martes, 11 de mayo de 2010

Getting Along with...Contrast

Life will lead to boredom if it is monotonous. You will wake early in the morning, go to the bathroom and clean yourself, eat breakfast, go to work, do the same task, eat lunch, back to work, out in the office, go  home, eat dinner, clean yourself then go to sleep. By the next day, you will do the same routine again. Weary, isn’t it.  Maybe you can try a little change, something that is challenging yet will make your day complete. If you are stuck on the things you always do, you might be moss-covered in a couple of years.

Design can be compared to human life. If its elements are all the same, it will be less interesting. To add visual interest to a design, there is a need to add contrast to make it more appealing. Contrast takes place in a design when two associated elements are different. With the fusion of elements opposing each other, contrast creates visual interest. It makes the design dynamic and unpredictable. But with improper or exaggerated application of contrast, the design might look messy and disorganized. Its use must be well planned in order to prevent it from making the design confusing to the viewers.

A typical example of contrast is the use of complementary colors. Complementary colors are pairs of colors on the opposite region of the color wheel. Examples of complimentary colors are red and green, blue and orange, yellow and violet. Even if the fate of these complementary colors is to eternally contest on the wheel, they still maintain to project color harmony and are widely use as guides for color combination.

Another example is the contrast in size. It is highly used to give emphasis. Examples are headline texts on news paper. They are bigger in order to shout out the main title of the article.

Contrast may occur on shape, value, alignment, color, direction, type, movement, and texture.

Contrast in Color

Contrast in Text/Size

lunes, 10 de mayo de 2010

Designing Business Logos

A logo is an important aspect of any business' identity. It is usually the first thing that makes an impression on clients/customers and is key in presenting a professional image about a company and in establishing customer recognition (branding).

The company logo is seen everywhere: on business cards, stationery, invoices and receipts, website, corporate giveaways, advertising and signage and even on the side of the delivery vehicle. Thus it must be properly designed not only to attract attention but more importantly to convey the spirit of the company it represents.

A logo separates a company from the competitors. It provides instant recognition and helps customers remember a business. For a logo to be effective, the following tips can be a great help when designing a business logo:

Simplicity.  A simple logo design is easier for customers to remember and recognize. It is also advisable to limit the number of colors.  Always use simple shapes and minimal text as people remember images better than they remember words.
Relevance.  Make sure that your logo design has relevance to your business. Use images that customers can associate with your king of business. However, there are businesses that's difficult to symbolize using an image.  In such cases, initials of the business' name encased in a simple shape would do.
The Power of Color. Colors can present powerful messages in themselves. Choose colors for the meaning they impart and not because it's a personal favorite.  For example, red is seen as fiery and energetic and is best used to attract attention. Using brown may not bring out the same effect.
Scalability. Your business logo has to be scalable to suit all your promotional needs. It must look great on a business card, on a brochure, and on a billboard, for instance, if that's how you choose to advertise. Remember that complicated logo designs don't scale well.

Almost anybody can design their own company logo using various graphics software programs that are available online, some can even be free of charge. But if you don't have the time and prefer to hire  professionals, there are many companies that offer graphic design services.  We at New Harvest Design can help you with all your graphic design requirements.  Our in-house team of highly-qualified and experienced graphic designers can help you design a logo that best represents your business. Contact us now for more information.


miércoles, 5 de mayo de 2010

How Could Art Be So Naïve?

Naïve Art

Just like human, a work of art is considered as naïve if it looks innocent and childlike. Sour as it may sound but during the nineteenth century, a painting is labeled as naïve if its artist has no formal training in arts. Regardless of the charisma they portray, they are being criticized and ridiculed.

Naïve art is characterized with intense detail, luminous colors, coarse patterns, flat and lack of perspective. The French artist Henri Rousseau is notable for his naïve paintings The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897 and The Snake Charmer, 1907. The latter was used as a book cover of Anne Rice’s Merrick Novel. Jungle sceneries are Rousseau’s common subject matter even though he has never seen a jungle.

The paintings of Cornish mariner and artist Alfred Wallis are also examples of naïve art. Since he was a mariner, his subject matter is seascape. Inspired by his experiences, most of his paintings contain boats, ships, ocean and seaport.

If naïve art is quite unwelcomed before, its style never ceases and guiltlessly streams up to the present. It is now widely used on children’s book and greeting cards similar with Rousseau’s subjects of wild animals in the jungle on a bright day or twilight.


Even with the advancement in technology, there are graphic designers who create naïve designs. Though the popular doodle drawings and designs seem to be separated from naïve art, the characters appears to look really childlike portraying raw expressions of delight, anxiety, anger, suspicion and madness. Their shapes are anthropomorphic, pastel in color and resembles like that of Joan Miro’s organic paintings. Doodles are used for designing murals allowing many people to paint. T-shirts and bags are now also printed with naïve doodles since they mostly appeal on teenagers. Doodles are also used for web graphics like wallpapers, templates, and banners.

The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau

The Snake Charmer by Henri Rousseau

Hold House Port Mear Square Island by Alfred Wallis

St. Michael's Mount in Marazion

martes, 4 de mayo de 2010

Design Conceptualization

Graphic design strong emphasis on mastering the software often neglects some practices or elements necessary to create an effective design. Often times the contentment of a graphic designer relies if he was able to apply some extraordinary techniques or rather he’s done with the design that he thinks is pleasing enough for him. Design conceptualization, choice of subject matter, themes and defining the elements of design are being ignored. Stunning designs are common especially with the use of graphic design software. But if you look at its bigger picture, there’s something missing that you just can’t point out.

Creating a design is not as easy as opening your software and selecting the tools you know you can use. There are procedures you must consider. You can start with gathering the information you need. For example, if you are designing a corporate identity, you need to know the nature of business of the employer, background, list of products or services, target market and selling location.

If you have all the data you need, you can do the draft for your design. You can ask your client the color they want. For sure they can only give you those in the color wheel. It is up to you to determine the color scheme and CYMK. The whole concept of the design usually anchors on the logo and tagline since they are unchangeable and represents the company’s image and goal. Logo design is essential to branding. Simple logo design is advisable. Decide whether your logo will be a typeface, an image or combination. What’s important is it’s readable and will surely be recognized by the public. The theme also plays an important role. Determine if your design will be vintage, grunge, psychedelic, etc. depending on your subject matter. This applies especially on packaging and poster making because you are trying to catch the public’s attention.

When all your ideas are already synchronized, you can begin putting your concept into details. You can now sketch it or do the detailed drawing. It will be faster if you have your sketch first rather than doing all the drafts in your pc.

Design conceptualization is something that is abstract and can be learned through research and experience. Subject matter and themes are basic elements that will make your design meaningful. You will also notice that some marketing aspects are considered since your design is created for the purpose of magnetizing customers.

miércoles, 28 de abril de 2010

Psychedelic Design

If you will hear the word “psychedelic,” you may refer to the hallucinatory state of mind, distorted perceptions, altered state of consciousness caused by drug use. For broader description, neon colors of yellow green, blue green, orange, and red violet will penetrate your mind. Maybe some flowers, peace sign, a floral sprayed designed Volkswagen and long-haired hippies or afros will come across your imagination. To box all these attributes, psychedelic is best described as the 1960s pop culture.

Before the term psychedelic become the 60’s fashion of fit, trend neon, wide collared longsleeves and bell bottoms, it was coined by the psychiatrist Humphry Osmond as an alternative descriptor to hallucinogenic drugs. That could be the reason why hallucinogens are also known as “psychedelic drugs.” Indeed, psychedelic seems to be paired with drugs from the day it has emerged. Beyond its psychiatric definition and fashion statement, psychedelic has extended itself to music and arts which led it to create its own movement. Psychedelic art and psychedelic music gather inspiration by inducing oneself with drugs like marijuana, LSD, mescaline, or psilocybin. These drugs are derived from herbs and fungus.

But just like Chronos devouring his children, the popularity of psychedelic was eaten by time. It would be rare to see people wearing the psychedelic fashion unless it is a Halloween or retro costume party. Even the 60’s retro music is mostly played only during weekends. But its influence on graphic design still lives and is widely used in the music industry for posters and album covers. Psychedelic design preserves the neon play of colors, warped typeface, paisley, fractal, concentric circles, kaleidoscope effects, and theme of fantasy, ecstasy, euphoria, and hallucination.

Incubus’ A Crow Left of the Murder (2003), Mojofly’s Now (2005) and Oasis’s Dig Out Your Soul (2008) are examples of cover albums with psychedelic designs that were released by the 2000.

martes, 27 de abril de 2010

Vector Graphics

Vector graphics with all its stunning designs remains quiet compared to its loud photo manipulative companion. It appears that majority of graphic designers use raster-based, image manipulation programs. Perhaps one reason that many designers use vector graphics less is because of the complexity of its interface and its high regards to the techniques of traditional drawing and drafting which was somehow given little importance by other graphic designers who solely clings their skills on graphic software.

Vector graphics maintains its math origin “vector” a specific mathematical structure that has the ability to represent magnitude and direction. Since a vector graphics is mathematically defined, it is capable of modifying its mathematical location and prevents the graphic from pixelating when enlarged. Expanded vector graphics can retain its fine and delicate quality.

Vector graphics has many uses. If you are the person who has passion to draw, you can add vector graphics to your technical drawing skills. You can start by scanning your freehand drawing, studying the vector graphic program interface, watching tutorials and start with the basics. Mastering a vector graphic program will definitely take time as if you are studying freehand drawing from scratch. Only this time, you can easily edit, scale and duplicate your drawings.

Once you have absorbed the skills you need to acquire, you can begin voyaging the wide ocean of graphic design. Definitely you’ll meet other designers too like photo editor, layout artist, animator, web designers, and videographer.  Its primary use is for logo design and other business set. It is also used for creating technical illustrations and web design graphics. Hip vector portraits and posters are among the popular uses of vector graphics. Vector graphics seems to make its way to fashion industry.  T-shirt design now uses vector graphics especially those with decorative swirls, paisley, or anthropomorphic characters. 2D cartoons and comics are also designed using vector graphics. If your hunches suggest that vector graphics has limit itself to flat prints, it has now innovated its features and can now model 3D graphics and even realistic human images. Vector artist who would dare to bring their skills to this extent will definitely need to master perspective and proper toning.

Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw are the famous vector-based programs.

Adroit Designs

viernes, 19 de marzo de 2010

March 20

What is Vintage Design?

If you are into graphics and asked about what is “vintage”, you might answer that it is a graphic design with a 1950’s theme that is old, worn out, exhausted, and almost deteriorated by time. If you will search for vintage designs on the internet, you will mostly find posters of old advertisements like transistors, television, Volkswagen Beetle, movies, and sexy Hollywood blonde bombshells like Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield.

With the descriptions and samples provided for vintage design, you might think that the word “vintage” is similar with retro which means outdated style or trend. Well if you go to Google and type “vintage,” what you’ll find will lead you to “wine making” instead of visual arts references. Confusing isn’t it? To attach strings between vintage and vintage design, let’s begin with defining the etymology of the word vintage.

Etymology of Vintage

Vintage came from the French word “vin” which means wine. Just add “t-n-e- r” and you’ll have a winemaker called “vintner”.  Combine “vint” and “age “, to form the word “vintage.” Why is “age” attached?  It is because vintage wine is grown and harvested in a single particular year and region. With this means of production, vintage wine refers to wine that is “old” and with high quality. This made vintage associated with a style that’s old, antiques, or outmoded.

Vintage as Graphic Design

Vintage style is widely used in the field of graphic design. Vintage design gives emphasis on typography, rustic color harmony of brown, red, and yellow, and

It can be applied to poster designs, packaging, banners, and website. Starbucks Philippines is using vintage designs for their marketing collaterals like flyers and brochures. Human Clothing, an apparel company in the Philippines also uses vintage designs for their prints on t-shirts and bags which started by the early 2000 up to present.

Vintage design is also applied to fashion and interior design.

jueves, 18 de marzo de 2010

Indie Nation Radio

They say (and I have no clue who "they" is) that the third time is a charm. Well, I'm not sure about the charm, but what I can tell you is that I've chosen to avoid my radio guy voice today — just for you. That's just my way of charming the pants off you.

Why three? Well, if for some sick twisted reason, you haven't been keeping up with our daily journal, today is the third logo in the same amount of days for the man we've been referring to as the radio romeo. His actual name is Paul Saunders and he has a butt-load of followers on Twitter. He's like the Aston Kutcher of internet radio (minus Demi Moore).

We first brought you 977 Media, which specializes in internet radio solutions for folks like you and me. Next we brought you Stream Realm, which provides reliable and affordable streaming solutions to improve your poopy stream that costs too much. And finally, we bring you Indie Nation Radio.

Now this one is special. This is a big-ass network of online radio stations, focused in on specific genres and locations. When it's up and running, there will be up to 300 different cities and more than 15 different genres. All indie-style baby and all free. It's about the music, not the money. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Clear Channel. Damn the man.

We the people, demand a billboard top 100 that's not created by record executives up in their ivory towers (which look really nice by the way), but one that's created by the people listening to the music. We won't be spoon fed Justin Timberlake music anymore. We're going to unite in wearing earplugs every time Lady Ga Ga says poker face. We won't be ignored. Power to Indie Nation.

Sorry. Sometimes I get to be a bit much. Look, enjoy the logo, hang out with Paul on Twitter and keep coming back for logo fun.

I'm going to go make a couple of prank calls to my local radio stations to release some of this tension.

Feel the music.

miércoles, 17 de marzo de 2010

Stream Realm

(Return of hyper radio-guy voice) Welcome back to the program folks. You were just tuned into the sweet style of Paul Saunders and his company 977 Media on the only station that brings you logos all day, every day — p-p-p-power internet radio I.D.Y.L. If you liked that, you're going to looooove this. Quickly climbing its way to the top of the charts is another stylistic original from the internet radio romeo ... it's Paul Saunders, with Stream Realm.

(Normal voice returns) Well, you would have thought that I had learned my lesson yesterday. Apologizing profusely for my lameness. But, no — I just went ahead and did whatever the hell I wanted, didn't I? Shame on me. After this year of logos is over, I promise I'm going to see someone about my tendency to spew useless jargon.

But, before I do that, we have another branch of 977 Media to discuss. This one is called, Stream Realm.

Let's pretend that you are a great internet radio mind. You already have your online station built, you've got virtual fans throwing their digital bras and panties at you and you've got the ultimate face for radio (ok, just kidding, that was mean). What's next? Well, your streaming sucks and you're paying to much.

You see, that's where Stream Realm comes in. Paul Saunders and his team offer reliable streaming at an affordable price to people just like the pretend you.

In designing this identity, we wanted the message to be internet radio first, speed second. We brought those things together with a stylized font and graphic that everyone can relate to.

Go on over to and tell him how much the guys over at IDYL want to give him a big smooch for buying three consecutive days. After that, either start your station or upgrade your streaming. You owe it to your listeners.

Dana -gerous is out (that's my new radio handle)

martes, 16 de marzo de 2010

977 Media

(Insert hyper radio-guy voice) Happy hump day internet, this is D to the ANA come at you live on the station that brings you logos all day, every day — p-p-p-power internet radio I.D.Y.L. We're bringing you a commercial free set of logos next  ... so, turn your screen brightness up and get ready for 977 Media on I.D.Y.L.

You might be wondering why in the world I would subject you to that. It's a valid question. Because I'm borderline nutty? Sort of. Or, because I want to show you the things that go through my mind, that may be consider by most to be disturbing? Yeah, we're getting closer. Maybe it's a cry for help? I dunno.

Alright, the truth is that I was practicing my internet radio speak for the recipient of today's logo — 977 Media. You see, they're a full-service media company that specializes in providing internet radio solutions to companies like you and me (and a few other specialized niches). In other words, they're here to make you a star and help you become part of the social broadcasting revolution. Those were Paul's words and I dig 'em. I might have said something like, 977 Media killed the terrestrial radio star.

Again, I'm sorry for doing that. I'm really not sure what's wrong with me.

Paul and his team turned to — I.D.Y.L, the station that brings you logos all day, every day — to come up with an identity that communicated their line of business in a professional, yet fun, way. We gave it our all and came up with a concept that did just that.

Now it's time for you to shine my children. You're ready to spread your wings and fly. Flap those wings over to and get the skinny on what it's going to take to make you into the next Ryan Seacrest or Casey Kasem. The internet is waiting for you.

D to the ANA out (A little Seacrest vibe there)

lunes, 15 de marzo de 2010

Alive Marin

I live in the Midwest, Minnesota to be exact. Tony lives in Chicago and Jason lives in Jacksonville. Of the three of us, I think I was screwed the worst. Yeah, I know ... it's beautiful, right? Maybe. But only for one week a year. The rest of the year is filled with sub-zero temperatures, god-awful humidity, endless road construction, colonies of mosquitoes and sub-zero temperatures. Yes, I know that I repeated myself there, it needed the extra emphasis.

Having said that, we have the "nice" thing going for us, which is good. Quite frankly, we're only nice because we've have been trapped indoors for six excruciating months, and by the time we get to come out of hibernation, we're just happy to see other survivors.

I'm being a bit extreme, I know. Other Minnesotans will disagree, and that's fine. It's just my opinion, so they can shut their pieholes.

I've dreamed of moving to a better place, a utopia of sorts ... a place like Marin County. Where the grass is green and the mosquitoes are dead. Jay has put together this lovely site called,, that has provided a snapshot of what life could be like outside the State of Minnesota penitentiary walls. Zip-it Minnesotans.

His plan is to eventually broaden the franchise to include other places like Orange County, Chicago, New York, etc. That way I can just live vicariously through the pages of his sites. Ahhhh, even the thought brings a smile to my face.

In the meantime though, Jay has asked us to develop an identity that spoke not just to Marin County, but one that could be carried over to the places to come. We focused on a color scheme and element design that helped to communicate the message of being alive. A fun design with the colors of life.

So hop on over to and check it out. Then, jump back on Twitter and Facebook and tell us when you're moving. I'll pack my Paddington Bear suitcase and meet you there.


domingo, 14 de marzo de 2010

PDM Shift

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls ... it's time to spit out your pacifiers, take off your khakis and turn off "Dancing With The Stars", because we have a special treat for ya.

Today isn't the day to wear your Sunday's best. Today isn't the day for you to call your mommy. Today isn't the day for the faint of heart (seriously, if you have a heart condition, maybe you should doing something else).

Call your work and tell 'em you're sick. Text your spouse and tell 'em you won't be home for supper. Tweet your tweoples and tell 'em you won't be tweeting. Set your email auto-responders to "out of the office" (you don't want to get fired). Get your BIC iPhone apps ready, BECAUSE ... coming to the stage (or blog I guess) is none other than ... the legends of Jacksonville ... the one, the only — PDM Shift. HAAAAAAAA! The crowd (or site visitors) goes wild!!!!

Just wanted to give you guys a little taste of what it's like to live the life of Justice and his band mates. I mean, c'mon, wouldn't that just kick ass? But, if you're born with a rock star name like Justice, you really have no other choice but to rock. Right?

I know that you want a link to the tunes, so do we. The truth of the matter is, PDM Shift has been on a long hiatus and is in the process of reforming. But I can tell you this: PDM Shift is a progressive hard rock band that has a sound similar to what you might hear from Dream Theater or Tool. ROCK ON!

Wouldn't you know it, they've asked to set the stage for them by designing their logo. We're kind of like groupies with Macs. Because Tony is a musician himself, he was eager to jump on the bandwagon (couldn't help myself there).

We developed their logo with a custom, stylized font to give the band a unique look that screamed hard rock. For the extra kick, we incorporated a subtle red element that can be used to define their identity independent of their name.

Hook up with us on Twitter and we'll feed you some more info on these monsters of music. In the meantime, keep on rockin' people. Keep on rockin'.

lnnl (those are devil horns)

sábado, 13 de marzo de 2010

Service 365

Let me get serious with you for a minute. I know, I know ... when I make poop references and butt pinching suggestions, it's tough to take anything I say serious, right? Just bare with me for a moment and I promise I'll get back to my crassitude.

Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING breaks my heart more than the thought of a child suffering. Suffering from neglect, abuse, illness ... whatever. Children don't deserve it — ever. In my opinion, those who harm a child deserve nothing less than a lifetime in prison — no exceptions, no parole, no T.V., no internet ... nothing. The should stare at four blank concrete walls for the rest of their life and just think about what they've done.

Alright, I'm done now. It felt good to get that out.

Now, I didn't tell you that for shits and giggles, and I didn't tell you that because I'm ready to go all vigilante like Charles Bronson in Death Wish. No, the reason I got on my soapbox was to explain how I intend on using what Stephen is putting together with Service 365.

You see, I'm always on the look-out for great causes and/or organizations that support children in need. The truth is, with three kids of my own and a 365-day logo business, it's difficult to find the time to jump into something new without fulling understanding what's involved. That's where Stephen is going to come in really, really handy.

Amongst other things, Service 365 is going to provide a snapshot of what organizations do and help people like me, better understand exactly what I should expect when I choose to get involved. That's going to save me a butt-load of up-front effort, providing me more time to volunteer.

I happen to personally think that this business idea is pretty frickin' awesome. But, then again, Stephen's pretty awesome, so I should have expected it. He's so awesome in fact, if you happen to run into him at a charity event, McDonald's or a WalMart restroom, grab him by the ears and pull him in for a big wet one right on the smackers. Crassness is slowly coming back.

The logo embodies what Stephen was going for. A professional image with a color bold enough to attract the eye (BTW, Orange is his life color). We used the circle image to represent the amiable nature of his organization.

Now that you know Stephen and Service 365, it's time to get involved. Start by becoming a fan and a follower. Trust me, Stephen will not disappoint.

P.S. Remember, if you see someone harming a child, punch him in the nads. And, if it's a lady ... I'll leave that up to you.

Later mater (I'm not sure why)

viernes, 12 de marzo de 2010

Ahab's Adventures

I hate flying. There, I said it. It's not the pilots' fault, it's me. I have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that something that big (and heavy) is anywhere but on the ground. And, the tight quarters don't help either. So, needless to say, I fly only when I have to.

My distaste for the panicky-skies also means that my travels are kept to a minimum. And, having three kids, three and under doesn't help either. That said, I love adventure. In fact, if I had the choice to be either Bill Gates or Indiana Jones, I'd pick Jones in a New York minute.

But now I've met Ahab. He just might very well change the way I look at traveling. He's motivated my human spirit. He and Geeg have challenged me to; turn a stranger into a friend, do something that I've always wanted to do, volunteer, and finally ... be a bit greener. Like I mentioned before, Ahab is like a little mini Anthony Robbins, but without the annoying voice and chiseled cheek bones.

If I haven't quite described Ahab for you yet, you'll need to go and check him out for yourself. He's a short little little fella with an adorable outfit. According to Geeg, he's a wannbe pirate trapped in a fisherman's jacket. How's that for cuteness? He's also an adventurous guy, always looking for his next challenge. Again, go to the site an check him out for yourself.

The directions for Ahab's logo were clear, they were looking for a skull and cross-bones design with an Ahab touch. And, you know us, we aim to please. They want a skull for Ahab, a skull for Ahab they shall receive.

Now that you've seen the logo and read the background, go check out their site and spend sometime fishing around their pages (get it? Ahab. Fisherman jacket. Fishing.). You'll sure to find a cute little guy with a big message.

Ahoy Mates.

jueves, 11 de marzo de 2010

Les Is More

You may recall me saying something about being a complete mess. Well, in the week that's past since I've made that statement — surprise, surprise — nothing has changed. I will say though, the Poken that I received from has put my contact management on track. Plus, I make one hell of a Poken Girl. But, the rest of my life is a complete unorganized mess, and it drives my wife eff'n nuts. Everywhere I go, I can't help but do some "tasmanian devil" type move and leave everything in complete disarray.

Needless to say, Leslie Jacobs, and her company Les Is More, is just what the doctor ordered. When I say Doctor, I'm not talking about Doogie Hows ...

Folks, sorry to interrupt this post, I'm just beginning to get word on some developing news. Tony Holmes, of fame, and his wife, are just moments away from having their second child. Reports are coming in (from Tony) that some kind of plug has fallen out, which apparently was holding the baby in place. By the time you receive this message, baby Holmes should be out and ready to take on the world, while Tony and his wife will have gotten zero hours of sleep. As in zilch, nada, nothing. Be sure to keep up with our Twitter posts for further details.

Now back to your regular scheduled post ...

As I was saying, before we were so rudely interrupted by baby Holmes' poor timing (nah, uncle Dana was only kidding kiddo),  Les Is More is just what a guy like me needs to get my organizational responsibilities back on track. Not only does Leslie offer one on one phone consultation, she also offers weekly tips, a great book and two cool card-deck systems called, Les Mess.

As you can imagine, a business that is built around cleanliness and organization, requires a logo that is ... well, clean and organized. We came up with a design that was both fun and descriptive. We used a box to represent the idea of structure, with a color scheme that accurately communicated the different segments of her business.

Go check out and see all of the wonderful things that Mrs. Leslie and her company are doing. Buy a book, consultation or whatever and then get your things in order for goodness sake. It's about time you get your sh@* together. Yeah, yeah, I'm one to talk.

goo goo, ga ga (That was for Tony)

Surrealism Across Centuries, from 1920's Painting to 2000's Graphic Arts

Surrealism is an early 1920’s art movement which influenced visual arts, literature, film, music and philosophy. Surrealism can be easily enjoyed in the field of visual arts. The Surrealist art movement was lead by Andre Breton. Prior to Breton’s leadership to Surrealism, he used Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic methods on treating soldiers with “combat stress reaction”. Dr. Freud’s free association, dream analysis, and untapping the unconscious are the psychoanalytic methods are the core essentials of Surrealism.

There are two types of Surrealism, the organic and narrative. Organic surrealism is characterized as non-representational, amorphous, and organic in forms. Narrative Surrealism is delusional and representational but absolutely defying rationality.

Among the famous surreal painters are Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Jean Arp, Andre Masson, Joan Miro, Rene Magritte, Marc Chagall and Yves Tanguy.

Surrealism is more than an art concept but a revolution. It has gone through lots of research and published journals. The Surrealist Manifestos, the first was written by Andre Breton contains their theoretical stand. The second was managed by Breton and the third was not released to the public.

Though surrealism in visual arts lasted until 1930’s, surrealism as modern art movement, seems to be timeless. Just one more decade away and Surrealism will be a century old but its artistry is still highly appreciated today. The 1920's surreal visual arts are portrayed by surrealists’ paintings while now, they are depicted by graphic software. This graphic design technique is known as “surreal photo manipulation”.

Photoshop’s ability to edit images makes it widely used for surreal photo manipulation. Common narrative themes are distorted body parts, metamorphoses, fantasy, torture, dream, destruction, and death. Most of the deformed body parts themes resembles like that of Magritte and Dali’s paintings.

Compared before, surreal photo manipulation is easier than surreal painting. The former can be edited without damaging other areas because of the layers used in Photoshop and the availability photos lessens the effort. Surrealist painters had tedious works to perfect their masterpiece since they are the pioneers and paints are the popular medium used back then. They even have to induce hallucinations in order to create an idea for their painting.

The advent of computers especially in the field of graphic design revives numerous classic concepts like surrealism. But regardless of the medium used, surrealism will last as long as humans make their way to royal to the unconscious - dream.

Max Ernst, The Phases of the Night (1946)

Salvador Dali,  The Persistence of Memory (1931)

Man Ray, Observatory Time – The Lovers (1936)

Jean Arp, Plastron et fourchette  (1922)

Andre Masson, Ibdes in Aragon (1935)

Joan Miro, The Two Philosophers (1936)

Rene Magritte, The Sirens (1952)

Marc Chagall, Liebende in Vence

Yves Tanguy, The Ribbon of Excess (1932)

Truth by damnengine

You grow inside me by

A new life by Stefano83

C O R E by adnrey

Undecided by Stefano83

Hollow Hills by ~brideinblacklace

Escapar by ~Prince-K

Beyond Reach by `n05feratu

Tangled angels .II. by ~temporary-peace

miércoles, 10 de marzo de 2010

Elite CSS

I'll be honest, Connor's like our little brother. He's almost an extension of us. In fact, if you hurt his feelings, Jason is going to take his t-shirt off and be mean to you on Ustream. And Tony and I will yell at you on Twitter. Watch yourself. I'm just saying.

Ok, now that the uncomfortable part is out of the way, let's move on.

Do you see all those words in the green bar up above? If you bring your pointer-thingy up there and roll over it, a line appears under the word. Did you see how that works? Connor did that. The little underline thing was our idea, but Connor made it appear magically like that. That's what he (and his company) does. They make websites work.

I'll admit, we're HTML dumb. In fact, until we met Connor, I thought HTML was pronounced, hit-mil. But, you give us a Mac Book Pro, magic mouse and Adobe Photoshop and we'll whip something up lickity split. You see, that's why we're in love with Elite CSS. They take those designs of ours and convert them into exhitmil (also known as xHTML) and sis (also known as CSS) within 24 hours. It rocks.

For us, it's the perfect partnership. Elite CSS is the like the peanut butter and we're the jelly. No, they're like the tomato and we're the bacon on a BLT. Wait, that doesn't even make sense. Who's the lettuce? Plus, I don't even like tomatoes. Alright, we're the poop and they're the toilet paper. Perfect. We push something out and he gets it all cleaned up. Forget it ... I give up. You get where I'm going though.

Connor was looking for an identity that helped tell the story of what Elite CSS does best, converting Photoshop files into code. We used a simple illustration to represent the process of sending multiple files and ending up with a finished product. The colors we used, along with gradient, represent the process of going from a Photoshop file (Blue) to a Dreamweaver file (Green).

Ok, it's time for me to stop writing now, I just went an entire paragraph without making fun of myself or someone else. I'm out.

XOXOXO (It's a complicated coding thing, Connor gets it)

Graphic Design 101: The Basics

Graphic design is the art and process of putting together text and graphics to be able to effectively communicate a message.  Companies usually hire a web solutions company which provides graphic design services.  These graphics firms are knowledgeable on the elements and principles of graphic design and can churn out professional-quality websites, logos, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual media.

There are quite a handful of graphic file formats that are available but internet browsers only support a few of them.  This article discusses the different graphic file formats that can be used when building a web site.

Presently, the most common graphic file formats that are supported by most popular web browsers are:  Graphic Interchange Format (GIF), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), Portable Network Graphics (PNG) and vector graphics.

These kinds of graphic files have gained enormous usability because ofthe following properties:

Transparency – allows the image to be varying degrees of opaqueness from solid to completely transparent or see-through.
Compression – allows images to be stored in a much smaller file by using a mathematical algorithm to handle groups of pixels as a single item.
Interlacing – allows an image to be loaded by first drawing the odd rows and then going back and drawing the even rows. It allows the visitor to see the picture sooner.
Animation – gives the appearance of movement by using a series of successive still pictures. Animated gifs do not require a browser plug-in and can work on almost all devices.
Progressive loading – similar to interlacing in that it only loads a portion of the picture initially but is not based on alternating rows and allows the user to see the picture quicker.

Developed in the 1980s, GIF was adopted by web designers in the early 1990s as the preferred graphic format for web pages. GIF files use a compression algorithm that keeps file sizes small for fast loading. Because of its smaller size compared to a JPEG file, most web designers use the GIF format for backgrounds, boxed, frames and any other graphical element that look fine using 8-bit color. These files also support transparency and interlaced graphics but are limited to 256 colors (8 bits). GIF also received immense popularity because it can be used to create animation: by using a series of successive still pictures. Furthermore, All browsers can display GIF files.

JPEG files are the preferred formats as far as good image quality is concerned.  These type of files are compressed and support “true color” (24 bit), allowing faster download speeds.

PNG is the newest in the game. It was introduced as an alternative to GIF files. Just like JPEG, PNG supports up to 24 bit color, transparency, interlacing plus it can hold a short text description of the image’s content for use by search engines. However, most browsers do not support PNG yet. Web design companies offering graphic design services believes that time will come when PNG gets fully supported by most web browsers.  By that time, PNG will probably replace GIF as the web designer’s choice for non-photographic page elements. But GIF will still be used for animation.

Vector Graphics
Vector graphics are created by using programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand. Vector drawings must be converted to either GIF, JPEG OR PNG format to be used on a web page.

Web solution companies like New Harvest Design offers cost-effective graphic design services that can help a company, big or small, get the graphics they want at a price they can afford.

martes, 9 de marzo de 2010

Jay Masunaga Consulting Services

So now that you have a friend named Jay, what are you going to do with him? Yes, he's a computer guy, but don't let that deter you from busting loose with him. Quite frankly, I think that there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to techies. Do they play Dungeons and Dragons? Probably, but they also know how to hijack the neighbors internet and cable. I'll have a beer with that guy any day of the week.

All of that said, our friend, Jay Masunaga is so much more then a D&D playing, cable stealing, tech monster. Maybe he has a couple of hacker secrets he can share with you if you're nice, but what he really does is much different than that. In fact, in addition to technology consulting, Jay offers web design, auction selling services, web strategy, digital archiving, SEO support, hosting, e-commerce and toe nail clipping.

Opps. I'm not sure how that last one slipped in there. Maybe it's because I've always want a personal toe nail clipper and by mentioning it, Jay would start offering it. It's just a thought.

In terms of the logo, Jay pretty much let us have free reign. We took the open invitation with arms wide open (not the Creed kind) and did what we do best — took a nap. But, after that, we did what we do second best — designed a professional logo that will help position Jay as a technology and marketing consulting rock star.

Take-aways and to-dos: Become a friend of Jay — literally. Not an electronic friend on Facebook. A real live friend. Next, leave us a comment and tell Jay what you think about his schnazzy new logo. Lastly, come hang out with us on Twitter and Facebook. Cool?

Bye bye computer guy

Color and Custom Web Design: Using the subliminal effects of colors for maximum impact

It is a scientific fact that colors can have psychological effects on  people.  Properly used on a website, colors can go hand in hand with graphics and well-written content to effectively communicate to your target audience and even compel them to make the desired call to action. Colors can be a great design element that can help visitors with site's navigation, the grouping of content and their relative importance, relationships, etc.

It is, thus, important for web designers to know the subliminal effects of different colors and their combination can make. The colors they choose can either work for or against them, depending on how a visitor unconsciously reacts to them during that critical first few seconds.

Below is a list of color qualities that can have both positive and negative meanings:

Red is commonly associated with love, passion, danger, warning, excitement, food, impulse, action, adventure and is, thus, good in attracting attention. In it's negative side, red evokes aggressive feelings, and can suggest anger or violence.

Blue has a calming effect on people.  It evokes a sense of belonging and trust, reliability, coolness, peacefulness, tranquility, security and is often associated with high quality, faithfulness and dignity.
In its negative side, it can imply alienation, sadness, passivity, or depression.

Yellow evokes feelings of happiness, warmth, and sunshine. But in its negative side, over-use of yellow can cause eye-strain and vague feelings of irritation.

Orange evokes feelings of playfulness, pleasure, approachability, informality and warmth. Orange and black together are often associated with ambition and drive. in the negative side orange may imply a lack of discrimination or quality.

Green is easiest on the eyes. It is usually associated with feelings of growth and abundance. Also, depending on the shade, green can bring to mind nature, healing, freshness, money and freedom. Some shades of green, on the other hand, suggest decay, fungus, mold, toxicity, etc.

Purple is the color of royalty, dignity, sophistication and spirituality. Purple can evoke feelings of luxury and abundance.

Violet evokes feelings of playfulness, impulsiveness, and fantasy. In its negative side, it can suggest nightmares or madness.

Pink evokes feelings of being nurtured or pampered. It is also associated with sweetness and femininity.

White is most often considered pure, innocent, clean and mild.

Black evokes feelings of elegance, authority, sophistication, and power. Black is often associated with mystery, sobriety and seduction. In its negative side, it represents evil, sorrow and death.

Gray evokes a sense of solidity and reliability. Grey is associated with authority, creativity and practicality.

Brown evokes feelings of masculinity, reliability and affectivity. Brown is associated with dependability and affluence.

Gold evokes feelings of prestige, influence and money.

Silver evokes the same feelings as gold, but silver can also be perceived as cold, hard and distant.

Tips for web designers on using colors for websites:

Use colors that would match the overall theme of your website and the impression you want your visitors to get.  Avoid choosing colors based on what you like.
Use a color scheme that would enhance your website and your content not distract or confuse your users.
Colors can have different effects on people.  For example, men prefer blue to red, while women prefer red to blue. Also, men prefer orange over yellow, while women prefer yellow over orange. Furthermore, a website designed for a younger audience should use brighter colors than a website for an older audience, which should use sober and restrained colors. web designers should take these are facts backed by academic studies into consideration when picking colors for their websites.
Different cultures have different meanings for colors. Keep your target audience in mind when you choose a color scheme. Choose two or three main colors and one or two secondary colors, and stick with them throughout your entire website.
For consistent colors across different monitors and browsers, Use web safe colors. Employ colors that come from the 216 colors that can be displayed on every type of monitor in every web browser.
Make sure to use uniform color scheme all throughout your web site.  This is essential to create a “brand” for your site and prevents your visitors from getting "lost".
Use lots of blank space between design elements and content elements. Blank spaces act as a wonderful balance between your other design elements. You can also make your web pages easier on the eyes by leaving blank space between blocks of text.

If you are planning of building your website or updating an old one,  it is ideal to rely on the help of experienced designers and developers who are knowledgeable in all aspects of custom web design - including the use of colors.  This will ensure you and your company that no time and resources are wasted on creating a website that best represents your company and sells your products and services effectively.

lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

Alun Evans, Real Estate Broker

Ok, this is a bit awkward. Just last week we told you that if you we're looking for a home in Ontario, you should give Alexx Coelho a call. Well, with Alun now in the mix ... um ... maybe they'll split the listing? No, wait, I have a better idea. What if instead of buying just one big house in Ontario, you buy two littles houses and use both Alexx and Alun? One other option, and I'm just spitballing here, maybe Alexx and Alun can have a jousting competition over each client, much likes two 12th century Knights dueling for the love of the princess.

Alright, enough about that, I'm sure something will work out. Let me tell you more about Alun Evans. Aside from having a pretty rad name, Alun is a broker of high-end real estate in the Oakville Ontario area. When we say high-end, we're talking like half-million to 12-million dollar homes. His territory is no joke. And neither is Alun.

If you recall, I might have mentioned something last week about being connected to a blog that focused its attention on making fun of bad real estate advertising. Well, guess who you won't find on that site? Yep, Alun Evans. That's because he knows that you don't sell million dollar homes by dressing up like a leprechaun and screaming, "Everything I touch turns to sold". He's classier than that, and that's why you need to give him a call, send him a tweet or pinch his rear-end.

For a guy that represents Ontarios' finest, Alun needed a logo that stood him apart from the competition (and Alexx). We gathered our data, dressed up like Mr. Evans, walked through a few mansions and finally came up with a look that we all felt best represented the Welsh-named king of Oakville.

After you've mentally downloaded his new brand image, go check out his site and then shoot him an@alunevans on Twitter. And finally, when you're in Ontario, you now have two things to do: Give Alexx Coelho a hug and pinch Alun Evans in the butt.

Later rollerskater (I'm assuming Alun likes to rollerskate, who doesn't)

domingo, 7 de marzo de 2010

Vesse Body Spa

Ok, back to what I was talking about in the "Background". I know that most men won't admit it, but it's true. Deep down, we're a bit jealous of the day-long haircuts, the cuticle treatments and facials. And, Vesse Body Spa is going to change all of that. Not because her focus is on men, but because it's about damn time that a man stands up and yells from the top of his lungs — I WANT TO BE PAMPERED TOO.

The truth is, Wendy Vessey, the founder (and friend from high school), doesn't have the goal of shaking the truth out of men. She's simply selling a high-quality line of natural bath and body products for anyone who's interested in having a little "me time" in style. You can see a picture of her lovely collection below.

We took her direction and designed a logo with an "organic" look and feel. The color scheme and graphics were used to describe the natural aspects of her product line.

Thankfully, Wendy liked the design. Whew! With our high-school reunion in the not-to-distant future, I was a bit worried.

Ok, as I had mentioned above, Wendy's site is still under development. In the meantime, you can send Wendy an email if you're interested in learning more about her product line. While you're at it, why don't you let her know what you think of her fancy new logo.

Happy Trails.

sábado, 6 de marzo de 2010


Well folks, week one is almost in the books, and what a week it has been. It's hard to believe that we only have 51 weeks to go before the end of our pretend (Mar - Feb) year. Actually, who am I kidding, it's not hard to believe, we literally look at our calendar several times a day, in fact, we're hyper aware of how much time is left. Anyway, now I'm just rambling.

So, we were fortunate enough to mark our first day with an actual "Mark" and now we are going to wrap up our first week with a bow. Are you kidding? Seriously, it's almost as if we've had this planned since the beginning. But, we didn't plan it this way, it just fell into our lap all perfect and such.

The bow that we're wrapping up week one with is none other than the lovely Erin Waterton and her company, Cratefuls. As Cratefuls is just launching, all you'll find on the website at the moment is a splash page. But, with its new logo already in place, it's a fantastic looking splash page. Rest assured, the full site is under development and should be up soon.

In the meantime, let me (or, Erin) tell you a bit more about this very cool business concept. As Erin puts it, "the idea behind Cratefuls is to offer people the option to fully customize their Crates with high quality items."

I'll just throw in a little idea here. When she told us about the business, I instantly thought that it might be a good idea for someone to send Tony, Jason and I an Apple Crateful. As in Apple computers, not Granny Smith. It could packed with iPods, Laptops and maybe a few iPads. I dunno, it's just an idea. All I'm saying is, just think about it.

Alright, back to Erin and her fantabulous business. Cratefuls is much more than "Thank You" or "Happy Holidays" themed gift basket service (although it does that as well). Erin's goal is to specialize in non-traditional occasions such as; break-up survival crates, surviving your wedding day crates, surviving motherhood crates and the list goes on. In fact, you can pretty much invent your own "survival crate" to be custom-tailored to your liking.

In fact, while wondering how we were managing to design logos day in and day out, Erin had offered us a Red Bull Rescue kit. We were very grateful (Get it? Grateful - Crateful.) for her offer. It also helped us better understand the type of non-traditional (sleep deprivation survival kit) packages she puts together.

So, keep your eyes open for the official launch of and order a Crate for ... well, anyone.

Week one out, see week two.

viernes, 5 de marzo de 2010

Anyone who knows me (by anyone, I mean Tony), knows that when it comes to managing contacts, email addresses, accounts, phone numbers and pretty much anything else that requires a bit of structure, I suck. So, what do I do? I surround myself with people that are more organized than me (by people, I mean Tony). And what do those "more organized" people do when you can't seem to remember their contact info? They yell at you (or rather, me). I've been yelled at so many times that I ... damn, I forgot what I was going to say.

Anyway, everything has changed, things are going to be different now. Yes, compulsive unorganizers always say that, right? Wrong. Ok, maybe I said that when I took my first Franklin Covey course and came home with my three million dollar organization system. But this is different. Really. You see, I met these two young gals by the name of Vanessa and Juliet and they said that I should be a PokenGirl. I said, a what? Ok ... look, I've got a girl's name, I get it, but I'm not actually a girl. But, as it turns out, it doesn't matter, because PokenGirl is for guys too. It's awesome! Girl awesome and guy awesome. It's all kinds of awesomeness.

My Poken gals, Vanessa and Juliet, sell these things called Poken's, which are social media business cards that hold everything! Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and every other network known to man, as well as email addresses, websites, phone numbers, the works. The best part is, all that you need to do to exchange info with someone is hold your poken palm together with someone elses Poken palm — BAM, you're connected. They call them high4's. Cute.

Alright ladies, I know the thought of holding your Poken palm to mine is probably getting you all hot and bothered. Settle down. First, I'm spoken for (besides, I've gained a couple of pounds since the wedding). Second, it isn't the least bit seductive or uncomfortable.

Once you've made the connection, you remove the palm from it's case and insert it into your USB drive. Done. Everything you need is in one place for you to easily find.

Now I'm organized once again and Tony can stop yelling at me. Big meanie. Check out some photos below of just how excited Tony and I were to play with our new Pokens.

We designed a fun logo that aligned perfectly with the personality of our Poken girls, Vanessa and Juliet. Send them a note on Twitter or Facebook and let them know what you think of their new logo. Then, head right over to and buy a Poken so we can connect.

Later gators (they're from Florida).

Update: This just in from our ladies: For the entire month of March, enter the code IDYL on and receive a your very own Poken for 15% off!. Just because that's how they roll.

jueves, 4 de marzo de 2010

Alright everyone, please follow my lead.

Grab a pillow, stuffed animal, couch cushion or anything else that has a soft center, hold it in front of your face and repeat after me.



Now, hold the cushiony object you've chosen in your non-dominant hand and with your other hand, punch it in it's pretend cancer face. Do it with all of your might ... don't hold anything back.

Good. Glad we did that ... thanks.

Now I want to tell you about two lovely people, Jason Davis and Andrea Gray, who are starting a website to raise $6,000 in support of finding a cure for cancer. They're not Doctors or Nurses or even Researchers, they're just two people that hate cancer ... especially kids with cancer. And, they're doing something about it.

Each year, Jason and Andrea hop on their 10-speeds (do they still call them that?) and bike over 190 miles across the state of Massachusetts in the Pan Mass Challenge, all in the name of kicking cancer's ass. That's incredible! Just the thought of even driving 190 miles gets me tired. The website they're developing will serve as the hub for raising funds and chronicling the training it takes for their growing team to bike a bazillion miles.

We knew that a logo for such a worthy cause needed to be special. We reached deep into our bag of design tricks and crafted a concept that literally told the story of their journey. Jason was excited about the design. And, we were excited that he was excited.

So, when you think that your kids' teddy bear has had enough, stop on by Jason or Andrea's donation pages (here and here) and show them your support. If you can't afford to show them financial support, it's ok, just send Jason a message on Twitter and let 'em know they're doing a really good thing.


P.S.S. That was just for good measure.

UPDATE: We decided this morning that we couldn't just sit around an doing nothing. So, we've made the decision to give Jason and Andrea 10% of whatever days we sell today (Midnight CST is the deadline). You get a logo, Jason and Andrea raise money and Cancer gets a swift kick in the ass. Nobody loses here. Click here to pick the first available day.

miércoles, 3 de marzo de 2010

Team Alexx - Prudential Town Centre Realty Inc.

Ok ... BUSTED. Yes, I am the same Dana who created, The Official Real"ad"tor Awards. Big deal. I'm sure you had already connected the dots by now anyway. Right?

No? Well, let's just pretend that you did.

And, now that we're pretending that you've read every post, you may have noticed that I haven't been particularly nice to real estate agents when it comes to their advertising choices. Needless to say, I was in a different place back than and it's all better now. However, I'm still in the process of sending my apology letters.

But as you page through the endless array of poor decisions, you'll notice that you won't find any bad ads by Alexx Coelho or Team Alexx. That's because, Alexx and his team in Oakville, Ontario are not into cheesy headlines, bad puns and awkward "cell phone to the ear" money shots. They're 100% pure-bred, top-shelf, best of class (and whatever other trendy buzz words you want to throw in) real estate agents.

Their tagline is "be comfortable in your space", because they understand that you need to be comfortable in your decisions, as well as your home. We get it. In fact, it makes us feel warm and cozy just knowing they get it.

And because they get it, and we get it, they get a logo and we get to work with some great people. It's a whole lot of getting.

We're still working with Alexx on the final version, but we think the one we're showcasing is pretty fly. Team Alexx is a well-established and classy group,  so they needed a design that reflected their style. To separate them from the competition, we went outside of the "real estate agent norm" and spiced it up with unique color scheme and elegant type style.

Enjoy the design, give Alexx a hug if you're in Ontario and go and check out his site.

See you on Twitter and Facebook my friends.

Filipinos Adaptation to Western Culture

The Philippines was colonized by Spain for four centuries. Discovered by a non-Spanish but Portuguese navigator named Ferdinand Magellan in March 16, 1521, the country was named after King Philip II of Spain. The influence of the Spaniards in the Philippines is tremendous and that western culture wraps the culture of the capital and urban cities- from politics, literature, architecture, language, religion, fashion and arts. Great Filipinos writers and artists like Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero and Juan Luna, painter of the famous Spolarium went to Madrid to compete and brought home the bacon to their motherland. Even if there’s a high discrimination among Filipinos that time, Dr. Rizal, Luna and other intellectual heroes didn’t hide away their talents and even used them as means to freedom.
Though the Spanish reign in the Philippines was gone to dust for more than a century, the Spanish influence still runs in culture of Filipinos. Most of the historical places in the Philippines will lead you to Manila. Intramuros or city within walls is among the famous locations that you can fully trace Spanish architecture. Churches and basilicas also portray how the friars designed the Catholic religion in the Philippines.
More than the physical remnants the Spaniards left in the Philippines, the Spaniards have modified the mentality of Filipinos as well. No wonder that the Filipinos interest and taste are very western. This colonial mentality was made even stronger when the Americans came and educated the Filipinos with English language. In relation to arts, you can see that lots of art themes in the Philippines, both literary and visual are western. Novels are written in English and classic paintings display characters that are Greek, Roman, Spaniards or rich Filipinos wearing gowns for women and American coat and tie for male. Even the themes of Philippine movies and soap operas have resemblance with that of the Mexican romance, action, betrayal and from rags-to-riches stories.
With the Philippines’ long history of being colonized by other nations, adaptation to other culture became part of Filipinos attitude. This can be proved at present time with the success of Filipino employees working for business process outsourcing or “bpo” companies. Among the jobs outsourced in the Philippines are web and graphic design, software development, game development, and customer service support. Filipinos can easily get along with foreign employers because of their good English communication skills both verbal and written. Even graphic designers must possess this skill in order to talk to their clients. Having poor communication may result to delays and difficulties on projects. Graphic design in the Philippines is very progressive since Filipinos have both artistic and advance technical skill to use the required graphic software. Career in graphic design in the Philippines is promising that’s why more and more Filipinos are traveling into this prosperous path. Graphic design in the Philippines was resistant even during the global economic recession since the demands for design never cease. Though some industries were hurt by the crisis, they are now recovering.
Tracing a nation’s history will better explain its culture. Some books may contain negative impressions about the Philippines being colonized by Spain or US but somehow, the Philippines has tons of benefit resulting from its great history. If the Philippines was not colonized by these nations, the present condition in the Philippines maybe different. Bpo industry will be stranger to the Philippines.

Spolarium by Juan Luna

martes, 2 de marzo de 2010

We will, we will — Rock Salt you. Sing it ... We will, we will — Rock Salt you.

OMG, I'm sorry. I just reread what I just wrote and it was lame. It was Tony's idea. Ok ... that's a lie, it wasn't his idea. It was Jason's idea. Alright ... that's a lie too. Let's start over.

As I was saying in that little "background" thingamabobber up above was that we really like Jen. Not just because her last name makes us thirsty for a little drinky poo and not just because she gives us a warm fuzzy feeling when she fills us with compliments. Rather, it's because we like what she's about to do in her blog, Rock Salt.

You see, Jen is grad school smart and she's taking those grad school smarts and coming up with really unique approach to exploring personal and business communication, conflict, social interaction and all its absurdity. She plans to use awkward and absurd stories and experiences to communicate the messages. And, from what we have heard, she has a proclivity (that was her word, I told you she was really smart) for telling random stories in a fun way.

We're pumped to start reading it. I'll also mention that we are particularly fond of her first post. You'll have to visit her site to see what it's about though.

When Jen asked us to design her logo, we instantly wanted to go right towards the image of a little girl holding an umbrella, ala Morton's Ice Cream Salt, but she reeled us in. Maybe if you follow her on Twitter, she'll tell you the reason we had to stay away from the ice cream reference. Bottom line, Jen is a simple girl and wanted a simple logo.

While we stayed simple, we developed a design that reflected the personality of her blog to be.

So, here's what you should do now. Go to, subscribe to her blog, follow her on Twitter and let her know what you think of her shiny new logo.

Oh, one more thing, we have a Twitter and Facebook account that we'd love to see you on. We might be giving away a day for free coming up, but you need to follow/fan us to find out the details.

How to Make Grunge Design in Photoshop

To give a brief background about "grunge", it is a 90's music trend which emerged from the band Nirvana lead by Kurt Cobain. Cobain's unexpected death didn't end the grunge music but intensified it more and lots of bands followed the footsteps of Nirvana. But it seems that grunge has locked it self to the decade that it was born. Grunge music died down as the 90’s counted its way down to its end. Its fame has gone dark and deep as its theme of decadence, depression, confusion, and melancholy.

With grunge's anti-social characteristic like substance abuse and addiction, emotional disturbances, and suicide, its resurrection is unpredictable. Grunge morphed into fashion and graphic design. You can even try surfing celebrities wearing ripped jeans and flannels.
As applied to graphic design, grunge is torn down to its details of scratches, smudges, bleed, stained, and other techniques that would lead to an overall filthy design. Grunge design is further strengthened with the support of artists and developers creating tutorials and tools used to create grunge designs.

If creating an aesthetic grunge design puzzles you, blogs are scattered all over the internet on how too make grunge design. Grunge design can be done in different graphic software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator too. You can easily find many tutorials provided with samples. Just like any form of visual arts, you must have an eye for design. Study how the elements are disorganized as well as the variation of lifeless colors from pale to dark rich tones. Check for the fonts used. Bold fonts are commonly used as well as Old English font style too.

When creating a grunge design in Photoshop, do the following procedures:

Download grunge brushes. You can type “grunge brushes” in search engines and Photoshop grunge brushes will top the rankings.

Downloaded brushes come in zip files. Right click the sip folder and extract the brushes. Once you opened your Photoshop, you can find you grunge brushes in your brush gallery.

Color your background. Choose color the swatches. Go to Edit and select Fill.

Create another layer and do the same steps on filling the layer with colors.
Create layer mask.

Create another layer.
Get your grunge brush and start scratching the layer.

You can always add text or image.

Use text tool or drag you image.
To put an overlay effect on your text or image, select the layer then choose Multiply.

You can still scratch the object by using the grunge brushes.

Save your work by when you’re done with your grunge design.

Ten Things That Make a Website Fail

Some web designers (mostly the inexperienced ones) have the tendency to incorporate every design element they know on the websites they are building in the hopes of creating stunning sites that would attract more visitors.  However, more design elements does not necessarily translate into more visitors.  In fact, some features can be more of a distraction to users than a compelling request to make them make the desired action. Web design should focus on providing resources that the targeted audience is looking for, not on the designer/programmer's skill level. This is why it is advisable for companies to get the help of professional designers and developers when planning a custom web design project.  Below are some of the most common no-no's that should be avoided when implementing a custom web design.

1.  Background Music.  Loud and meaningless music is a sure-fire way to make people click on the back button! Remember, don't impose your musical preference to everybody: a soothing music to you may be annoying to your audience. If you are keen on putting music on your site, provide visitors with an accessible option to turn it off.

2.  Pop Up Windows.  Don't you just hate it when you are suddenly attacked by a barrage of pop-up windows? I do and i am not alone.  Most people would move on to other sites and swear to never ever come back than deal with the irritating pop-ups.

3.  Huge flash animation.  Sure it's pretty and really jazzes up a page but not everybody is on a high speed internet connection. Most people will wait two minutes maximum for a page to load, more than that and they'll hit the back button or click on another site faster than the speed of light!

4.  Slow page load. Usually caused by cheap web hosting, too many images, un-optimized graphics, or poor coding, a page that takes forever to load is a bane for any kind of website. Most visitors will leave and find a faster site.

5.  Terrible grammar and spelling. Reading poorly written text is not only annoying, it also negatively affects visitors' perception of your website and your company. How could people trust you if a third grader writes better sentences than you do? Grammar and spell checkers are readily available on your computer, why not use them? Better yet, hire a copywriter/editor to take care of your content.

6.  Moving objects here, there, everywhere. Flashing banners, animated graphics, words scrolling, a string of fireworks chasing your mouse pointer. They strain the eyes and cause headaches! Limit the use of moving or flashing object on your site, one per page is more than enough.

7.  Wrong font size – Huge fonts are perfect for websites targetting people with reading disabilities, but if not then you are shouting and nobody ever wants to be shouted at. Fonts that are too small, on the other hand, are difficult to read and make you seem like whisphering to your audience. Always use the right font size for your site.

8.  Missing contact information.  A visitor have found the item she's been looking for for the longest time in your and she's ready to buy.  However, she cannot find the infortion on how to make the purchase or even a way to contact anyone. Frustrated and mad, the prospective customer left your website with a promise in her heart: never to return. Don't forget to include contact information, or a contact link, on every page of your site, so your visitors can contact you if they want to buy something, make an inquiry or simply buy your domain for $10,000.

9.  Other things that should be avoided are links that don't look like links, orphan pages or those which you failed to supply links with and alien pages or those that don't have the same look and feel of the rest of your website thus leaving users feeling like they’ve been suddenly transported to a website from another planet.

10. Navigation tabs and buttons that don't work. Getting lost in a website is frustrating. You can lose a lot of prospective customers if you leave visitors clueless on how to move around your website.  Always make it a point to provide easy-to-use navigation keys to encourage visitors to click around on your site and check out different sections.

Do you need professionals to help you come up with a custom web design?  We can help you get the effective website you want at a price you can afford.  Contact us now for a free quote.

lunes, 1 de marzo de 2010

Thirst Aid Live: Trekking Tanzania

Whew! Day one is now done, and what a day it was. After many tweets, updates and one happy Mark Dudley, we viewed our first day as a success.

As they say, "one good turn, deserves another", so we're here to do it all again, but this time for Denise Russo and her fantastic organization, Thirst Aid Live. Their tagline is clear, "Raising funds and awareness for the global water crisis". And, as Denise puts it, "we all drink water, we all need water to live, many of us waste our water resources locally, and billions have NO access to safe clean drinking water". Thirst Aid Live exists to help resolve the crisis by education, building awareness and raising money.

It certainly makes me think twice about my pursuit of a perfectly green lawn.

Denise has asked for our assistance in designing a logo for a film, tourism and fundraising project called, Thirst Aid Live: Trekking Tanzania. We based our initial concept around some very simple color and design principles in an effort to communicate a sense of adventure with the warmth of a worthy cause. And, after we had heard that the logo would be used on television, billboards, merchandise and more, we just wanted it to look cool.

With all of that said, the team and Denise are still working on a few different designs. But, without trying to swing the vote, this is our front runner.

Please check out Thirst Aid Live today, they're a great cause (with some rad merchandise for sale).

domingo, 28 de febrero de 2010

Dudley Marketing

Ladies and Gentlemen ... let the logotastic fun begin!

Today, March 1st, marks the first day of 365 consecutive days of  new logos. And, what better way to mark our first day than to design a logo for a guy named Mark? I mean, c'mon. We couldn't have planned it better, even if we tried.

Mr. Mark Dudley, of Dudley Marketing, was the very first email we had received expressing interest in our services and as such, he was the lucky recipient of a $2 logo. We call him quick click. Ok, not really, I just made that up, but he really was quick with his mouse.

Considering he was our first, we had to make sure that his logo was designed to perfection. Mark was looking for a design that both reflected his connection to sports and would look good on a ball-cap. We developed a concept with a "sports team" font treatment and enough pizazz to turn some heads (into hat wearing heads).

Although Mr. Dudley is responsible for putting the "Mark" into Marketing, it isn't the only trick he knows. Be sure to check out his other company, the Spartanburg Blue Eagles, who are only 92 days away from their first pitch of the season.  And if you like his new logo, be sure to hop on over to and let him know.

We'd like to send a big "" thank you to Mark for being our first. MAUH!

February 28

viernes, 26 de febrero de 2010

February 26

Distinction Between Art & Design

Drawing a line between art and design might create some confusion if it's your first time to hear this. Art and design have the same output which is an artwork but still remain distinct with each other. We also generalize individuals who are working in the field of visual arts and call them "artists." A graphic art student aiming to be an excellent artist focuses on mastering the graphic software he loves but won't bother to read the principles of design nor look at the details of Van Gogh's painting. These are the common pitfalls that the artists and designers are unaware of. An individual could declare himself an artist but  he's just actually a designer.

To set apart art and design clearly, let us discuss the goals of each concept. An art is very subjective. Regardless of its technicalities like perspective, techniques, texturing and toning, an artist is free to express himself on his canvas or monitor. An art especially if it is famous will surely invites wanted and unwanted criticism. Others are even given psychological interpretations which are usually negative and associated with the behaviors of artists. One of the most controversial artists is the expressionist Vincent Van Gogh who cut his ears due to its imperfection according to him. He is said to be a madman and his suicide supported the diagnosis after his death that this great artist was mentally ill. Prior to his unfortunate death is the creation of "Wheat Field with Crows," his last work. The murder of crows, dark blue sky, and melancholic wheat field signifies the way Van Gogh took his own life. But whatever the true meaning this painting portrays, let's leave it to the artist who created this timeless work of art.
Graphic design, since it belongs to visual communication, it follows certain guidelines and standards or else, it will fail to project the message of the design to its audience. For example, you are a graphic designer creating a t-shirt print design for children's clothing. The design you will create must be appropriate to the product. It must be something cute, colorful, cheerful and highly attractive to children. On the other hand, if the design is intended for teen fashion, expect that it will be rebellious, wacky, and emotional in order to suit the identity crisis teenagers are experiencing. A graphic design as a powerful advertising tool must please the market in order to sell the products. Other examples of graphic design are posters and skyscraping billboards along boulevards.
Perhaps you can now trace the difference. Art with all its subjectivity and nonchalance opposes the practicality of graphic design. Despite their variation, both requires talents and skills in creating a masterpiece.

Wheat Field with Crows, 1890 by Vincent Van Gogh

Things to consider when designing a website

A lot of websites are launched everyday. However, only a few of them can be considered effective in providing users with the information they are looking for and giving the owners the much needed traffic they need to boost sales and profits.

In this article, we will discuss little details that should be taken into consideration when planning a custom web design or creating a website.  Not paying attention to these minute details is one of the most common mistakes committed by inexperienced web designers, and some careless web masters, who end up producing ineffective websites.

Pictures are worth a thousand words.   Images can very well enhance the look of a page  but they can be as heavy as a million bytes which is not good if you want to prevent your visitors from leaving your website.  Thus,  it is advisable to use images sparingly.  Avoid using tons of images on your site as they can slow down page loading time.  Remember that not everyone is using a high speed internet connection and users usually click elsewhere than wait for a page to load.
Navigability and functionality should come first before artistic excellence.  A stunning website is worthless if users cannot navigate around it.  An effective custom web design  is one that is easy to use and does not leave users dumbfounded on where to go or what to do next.  Navigation bars and tabs are innovative ways to let users know where they are in your site and where to go next.  These tabs also encourages users to click around on your site and visit different sections thereby increasing page views per visitor!
Putting in worthless content is another major blunder.  If your content is out-of-date, inappropriate or irrelevant to your target users or poorly written, delete it and upload a new and more relevant one.  Remember to always KISS:  Keep It Short and Simple.  Users are "skimmers" and only read on text that are relevant to them.
Go for a website that looks good and functions well on all browsers, all resolutions, and all color-depths.  Users appreciate pages that look great on their own browser and their own resolution.   They make users feel "at home" than a website that proclaims "Viewed best with Browser X at a resolution of 1024x768" that will require them to change browser or screen settings.  I'd rather click away than to go through those hassles!
Don't you just hate pop up windows?  I do and i'm not the only one!  Creating a new browser window should be the authority of the user only. By default, all links must open in the same window. An exception, however, may be made for pages containing a links list. It is convenient in such cases to open links in another window, so that the user can come back to the links page easily. Even in such cases, it is advisable to give the user a prior note that links would open in a new window.
Use fancy fonts sparingly! Keep in mind that some of your users may not have the font installed on their machines and the "Cloister Black MT Light" font on your website may well be degraded into plain old Times New Roman on your user's machine. Stick to the plain vanilla fonts like Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, and Courier. If you are keen on using a fancy typography, make your jazzy fonts into an image and put that on the page (but keep Tip #1 in  mind).
Never underestimate the importance of those META tags. They can make all the difference between your users coming to your site and going to your competitor's – just because they couldn't find yours. Meta tags help search engines classify your page.  Duplicating or using the same keywords and description meta tags on every page of a website make them worthless. Customize the keywords and descriptions for each page or don’t use them at all.
Also avoid orphan pages or pages you failed to remember to supply links that don’t exist as far as the rest of the world is concerned. As well as alien pages or those that totally disregard the look and feel of the rest of your website and leave users feeling like they’ve been suddenly transported to a website far, far away.

Implementing a custom web design should be left on the hands of professional and experienced designers and developers.  They have the skills and are abreast with the latest techniques in building websites that work.

jueves, 25 de febrero de 2010

Idea Heroes

Ok, so maybe this is a bit self-indulgent, but we're doing it anyway. Idea Heroes is also us and we like us, so we're going to force it on you to like us to. When we aren't designing logos, we're coming up with big grandiose marketing ideas. There you have it.

I Design Your Logo

One might think that a company that designs logos on a daily basis, would find it very easy to design a logo for themselves. Oh contraire mon frere. The truth of the matter is, it’s not. In fact, we were so hyper-critical of own logo that we over-thought the design to a point where we were banging our heads on our keyboards ala Don Music from the Muppets. Not fun. But somehow, through the pain, we jarred something loose upstairs and managed to muster enough creativity to design a concept that was both simplistic in nature, yet bold in design. You see, you might have expected a design company to come up with some very elaborate, well-crafted design with all sorts of bells and whistles. No sir-ooney, we flipped it on you. We went the opposite route and shot for simplicity. And Voila, you’ve got a design that was built from a label gun (metaphorically speaking).

Enough about the logo, let’s talk about you now. After all, that’s what this company is all about — you (and your logo). As you know by now, starting March 1st, you’ll see a new logo every day of the year. You’re also going to see us blabbing a bit about the design and the company we’re designing it for. And, if you’re our friend on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr, you’ll see us blabbing even more. It’s cool though, you’ll like our blabber, we’re sure of it.

So please, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your enemies ... it’s going to be a logo love fest and you’re all invited. If you like what you see, join in on the fun and purchase a day — we won’t bite.

See you all soon.

Dana, Tony and Jason

I Wear Your Shirt

Our partner in crime, Jason Sadler, completes us ... literally. He's our third partner and more importantly the brains behind the pricing model. If he hasn't worn your shirt yet, it's about damn time he does.

Elite CSS

What can we say, if it weren't for Elite CSS,, would just be IDesignYourLogo without the dot and com. Their services come highly recommended — by us of course.

February 25

miércoles, 24 de febrero de 2010

February 24

Grunge & Graphic Design

The dictionary literally describe “grunge” as filthy or dirty. But if you’ll ask an individual who grew up in the 90’s era whose present age ranges from 28 to 32, that person might say “Nirvana”. What’s the connection between grunge and Nirvana plus graphic design? A graphic designer who has no idea who is Kurt Cobain will never associate Nirvana and grunge.

Let’s have more focus by driving back in time and describing the 90’s era. Prior to this decade is the 80’s New Wave. When the band Nirvana composed of Kurt Cobain (vocals, lead), Krist Novelisc (bass), and David Grohl (drummer) emerged in the music scene, the new wave trend set by punks were replaced by “GRUNGE” music. Grunge is a phenomena streaming not just in music but in fashion also. Members of grunge bands wear ripped jeans, rugged shirts, flannels, Dr. Marten’s boots, Chuck Taylor Converse, silver accessories and long hair. Their songs and behaviors are often associated with drug addiction, depression, and suicide. Their album cover designs contain surreal theme, decadence, and darkness.

As the 90’s ends, the popularity of grunge faded as well. Two decades have passed and only those teens nurtured in the music of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and many bands could recall the grunge spirit of the 90’s. Grunge has silenced its loud and stingy voice for the many years but is finally revived by 2009. Grunge has morphed into fashion and visual arts. That’s why you can see teenagers and even celebrities wearing flannels and ripped jeans. The grunge philosophy was also strengthened by the internet with all those data especially music videos and Wiki profiles of grunge bands.

In relation to graphic design, grunge now became a theme or a style of design. Grunge design is characterized as stained, torn, faded, washed, decayed, coarse in texture and of course dark. There are tons of grunge graphics you can download from the internet. Grunge templates for websites and blogs are made available and free by numerous artists. Video tutorials on how to create grunge design in Photoshop are also posted on Youtube. You can download various Photoshop brushes used to create grunge design. Grunge fonts are also provided by several graphic art related websites.

The metamorphosis of grunge from music to graphic design is tremendous. Who could ever expect that the rampaging language of the 90’s soul has turned into wonderful designs appreciated by people regardless of genre or age. Even though grunge now only echoes its music, its spirit never ceases and continues to strengthen in the field of graphic design.

martes, 23 de febrero de 2010

February 23

Content Writing and Custom Web Design

Textual content for websites are as important as the website design.  A beautifully-designed website that has little or no textual content relevant to a visitor is deemed ineffective.  A visitor is not expected to stay on a site that does not provide the information the he is looking for. Furthermore, keyword-rich content can give a website greater chances of landing on top of search engine results page which is essential in generating more targeted traffic. In other words, a stunning design and well-written content go hand in hand in creating an effective website.

Deciding on the kind of textual content must be made even from the onset of a custom web design project. If web design is the look and feel of a website, textual content would be its soul.  Aside from the "copy" and other information that will be included in the textual content, it is also important to identify the proper “tone of voice” and writing style that will be used.  These elements should be in sync with the company's overall brand message and placement.

Textual content plays a key role in effective search engine optimization (SEO) which is a very powerful marketing tool. Search engines have programs (called “spiders” or “robots”) which visit websites and collect the data they find there. They will store this data in search engines' database so that when someone searches for keywords, these sites' data will be considered in their algorithms. Depending on how a site does in the algorithm, it will appear higher or lower in the organic rankings. A well-optimized website have greater chances of getting on top of searches and thus attract more audience who are all looking for certain products or services. Thus it's imperative to write the content for your website in a way search engine robots can read it and use it.

Writing content for websites is different from writing for other media. Online folks “skim read” which means they will move away from a website if they don't see what they are looking for and find a site which is relevant to what they are searching for. Below are some tips on how to write content.

* Use subheadings. Since users skim read, subheadings are great way to help them find relevant content quickly.
* Keep it short and simple. Use bullet points; clear and simple language; and avoid using slang, or technical jargon unless necessary. Try and include one concept per sentence.
* Front-load content. Putting the jist of the article on top helps users determine whether the article is relevant to him or not.
* Keep the audience interested. Ensure the text is relevant and doesn’t go “around the bush” to get to the point. Write in an interesting way which will engage your audience.

Aside from writing relevant content for human audience, there are other content that are targeted for search engine "robots". These are invisible to the human eyes but are necessary for any website to be successful. These include tags in a website's page source code (title tags, keyword tags, description tags etc).

Implementing a custom web design project can be complicated for the inexperienced.  It is ideal to leave this difficult task on the hands of expert web designers and developers who are capable of creating websites that are visually-stunning, have relevant content and also search engine "robots" friendly.


viernes, 12 de febrero de 2010

February 12

Principles of Design

People could hardly imagine the internet’s technology. If you are destined to be an I.T. person, you will dare to plunge in the virtual world of bytes, cable, code, database, server, soft to hardware, and networking which are all ruled by geeks. Others won’t even bother to study the basics of computer as long as they enjoy their Facebook account and getting updates from their family and friends. While there are those who are born in a techie generation and that computers are part of their living. Though they might not pursue a hard core programming skills but their faith is strong that computers can solve problems in a click.

Did technology totally abandon the traditional of “old school” means of learning? Will you find all what you are searching for as long as there’s a library of websites to provide you millions of reference. One specific example is web design. We all know that you have to know how to use graphic design software like Photoshop, Flash and Dreamweaver. And what if you learned all of these softwares, will it promise you to and create an excellent website? Perhaps something is lacking. Even if web design is the most high tech among other types of graphic design like typography, drawing, print design, etc., it can never run away from their dogma, the Principles of  Design. Creating a website is similar with that of book development. You need writers and artists to do the content for you. The difference between a website and a book is that the latter don’t need a developer to code each pages. Both of them need reliable content and appropriate graphic design.

It will always make a difference if a web designer has a proper orientation with the Principles of Design. More than the technical skills the web designer acquired, he possesses the strategy on how to present his website just by the way it looks. The Principles of Design includes balance, contrast, variety, harmony, and action.

Balance creates equilibrium and provides visual weight to the design. Balance has two types, symmetrical and asymmetrical.  The design has symmetrical balance when all the elements are aligned at center. When the elements of the design are distributed on the space, it is said to be asymmetrical.

Contrast when applied to design, can add more vigor. Contrast is incorporated on color, shape, position, and size. Contrast among design enables to emphasize on the important content.

Just like humans, the absence of harmony will lead to turbulent design. Poor layout, bad color schemes and inappropriate logos will surely dissolve the interest of your viewers. It is important to make a plan for your website before you start coding and designing.

You can make your design more interesting and entertaining if you have variety of format and content. It prevents dullness and can make your viewers more interested in your website.

A design behaves according to its layout. Having an organized design enables your readers to follow the sequence of content and makes it easier for readers to search what they want to see.

martes, 9 de febrero de 2010

February 9

Fresh Techniques for Modern Web Design

There are so many beautifully-designed websites out there and coming up with one that stands out from the competition can be a daunting task.  However, being abreast with the latest trends and techniques can help in creating outstanding custom web design. The following are some excellent techniques and design elements that can help designers in building beautiful and effective websites.

Bright Colors

Add a lot of impact to your custom web design by using vivid colors. Bright colors will work well on sites that want to appeal to younger demographics or for sites which want to exude a casual vibe. However, it is best to use colors either in the similar hues or saturation to keep the appearance cohesive and prevent the site from looking too busy.
Also make sure to allow sufficient contrast between elements without using too much (such as red text on a green background). This is especially important with text, as improper contrast can make things very difficult, if not impossible, to read.
Gradients and Lighting Effects

Gradients and lighting effects are ideal when you want give your site a more dramatic feel. Mixed or used separately, they can add a bit of extra polish to your designs. A subtle tone-on-tone gradient can make a great background, while gradients mixed with lighting effects are often used to create awesome header images.

Take caution when using both gradient and lighting effects (particularly multiple effects).  For best results, limit either the colors used, the intensity of the lighting effects, or the overall number of effects to prevent your design from looking too busy.


Add interest to your design by using transparent boxes.   Whether it’s a photo, a sketch, or just geometric and graphic elements, transparent layers can give your background a larger part in your site’s design. However, this technique only works well when using backgrounds that aren’t too busy.


Want to give your boring and antiseptic site an edge? Add in subtle grunge elements. The most common elements of grunge designs include dirty textures; messy borders (that often look like paint brush strokes or decay); torn paper; staples, paper clips and similar elements; muted colors; water or other liquid stains; grungy fonts; and other decayed and destructed elements. Carefully using any or all of these can add a new layer of interest to your design.

Hand-Drawn Images

Sketched and hand-drawn elements can make your custom web design look fun and cool. These elements can give whimsy and artistic vibe to your website. These sketches or doodled elements can work for sites that cater to the younger set.

Muted Colors

Just like vivid colors, muted colors are also a great way to create an inviting site. Mixing in muted colors with one or two brighter or darker accent colors can be put to good use to make certain elements of your site stand out. Muted colors don’t need to be limited to grays or browns. You can use any hue in the spectrum, just toned down or with a grayish-tinge.

Watercolor Effects

Thanks to Photoshop brushes and textures, using watercolor elements to boost the look of a website has become easier. Using watercolor effects in headers, backgrounds, and other elements is fast becoming a popular design trend. What makes watercolor elements outstanding is that they can easily be made to stand out or stay in the background depending on the colors you use and how transparent you make them. Either way works, and what you choose to do should depend on whether you want your site designs to have a bold or subdued appearance.

Elements from Nature

Aside from environmental and green industry websites, nature-inspired elements are also gaining popularity on designer portfolios and personal blogs. These elements can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used as part of a background design or can be incorporated into headers or icons. Some use them all over the place, wherever they’ll fit. Finding creative ways to incorporate nature-inspired elements can be a fantastic and fun design challenge.

Photo-Realistic Backgrounds

Photo-realistic backgrounds are created using multiple photographs or have elements added to photos that appear real but are actually digital or computer-generated. This technique has gained popularity over the past two years with the creation of desk-top or table-top backgrounds which generally consist of a wooden surface with various papers, coffee, cups, and other elements overlaid on them. It’s a difficult technique to pull off (making sure shadows and light sources are all consistent, etc.) but makes for an awesome effect when well-executed.

Oversized Typography

Add importance and impact to certain text elements in your website by using oversized typeface. Some sites even opt to use oversized typography for all their text, which actually works! However, you really don’t need to use humongous fonts for your text to have an increased impact; making it one or two sized larger than you normally would can work wonders for how much weight it has within the overall design.

Decorative Fonts

Fancy typography can definitely make a website pop! using a decorative font like a script together with a serif font gives a very elegant feel to any website. And with the advent of JavaScript and other text replacement tools, replacing text with an image in the desired font, is made easier. However, it is still wise to limit the number of fonts you want to use to prevent the site from looking too busy. But if typography is the primary graphic element within the site, you can use more diverse typefaces as long as you keep color and/or proportion similar.

Bold Backgrounds

The use of big background images is another note-worthy trend in modern web design. There are a number of ways to do this, including creating resizing images. By using more complex or simpler designs, limited or vibrant color schemes, and other, similar design choices, you can change the impact a big background will have.

Retro and Vintage Elements

Seeing retro, vintage, and antique elements on a website design is a refreshing sight. This kind of design is not yet that popular on the web and can provide a website with that fresh and new look. These elements can add a layer of fun or nostalgia to websites when used judiciously and can even add an extra layer of charm or class.

Stunning Headers

The header is usually the part of a website that first attracts the viewer’s attention. It often contains important information you want to stand out to your site’s visitors. They can reinforce your company’s image, provide vital information, highlight important features, and more. Using a header that’s eye-catching, through the use of color, images, and typography, makes it more likely visitors will take the time to look at what’s up there.

Collage Elements

Collage elements are some of the most versatile design options out there. Used sparingly with clean edges, they can make a custom web design look more polished and finished. With rough edges or used copiously, they can add a more artsy look to your site. And when they’re somewhere in between, they add a real flourish to website designs.

Textured Backgrounds

Using backgrounds with a bit of texture can make any website fascinating and add that extra bit of appeal to the site. A textured design, whether dirty and grungy or made to look like cloth or anything in between can really add some punch to the look of your site. There are literally thousands of textured and patterned backgrounds out there you can adapt to the design needs of your sites, or create your own for something truly one-of-a-kind.

Tabbed Navigation

As per our experience, tabbed navigation works better than button- or text-based navigation. Tabs sort of have a subliminal effect on viewers that clicking on a tab will take them to a new page or section, just like in a binder or notebook. This psychological connection makes it more likely people will click around on your site and visit different sections thereby increasing page views per visitor.

Black and White

Want to make a statement  on your website?  Use a black and white color scheme.  Using stark black and white is the most graphic, but combining shades of white, light gray and cream with blacks, dark grays, and dark browns can all have a significant graphic impact. Experiment with different levels of contrast to come up with the appropriate level for your specific design project. A design with mostly white coloration makes a site feel lighter-weight and more streamlined while a mostly black design looks heavy.

Horizontal Scrolling

Horizontal scrolling does not work on all sites.  They are best reserved for sites with limited content like a portfolio site. But when combined with modal boxes and other content elements, they can make a huge impact on your visitors. It’s something new to people who are more used to vertical scrolling thus, it can give such a huge impact.

Cartoon Elements

Another design technique that can add a touch of whimsy to a website is the use of cartoon elements.  They add a level of fun and humor to your site. Whether you keep them relatively professional and polished in a corporate site or let them get a little looser, cartoon characters and other design elements keep your site looking fresher and younger.