Lisa Condon

The new year brings with it a rebirth of colors that add to the hope of warmer times ahead. And if the Pantone Color Institute has anything to say about it, four leaf clovers, leprechauns and spring foliage are in luck after its latest announcement.

Every year, Pantone announces a color or colors of the year. For 2017, Pantone selected “greenery” as Color of the Year (or for my fellow graphic designers out there, Pantone 15-0343). The shade of choice is “a fresh and zesty yellow-green.”

Pantone is internationally respected by the print and design industry as the authority for its “products, services and leading technology for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity.” When Pantone speaks, designers and communicators listen.

With over 1,800 colors in its database, color selection and usage of Pantone’s designs can seem overwhelming at times. The selection of appropriate colors for our designs helps us tell client’s stories through our visual expertise.

I recently had a conversation with my colleague Brian Lobsinger, our director of visual communications, West Coast operations, about using greenery to cut through the visual clutter.

Our advice is identifying complementary shades for the color of choice. These can take the most ordinary creations and give them a jolt of vibrancy and character. For greenery, color complements include:

– Neutrals
– Brights
– Deeper shades
– Pastels
– Metallics

Most notably, these are found in red, brown and gray hues.

Green happens to be my favorite color, and I find it a refreshing tone. Using complementary colors is a great way to produce dynamic, inspirational visuals that grab the attention of the audience and produce stunning results.

Tell us how you plan to incorporate Pantone’s Color of the Year – greenery – into your life by commenting below.

Manipulating your mood to increase productivity

abimaster | November 25, 2013

Numerous studies demonstrate the effects that various aspects of the environment, including noise, sights and smells, have on the mind and the work that we produce.

CBS Sunday Morning recently ran a segment on how design colors the mind, by exploring the “drunk tank pink” color in a visiting football team’s locker room. The school purposefully selected the color for the locker room to weaken the visiting players before a game. Similarly the color was also noted for use in prisons to calm the violent inmates.

The story featured design psychologist Toby Israel, who placed a tree in her kitchen because of the positive connotations her memories as a child held of trees. She found when she spent much of her time in her kitchen, she felt happier and related that to the tree’s influence. Israel explores the psychology of design in her book, Some Place Like Home: Using Design Psychology to Create Ideal Environments, http://www.designpsychology.net/about.html#book.

Adam Alter, assistant professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, discusses the effects that different colors have on moods and productivity in his book titled Drunk Tank Pink, and Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think. His research includes exploring how blue produces more creativity and red more caution and perhaps attention to detail. The book is an interesting read and offers additional insights about colors and factors that influence us (http://www.us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781101605783,00.html)

As we all know and can likely see in our own offices, everyone has a different working style. What makes one person productive may drive the next up a wall!

One prime example of this is found in the story behind Coffitivity (coffitivity.com). A small group of people recognized their ability to think more creatively in a setting with a moderate volume of noise, such as a coffee shop. Their research proved that too much noise distracted most people and too little noise, while good for detail-oriented tasks, inhibited creativity.

They searched high and low for the right coffee shop and once they found it they recorded the noise of the every day hustle and bustle and posted it on a website they created for desk workers everywhere. The site has grown in popularity to points around the world, from Japan to Great Britain. Coffitivity offers a soundtrack of coffee shop noises at just the right level to help people to think outside of the box.

Many of us at ABI have different working styles—from sitting in rooms with the lights completely off to playing music over the speaker system or in our own headphones. Some of our walls are colored purple and we have a “chill area” with couches and a basketball hoop for those times when we just need to throw around some ideas with each other.

However unusual or interesting your work setting is, it’s important that it works for you. As new studies show, there are more and more tools to help perfect your work setting to spurn on productivity. Find out what’s right for you and share it – it may work for someone else too!

Ask yourself:

  • Do you work best with music or without?
  • How much lighting do you need to think clearly? Or how little do you need to think differently?
  • What colors do you like to look at while youwork?
  • Do you have images hanging around you that stimulate you in different ways?
  • Do the people around you distract you, or do their anecdotes provide much-needed breaks and stimulate creativity?
  • Are you more productive when people are chatting around you, or do you need total silence to concentrate?

Check out these sources:

http://coffitivity.com/

Drunk Tank Pink, and Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think: http://www.us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781101605783,00.html

Some Place Like Home: Using Design Psychology to Create Ideal Environments, http://www.designpsychology.net/about.html#book

A. Bright Idea, Archer St. office

As a full-service creative agency we wear many different hats.  We design, write, consult—and that’s just before our morning Starbucks! Keeping our creative minds challenged and inspired requires a motivated focus. Fortunately, we are able to draw inspiration from just about anywhere! Take a look into our creative process with some of our favorite methods of motivation:

 

1.  Get online. With so much content online, we never know when we’ll find something that triggers our creative minds. We love to pin and post!

2.  Collaborate. We make team brainstorming, discussions and creative kickoff meetings a large part of our process. Our staff offers unique perspectives, and since we hold team meetings in relaxed environments, the creative juices can just flow!

3.  Word association. Even if the project elicits a visual element, sometimes beginning with words and working up to their visual counterparts makes for a better end result. Organizing ideas into lists helps us to think more clearly and determine what direction we take.

4.  Back to the books. Thinking about synonyms of a word can really help get an idea going. While one word may not quite have the effect we’re looking for, another word that holds a similar significance may just be the portal to all of those wonderfully bright ideas to come.

5.  Clip and save. We like to save everyday items we come across such as mail pieces, restaurant menus, coasters, magazine ads, labels, and business cards. Whether it’s the organization, type treatment or look of the material that appeals to us, the possibilities of what this little piece could play in a future design seem almost endless. Some call it hoarding; we call it inspiration collecting!

6.  Party hearty. Whether we’re attending a business event, awards ceremony, or personal celebration, we love being inspired by different atmospheres, themes and sceneries.

7.  Explore the outdoors. We often develop color palettes, textures and patterns from what we see in our everyday surroundings. Natural elements, as well as manmade, inspire us to another degree. The line pattern of a leaf or the texture of a tree trunk can play into many different designs.

8.  Photography. A good photo can inspire a concept, a new perspective, a focal point, a color palette, a theme or mood, and much more. Browsing through beautiful imagery like National Geographic can really help.

9.  Channel surf. Sometimes we just need to sit back and observe. Television is a virtual idea wonderland – bringing together a large variety of people, places and scenarios from diverse backgrounds and places.

10.  Go back in time. Looking back at what we’ve created in the past, as well as what creative treasures history holds, brings about new challenges. We always look for ways to carry design to the next level. Sometimes a look back is the best place to start looking forward.

 

We focus on nurturing inspiration and building creativity as part of our daily activities—whether visually or verbally—and we hope these tips help to inspire you!

You may already know, we’re all baseball fans here at A. Bright Idea, so to celebrate the start to the 2011 season, we present our favorite top 10 major league baseball logos of all time, chosen by our creative experts, Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Thank you again for all of your responses!

1. Baltimore Orioles

This classic, cartoon-style logo represents A. Bright Idea’s hometown team and served as the primary logo for the team from 1967-1992. On this one, take note of the bright orange circle surrounding the illustration of the bird and the fun, confident, inviting expression on his face.

2. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers retro logo from 1978-1993 makes it to the top of the list with its clever use of typography, representing the M and B, while also creating the image of a baseball glove.

3. Chicago Cubs

Representing the ‘ole red, white and blue, the vintage Cubs logo emotes an Americana past-time of peanuts and cracker jacks on a sunny summer day at the ball park.

4.  Detroit Tigers

The classic Detroit newspaper-like “D” logo represents the solid imagery that stands the test of time. Used throughout the entire city, in a variety of locales, the logo resonates as the quintessential design of Detroit.

5. New York Mets

The classic New York skyline brings a sense of nostalgia to the Mets logo. The silhouette of the city matched with the blue writing and orange accents made everyone want to go and ‘Meet the Mets.’

6. Cincinnati Reds

Emoting the good ole’ days at the ballpark, the old Cincinnati Reds logo, displays a baseball head mascot running in the center of a bold red ‘C’ and was referred to as the ‘Big Red Machine.’ You can’t help but think of this as a cool and fun logo.

7. Minnesota Twins

This strong use of red, white and blue colors shows a clear representation of America’s game. The slanted font used for the ‘Twins’ pops out and represents this team well.

8. San Diego Padres

The old Padres logo (used 1969-1984) represents the Friar theme and colors, including a caricature-type drawing. This classic brings a sense of humor with it, that’s for sure!

9. Los Angeles/Anaheim Angels

While the Angels have changed their logo and color combination multiple times, the use of a classic halo, most of the time over the ‘A’ remains something they have never thrown out. Plus, who doesn’t think of ‘Angles in the Outfield’ when you hear this name or see the logo?

10. Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox has one of the most loyal fan bases. Even in the ‘drought’ when the Sox couldn’t catch a break, Boston fans proudly wore the classic red socks logo anywhere they went. Now that the team is a powerhouse, you’ll find this classically designed logo everywhere with the bold red, white and blue colors.