Category: Inspiration

Eddy’s Garage

central-victorian-tourism

Our central Victoria series

Central Victoria has been undergoing a small town revival transformation in the last decade. Many city dwellers of the creative and innovative kind are moving here in droves to rekindle and connect to the deeper part of themselves. The historic architecture of our small Gold Rush towns provides a strong sense of place and the internal spaces are encouraging cultural rebirth and community cohesiveness.

A lot of our towns were once service towns for farming districts, the Gold Rush or manufacture, but now tourism is key to their survival.

You can’t talk about Central Victoria without of course inviting the landscape to be part of the narrative. Our topsoil, bush and creeks have been dredged and scoured many times over in the feverish search for gold. There are few trees that stand in all their glory of pre-white settlement, yet it is a miracle that wild flowers and orchids, fungi, shrubs and trees are making their way back into existence.

Living here you are never far from the awareness of our rich (and destructive) history commingling with revival of internal and external places of this region.

So without further ado, our first in the Central Victoria series is all about Eddy’s Cafe.

A humble roadside attraction

The We Push Buttons team took a country drive one Thursday morning in May to visit Eddy’s Garage in Eddington, a tiny town on a wider and deeper section of the Loddon River in Central Victoria.

As you sweep into Eddington a goofy looking dinosaur stands by the roadside, alerting you that Eddy’s Garage is open for business with good coffee and home baked goodies inside.

Tim and Debbie Bray are the proprietors of this groovy establishment almost in the middle of nowhere. We came to talk to them about why they sold up and took on a remote empty garage and what their aspirations for the place were. We learned that it was much more than just a cafe. They had big dreams for the place and for Eddington, their new adopted town.

Apart from offering good food and coffee, Eddy’s future is going to be in the long-forgotten genre of the roadside attraction/ theme park. If you are old enough to remember long family road trips or the Sunday drive broken up by stops to buy petrol, a coke or a truck stop meal, you might recall there would also be a petting zoo, mini golf, miniature railway or other family entertainment as part of the experience. Stopping at these places made road trips feel special, memorable family time. They were the good things in life.

Eddy’s Garage is going to be a roadside destination for families one day. Its going to be about bringing people together in a positive way. Its going to be about life in the slow lane. Stopping to smell the roses (or coffee more like it), a place for enjoyment’s sake.

To read the full article please visit Medium here.

MASH Wins Environment Victoria Award

MASH Wins environmental award

We Push Buttons is the digital partner of MASH (the campaign for More Australian Solar Homes) and we were proud to support Jo Kaptein and the MASH team, who were one of six community groups and individuals from around the state to be recognised by Environment Victoria last week for their outstanding contribution the environment.

 

 

“The 2018 Community Environment Recognition Award recipients are all leaders in their communities. We wanted to recognise MASH for repowering central Victoria with over one thousand solar installations and for their dynamic community engagement. Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria

The community solar bulk-buy for households in central Victoria project has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2014.  MASH has taken orders for over 1,150 solar systems with around 20,000 panels installed resulting in around 8,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions being cut each year.  MASH households, as a group, are saving around $1M off their electricity bills each year.  In addition, MASH is creating local jobs with three local installation companies currently working full-time on MASH installations, as well as around six local people working on a part-time or casual basis on project management and administration.

“MASH has raised over $70,000 for free solar for community groups and schools since we started.  We’re delighted to have been recognised by Environment Victoria.  We couldn’t have achievement these results without the support of so many people and organisations. Thank you to everyone who’s been part of our story.” Jo Kaptein, manager of the MASH community solar bulk-buy.

The MASH solar bulk-buy is available in the Mount Alexander Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and City of Greater Bendigo. MASH’s sister bulk-buy – the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy – is available in the Hepburn Shire. MASH will shortly be launched in new regions across central Victoria starting with Swan Hill.

For more information about MASH and to request a quote, visit mash.org.au or, if you are in the Hepburn Shire, visit mash.org.au/hepburn.

Interview with Jonathon Hanks

Jonathon-Hanks

Jonathon Hanks explains shared value

We Push Buttons interviewed Jonathon Hanks, founder and Director of Incite, a South African company that provides powerful tools to businesses in emerging markets, to help them build Shared Value and Sustainability best practice business models.

 

Shared Value is a business strategy that is based on profit generating principles at scale while addressing societal challenges at the same time.

Our valued client ACCSR engaged Jonathon Hanks to run Unlocking Shared Value, an intensive seminar to a small group of entrepreneurs in Melbourne, July of this year. Jonathon presented to a sold out course and outlined how Shared Value is the new paradigm for businesses engaging in emerging markets where the societal challenges are many and require thinking outside the square to deliver positive innovation and change through a business product or service.

The interview with Jonathon Hanks is very interesting and well worth a read. Jonathon gives us a few examples of how innovative entrepreneurs have taken up the challenge of addressing societal issues in South Africa and built growing and inclusive profit pools.

He takes us through the challenges of implementing Shared Value and the industries where this business model needs to be developed.

 

A Treasure Trove of Logo Designs

A Treasure Trove of Logo Designs

We have just discovered this inspiring website, packed with some of the best logo designs from the 1950’s till now. A group of Swiss designers have dedicated their time to build this beautiful collection of logos to inspire their peers and share these great historical designs with the world. The idea has been so successful that entries are currently closed, due to a backlog of designs submitted by their many fans. Head to Logobook and feast your eyes on some great designs.

Beautiful repeatable pattern designs for your website

repeatable-patterns

Beautiful Patterns for your Website

Repeatable pattern design:

Introducing one of our favourite overseas pattern designers, Matthias Hennig. Mr Hennig is a multi talented artist/designer who is noteworthy because of his sensitive and thoughtful approach to visual art and communication. His art is refreshing and unusually ‘soft spoken’ and thoughtful. Mr Hennig is immensely productive. He expresses himself in various media ranging from pencil drawings and painting to computer generated seamless patterns for various outlets. Mr Hennig has exhibited his art widely all over the world and his commercial designs are available at numerous outlets all over the Net.

We have included some of our favourite pattern designs here – but you can also see examples of his work in these places:

Matthias Hennig’s repeatable pattern designs:

repeatable-website-pattern

 

What is Canva?

Getting Creative with Canva

What is Canva?

There’s no question that Adobe Photoshop is the premiere photo editing app, but it remains too costly and too difficult to master for many of us. If you want to create the odd infographic or social media post, and you don’t have time to climb the professional ropes, there’s plenty of free/ semi-free alternatives out there. One of the best has to be Canva.

Canva is an online platform offering hundreds of free templates to help you create amazing postcards, social media graphics, book covers and everything in between. There is no installation required to use Canva. Simply visit the website, create a profile and start designing for free. The premium photo stock on Canva costs money – most seem to cost US$1.00, but there are plenty of free images available too. The site also has a comprehensive Design School that includes a blog, tutorials, and teaching materials.

Canva is simplified photo-editing at its best. Sure, there are no layers and limited filters, but there is still plenty of flexibility on offer, and a good variety of options available, especially for poster and meme creation. Choose from thousands of free elements or upload your images and edit them online. Some of the features include a massive range of frames and fonts, free icons, and badges and streamed designs from other users.

Once you have signed up, choose from a series of templates for posters, presentations, Facebook covers, etc. Just click on your chosen template and decide on the layout that best suits your media. You can then play with fonts, images, filters and backgrounds. Canva saves as you go, so your work will not be lost if you lose connection. When you re-enter the site, your designs will be displayed on the desktop. After you have completed a design, you can share on Facebook and other social media, download or make public via Canva Stream.

Canva isn’t the answer to every photo editing question, but it is user-friendly and can deliver professional looking designs for free. Oh, and did we mention it’s great fun to use?

5 of the Best Websites Dedicated to Art and Museums

5 of the Best Websites Dedicated to Art and Museums

We’ve compiled a list of the best museum and art websites on the planet to save you from trawling the internet for hours in search of a good dose of culture, or artistic inspiration. Despite the diversity of images, facts and stories on offer, interactivity, cutting-edge technological engagement and a passion for their subject are the hallmarks of each of our five chosen sites.

      1. The Collection Wall – at 1.5 x 12m and fully integrated with the Cleveland Museum of Art digital asset management system, The Collection Wall is an interactive smorgasboard of art and cultural artefacts. Over 3,800 images can be viewed physically or via the net and visitors have the option of navigating through the museum online or selecting images displayed on the wall. Once an image is selected, you can browse for related artworks, “favourite” an image, or save it to an iPad or iPhone. An exceptional combination of technology interfaces means borrowed or visitor-owned iPads can be docked at the Collection Wall, where visitors can save objects from the wall to the ArtLens app and create a personal playlist of favorites.
      2. Victorian Collections – provides online access to over 20,000 items from museums and collections across the state of Victoria. Launched online on 23 January 2014, the infinite scroll homepage demonstrates the amazing diversity of collections held in Victoria. The website is free and simple to use and allows community organizations and museums to catalogue their collections online. Users can search by item or organisation and a full list of Victorian organisations and their contact details is provided on the site. Victorian Collections shares with Culture Victoria (Arts Victoria’s website of Stories, Collections & Places) and its responsive design ensures a positive experience no matter what device you decide to use.
      3. Artsy – a gorgeous website for art lovers with a focus on collecting and education. Their mission is to “make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an internet connection” and believe us, Artsy delivers. Every page balances beautiful images and information with a stylish, user-friendly layout. Be prepared to spend some time on Artsy browsing through the ‘Art World Online’ or check out where your local art fairs and auctions are happening. Expect to find the unexpected and learn a few things on the way. Artsy is run by people who know their art, and their partnerships with leading galleries worldwide means there’s some amazing artists (both well-known and up and coming) on the website.

    1. Wondereur – in their own words are “bringing you the best artists to watch”. This site has style and substance and is aimed at both new and experienced art collectors. It features up and coming artists and their work, reviews, professional advice for new and would-be collectors, a blog and a newsletter. The site is easy to use and includes some gob-smackingly stunning documentaries on artists and their work, and exclusives with top worldwide curators; find out what drives the exhibitions they create and which artists they are following right now.
    2. DMA Friends – this innovative web-based platform launched by the Dallas Museum of Art encourages visitors to participate in the program online, through iPad-based kiosks, or from their mobile devices. Visitors can create personal profiles and participate in different activities on the museum website to earn badges which can be used for rewards at the museum. Rewards include free parking, special exhibition tickets and behind-the-scenes access, but even if you’re not a local, the interactive program allows visitors to view the collection and offers insights into the running of the museum.

 

Why the Charlie Hebdo Massacre Doesn’t Surprise Me

When I first heard the news about the massacre of cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, naturally I was shocked and appalled – but not so surprised. They ran some very cutting edge cartoons, more than any American political cartoonist has done or satirical publication has published. This is coming from someone who worked for MAD Magazine as well as some rabid political ‘zines and newspapers in New York.

Five of our favourite eCommerce web designs

great-ecommerce-design

The best eCommerce web designs double as online showcases for the business they represent, but they should, first and foremost, reinforce brand awareness and sell products and services. Capturing maximum sales and return traffic is less problematic when web design is holistic. It’s not enough to embed newsletter sign-ups and ‘buy now’ buttons. If a web designer has done their job correctly, a website will be an inviting commercial space where the history, ethos and style of a company gels with their customer demographic. We’ve put together five of our favourites sites, and the reason we love their design.

Stella McCartney Online

 

A pop-up appears as soon as you enter the site and invites you to join the ‘Stella Newsletter’ or the ‘Kids newsletter’, but you are not compelled – an understated diamante star shuts the pop-up down if you decline, because this is not a demographic to push around.

Everything about this site screams exclusivity. Gorgeous artwork and professional fashion shots provide links to different pages. Social media buttons and contact details are politely tucked at the bottom of the page but still accessible. Every time a new page loads, a lovely diamante S scrolls up and down, gently reminding you that you are in the presence of Stella.

Sony Official Store

 

The most impressive element of this website is its outstanding simplicity. All information is easy to read and laid out in tiled banners that draw the eye from one logical level to the next. Navigating to the section you want can be done within seconds, but before you click on a thing, you’ve already been informed about the latest specials and free shipping on all orders over $25.00.

Luhse Tea

 

You’ll never look at a cup of tea in quite the same way after visiting Luhse Tea. This website stays on message in 1940s noir style with a comic twist. The opening animation is so good we won’t spoil it – go online and take a look! Navigation is logical and page icons are interesting and offbeat amusements while you shop. One of the Luhse Tea design strengths is the playfulness of words and images.

The Hungarian Wine Society

 

This site is rather like a good bottle of aged wine. The palette is understated, the images steeped in elegance – this is a site to consume with your gaze. It quietly promises that you too shall attain Hungarian Wine Society refinement if you purchase one of their special drops. Navigation is via a subdued, but easy to access list across the top of the screen, and a scrolling checkout box stays in easy reach to the left of your screen.

Dog Collar

Take a simple product, add great design and easy navigation, and you’ve got the Dog Collar website. This site is proof of the importance of developing a concept and staying on message. Navigation is easy with large icons across the top of the page listing size charts and products. The shopping cart, social buttons and specials are less prominent and the plain background and simple graphics lets the collars do the walking!

 

Some interesting Social Media Statistics

social-media-list

  • Since Twitter began there has been 163 billion tweets all up, 63 billion from Joe Hildebrand
  • Social Media has overtaken Porn as the number one past time of internet users.
  • Brazil publishes more posts on Facebook than any other country. Is that due to Carnivale?
  • Each day 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook, again those Brazilians are well represented
  • The top five of the top 100 hash tags on Instagram are #love, #instagood, #me, #tbt and #cute. That’s a lot of selfies.
  • 28.1 percent of Pinterest users have an annual household income of $100,000- and a love of over priced interior design.
  • The automotive industry has the most fans on Google+ with 2.7 million people in their circle. Proof enough that you need more than a good social media profile to stay in business.
  • 68 percent of Google+ users are Male, possibly suggesting why the auto industry is popular on Google+
  • 818.4 million people accessed the internet on a mobile phone as of mid-2013. When you’re next walking past a pizza shop and your phone rings with a 20% discount the shop doesn’t have Jedi mind powers its tracking you.
  • 100% of  total user statistics issued by Social Media companies are BS. These statistics are for total number of users that have signed into the social network once. Never mind the 25 million robots that auto-tweet on Twitter- though the statistics keep shareholders happy.
  • 60% of bloggers are aged between 25-44, 75% of these bloggers live at home with their parents.

Tune in next month for more random interesting social media statistics that suit my limited range of jokes.

social-media-list

 

Can a newspaper redesign increase sales?

Newspaper Design: Why has it barely changed in 200 years?

jacek-utko-newspaper-redes

We continuously hear about the death of the newspaper due to the never ending march of technology. Yet there are still many of us that look forward to flipping over the daily newspaper first thing in the morning.

Certainly circulation is down in most regions of the world;

Yet is the newspaper dead?

Newspaper barons the world over are clamouring over each other; changing business models, downsizing staff, thinking about charging for web access. Yet I haven’t heard anyone mentioning redesigning the layout of the newspaper.

Humans are visual creatures and these days more than ever we are used to being surrounded by visually dynamic designs. Things that move, light up, flash, jump, sing; all captivate audiences. Everything from our phones to computers, even our couches have a major impact on our expectation of what design is and how it surrounds us in our everyday life.

Yet newspaper design and its layout has remained fairly unchanged for well over a 150 years. They are mainly black and white print, pixelated photos, standard column layouts, with photos used in the same ways time and again. And that doesn’t even go into the content!

Yet could newspaper design be overhauled graphically even more?

I will leave it to a far greater expert than I: Jacek Utko

Jacek is a Polish Newspaper Art Director who has redesigned newspapers across Eastern Europe. Not only has he won awards but he’s actually increased circulation right when every other western newspaper is in rapid decline.

For those that are too impatient to view the talk- The Takeaway:

  • Design improved the product
  • Design can change the Company
  • Design can change workflow
  • Design can change you

In today’s visual society something that is eye catching & piques your curiosity will always have the upper hand.

If you’re interested in reading more on this topic head over to Jacek Utko’s personal website.

 

 

What is HTML5?

Is HTML5 worth your while?

html5_logo

HTML is the code used to program what you see on the screen when you view a website in a browser. HTML5 is the latest incarnation of this language, which has been in it’s previous form since 1997. With such an increase in the use of video, audio, graphics and animations in websites, HTML5 has extra commands to make programming this easier, and also to make websites more compatible with different browsers and search engines.

A large reason for the development of HTML5 audio and video is to replace third-party software like Flash, which uses up bandwidth and computer power – plus can’t be read by search engines like Google. HTML5 uses the computer’s own audio and video capabilities, which today’s computers handle easily – speeding up web pages and allowing information in web pages to be used for searching and statistics.

HTML5 is widely supported by the main browsers

Though different browsers support different features.

The main features that are generally supported by all the main browsers are:

  • Advanced graphics
  • Embedded video (though video formats differ between browsers)
  • Embedded audio (again, audio formats differ)
  • Animation

As new versions of browsers are released, we get ever-closer to a standard implementation of HTML5 (and it’s partner, CSS3) so that all these new features can be used across the board, no matter which browser you use.

There are however a few questions about how HTML5 handles mobile, but where there’s a demand there will always be code monkeys catching up.

Either way you better get acquainted with HTML5.

 

Arts Open 2012

Visual Arts Festival: Arts Open 2012

Well it’s been a busy few months for the Explainafide team, with web design and community events involvement, building to a crescendo in the last couple of weeks as we have been preparing for the upcoming launch of our latest project – the Arts Open Festival of Open Studios.

What is Arts Open you say?

Arts Open is an arts based festival incorporating over 50 artists and revolves around a self guided tour of art spaces, studios and galleries. Participants are able to download a map, or pick one up from the Castlemaine Information Centre or participating venues, then make their way at their own leisure to some or all venues.

Arts Open is the brain child of some very prominent a Castlemaine based artists who were becoming frustrated by inaccessibility and lack of information about the art and artists based around this well known arts community. They wanted a format that could be easily accessed by the community and tourists, and executed with ease by the participating artists. And so Art Open was born.

Arts open kicks off on Anzac day, April 25th with some participants opening their doors, and the remainder following suit on Thursday 26th April, and will run through to Sunday 29th April, so there is plenty of time to get round to everyone.

There are various music and entertainment events running throughout the extended weekend so taking a look at our Arts and Culture page on the official Arts Open Website will help you to better plan your weekend.

The making of this website and helping with the organizing of this event has been a truly enjoyable and rewarding project and has enabled the Explainafide team to work with and get to know some remarkable and esteemed members of the community and has hopefully helped to cement us in the fabric of this remarkable town and inspiring art community.

Even if you can’t make the event please check out the website & view the video below made by Jim Coad from Video Architecture.

Castlemaine Artist: Ben Laycock

Castlemaine Artist: Ben Laycock

Think infamous artists in Castlemaine and immediately Ben Laycock comes to mind. Born with a paintbrush in his mouth, Ben has been a colourful member of this great arts community for close to two decades. But when I had the opportunity to interview him I didn’t know where to start. His studio is full of art and the various flotsam and jetsam that tell us loads about what informs and inspires his unique style. The bold palettes, landscapes that hit you right between the eyes. Ben is prolific.

I have known Ben for over 10 years and have worked with him on several community and artistic projects but I really didn’t know much about the journey through his creative past and its profound influence upon his view of the world. I think it is fair to say that he is a highly unconventional character who has chosen not to accept the values of the “real world”.

Who else would go on a five day hike through the bush without a pair of shoes.

To view Ben Laycock’s amazing Artwork click here…

Or to see more of Jim Coad’s video projection work through his project Video Architecture.

Both Ben & Jim are regular exhibitors in Arts Open 2012 an event where Castlemaine’s leading artists open their studios to the public.

Can your Business Name be Used as a Logo?

Using your business name as a logo:

Not all logos have to have a pretty picture or a mascot animal. A growing number of successful businesses are choosing to present their name as their logo. With the addition of a great font and a selection of colours, a simple business name can be transported into an eye catching logo.

The great thing about this method is that your clients don’t need to remember a name and a logo in association with your business. Sometimes the connection between a logo and a business name isn’t made if the name doesn’t appear on the logo.

Following is a list of businesses and companies using their name as a logo. You will find a mixture of very prominent and well known companies and smaller businesses, which goes to show that this method can work for anyone.

So here’s an obvious one! I don’t think there are many people in this age of mass produced furniture who don’t immediately recognize this logo. This is a very effective use of name as logo. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve picked up a glass and seen IKEA printed on the bottom. Without even the hesitation of a nanosecond I know exactly which company produced that glass, and where to get one.

Very handy advertising and logo recognition, especially if I’m in the market for some glass ware at the time.
logo d'eBay

Who wouldn’t recognize this logo?

Bold, brash and almost embarrassingly simple in its use of font and colours, the ebay logo is becoming one of the most recognizable logos, right up here with Apple and Nike.
Logo Google

Although the Google logo has undergone some changes over the years, with different fonts and layouts, overall it has kept that simple primary colour name logo. And let’s face it, it works for them. I don’t think many people go more than a day, or even half an hour, without seeing this logo. It is ingrained on computer workers brains; they probably even see it in their sleep.

Google is after all taking over the world!
Logo Design for mad monkey

The use of a monkeys face as the O in monkey allows the mind to use the picture to quicker identify with the words. After all we process pictures far quicker than words.

Funky font and two complementing earthy colours bring this business name logo together to great effect.

logo
This logo is cute and a little quirky while retaining simplistic style. It just goes to show that you don’t have to dramatically change your business name to make it a logo.

Just some imagination, addition of some colour and interest will work wonders.

facebook logo

Wow, it must have taken a design team many brainstorming sessions to come up with this design! Sarcasm aside, this is one of the world’s most successful companies and that albeit uninspiring logo is one of the most recognized logos in the world today.

What’s in a name? In this case, billions of dollars.

Astahaya Logo 1

Yes, even boats have logos.

And this is certainly a beautifully executed logo that will look beautiful on the back of a luxury yacht.

Often when we think of logos we think of graphic symbols that convey a company ethos, but as you can see some of the world’s biggest companies use their own name as a logo, just with a stylised font.

What kind of logo should your Business use?

 

Great Logo Designs

Nine Examples of  Great Logo Designs

Designing a logo, or having one designed for you can be a mammoth task. A logo brands a business or product and is often the first thing a potential client sees. What your business stands for and what your logo says about your business has to be on the same page. When approaching logo design, careful thought and preparation is needed to convey your message with maximum impact.

The design possibilities are endless and sometimes getting started and making decisions can be a mind boggling and overwhelming task. Do you use a picture or a graphic? What font works with your product while being easy to read? What colours will you use, if any? What basic shape will the logo take on?

To help give you some inspiration and ideas, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite logos. Whether they are eye catching, beautiful or just effective marketing, each logo I’ve chosen stood out from the rest, a very important component of any logo.

The following all have their own reasons for being great logos, so have a look and see if they can give you some ideas and direction for the design of your own logo.

BusinessBlogging Logo Design

This logo design is sensational! Simple is an overstatement..or understatement, I’m not sure.

The design combines both elements of the business name perfectly. With the melding of basic icons, the designer has created their own icon. To cap off the simplistic brilliance, the use of a single colour and a block image shows you don’t need fancy frilly work to make an impact.
Logo: OMV

This is a perfect example of a simple, eye catching and very effective logo.

The company is a contact lens manufacturer so the use of an eye tells, without the use of any words, what field the business is in – remember, a picture tells a thousand words. Bright, eye catching colour means you are more likely to remember this logo and notice it at a glance. This is very handy when trawling through catalogues, which means this company is less likely to be overlooked when their busy clients are re-ordering stock.
Logo Design

I just love this great logo design, a simple line drawing with no use of colour.

The best feature of this logo is that it meshes perfectly in whatever format it is used whether it be curled into the corner of a business card, featuring on the side of letterhead or at the bottom of a newsletter.

A Great Logo Design: Classy, Simple and Sophisticated.

Logo Design

Of course I love anything Art Deco and this great logo is no exception.

Dripping with class and elegance, this is the perfect logo for a distinguished business.

Logo Design

This logo for a Brazilian Carnaval group is classic Brazilian.

Exuding feelings of fun and frivolity this is the perfect design for what it is presenting. Simple line work and use of one colour accentuate the design.

logo

Hailing to shadow box art, this great logo design is striking in its colour contrast and simple idea. Although not an original concept, silhouettes are a very effective and not widely used technique in logo design that carries big bang for its buck.

Especially useful for a brand that doesn’t want to show off but wants to be noticed.

 

Logo Cherry Design

What better way to emphasize your business name than with a picture of said name. Nothing solidifies words more effectively than a picture.

Cherries evoke feelings of happiness, fun and a little cheekiness, and who doesn’t love a bit of that?

Logo - Shift 214

These great logo designs give an example of how many possibilities there are, even with a definite idea. Simple changes in colour or font, addition of lines and changes in spacing can alter a design dramatically and give a different feeling. Remember to get lots of feedback from a variety of sources and take your time on decisions.

A logo is your company’s face and you want to bet your best face forward.

JamFactory logo

More often than not, the simple solution is the best one. Single colours, a graphic that directly relates to the name, and a simplistic sketch all work really well together to give this logo a fresh feel. Too much in life is complicated these days, and you often find that once you get rid of the hype and the clutter you end up with a much better result.

When it comes to designing your own logo, take your time.

A business can operate perfectly well without a logo, and many do, so there’s no rush. Think about what you want it to say about your business. If you have a basic idea but are getting stuck on the details just remember,  logo colours and fonts can be changed down the track without much trouble so don’t be afraid to experiment and take a chance. You’re not going to know how something looks until you take the plunge.

 

Colour Psychology

Colour psychology & using it in your art business:

Colour is an incredibly large aspect of our world. Could you imagine a world without colour? Yet we often take it for granted. Colours affect our moods, influence decisions and can even affect our health and well being.

This phenomenon is described as Color Psychology.

It is a mostly subliminal and therefore very powerful way of communicating and when implemented correctly can greatly increase the selling power of products.

There is an entire discipline of marketing that revolves around Colour Psychology. These professionals devote their careers researching and initiating the right colours for the desired effect.  Sometimes all it takes is a slight tweak of shades to create the desired mood, change a message, or rejuvenate an old theme to increase interest in and sale-ability of a product.
Colour Psychology is vital in logo design, product design, packaging, album artwork and of course fashion. Even the colour of your credit card has been chosen for a reason.

Humans  are  visual  creatures.

The following is a list of the most prominent colours and the feelings and emotions they can conjure. This brief overview should give helpful insight into the world of Colour Psychology and how it can be implemented in the design and marketing of your art business or new product.

Yellow-The colour yellow actually causes the brain to release the chemical serotonin in the brain. Thus it creates feelings of optimism and happiness and is associated with fun and good times.I t has also been shown to increase creative thought.

Yellow should be used carefully in branding as studies show that intense yellow can cause tempers to flare and babies to cry more when exposed to large amounts.

When carefully placed yellow can be the perfect marketing tool for increasing sales.

yellow lemons

Red – It’s the colour of fire, passion, danger, and excitement.  It is bold and attracts the eye. Using a spot of red in an otherwise neutral landscape draws your attention, so is used to greatest effect sparingly. But it can also be used in larger blocks to create greater impact. Some of the most popular companies in the world use red in their logos and marketing. Think Coca-Cola and Nescafe.

Red is great for products associated with action as it is the colour of energy. 

red umbrellas

Orange- Being a blend of red and yellow, orange is a great compromise between the intensity and passion of red and the cheerfulness of yellow. As a result orange conjures up feelings of strength, ambition and fun.

The colour orange brings forth images of the sun, fire and flame, and flamboyance.
Orange aster

Green – We all know Green is associated with calm – just think nature, lawns and forests. The color Green is connected with good luck, fertility and generosity. As well as envy. Whilst Dark Green is linked with growth, money and masculinity.

Being the traditional color of peace, harmony and support it can be used to great effect in increasing confidence and loyalty in branding.

colour psychology - green

Blue Much of our natural world is made up of Blue – just think the sky and oceans – and as such it is a universally loved color. As we all know it brings calm, what you may not know is why. Seeing the color Blue actually causes the release of calming chemicals in the brain.

A Light Blue color in a bedroom creates tranquillity and a relaxed impression while a strong Royal Blue can feel dark and foreboding. Too much blue can impart feelings of depression and coolness so use it wisely as over use can leave consumers feeling aloof and unconnected with the product. Yet if used correctly Blue bring feelings of loyalty and dependability – the reason it is used so widely in uniforms.

Blue is the color of wisdom, reliability and contemplation.

Blue Sky With A White Cloud In The Form Of Heart

Purple- Purple is a culturally sensitive color with some people listing it as their favourite color and others disliking it almost to the point of revulsion. It can stimulate brain activity and thus can be used to great effect in advertising when used correctly.

Traditionally a representative of royalty, Purple gives a feeling of sophistication and respect.

color-psychology-8-638 (Small)

Do you know Cadbury’s actually own the copyright to their color of purple? Code number #2865c Pantone is now owned by a Chocolate company. Read the news in more detail here…

Brown- Being the color of earth, brown links well with things of organic and natural states. It creates a feeling of stability and being grounded. It is the color most associated with friendship and reliability.

In some cultures it can represent mourning so use with care.

the-psychology-of-color-brown

White- Neutral and conservative, white is the union of all colors in the spectrum. White is the standard color of Wedding Dresses, Christening Gowns and Deb dresses – this is because it symbolises purity, innocence, truth and even surrender. It is also neutral and conservative.

White can be used to accentuate the absence of color and as such emphasises clarity and simplicity in advertising. It is associated with health and cleanliness – think hospitals and lab coats – and safety and sanctuary – a lighthouse, and bright light in general.

Did you know its clinically proven if you wear a white lab coat you are 95% more trusted than if you wear a pair of jeans?

colour psychology - white

Black- Black is the most complex of all the colors as it is often associated with sophistication and affluence – such as a black tie affair, – is the most used color in everyone’s wardrobe (little black dress anyone?) and is also the color of funerals and grief. It is always a serious color and can make people seem more stylish and intelligent if used correctly.- oh and its slimming!

Due to its nature it is an amazing contrasting color and is often used in design and photography websites to make images stand out. Yellow on Black is the most contrasting of all the two-tone combinations, so use this wisely and only when trying to create maximum impact.

It is always a serious color and can make people seem more stylish and intelligent if used correctly- oh and its slimming!

color-and-psychology-black

Conclusion- Everybody has a favourite color or theme, you may even have two or three. Think about why you are drawn to that color so much. Does it evoke memories of happy times, does it make you feel a certain way – motivated, strong, comfortable?

Color surrounds our daily lives.

Next time you are walking down the street, consciously observe the colors around you and how they affect your mood.

And remember just about every color you see down a High Street has been chosen by professional color psychologists, possibly wearing a white lab coat.

Artist Business Cards

7 Great examples of Artist Business Cards

Everybody needs a business card these days.

With the price of printing coming down dramatically, the advent of business card making machines in shopping centres and programs on the computer, basically everyone at some stage has at least thought about having their own business card. I bet even Nana has thought about sticking a business card to her apricot jam to get the edge over her neighbour at the Country Women’s Association jam sales!

So if you’re an artist trying to make a go of it in an increasingly saturated & difficult market, what are some good examples for your business card?

Putting your art work on your new business card is a good start as it immediately lets people know what style of artwork you do and how good you are at it.

To give you an idea of how effective this can be, I’ve searched the internet and found some of my favorite artist’s business cards.  I’ll also give a brief review of why I think they’re so good.

Artist Business Card #1

The artwork on this card is colourful and vibrant and stands out beautifully on the black background. Using three artworks in a row gives more information about the artists style and general subject manner and is a clever marketing tool as it conveys a lot of information in a small space.
New Business Card design for Danny

Scoopshot: A Way Forward for Photographers?

Scoopshot: Potentially another revenue stream for Photographers

When it comes to copyright issues, photographers and other visual artists often have it much worse than others. Photography is easy to take, difficult to track and, depending on how it’s used, difficult to resolve cases of misuse.

A combination of copyright infringement, increased competition and the large amount of free images available on the Web legally have combined to make things very difficult for photographers who want to earn a living from their work.

To respond to these challenges, photographers and companies that support them are seeking out new approaches to doing business and Scoopshot is one such company. This Helsinki-based company thinks it may have an approach that photographers can use to earn money from their work and it starts with a free iPhone app and a global workforce of photographers.

How Scoopshot Works

There are two major ways a photographer can use Scoopshot.

First, amateur photographers can download the Scoopshot app for either their iOS or Android device and then take pictures of newsworthy events or other things publications might be interested in. You can then set a price for the photo and upload it to the site. The photo will be available for sale for 48 hours before it will rotate off.

Second, more professional freelance photographers can upload a portfolio to the site and get themselves hired by publications seeking photos. For example, a newspaper in one country could hire a photographer in another rather than either using wire photos or other stock images.

Both professional and mobile users can respond to various tasks posted by publications seeking specific images.

For journalists, the service works one of three ways:

  1. Sifting through the collection of uploaded works for sale.
  2. Posting an assignment for the community and crowdsourcing the needed images.
  3. Hiring a freelancer directly.

In the end, the main goal of this system is simple: Bring together people with cameras who are in a position to take photos of interesting things and the people who might want to buy those photos. This is done in an enclosed ecosystem that both minimizes copyright infringement and ensures a (relatively) unique product.

Benefits of Scoopshot

Since the ecosystem of Scoopshot is enclosed, meaning that only sellers and confirmed buyers can look at the images, photographers are reassured that the risk of copyright infringement is much less and journalists are reassured that the images are unique and that they are getting clear rights to use them.

This is in stark contrast to the more open ecosystem most stock photo sites offer, where anyone can view and browse images, including those who might be looking for free images to just take.

In short, Scoopshot offers a private, simple and streamlined way for photographers and buyers to interact and trade early publication rights before the larger Web sees the image and begins to spread it far and wide.

However, it doesn’t solve a lot of the critical problems that come with being a photographer and it isn’t a perfect solution, leaving a few critical gaps in the protection it gives photographers.

Limitations of Scoopshot

Scoopshot has two fairly sizable limitations that photographers need to be aware of if they choose to consider it.

  1. For Photojournalists Only: The 48-hour timeframe for new photos limits the service’s functionality to those who want to do less time sensitive work.
  2. Can’t Help Once Photos Are Licensed: Once a photo is licensed and placed in a publication and, most likely, its site, there’s not much that Scoopshot can do to prevent infringement of it. In short, Scoopshot gives you that first sale but can’t help much after that.

These limitations are, most likely, acceptable to photographers who mostly do photojournalism. In many of these cases, there’s no market for an image after 48 hours so the infringements of it past that point don’t matter. But those who have work that has value long after that window has closed will continue to face great challenges.

In short, this is meant for photographers such as Matti Matikainen, who found a photo he took of Teija Vesterbacka, the wife of Rovio founder Peter Vesterbaka, who was wearing an Angry Birds-themed dress. The photo spread like wildfire, even appearing on several major news outlets, but only handful sought permission and only one paid a licensing fee.

Photographers focusing on more artistic work or that are creating content more in line with traditional stock photography, photos that have a longer shelf life, likely won’t see much benefit from Scoopshot.

That being said, it is easily imagined an invite-only stock photography platform that would work much the same way but without the 48-hour limitation and targeted at larger media buyers rather than just journalists.

However, that system would also not be able to deal with the images after they were legally purchased and it is difficult to say if such a system could be viable as it would require a large number of purchasers. That being said, some services do provide something like this, but usually by acquiring all rights to the images involved and selling them to clients as a complete library, rather than piecemeal as with Scoopshot.

Bottom Line

All in all, Scoopshot is an interesting idea but it’s by no means a silver bullet. Though the company has done some €112,335.94 ($148,000) in business with 33 publications, it’s not yet a large enough player to make a major dent in the photo market. Also, with most of its clients situated in the EU, specifically Finland, Sweden and neighboring countries, there likely won’t be much those outside of the region can do with it (though they can participate).

In the end, the idea is fairly promising and the model that Scoopshot follows, the one of an enclosed marketplace, may be of greater importance to photographers in the years ahead, but it won’t solve anything by itself.

As with most great ideas, it’s just a piece of a larger puzzle, but it is a piece that many photographers should be interested in.

This article first appeared on Jonathan Bailey’s website Plagarism Today.

There is also another write up on scoopshot on the ever brilliant Springwise.

Let Kindness and Gratitude Come this Christmas time:

Kindness and Gratitude

Australian_Xmas

In this busy Christmas season many voices speak of peace and joy in word and in song. My attention is drawn to another set of virtues. Kindness and gratitude make life worth living.

An old Persian proverb says: Write kindness in marble and write injuries in the dust.

Kindness is thinking of someone else before us. Today a beautiful post came from Peter Legge, CEO of Canada Wide Media Limited. It tells a moving story of The Salvation Army founder General William Booth. When asked to telegraph his officers with one word to describe his organisation he said others.

Kindness sees others need first. It hears their heartfelt cry. It gives the knowing smile, the reassuring touch. Kindness reaches out where some fear to go. It hugs the unlovely; it listens to the ramblings of lonely souls. It visits the shut in.

You are kindness in motion. Your voice, your hands, your ears are all you need. If you have money share some. As you have been given time give some. Each talent a gift designed to share.

I’d gone to the local Worker’s Club for a meal. As a disabled man shuffled to a table near me I cleared the things in his way. He nodded with thanks. As I left another man called me over and said “That was a very nice thing that you did”.  Someone was watching one small act of kindness. I was touched by the gratitude both men showed me.

Genuine unexpected appreciation moved me greatly.

Gratitude and the ability to say thanks takes so little effort. It can make a magnified difference’s. Today I rang an old teacher and mentor I’ve known for forty years to tell him of my new book and to thank him for his encouragement across the years. In your work watch how leaders treat their staff. It tells so much about that person. Taking time to express thanks or to reward performance on a regular basis marks out the great organisations and teams.