The Perfect Color Palettes…

For the love of color, I’ve gathered a few inspiring color palettes to display. It’s always important to design with a nice color palette, which is usually sampled from a strong image or theme. Complementary colors make perfect sense when designing with such beautiful images. Even though the visionaries may not notice, designing with specific color palettes help the interpretation of the design.

 

Below are some inspiring color palettes:

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Garden & Gun: Soul of the South

I’ve talked about (aka Facebooked, Tweeted and Instagramed about) writing a piece on Garden & Gun magazine for a long time. So finally here it is. It is worth the read.

First I would like to point out that it is an extreme rarity that I find a publication that I am 100% IN LOVE with in every single way. Partly because I love things that I feel are beyond my reach as a designer. It makes me strive that much more to be a success.

I first found Garden & Gun in the fall of 2011 (far too late if you ask me). I was taking my last magazine class at UF (University of Florida in Gainesville) and my professor pulled a handful of magazines out of her tote, as she did every week. She went through each magazine identity one by one and then passed them around the class for us to get a better look. The title threw me off at first, but now it makes more sense that ever.

Garden & Gun felt different in my hands. From the stock of the paper, the look and feel of the cover and as I thumbed through the pages, my dreams and goals as a designer flipped right in front of my eyes.

About G&G: Garden & Gun launched its first issue in 2007. The magazine won three ADDY Awards and eight Magazine Association of the Southeast GAMMA awards in its first year, while being named the nation’s second-hottest magazine launch in 2007 by MIN Magazine.  Since its launch, the magazine has won several National Magazine Awards and has proved that a southern focused, glossy regional magazine can  more than thrive in the iPad app era.

From its hometown of Charleston, S.C., Garden & Gun serves up a bimonthly magazine full of Southern hospitality that attracts a readership so devoted that many of them pay an extra $500 a year just to be a part of its “secret society.” And what do said members receive? A weekend tote bag, a decal and, like an invitation to the lavish wedding of a distant but admired relative, the opportunity to spend another $5,000 to attend an annual weekend retreat with the magazine’s writers, editors and contributors at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

Design (my favorite part):
The design choices that are made from issue to issue continues to surprise and impress. The photography is outstanding and vivid. The layout is fresh and clean. The color palettes seems to be carefully chosen for the season and issue. Overall the design pieces fit together intricately like pieces of the most difficult puzzle.

Content: Garden & Gun is a portrait of Southern life at its finest. It covers the best of the South, including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas. Stories are adventure-bound, art-loving and full of Southern tradition and values.

Audience: Since its first issue back in 2007, the title has developed a devoted following of Southerners who appreciate the perfect mint julep, a new pecan pie recipe, deer and duck hunting in Mississippi and shooting some skeet on a chilly Sunday in Novemeber. It’s a regional publication to its very core but, in recent years, the magazine has also landed on the coffee tables of New York-based editors.

Growth: While all the congratulatory praise might seem hyperbole, the numbers back up the staff’s pride. Readers are all over the country, although about 65 percent is centered in the South. Garden & Gun initially had 19,000 paid subscribers back in 2007 around its launch, with a rate base of 150,000, and has since grown to over 173,000 paid subscriptions, with a rate base of about 225,000. A subscription for six issues per year costs around $20.

Awards (all awards since launch):

2013
ASME Best Cover Contest, “Most Delicious” cover for Oct/Nov 2012 issue
2012
MIN Editorial  & Design Awards, Winner – Photojournalism Award, “The Call of the Hunt”
ASME, National Magazine Award Nominee, General Excellence:
ASME, National Magazine Award Nominee, Single Topic Issue Category
ASME, Best Sporting Cover, Finalist

2011
Advertising Age’s 2011 Magazine A-List
ASME, National Magazine Award WINNER, General Excellence: Food, Travel & Design
James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

2010
Grand GAMMA Award
MIN Magazine, Best of the Web

2009
ASME Best Lifestyle Cover of the Year Finalist

2008
ADDY Awards (3)
PRWEB Top 20 Hottest Publications to Watch in 2008

2007
MIN Magazine, 2nd Hottest Launch
MIN Magazine, Top Editorial Team
Advertising Age’s Magazine Covers We Loved

Resources:

Garden & Gun

Women’s Wear Daily

Off the Cuff

Covering Tragedy…

It seems now more than ever that tragedy finds ways to repeat itself. The past several years of these devastating events have Americans fearful for their lives every day. For those of us who were so lucky to have not been a victim, we find ourselves grateful that our families and loved ones weren’t involved, yet ironically we search for details, images, videos and tapes to get us closer to the truth. It is almost as if we would’ve wanted to be there every second along the way. Well one thing is for sure, we want the whole story with as much coverage and as many evocative images as possible.

When magazines cover tragedies there is a fine line between appearing insensitive and being mindful of those involved and their families. The following slideshow features covers about tragedy. Different techniques were used and some are more effective than others.

If these covers bring feeling, emotions and memories to mind, then they work! Kuddos.

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Rue Mag = Your Everything Modern Chic Guide

My newest magazine discovery and obsession. This lifestyle magazine specializes in everything modern chic, including fashion and home décor.

The layout is clean, fresh, simple and to the point. Colors are vibrant, cool yet explosive. Photography speaks for itself  and tells the story meanwhile articles are short yet informative.

Check out Rue Magazine at www.ruemag.com

A REAL Fresh Beginning…

Ahhh, and finally it is a brand new year! A chance to go out with the old and come in with the new. Typically at any given point in time, we as people can make changes in our lives from day to day. But for some reason, it is the beginning of a new year when we feel changes are much more REAL and profound. A REAL fresh beginning.

Having said that, I have chosen not to blog about something design specific, but about something that overall shapes my drive to become better at my profession every single day and that is inspiration. My inspiration comes from a very wide variety of outlets. Advice and the success of others being two of the more apparent outlets. I am sharing some advice that I’ve taken in for the new year of 2013.

Hopefully you can gain something from this and make tomorrow better than today.

Here is a link to a blog I found that I stayed on for hours listening to noteworthy advice from business professionals, mentors, and teachers of all sorts. There are some great suggestions here for changes in your life and and things that might spark some thoughts! Thanks TED for this post!

Ted Blog-New Year Resolutions

Less is More…

Doing a lot with very little. It’s a hard sentence to wrap one’s head around, however, it is important, if not the most important thing I’ve learned about design. Many designers have trouble creating a minimalist (simplistic, clean) design; either they have a hard time making a page with so few elements look good or the final result just doesn’t seem “complete” to them.


When you create a minimalist design, the design is at it’s most basic state, free from superfluous colors, elements, and textures,– CLUTTER, if you will. The purpose for this is to bring the most important visual/content to the forefront and minimize distractions for the viewer or reader. When people get distracted they often miss the message in the design or story, because they are confused on where their focus should be. Part of minimizing distractions is creating SIMPLE design by using less texture, color, shape, lines, content or type–kind of like the clutter that I mentioned earlier.

This is KEY: When you as a designer can portray the message you want and bring it to the forefront with as little elements as possible, you have a minimalist design.

When thinking about minimalist design think about accurate use of white space, alignment, movement, and contrast. One last piece of advice for an over-designer, when the thought, “something is missing” enters your head, the first thing you should try is take something out and then go from there, even if that means starting over. There is nothing like admiring basic design elements used at their full potential.

“Design should never say, “Look at me.” It should always say, “Look at this.”

Here are a few to showcase:

Vintage Photography

“Photographs are moments that are gone forever and impossible to reproduce.”
Karl Lagerfeld

 

Photography allows you to savor cherished moments in time that, in fact, can never be reproduced. Vintage Photography reminds me of the age of those moments and that memories are of our past. Whenever I find an old photo I notice the crinkles and creases, the overexposed sunsets, the dusty shadows and sepia color tone, which can be graphically added to a photo, however isn’t as precious as the real thing. Sometimes we are inspired by things we cannot create, hence this post.