

[END QUOTE] Heather is a design professional from Salem, NY USA

Inspiration of rebirth and renewal

Roxane writes:
      "Spring carries its own inspiration of rebirth and renewal. Sometimes that can mean bringing back a retro look or it is a chance to try something brand new. Any good, handwritten font inspires the child in all of us. Something playful and a bit off-kilter. My favorite software is InDesign on our Apple G5s. "
[END QUOTE] Roxane is a trainer in education from Kenosha, WI USA

Infuse design with a sense of life

Mark writes:
      "When designing with a spring theme, one needs to be careful not to fall into hackneyed or 'cookie-cutter' designs (unless the client wants that). Spring is more than green and yellow; spring is an awakening, a refreshing of the world. To capture that feel in a design requires the same thing that good design always requres; information and creativity. I design for spring by using the tried and true elements; flowers, the sun, bright colors, breezy flowing type. Lighter strokes, serif fonts, and infusing the design with a sense of life, awakening. I try to put a twist on these overused ideas by deliberately using contrasting shapes and colors. "
[END QUOTE] Mark is a graphic Illustrator from Starkville, Mississippi, USA

Spring is for Renewal and air fresheners

Mike writes:
      "My brother and I are planning a promotion for our tire shop (, that's not really for spring per se, but will launch perfectly with spring, the season of renewal. We will be having custom made air fresheners made, likely in a variety of scents if possible:
1) to replace the window decals to remind customers when their next oil change is due and
2) to use for direct mail to local residents to introduce them to our services.
Though we've been in business at the same location for 9 years, the last year and a half has seen big changes for the business, and we continue to draw new customers, many who don't know where our services end. To many, we're just a tire shop. We believe the air fresheners are a great replacement for the old type decals, since they will be clearly visible to everyone who rides in the car and to everyone who walks by the car, too! There is no better time to renew any business!"
[END QUOTE] Mike is a design professional from Mulvane, KS, USA

And, that about wraps it up for this month. See'ya next month.

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