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September 10 2013


How To Stay Cool When Your Client Wants To Maintain Their Own WordPress Site


So your client doesn’t want you to maintain their website for them. I encounter this a lot working with DIY-minded small business owners, and I used to dread it – I mean really dread it. Back in the day, allowing your client access to a website meant constantly fixing it after they broke it. Or worse, they would break it then try to fix it themselves after 3-hours of researching the error code on Google. Yikes.

August 16 2013


Leaving The Treadmill: The Five Biggest Advantages of Freelance Writing


Writers are needed everywhere. It is one of the most ubiquitous professions of the world. Be it newspapers, magazines, comic books, websites, blogs – they all require writers.
You can become a writer in two ways. One – Take up a full-time job in an office of your town that is recruiting writers. Yes, this will be a day job. Two – Offer your writing services to different clients and charge on per project basis. This is known as freelance writing.

April 04 2012


How Colors Change on the Web (or Don’t)

As individuals, we change our colors often. We reflect our inner palettes in what we wear, what we buy, where we cast our gaze. We have the freedom to engage unlimited combinations whenever we see fit.

But what about the colors of the websites we visit daily? Do websites shift in these same ways, or even at this rate? Over the course of a year we change our color preferences untold times, but looking at how websites evolve over a similar time period indicates something quite different.

I recently examined a representative sample of websites that have gone through a significant redesign in the last year to analyze just how much, if at all, these websites changed in terms of their inner color palettes. These few examples represent a trend I noticed - that some websites have gone through massive shifts in layout, usability, and general structure. In comparing their palettes, however, you don't see such shifting.

In the example of below, you can see that there has been an obvious overhaul of structure, reorganizing the site completely. While there is a subtle increase in a practical implementation of color 'coding' (notably pink to indicate a 'spring' item and brighter link colors), the base of the palette remains the same. This shows that Target knows the importance of evolving functionality (and product) independent of base branding colors.

Another great example of a structural overhaul is Here you can see they've moved to a centered layout and are using a few brighter blues for specific calls to action, but again, the remainder of the palette remains unchanged.

Another website I took a look at was, which went through somewhat of a transformation last year. Save for a button color change (for the better) the base of their palette and branding remains the same.

Of particular interest this past year were the transformations undertaken on Around July last year they went with an overhaul not just of structure but of color as well. I don’t think the color portion of the overhaul was that successful, as a look around six months later shows they've reversed their direction. They've gone closer to what they had previous to the saturated yellow look, dialing back to a more traditional food-friendly palette of light tans/browns and creamy whites. Did Denny’s find out how much is too much? Was bright yellow too much of a stretch from what is traditionally a red-dominated industry?

In the case of our recent redesign, you can see that we’ve maintained the base of the palette, only adding a select aqua to draw emphasis to the site’s informational hierarchy. Again, you can see how important the core of a palette is to the site’s overall presentation.

It is important to understand that while sites adapt and alter in various ways and degrees, there are some decisions that must be absolutely correct in early stages of development, namely color. Color delineates brand. Color can define a site. Color resonates in the mind of the user, whether they notice or not. Color is vital. If a website requires modifications, initial color choice and primary concepts must be considered just as vital.

Written By: Nicholas Forneris is an interactive developer at digital marketing and web design company 352 Media Group and loves making palettes on COLOURlovers.

At 352 Media Group, we recognize how central these inner palettes are for our clients - so much that creating color palettes for clients is at the forefront of our design workflow. In most cases, color palette decisions precede layout and functionality. We know just how serious it is to use the correct color palettes from the beginning of a project. 

February 08 2012


January 30 2012


COLOURlovers Interview & Giveaway with Jessica Sprague on The Art of Poster Design

Poster design is a really fun, inexpensive and unique way to explore your creative side. From the 1,000's of fonts, variety of poster sizes, and layouts, sometimes, it's difficult to know where to start!

Once you master your design techniques visit Next Day Flyers for fast poster printing at great prices.

Today we are interviewing Jessica Sprague, design guru and owner of In February, Jessica is heading off a four week Poster Design course. She is also giving away not one, but TWO seats to this really awesome class! I couldn't be more excited about the class after taking Jessica's Subway Art class. I'm a busy mom, so I don't have a whole lot of time to join in a live class, which is why I love Jessica's classes- they are self-paced and available forever!

Follow Jessica: Twitter & Facebook

Can you tell us about yourself, how long have you been designing? Teaching? Do you have a job outside of

In my former life I was a web & user interface designer for a software company, so I've been designing in some form or another for about 14 years. I started teaching digital scrapbooking, Photoshop, and graphic design in 2007 when I opened Since then it is my full-time job, and I love it!

What three (or less) singular colors do you most identify with, why?

My favorite color is green - I love it in almost all of its shades from lime to olive. It's the color of growth and regeneration, of calm energy, of prosperity, learning, balance, and harmony.

If you had to describe yourself [currently] as a five color palette, what colors would they be? Could you provide me with HEX codes so I can create a JS palette for you? :)

I feel like I am a blue, two greens, and a red, coupled with a dark grey. Hex: aed835, d9ea65, 81c9c0, a90c19, a90c19

The greens I've already described. The blue is an ocean representing responsibility, stability, trustworthiness. The red represents fire and emotion, and the dark grey brings some gravity, but also represents the dark that balances the lighter, fresher colors.


If you could be a shape, what shape would you be? (i.e. a polygon = triangle, hexagon etc...)

I would be a 5-pointed star. :)


How do you approach incorporating color combinations in poster design? Where do you start on this process?

As with any design process, I always start with a theme or a concept. What is it that we're saying? What emotion do we want to evoke in the reader or viewer of this piece? Having a solid design concept, I move in to blocking shapes and choosing colors - usually designed to play on the overall theme.

Source: Jessica Bills

Personally I'm a font junkie, I'm sure you have a large collection of fonts yourself, how do you organize your collection?

I love fonts. LOVE. I collect them, drool over them, dream about them, find excuses to buy new ones. I have a lot of fonts - probably 1700 - and I use a program called Font Expert to organize my fonts. I need to get even better at organizing, when there's time! But right now I have them divided into categories. My categories include: 3d, Block, Calligraphic, Circus, Condensed, Cute, Decorative, Destroyed, Dingbats, Display, Distressed, Gothic, Handwritten, Modern, Monospaced, Ornaments, Outline, Quirky, Retro, Sans Serif, Script, Serif, Skinny, Stencil, Symbol, Typewriter, Wide, Worn.

How do you approach using fonts in poster design?

The typeface choices make a critical part of the design process - this typically comes as the style and theme of the poster is being fleshed out. I think the typography - especially in a poster where the message tends to be very brief and very LOUD, is especially important, and one of the hallmarks of a really good design vs. a less-effective one. Fonts say things in addition to the actual words they spell - they have personality and that personality needs to be respected and taken advantage of in a design.

Heavily using fonts seems quite trendy, where do you recommend a base knowledge or quick reference about font types and usage?

Mixing fonts is an art and a skill that takes time to develop - I recommend beginning to steep yourself in really good typography, such as the samples over at as a really good resource for getting a feel for the subtleties.

Source: Jessica Sprague The Art of Poster Design

How do you feel about using patterns in poster design? Something busy, but in the background? Or something simple like a chevron- those seem to be rather popular right now. What are some basic rules you follow when incorporating patterns into poster design?

I think patterns are great in limited ways in a poster - most posters rely on a one-or-two color press that doesn't allow for much multi-color pattern; but this is changing as the price for laser printing in large-scale formats continues to come down.

How would you describe your style when creating posters? Do you like to use big fonts? Do you tend to use the same fonts over and over?

The style of a poster is always dictated by the message and the style called for - but in general I like big bold fonts, large graphics, brushwork, and great details.

Source: Janet Carr, a student from Jessica Sprague's Subway Art class.

What do you think are the most common mistakes people make when designing a poster?

I think the most common mistake is that people are afraid to really fill the space in a poster - I see things centered with plenty of whitespace around the text, no color (even black on white can be a color if used well!), and just general blandness. A poster's purpose is to deliver a message in 10 seconds or less - boldness is the name of the game.

Where are you most likely to find inspiration when you're stuck in the mud?

I have Pinterest. I also have a few books, including The New Masters of Poster Design, which is excellent eye candy for all styles of posters.

How long is the filming process for the poster class from start to finish, including editing?

There will be about 12 hours of finished video for this class, which takes about three weeks to record and edit.

Since I've taken several of your classes, I know throughout the videos you give direction for both Photoshop and Elements users, do you prefer one program over the other?

Great question! In my own work I use Photoshop CS5, but I prefer teaching Photoshop Elements, because I love and adore the Project Bin! LOL. 

Source: Sunday Grennan of itsmesunday.

The Giveaway: Two Lucky COLOURlovers Will Win!

As mentioned above, Jessica has generously offered two seats in the class, a value of $63.99 per class! The giveaway starts today, January 30th, 2012 and ends next Monday, February 6th, 2012.

To Enter: 

Leave a comment telling us what your favorite font is and what theme you would use the font for when creating a poster or project.

The Art of Poster Design starts February 13th and ends March 11th. Jessica Sprague will be leading the class with step-by-step video instruction. This is considered an intermediate class. You can sign-up or get more detailed information here.

I've recently created a digital crafting group on COLOURlovers, feel free to join, and share your works of art, palettes, patterns, and chat with people who have the same interests! 

January 26 2012


January 17 2012


January 13 2012


January 07 2012


COLOURlovers Interview with Cathleya of Weddingbee &

Over the years Weddingbee has grown to become one of the top bridal communities, offering a space for brides to get inspiration, ideas and chat about all things wedding. Lover.lyis considered to be the new big thing in the wedding industry offering a place for brides to save inspiration they find.

Cathleya is a motivated girl who helps both of these companies thrive day in and day out. And if that wasn't challenging enough, she still had time to chat with the COLOURlovers community a bit about trends, colors and how she got here. So, let's get started.

First up, why don't you tell the community a bit about who you are and what you do.

Hello COLOURlovers community! I’m Cathleya Schroeckenstein, the Editor in Chief of Weddingbee, a bride to bride blog and wedding community. I’ve been with Weddingbee since 2007, running the day to day operations of the site which includes a blog that updates 20+ times a day, a thriving bridal community and user generated galleries. In 2011 I also joined the startup team at, a curated wedding search engine and cloud scrapbook for brides, as Director of Community Relations.

What colors and color trends do you think we will see a lot of in wedding in 2012? 

Nude is the new black!

In the warm months I think we’ll see over the top bright colors---fuchsia, poppy, sunshine yellow, apple green, peacock teal. Rather than pairing 2-3 colors, I think we’ll see more use of shades of one color---from bridesmaids being in a range of blue-greens with varying saturations, to flowers being all various shades of one color. Where the past few years, these colors were being paired with grey, I think we’ll see these brights being paired with nude and beige.

The Wedding Chicks / Aaron Shintaku Photography via

In the cooler months I think we’ll see a lot of neutral palettes paired with sparkle! White, cream, beige, blush, black, paired with gold, silver, and even gilver---the cross between gold and silver.

Inspired by This / Jose Villa via

What patterns and trends do you think will be big in 2012?

 Ombre was a big hit in 2011 and will infiltrate further into the mainstream in 2012.

Bridal Musings / Sweet Little Photographs via

With a more successful holiday season than previous years, sentiment seems to be leaning towards a positive economic outlook, and people may be more comfortable with lavish details – gold trim, gilding, and metallic sparkle will shine!

 Which colors, patterns & trends are you personally most excited about seeing?

White, white, white! I’m excited to see brides step back to weddings of yesteryear and focusing less on a color scheme and more on the idea of mixing whites, creams, and neutrals for a classic look.

Snippet and Ink / Elizabeth Messina via

What are some color palettes you love to see in a wedding? 

Yellow and grey  is so modern chic and is a color palette I never tire of that we’ve seen a lot.

Every Last Detail / Natalia Zamarripa Photography via

Peach, cream, white, dusty-miller grey are seen fairly often in rustic weddings, but is the ultimate palette for the vintage bride.

Grey Likes Weddings / Lori Paladino via 

What colors do you not often see together a lot, but would like to see more of?

Couples avoid vibrant pink because it’s a tad on the girly side, but paired with crisp white and turquoise I think it makes for a really fun and funky color scheme!

Inspired by This / Cramer Photography via

Peach sometimes gets a bad wrap as being a dated color…but I love it paired with cream and vibrant orange for a modern look.

 How important do you think patterns are to a wedding design? What are your favorites?

Patterns are a sweet way to bring together a theme! Swiss dots have always been a favorite of mine, a pattern easily carried from the bride’s dress, to trim, to the wedding cake. I also love the use of modern geometry – simple use of circles, squares, triangles, or bold stripes.

Grey Likes Weddings / Jen Huang Photography via

 What's the best design-related advice you've ever received?

Declutter your wedding design! Pick a color or two, two fonts, and stay true to them throughout your entire wedding. It’s OK if everything isn’t one exact color. Play with saturation…if you don’t exactly stick to one color, it’s easier on you to find matching design elements, and your scheme and design will appear more organic.

The Bride's Cafe / Jill Thomas Photography via

 When you are feeling stumped, where do you turn for inspiration? offers a super easy way to search by color…when I’m in the mood for pink, a quick pink search in the search bar gets me lost in a sea of hues, from blush to fuchsia.

And, for additional bridal+color inspiration, there’s no better place to turn than Snippet &Ink! Kathryn posts beautifully crafted inspiration boards weekly that never go out of style.

What past experiences do you think have contributed the most to where you are now? 

My passion for the Weddingbee community stemmed from my own experiences as a bride. I was looking for a place where I could converse with real brides, rather than have professionals or experts talking to me. Weddingbee’s focus on the journey, rather than just the big day, was something that really appealed to me. I became engrossed in the community and blog…my passion eventually lead me to head up the site and turn my hobby into my career online in weddings!

Thank you for you time Cathleya!

Are you getting married in the near future? If so, have you used Weddingbee or What wedding sites have you found helpful?

December 09 2011


December 02 2011


A Fantastic Look At The Amazing Colors Under the Sea

There are plenty of reasons why the underwater world is mysterious and unfamiliar terrain for humans. Though most of us have at least been in the ocean, our own bodily limitations (if only we had gills!) mean that 70% of earth’s surface is off limits, inaccessible for us to explore (without expensive equipment and training, that is).

Which is a shame, considering that the sea’s floor is a treasure-trove of creatures, colors, and textures that would send us into visual-overdrive. Even the most familiar of sea creatures - like coral, starfish, or octopus - are host to some of the most aesthetically unique hues and shapes.   Which is to say, we’re glad that underwater technology has advanced to the point that we can bring records of some of these stunners above-ground, in the form of photos and videos, crisper than ever before.

Underwater Wildlife Art by Andrey Narchuk

Without context, these could certainly be works of modern art, or a study in color and shape. But these underwater shots, taken at close range, capture details like a fish’s scales or tail, or vegetation in motion. The photographer says “Nature has created a huge amount of art. They fill our planet. It’s not surprising that the underwater world just hides a lot of them.  

See more Underwater Wildlife Art photography by Andrey.

Another World: Underwater Experiments by Alexander Semenov

The photographer calls these creatures, “Beautiful monsters.” About his work at Moscow’s “White Sea Biological Station,” he says: “When I went underwater for the first time, I was absolutely shocked. White Sea showed me another world with it’s own aliens.” We agree, these unfamiliar animals, with their unnatural colors and pitch-black backdrop, look otherworldly.


See more Underwater Experiments photography by Alexander.

Natural History Film Series by Morphologic Studios

Who knew that unaltered shots of sea life would make the perfect music video? A Marine Biologist & a musician (Colin Foord and Jared McKay) collaborated to make this series of 24 short films. By pairing shots from a Miami aquarium with original music, “they transform the minute creatures that inhabit our coral reefs into strange, abstract works of surreal art.”

See more cool Natural History Film Series videos by Morphologic Studios.

Make sure to visit each artists Behance page for more fantastic images and in some cases the full view of a piece borrowed for the post.

Creations made/used:


November 25 2011


Where the "Black" in Black Friday Came From

It’s here! Some consider it a plague, some consider it a shopaholics dream, and some people just want a new pair of socks at rock-bottom prices. That’s right, the full contact sport of Black Friday has returned for another year. Which brings me to wonder, why do they call this day of awesome deals and big crowds black? Here are a few interesting theories I've pulled together…

Original credit for the phrase is given to the plunging gold prices way back in 1864 that started a panic in the stock market, thus a very black Friday indeed.

(photos: source | source)

Then, in the late 1960s, Philadelphia newspapers borrowed the phrase to describe the dark masses of shoppers crowding the stores. Sounds kind of creepy I know, but let’s imagine them wearing festive holiday colors and the picture isn’t so bleak.

Later on, this idea was clarified to mean that the crowds increased profits, thus the black ink on the accounting balance sheets is why it is called Black Friday.


Tweak this theory again and black now represents the day retailers make a profit or break the bank. Ominous, I know.


Whatever the origin, by the time the 1990s rolled around, Black Friday had turned into a nationwide retail holiday (albeit unofficial). Since then its fame has grown, and now it is the season’s biggest shopping day of the year (says market research firm ShopperTrak).


Whether you brave the crowds, hide at home, or enjoy a regular day at work (with a  little crowd control), be safe and have a happy Black Friday from all of us at COLOURlovers!


November 22 2011


November 17 2011


November 15 2011


November 10 2011


Eric Carle - Daring You to Imagine a World with Purple Penguins and Lime Green Rhinos

Imagine a world where anything is possible—where dogs sport a luscious coat of pink fur, green cats preen themselves with zebra striped tongues, ruby red snakes have glowing purple polka dots, and rainbow spotted elephants spray orange slices from a mile long trunk. This is the world that Eric Carle dares his readers to imagine.

This article is presented by the leader in business card printing with fast turnaround times, Next Day Flyers.

Eric Carle was born June 25, 1929 in Syracuse, New York. When he was six years old, he and his parents moved to Germany where he grew up and eventually graduated from Akademie der bildenden Künste, a prestigious art school in Stuttgart. He never forgot his American roots and returned to the place of his happiest childhood memories in 1952.

Eric Carle | Books


Inspired at a young age by German artist Franz Marc, who is known for his paintings of blue horses, Eric Carle has illustrated over seventy books, many of which he also wrote. The following are some of his most memorable contributions to children’s literature.


The first book Eric Carle illustrated was titled Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Published in 1967, its bold and colorful illustrations brought a fresh look to children’s literature.



In 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar quietly began to work its way into all of our hearts. By far his most well-known children’s book with over 22 million copies sold, it has been translated into more than thirty languages and has graced bookshelves for over forty years.

Eric Carle reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar (source) | Food page - source

Book and pages from The Very Hungry Caterpillar - source | source | source

So, what is the magic that makes this book popular even to this day?

Is it the simple story of the life cycle depicted in the form of a tiny insect? Is it the fact that it teaches the days of the week, counting, and good nutrition paired with interactive die-cut pages? Is it the suggestion that we are all a bit like this little caterpillar and will one day turn into beautiful butterflies? Maybe it is the vivid illustrations themselves, which startle the senses and spark the imagination. Whatever the reason may be, it stands true that The Very Hungary Caterpillar is a worthy example of how far a little imagination and creativity can take you.

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle (source)

The year 1970 brought The Tiny Seed with its collage illustrations accompanied by simple poetic text that demonstrate the enormous potential of one tiny seed.

Have you seen my Cat? by Eric Carle (source |  source | source)

One of my personal favorites, Have you seen my Cat? takes the reader on a journey through distant lands where wild and domesticated cats alike adorn the pages in Eric Carle’s classic illustrative style. Published in 1973, the pictures more than the text lead the reader from page to page searching for a boy’s beloved pet.

The Very Busy Spider includes a raised printing technique (source)

The Very Busy Spider was published in 1984. Its striking illustrations are enhanced with a raised printing technique that allows readers to enjoy the story by sight, sound and touch.

Hello, Red Fox (source)


Published in 1998, Hello, Red Fox is a colorful book with a lot of surprises. Eric Carle’s illustrations take readers on a journey to discover complementary colors.

Cover source  |  Two-page spread from “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth by Eric Carle (source)

Featuring amazing rainforest illustrations,“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth was released in 2002. Eric Carle was inspired to write this book at a time when his life was very hectic. He got fed up with it one day and after locking himself up in his studio he began to work on this book. It now stands as a reminder to us all to slow down and take a break sometimes. (source)

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do you See? by Eric Carle  (source)

In 2007, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do you See? hit the shelves. If you will remember, Eric Carle started his career with a book with a similar title, but from the adult bear’s perspective. Thinking it would be a nice way to sort of round off his career, he got back together with Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated this children’s book. Little did he know that he wasn’t quite finished with his career…

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, by Eric Carle (cover source)



Eric Carle’s The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse came out this year (2011) as a stunning illustrated book that truly explores and encourages a child’s imaginative potential. The first page displays a little boy holding a paintbrush saying, “I am an artist and I paint a blue horse.” Subsequent pages are illustrated with a whole zoo of unconventionally colored animals, and concluding with the little boy again, this time saying, “I am a good artist…” The addition of one powerful little word to the sentence expresses Eric Carle’s deep belief that the imagination cannot and should not be hindered. In fact, his own creative process is a testament to this. (source)

Eric Carle in his studio (source)

“I often try making paper more than what paper is.”-Eric Carle (source)

Eric Carle’s illustrative technique is to use hand-painted, cut and collaged tissue paper. Using overlaying colors combined with bold strokes, wavy lines, polka dots, and other techniques, the resultant tissue paper is bright and colorful.


“Many people make collages. Artists like Picasso and Matisse and Leo Lionni made collages. Many children have done collages at home or in their classrooms. I happen to make my collage illustrations using painted tissue papers. You might want to try it too!” — Eric Carle (source)

Eric Carle’s illustrative style demonstrates how repeated sequences of circles, squares, and lines can lead to endless creative possibilities.


As the author of some of the most unique and well-recognized illustrations in children’s literature, Eric Carle is a true advocate of creative expression. We would do well to recognize our own attempts at creativity as simply as Eric Carle does, meaning that anything goes. The imagination holds endless possibilities, and when we tap into our own creative wells, what will emerge? A beautiful butterfly? One can only hope there are a few purple penguins and lime green rhinos in there, too.

header credit: source | source

November 09 2011


November 02 2011


DNA11 + COLOURlovers Palette Contest: Place Your Final Vote!

The DNA11 Palette Contest was a huge success thanks to many COLOURlovers artists. Finalists have been determined from over 6,000 entries and the final round of voting is now open! Ten (10) Finalists have been selected with COLOURlovers LOVES, five (5) of which will receive prizes.

DNA11 is hosting the final voting on their Facebook Page -, so head on over and place your vote!



To vote, you need to LIKE the DNA11 Facebook page. Choose the DNA11 Artwork Palette you would like to vote for and click on the thumbs-up below it. If you are not already on the voting panel, it is located in the left menu under, COLOURlovers.


Make sure you vote ON the DNA11 Facebook Page, NOT on

Voting will last until Thursday, November. 10th at midnight (12am) PDT. Winners will be announced Friday, November 11th.


In no particular order, the 10 finalists are:

Tranquility by ChairmanCao

When I glow up... by jazminredux

moon trip by sirda

Dog DNA by Miaka

ROCKIN TOWERS by rubyvillasenor

Peace in the Blood by OrigamiMei

Under my Skin by BerryColor

DNA by Any Palacios

big city lights by earlgrey

Art is in my DNA by synthetic innocence


Winners & Prizes

First prize: One finalist will be voted as the winner. The winner will receive a 24x36 DNA Portrait (value $500) their palette becomes a permanent part of the DNA 11 collection.
Secondary prizes: Four runners up will receive $250 DNA 11 gift certificate and their palettes also become a permanent part of the DNA 11 collection.

Good luck to the finalists!

October 27 2011

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