Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: June 6th, 2017 | 1st Posted: April 24, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Guest Post, Tips & Advice
There are plenty of articles discussing the 2017 colour trends for graphic design: here are Top 6 Tips to help you work with these 2017 colour trends.
These articles detail the heavy, saturated tones that we can expect to see more of this year, but how do we practically incorporate them into our work?
For some brands and clients, these kinds of tones need to be applied subtly, in accents and final touches, whereas for others they may actually benefit from the full injection of colour and life.
From “Primrose Yellow” and “Flame” to “Kale” and “Lapis Blue”, none of these colours intrinsically sit easily together. They clash, powerfully, in a was that seems discordant but can still work given the right canvas and artistic treatment.
The clash of bright and earthy tones is supposed to be representative of the colours that surround us in nature, however they can be troublesome for brands to work with.
With the help of trade printing company QuinnsThePrinters we bring you the Top 6: Do's and Do Not's, of using the 2017 colour palette, taking into account the brand, tone and desires of each client.
2017 Colour Trends in Graphic Design - 6 Top Tips
Do introduce colour sparingly
Colour is one of the most profound elements of branding because it triggers an emotional response and triggers memory, specifically the recall of brands. That usually requires a strong sense of consistency within the designs.
But of course, to keep them fresh and up-to-date, it can be helpful to incorporate some of the hues that consumers will be seeing around them from fashion to interiors. a
This will resonate and strengthen their affiliation to the new designs they see.
Do utilise the meaning behind the colour
Pantone’s overall 2017 colour of the year is “Greenery.” It is supposed to symbols nature, new beginnings and reflects that growing sense in society of a need to reconnect with nature.
PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery
Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.
It’s a fresh yellow-green shade which gives consumers a sense of being reinvigorated. This can work really well for new brands who want to present a fresh take on their space in the market.
The Kale tones are explicitly good choices for any clients related to healthy living, diet and food - particularly organics - lifestyle balance, vitality and youth and a focus on the environment or simply enjoying the outdoors.
But even as an accent or add-on colour, Greenery can work within a brand’s existing design to highlight environmental efforts in the responsibility and transparency side of operations.
In photography too, a greater emphasis on natural shades and outdoor scenes would be a subtle way to incorporate this theme.
Don’t clash brand tone with palette emotion
Similarly with the other palettes, there are distinct moods and emotions elicited from each that will only work if it sits emotively alongside the client’s brand tone.
The “daydreaming” palette is light and serene, whereas “acquired taste” is subtle and luxurious. The “reminisence” palette is good for eliciting nostalgia whereas “florabundant” brings drama.
Also take note of the abundance of earthy tones such as terracotta and browns. These may not work with sleek brands, minimalist products or modern services for example.
Do accent; don’t conflict
Trying to use all of the colours together could lead to a real conflict of attention and an unwelcome response from confused or visually overwhelmed consumers.
However it’s worth bearing in mind that alongside these bold colour palettes, the prediction for neutral tone popularity sits alongside that. Rather than contrasting, using both together is the key to balance in graphic design this year.
Powerful colours paired with the blacks, greys and camel hues creates depth and juxtaposition that both seeks attention and also maintains the eye to fully convey the message.
Don’t force through it; find a way around it
If the colours themselves really will not work with the brand brief or the client’s own preferences, then there’s no point trying to crowbar it in.
There are workarounds to bring the same “nature” effect into the graphic design. Solutions include the use of actual greenery - such as scenery or vivid close-up photography that includes the tones.
Similarly, the use of leafy typography or designs the bend and sprout in the way foliage in nature would, or to use natural wood effects as a background rather than an object is another workaround.
Keeping the bright tones to accents only and more fully incorporating the neutral tones of beiges, nude and camel can work well with only too.
Do match the colour trends to the design trends
Colour and design should work effortlessly together to convey and inherent message within the branding product.
However clients may come with a specific graphic design theme in mind, leaving it to you to pair it suitably with the right colour palettes.
So we bear in mind that certain design trends of 2017 will work better alongside particular tones within the new palettes.
Modern retro is remaining strong in design popularity and it works well with the clashing hues of deep and bright duotone colours on the charts.
Think khaki, or olive green, alongside brick red.
Minimalism too remains a common theme and is ideally suited the stark contrast of the bright or monochrome backdrops with neutrals.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: March 28th, 2017 | 1st Posted: March 28, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Design Essentials, Graphic Design
Always love seeing these random design snippet's from the ever increasing fountain-of-knowledge, in this case the 'snippet' is the Pantone Colour References for Star Wars Character Boba Fett.
Daniel Gray: "Flicking through the enormous and fantastic The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, I stumbled upon this little curio: Pantone references for Boba Fett's costume, provided by ILM for the licensing branch of Lucasfilm.
Presumably similar guidelines were drawn up for other characters.
What specific shade is Yoda?
What are the colour refs for all of the lightsabers?
Is the dark side coated or uncoated?"
The Pantone Colour References for Star Wars Character Boba Fett
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: January 26th, 2017 | 1st Posted: January 26, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Designer Spotlight
Another fine collection of creative work by Txaber (who also designed the cool Helvetica Rubik's Cube); this time we have a stunning collection of Absolut Vodka bottles, beautifully coated in Pantone colours.
Nice little nod to Pantone's current Colour of the Year 2017, with the Absolut 2017 Greenery 15-0343:
Pantone: A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.
Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.
Absolut Vodka Pantone Bottles Designed By Txaber
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: September 14th, 2016 | 1st Posted: August 11, 2015
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Design Essentials, Inspiration
The Pantone Cafe on Monaco's Beach
CONCEPT: "From 14 July to 9 September, the esplanade of the Grimaldi Forum will host the first colorful Pantone & Cafe.
Pantone no introduction. In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone founder created an innovative system of identification, color communication and correspondence in order to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color in the graphic arts community.
Since, Pantone has evolved and collaborates with various industries in the world of fashion, design, art, painting, technology ... His strong concept is recognized and implemented internationally. It combines perfectly with the cultural place that is the Grimaldi Forum.
Especially during the famous summer themed exhibitions."
I still can't make up my mind if all these Pantone themed establishments is bordering on the naff, or actually really very cool. Not having been to either, I guess I should reserve judgment until I have.
it's worth remembering how established Pantone is given it's been around since the 1950's, so this relatively slow trickle of significant Pantone theme offerings, can be viewed in context. colour is life, and colour creates beauty, energy and passion. So mix all that with coffee, and surely that's a recipe for success.
Found via Brand Channel: Pantone Adds a Vibrant Swatch of Color to New Café in Monaco
The Pantone Cafe Menu
Pantone Cafe, totally ephemeral, will be open from breakfast with coffee and croissants and will, throughout the day, drinks, sandwiches, focaccia, snacks and Italian ice creams.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: November 19th, 2017 | 1st Posted: April 19, 2012
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Books, Design Essentials, Resources
This Pantone Color Bridge document on Scribd is really very useful as an online reference for Pantone to CMYK colour conversions. I have previously written about the Pantone Color Bridge Swatch Books and how important these Pantone book are for any designer.
There are limitations with an onscreen version, namely you can't see how a specific Pantone colour actually looks printed It is useful nonetheless as a casual reference guide in searching for CMYK value breakdowns of a Pantone colour.
There is nothing like having the actual printed Pantone Bridge swatch book to hand. They are incredibly valuable when it comes to finding and specifying colours for a logo design. No one likes guess work with something as crucial as colour for a brand identity. Bonus feature with the Pantone Color Bridge books: you get the RGB and HTML conversion values along with CMYK.
Buying yourself a Pantone Color Bridge book is a solid tip from me, and nearly ranks along with: The Best Logo Design Advice I Can Give
K Found on Scribd
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: May 9th, 2014 | 1st Posted: April 16, 2012
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Designer Spotlight, Inspiration
May I first suggest you reduce these to around 5mm in width then marvel at how extraordinarily accurate these Pantone Swatch Albums are by David Marsh. There are many more examples over on David's website.
I was loading up the images in WordPress (see below) when I saw the tiny tiny thumbnails. Pretty damn incredible.
David explains to DesignBoom: "The purpose of this series is my own exploration and development along with the satisfaction I have when I complete an image I like to experiment with image creation and will stumble onto a technique and develop that and then archive it and resurrect it when I have a purpose for it. I will develop this idea into various new directions, the next being actually painting some of the covers that work best, hopefully on a very large scale or using collage to create the image. the options are endless and that excites me."
K Found on DesignBoom
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: January 31st, 2012 | 1st Posted: January 31, 2012
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Design Essentials
Could this ongoing and seemingly relentless Pantone-ify (term nabbed from ColorCubed) of consumer products possibly make the Pantone name bor-ing in the not-to-distant-future? Or, if not bor-ing, then a fate worse than that in the guise of cliché-rism of the Pantone name?
I, for one, feel I am thinking way too hard about this so just going to enjoy these lovely Pantone Universe placemats for what they are.
K Found on NotCot
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: October 9th, 2015 | 1st Posted: January 27, 2012
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Designer Spotlight, Graphic Design, Posters
RGB Superhero Posters by Gidi Vigo
One of those annoyingly simple, and quite possibly useless ideas, that still somehow peeks ones curiosity just because it involves Pantone, and Superheros. I mean, what could go wrong?
Why didn't I think of?
You can purchase these posters over at Artflakes, and I honestly think they'd look pretty fine all framed up and hooked up onto my studio wall.
There is also a new poster project by Gidi, called: 40 Pantone Superhero and Villains Color Swatch Poster
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: July 14th, 2017 | 1st Posted: December 21, 2011
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Resources, Tips & Advice
[AQFG] - A Question For Graham
Gav Cooper asked me about colours and how one should approach it given the various options open to us when designing a logo.
There are a myriad of colour systems such as: Pantone, CMYK, RGB, HEX as well as trying to work out which system you need for each project.
The management of colour is a huge, and often times complex, business to get your head around.
I spent over 20 years of my working life working in commercial print and prepress reprographic departments trying to ensure accurate colour reproduction. Even with all this experience I still get caught out.
I can't possibly answer cover everything to do with colour, but I can tackle the specific question that Gavin asked about managing Pantone, CMYK and RGB breakdowns for logo and brand identity projects.
I will also keep this brief and to-the-point, but on the understanding that my answer is just one method to keep things relatively controllable, and your sanity intact.
I will also not assume that we all have the knowledge, practical experience and resources to ensure that our equipment is expertly calibrated with each client and printer we might deal with.
A Typical Scenario
So let's assume we have a logo and identity project where we are having to design stationery that will be commercially printed as well as well as for screen.
Let's also say that the client has been tempted with using a Pantone colour plus black for print applications which makes it mostly a 2 colour job. We also know that the client needs the Pantone colour to be able to convert, as reasonably as possible, to CMYK as well as the Pantone looking good on the website.
Some people would argue that having to make sure a Pantone colour can convert to CMYK is pretty much pointless. Surely we use Pantone colours for the large selection of hue's that cannot be achieved through CMYK? That is true for sure, but we can also use Pantone to ensure consistency of ink application, and appearance, from printer to printer.
When we are printing CMYK, and we have a large area of a recurring solid colour, the results can vary a great deal from printer-to-printer due to any number of circumstances.
So one of the questions that needs to be asked: is consistency of colour just as important as a distinguishable colour for the brand identity? I would say this is a yes for most people, and if it isn't then I would question why.
Assuming we have designed the logo, and are now looking at the main brand colour to which to build the identity upon, which is a good way to find the best colour? You may have a kind of colour in mind so it now just comes down to fine-tuning it.
We need a colour for the logo that is available as Pantone, that can be converted to CMYK when needed, and will also work in RGB/HMTL.
An Easy Answer
There is an easy answer to this particular situation, and that would be get yourself a copy of the Pantone Color Bridge guide.
Out of all the various Pantone colour books, the Colour Bridge guide should be your go-to-guy for any print/screen colour requirements.
- An Essential Guide for Designers, Pre-press and Printers
- Bridge solid PANTONE Colours for process printing or Web design
- The new PLUS SERIES COLOR BRIDGE provides process colour simulations of all solid PANTONE Colours - including the 224 new solid colours - in a convenient side-by-side comparison format, on coated stock
- An invaluable multi-use colour reference tool, the COLOR BRIDGE can be used to select and specify solid PANTONE Colours, to determine how a PANTONE Colour will appear when reproduced in CMYK, or to create optimal display of PANTONE Colours on monitors and Web pages
- HTML and sRGB values are provided, for applying colour selections across media
- Includes colour index, lighting evaluation tool, digital image colour-correction tool, and design software
Not only does it list Pantone colours, it also shows you how each Pantone looks when converted to CMYK, for process printing, as well as the exact CMYK values needed.
Also, it provides the colour values for RGB and HTML.
With this book you are able to accurately, and confidently, determine which Pantone colour can be used that will degrade nicely to CMYK.
This will ensure that whatever print process your client needs they should have the tools in place to ensure output is consistent as possible.
You are then also provided with RGB/HTML colour values that will allow you to create screen only versions of your precious logo design, and in the process know that you have built in a solid level of consistency.
We will rarely have complete control: each monitor will display slightly differently as well as not being able to control the lighting environment which all contribute to colours being discerned differently.
What we can do, and provide out client with, is a level of predictability and consistency we can feel good about.
I used the Pantone Colour Bridge book in a recent project for Abacus Insurance. I knew the client needed a nice green for the logo design which would appear on: the website; various external building sign gage solution; and printed materials like stationery and brochures.
Given this wide selection of needs we had to ensure the green we used was of a hue that would work well as a Pantone colour as well as converted to CMYK for cheaper process printing.
As you can see from the logo specification sheet for the Abacus logo exterior signage we settled on Pantone 377C.
This was damn close to the green we had envisaged from the start, but also gave us a much needed sense of control with ultimate flexibility. You can see from the photo that Pantone 377 converts quite nicely to process CMYK.
I then created a two colour version of the logo, a process colour version, RGB and HTML versions. With each version I had this lovely sense of confidence knowing how the logo "should" look regardless of the colour system used.
There are many many Pantone colours that just look plain awful when converted to process CMYK, so the Colour Bridge book will help you work out which system you can afford to work with, or ignore.
You might only need to worry about printing with Pantone, and not process CMYK, in which case you have a much healthier selection to choose from whilst still having an accurate idea of how the colour needs to be specced for RGB and HTML.
I can't stress enough the confidence this book will give you when next having to choose such an important single colour for your next logo job.
To be able to choose any colour, and confidently know how it will work and look across various platforms is too good to pass-up.
As with all Pantone color books they are not cheap. Expect to pay around £110 or so for the Pantone Color Bridge Coated edition, or around £190 for the Coated and Uncoated versions.
I got my Pantone Color Bridge from the London Graphic Centre which is where I buy most of my Pantone colour stuff.
Intro image via PSD Tuts