Resource Centre

A carefully curated collection of articles, books, tools and galleries.

Topics for 2016 include visual trends, graphic design, strategy, creativity and inspiration; web design, development and seo; email marketing and copywriting; marketing, advertising and social media. If you have a resource you'd like us to consider adding to the list, email it to us or if you're interested in adding a resources module like this to your website, let us know.

 

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4 of the Biggest Advertising Trends of 2016

Written by | @krla_cook

2016 was a year of unprecedented creative opportunities for advertisers.

Advancements in technology enabled agencies to develop campaigns across innovative new mediums, pushing the boundaries of digital advertising and inviting consumers to experience brands like never before.

Before we see what 2017 has in store, let's take a look back at some of this year's most impactful advertising trends. The following four marketing tactics left a big mark on 2016, and they show no signs of slowing down as we head into the new year.

See which trends fueled some of the most creative ad campaigns, and start planning your first 2017 campaign. 

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Read the article at hubspot.com

The 9 Graphic Design Trends You Need to Be Aware of In 2016

By

More than the patterns that emerge from the Popular feeds on Dribbble and Behance, design trends can be a mysterious thing.

They’re influenced by culture and media, past and present, technology, fashion, and other industries.

Madeleine Morley at The American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA) says:

“A trend never simply emerges for a single year and then disappears in a puff of smoke. Instead, an aesthetic becomes popular gradually, even mysteriously, over time before fizzling out slowly without much notice at all.”

The design trends we’ll be covering here didn’t magically materialize in late 2015; trends take time to peak, and you’ve likely seen many of them in one form or another during the last couple years.

But even if you’re not one to follow the trends, as a designer, it’s smart to be aware of the shifts going on in your industry—if only to avoid them before they become overused, or to have the opportunity to twist them into something new and interesting.

While forecasting trends with any certainty is a tricky business, many members of the design industry seem to have developed a consensus as to what styles and approaches are most likely to take off in 2016.

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Read the article at designschool.canva.com

16 Images Inspired by Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year: Rose Quartz & Serenity

This December, Pantone changed up its Color of the Year tradition with not one, but two hues for 2016: Rose Quartz, a sophisticated pale pink, and Serenity, a delicate light blue.

This calming duo is Pantone’s response to the increasing stress of modern life — an encouragement to slow down and soften, but also an acknowledgment of changes in our society. These shades traditionally symbolize masculinity and femininity, but in a changing landscape of traditions and identity, Pantone urges us to find new meaning.

While these shades are most reminiscent of springtime flower buds and sweet sundresses, their combination is reflective of a stunning sunset at any time year. Explore some of our favorite Rose Quartz and Serenity images below, then take a look at our Color of the Year collection to see 75 more.

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See the images at shutterstock.com

2016 Pantone Colour of the Year

PANTONE 13-1520 & PANTONE 15-3919

A softer take on color for 2016: For the first time, the blending of two shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity are chosen as the PANTONE Color of the Year

As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

The prevalent combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity also challenges traditional perceptions of color association.

In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer's increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.

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See it on pantone.com

32 Clean Minimalist Personal Websites for Creatives

By 

Modern minimalism is vastly overrated for the value it adds to a website. When content is centered as the main priority users are free from excess distractions. Granted not everyone likes minimalism because it can be seen as lazy, simplistic, or just boring. But this is not the case!

The best minimalist websites are anything but boring. In this gallery I’ve put together a series of minimalist layouts for personal creatives like writers, designers, and performers. Minimalism is a powerful tool when used appropriately. Graphics and photos have their place but not always higher than content. Take a peek at these examples and see if you can draw any ideas for your own creative work.

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Read the article at webdesignledger.com

20 Bold Color Palettes to Try This Month: August 2015

Color affects us in powerful ways. Whether warm and bright or cold and dark, certain tones can impact the way we perceive the messages that surround us. As visual communicators, many of us love experimenting with new color combinations to see where they take our design concepts. To help you out, we've handpicked 20 bold palettes from the most popular ones uploaded toColourlovers.

The best part? All of these palettes are available for download. Just click on the one/s you like and you’ll be able to grab the swatches in a ton of formats including .ai, .html, .zip, .aco and .ase. You'll also find the HEX and RGB specs for each color so that you can use it in your next web or print design project. For each palette, make sure to read the details of its Creative Commons license.

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Read the article at creativemarket.com

Four Examples of Great Interactive Annual Reports

As more companies begin to go beyond print-only and compliment their annual reporting by presenting this information online, one of the first questions that may come up is "How do you make an interactive annual report?"

Many companies—from Facebook to Proctor & Gamble—host their annual reports online in straight-forward, archival pdf format. This direct strategy makes annual reports easy-to-download and simple to search; however, going with the pdf format limits what can be added with ease in the future and many times it doesn't taking advantage of the Web's interactive capabilities.

Some innovative companies incorporate online technologies to create engaging presentations of their annual report content, often creatively using responsive designs and embedding video. This trend is growing. According to Savage Brands, "electronic/online annual report budgets increased 30% over 2010," and "online tracking of [annual] reports has increased 60% between 2008 and 2012; 80% of those that track do so to improve the follow year's budget."

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Read the article at blog.tbhcreative.com

The big web design trends for 2015

When thinking about web design, you must consider the full spectrum of possibilities that the internet presents. Done boldly, designers can push the limits of human interaction and imagination on a global scale – as is often seen with edgier industries, such as creative agency websites.

In this article, we’ll boil down some of the most prominent web design trends emerging in 2015. It is here that we can find true innovation and new opportunities – a few of which may completely change our understanding of a “modern website”.

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Read the article at 99designs.com

5 of this year's vertical scrolling trends

What trends are we seeing in parallax and vertical scrolling websites this year, and what does it mean for the future?

Vertical scrolling bubbled through from burgeoning fad to mainstream trend in 2014, and with awesome advertising, prime portfolios and crafted content all benefiting from single page scrolling, it's now certain that the technique is here to stay.

What's left for vertical and parallax scrolling as we move through 2015? As it turns out, quite a lot. The maturity of the best work will be tempered by some of the perils that come with popularity – but this is a technique that won't be going away. Here are five vertical scrolling trends we are already seeing this year, and we expect to see more of...

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Read the article at creativebloq.com

How mobile photography has shifted what pics your customers want to see (and 5 on-trend tips)

by Rebecca Swift

Today we’re in an all-consuming visual interchange, where visuals rule as the language of the 21st century. Photos, graphics and videos are now integral to our daily life, led by smartphones, and fueled by the changing way we consume and interact with media.

The main catalysts for change have come through social sites and apps such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram where consumers spare time endlessly scrolling and browsing photos and videos.

As a result, expectations for how images look has shifted, and consumers now seek out authenticity in images, by way of photos that feel real, relatable and regional.

Brands and content marketers globally are taking note. Campaigns are becoming more authentic and real, “street casting” is used more often (as opposed to hiring professional models) and more photographers are shooting with a reportage-style candid aesthetic.

What does this mean for brand imagery?

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Read the article at istockphoto.com

5 Striking Trends in Web Typography

By: Patrick McNeil

Web typography is a hot topic that demonstrates how a very old dog can certainly learn some new tricks. While much of the buzz surrounds the technical developments of type online, there are ever changing stylistic trends as well. The technical aspects are indeed important, and at times drive the creative side of things. But as any technology matures, it goes from being a novelty that’s acceptable in almost any form to a more mature state in which its usage grows more sophisticated. Web typography has certainly gone through this change. The initial overuse of certain fonts has led designers to develop more creative type solutions. 

Here I will present and discuss a variety of trends at work in the realm web typography. These are visual trends, presented void of the technology used to make them happen. From the designer’s perspective, each choice is more about what each typeface communicates and less about how the website was built. The creative application of web type is nothing new, but as with any design fundamental, it’s being applied in unique and interesting ways today...

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Read the article at howdesign.com

50 Of The Most Beautiful Twitter Banners Of 2015 So Far

By 

Do you like free stuff? I think the better question is, who doesn’t like free stuff?

The next question: do you realize you have a plethora of free advertisement right at your fingertips? Social media gives you the option to plaster your brand all over your page and completely customize your look. You have profile pictures, headers, and banners galore, but are you utilizing them to their full potential?

Let’s talk Twitter, and how you can customize your banner to best suit your brand and get the most bang for your (free) buck.

See the gallery at designschool.canva.com

71 Brilliant, Clever and Inspirational Ads That Will Change The Way You Think

By 

Eye-catching advertising is a must when you’re trying to capture even the slightest sliver of attention during today’s digital 140 characters or less attention span world.

Finding the right elements to make your product or brand stand out in a sea of sell, sell, sell can be difficult to say the least. We’ve curated some of the best attention-grabbing campaigns to  inspire you when you’re tasked with creating your own advertisements and marketing materials.

The 71 brilliant advertisements featured in this article represent some agencies and designers that have flexed their creative muscles to get it right. As you can see, the tactics that these creative teams used to deliver their messages varied greatly, but they have at least one thing in common – stellar storytelling skills.

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Read the complete article at designschool.canva.com

30 Great Examples of Blog Post Styling

By: 

A brilliant header, clean sidebar, and minimalist footer can go a long way towards making a blog look good. But the one area that’s often overlooked in blog design is the post styling.

Here are 15 blog post areas that need styling and 30 great examples for you to draw inspiration from.

Read the article at incomediary.com

50 Creative Facebook Covers to Inspire You (2015 Edition)

By 

Imagine you wake up one morning to a phone call where somebody informs you that you have been given a small free billboard.

On this billboard you can put anything you like; showcase your latest artistic creation, throw up a link to your blog, make a bold statement, whatever your heart desires. Now, let’s step away from this hypothetical situation a little bit so that I can tell you that you have in fact been given your own personal billboard. In fact, we all have.

Your Facebook page cover photo is a small but powerful tool when it comes to promoting yourself, your services or your business. It’s the first thing seen by anybody who visits your Facebook page and you have the power to decide whether they just scroll past it or stop and have a proper look. Have a look at these creative examples to see how you can make the most out of your Facebook cover!

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Read the article at designschool.canva.com

2015 Creative Trends

Using insights from our collection of video clips, music tracks, and 47 million images, Shutterstock's annual infographic looks at which searches and styles are on the rise, predicignt what will rule the creative world in 2015.

 5 rising trends set to impact the design world this year include:

  1. Double Exposure
  2. Hipster
  3. Low Poly
  4. Long Shadow
  5. Zentangle

The projected spend in the global online video advertising industry is expected to reach 9.8 billion US dollars worldwide in 2015. credit: statista.com

Technology continues to evolve ever more quickly, and this was certainly reflected in our data, with breakout digital  trends like “emoji,” “Internet of Things,” and “selfie” on the rise.

Posts with photos are 35% more likely to get retweeted. 

With more than 2 billion people on social media, it’s no question that what we share matters. 

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Read the article at shutterstock.com

iStock Briefing: Top visual design trends for 2015 (archived webinar video)

Move over, 2014. The New Year is making an entrance. And it has a whole crop of new design trends in its back pocket.

From sensory immersion to super still, these are the gems that will be calling the creative shots in 2015. We’ve been taking some serious notes, and we’re going to let you cheat.

Watch the archived webinar to get the beat on the biggest visual design trends of 2015 with iStock by Getty Images’ trends expert Rebecca Swift. See how they can help your work blaze a new trail in the New Year.

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Watch the webinar at batemandesigngroup.com/blog

Point of view: placing your customer centre stage

The shaky hand-held camera has long been popular among film and TV directors, placing the viewer in the story. New technology is pushing the immersive viewpoint to the max.

Society has long been interested in stories told through the perspective of the narrator. The subjective viewpoint is immersive and allows the audience to experience an event themselves, as if they’re actually there. From Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye to cinema’s Blair Witch Project, audiences are captivated by filling the shoes of another person.

Eye movement controls 

We’ve been promised this experience through technology since the 1980s, virtual reality headsets and eye movement game controls, but it is only now that these experiences are becoming a reality.

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Read the article at curve.gettyimages.com

8 Design Trends for 2015

Hold onto your pixels. New design trends are here, pushed into play by changes in culture and technology. 

From sensory immersion to super still, these are the gems that are calling the creative shots in 2015. See how they’re swaying the brainstorm and helping your designs rise above the rest.

from istockphoto.com

  1. Dynamic Women
  2. Letterbox Look
  3. Monochromatic Colour
  4. All Kinds of People
  5. Point of View
  6. Sensory Immersion
  7. Super Still Life
  8. Busy with Boxes

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Read the article at istockphoto.com

Most Popular Fonts of 2014

As usual, we hold off publishing our Most Popular Fonts of the Year list until the first full week of January. It’s based on the sales data of the entire year which, as few list makers seem to realize, did not end until December 31. To qualify, font families must have seen their first MyFonts release after December 1, 2013. That’s because fonts released in December seldom have a chance to make it big that same year. The list is based on sales revenue (not the number of copies sold); we kept the number of families from the same foundry to a maximum of two, and made sure popular genres are fairly represented. There you go: a type chart like no other, based on sales, just like the pop music hit parades of old (the fair ones). And thanks to everyone who bought a new font. You have helped us put this list together.

Read the Article at myfonts.com

Back to Bricks and Mortar - Creative Packaging Trends

Over the last few years, in response to the growing popularity of online shopping, many retailers seemed to be downsizing and moving more into the online world rather than dealing with bricks and mortar locations. The lure of being able to comfortably shop in your pajamas without having to worry about people wondering if you are sleepwalking has tempted many to turn to their computer screens when in need of something. But wait – apparently this trend isn’t as completely change-inducing as originally thought. Apparently bricks and mortar locations are making a come-back!

A recent study done by Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) found that 76% of buying decisions are happening in-store, up from 70% a few years ago. Clearly there is still something to be said for trying before buying.

So, knowing that bricks and mortar stores are making a come-back, how then does this impact you and your marketing strategy?

There is significant value in investing in unique and innovative creative packaging that grabs the attention of those customers visiting a retail location.

Think outside the box: does your packaging speak for itself? Does it make use of colour psychology (what’s that?)? Are displays mixing technology and interaction to make customers stop and think? What about print quality – does the colour stand out? Is the image striking and clear? These are all things that you should be considering when it comes to print design and marketing strategy in order to compete.

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Read the Article at ptibox.com

The Year Ahead: Creative Packaging Trends 2015

We are getting close to the end of the year, and that means it is time to make our annual predictions for the year ahead. 2014 was a big year in the packaging industry, both as far as new, emerging trends and the continued importance of some old-time players.

Check out our list for creative packaging trends for 2015!

Read Article at pit box.com

2014 in Hightail illustrations

It is December, a time to look back on the year that was. Everywhere you look will be lists of the 50 favorite songs, top 10 movies and 47 best Buzzfeed listicles. So we decided to do our own review and revisit our fab Hightail illustrations.

very week, we email our regular users and the message often features a custom-created image illustrating the feature we’re explaining or offer we’re promoting. Thanks to the creativity of our 2014 illustrators, Austin Petito and Dominic Flask, we can look back at vintage year of funny, stylish and smart images. Enjoy.

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See the Gallery at blog.hightail.com

Marsala - Pantone's newest color of the year

Pantone's Color of the Year 2015 is a sophisticated new wine hue called Marsala. It has an elegant, grounded feel, a departure from some previous years that used brighter, funkier colors. It's also warmer than last year's Emerald, and a more nurturing color in general.

Read Article at pantone.com

Infographic: The Top Color Trends of 2014

Using data from our collection of 40 million images and our 400 million all-time downloads, we analyzed which popular colors are set to dominate design in the coming months.

We know how important color is to design — that’s why we created two innovative color search tools, Palette and Spectrum. Color impacts everything: web and graphic design, fashion fads, even home decor. Some of the trends we saw this year, like a change from natural palettes to gray tones, reflected similar trends seen on Fashion Week runwaysand in home design. Others were influenced by global events like the World Cup, the continued rise of social media, and Pantone’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid

Check out the infographic below to discover which colors are en vogue around the world, then scroll on to see which images we used to create it, and to explore six colorful image collections inspired by the 2014 Color Trends infographic.

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See the infographic at batemandesigngroup.com

5 Fall Inspired Color Palettes

By Julya Buhain

Fall is here! ‘Tis the season for crunchy leaves, sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes. When it comes to design, you need to make sure your brand stays on top of seasons and holidays. Show your audience you’re paying attention and are on top of the freshest trends. Color is a good way to stay on track. Put a Fall flair on your design with these color palettes!
 

Read the Article at blog.canva.com

2014 Logo Trends from LogoLounge

By Bill Gardner

If home is our first place, and work is our second place, then mobile screens have definitely become our third place. Smart phone use has increased from 21 percent in 2010 to more than 63 percent today, and with 83 percent of all Americans online regularly, that percentage of mobile users is bound to keep edging up.

The fact that so many people now view the world through a window the size of a business card has spelled an inevitable change in logo design. It used to be that minute favicons had to be kept extremely simple: Now, as a rule, logos must be as well, but that doesn’t mean boring. Designers continue to push back and evolve the meaning of “simple.”

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Read Article at LogoLounge.com

19 Beautiful Examples of Texture in Web Design

By 

After showcasing examples of designs that embrace clean and minimal styles, that are flat, that use white and so on, today we decided to gather examples of beautiful websites using textures.

Textures are a nice way to add personality to a design, and as you can see in our list, you can go from minimal to super textured pages. Just choose your favorite approach and go for it on your next project.

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Read Article at webdesignledger.com

85 Amazing HTML5 Examples

We hand-pick some great HTML5 examples, and talk to the designers behind them to find out how they went about it.

HTML5 is the latest version of HTML - the markup language used to display web pages. Although it's technically still in development, it's very much ready to use today, to build websites and web apps. And here are some great examples of HTML5 in action, to see exactly what you can achieve with it.

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Read Article at creativebloq.com

Top 10 Web Design Trends for 2014

By 

Web designers had a great time last year with lots of new ideas setting sail. Although some sank, others took off and created a permanent impact.

The trends that made a big splash in 2013 will become house-hold names in 2014, while emerging trends continue to get polished and refined by designers everywhere.

Read Article at 99designs.com

Informative And Usable Footers In Web Design

By 

Website designs have so many different elements that work together to convey information in a usable and organized manner. For a website to be effective, every element on the page, from the header to the footer, needs to add to its overall usability and readability.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the footer and see what exactly makes for a good website footer. Keep in mind that just because the footer is at the bottom of the page doesn’t mean you should slack off with good design practice.

We’ll look here at what to include in footers, the importance of site maps, usability practices and styling ideas and trends. We’ve also compiled almost 50 well-designed footers to give you ideas and inspiration for your own footer designs.

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Read Article at smashingmagazine.com

Design trend predictions for 2013

By Rob Carney

When some creatives hear the word 'trend' they back into a corner, refusing to acknowledge these 'trends' dictate what they do. And it's true that following trends consciously can be a bad thing to do. After all, if you're not innovating and pushing yourself, your own work will never reach its full potential.

But at the end of the day, clients want your work to be at the height of trends - so having a handle on what is going to be a popular style, or way of working over the next year will only improve your chances of getting better client work.

We've asked a number of top creative professionals, from animators to illustrators to app and editorial designers, to see what they predict for 2013. 

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Read Article at creativebloq.com

36 Stunning Magazine and Publication Layouts for your Inspiration

By Tom White

Here I have compiled a fine collection of magazine and publication layouts to help inspire and motivate you throughout your projects. 

When it comes to creating a new, unique and creative publication or magazine layout it can quickly evolve into something screen smash' worthy, which is why it is often a good idea to sit back and look at how other people approach the same dilemma.

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Read Article at inspirationhut.net

Colour of the Year 2013

"Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony."

PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, is the Color of the Year for 2013.

Read Article at pantone.com

2013 Logo Trends

Current Logo Trends By Bill Gardner

Forecasting the near future in design is a reflection of society’s concerns. With such rapid shifts in technology and social media, consumers react to a fear of being left behind. At one time, keeping up with trends meant reading a monthly journal. Now, not only do we have to read daily blogs, but we are expected to contribute as well. Consumers who are not participating are growing ever more anxious about the specter of being technically eclipsed.

This chasm is revealed in the decisions made daily by brand designers. More and more identity design is trying to find a way to span the gap or choose a side. This carries forward to products and services that we build affinities with. Sports teams find themselves inventing updated generations of mascots. Long standing consumables are reinventing themselves with new packaging and product design.

Digital products and their user interfaces—UI—have become major drivers in the identity field. Consumers are predisposed to transfer confidence from one app or product to another if the experiences share a visual vernacular. Flat solid color is edging forward with momentum over images that mimic three-dimensional surfaces like glass, leather, or metal, for example. Simulating surfaces like these in an environment out of context is referred to as skeuomorphism. Though it is losing its grip, it is not going away: Clichés work because they are clichés.

Smaller companies are not afraid to adopt a logo that shows them at the size they are. More approachable is a good thing, if it is authentic. Larger companies are tending to loosen up a bit to avoid pretensions and work multiple generations. Ebay, USA Today, Windows and many more over the last year have adopted wordmarks and logos that eschew styles with shorter expiration dates.

Increasingly, consumers have become comfortable in their role as contributors and not just spectators. There is a universal desire to identify even the most niche elements. The ubiquitous profile pictures on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter have turned into an opportunity to identify one’s self. Personal logos and monograms have reached epidemic proportions. Avatars allow us to self-edit and reinvent ourselves visually. This has become the micro-world of self-identification.

Designers are experimenting and making smart decisions for smart clients.

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Read Article at LogoLounge.com

24 Elegant and Colorful Logos

By 

I’ve always found logo design to be one of the most challenging things to get right. There’s so much that a logo can say about a brand without actually saying it.

The tone, style and overall fit and finish of a logo can reveal a lot about the feel of the brand too – from elegant, professional and refined brand identities to fun, colourful and quirky (and everything in between). It’s also possible to create logos that fit right in the middle, matching elegance and colour to create a feel that’s professional, but slightly playful.

I’ve collected some examples of my favourite logo designs that all pair colour with elegance. Some of these are bold and bright, while others make use of more muted colours, but each of them have been designed beautifully with real care and attention taken. There’s something quite fun and invigorating about a design that isn’t afraid to use a plethora of colours, and so I hope you find the collection inspiring and interesting too.

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Read Article at webdesignledger.com

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