In April my fellow intern, Haleah Cassell, wrote a blog a about what she had learned while interning at FLIRT. Now it’s my turn to reflect on my experience as a FLIRT intern and I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot, from how to create a family environment in the office to something as simple as learning Hootsuite. Listed below are the big ideas I’ll be taking away from this internship and hopefully insightful tips that will help guide future interns.
Isn’t it amazing when a designer can instantaneously come up with genius concepts and stunning visuals the moment they’re faced with a design challenge? For most of us designers that doesn’t happen, or at least not often. If you’re part of the larger bunch that need a little inspiration to get going, such as myself, then you’re in luck because this FLIRTcasting features a list of websites that inspire artists when a starting point seems out of reach.
Straight forward in its name and in its layout, Designspiration.net is simple to use and houses a variety of content on the site. You can find anything from branding, packaging, and typography to photography, magazines, and even furniture. The main page features the most popular works at the moment in a grid layout that lets the work speak for itself. But what really makes Designspiration stand out is its search capabilities; users can search by keyword or even color if they already have a color scheme in mind! Although the site limits the colors you can choose from, there is still a wide enough variety to be able to explore most color schemes that come to mind.
Sometimes a color scheme is what’s holding you back in the creative process. No worries, Adobe Color CC helps users select colors based on color rules: analogous, complementary, and monochromatic. You are able to start with any color and utilize the color wheel and/or sliders until you get the exact theme you are looking for. Adobe Color also has a feature that allows users to create a color scheme based on an image they upload. Once you’re satisfied with your theme you can either copy and paste the color codes in your program of choice, or save it using an Adobe ID. Plenty of users have saved and shared their color schemes, so if you’re not happy with what you come up with then you can borrow and edit a theme of your liking.
For those who want to leave their color selection more to chance there’s Coolors, a color scheme generator. Like Adobe Color CC there are five colors that can be changed in any way to make your color scheme. What sets this app apart is that it produces random color schemes by simply pressing the spacebar, these schemes seem to be appealing more often than not. If it happens to give you a few colors that work against each other but one color speaks to you, then lock as many as you’d like and keep generating until you find the perfect family of colors.
Speaking of perfection, Awwwards gathers and scores the best website designs which may not be perfect but come rather close. The content on this site is great to use as a reference for what works and what doesn’t, even if you aren’t designing for web. Awwwards has its own team of designers that score the websites based on design, usability, creativity, and content, but you can also view the scores given by the everyday user. My favorite part of the site is that they blog about FREE STUFF! Since 2012 they’ve made an extensive list of the “Greatest Free Fonts” covering all categories of typefaces. Maybe you don’t know what font you want to use in your design but starting with a few free fonts from their list may be a great place to draw inspiration from.
Maybe you do know which font to use but you just don’t know the name of it. Take a picture of the typeface and upload it to WhatTheFont. It takes png, gif, or jpeg files and finds the closest matches in their database. While it will not always find an exact match, it usually finds a few typefaces that are similar enough to use!
In my experiences, creativity can’t be forced. However, using tools such as the ones I’ve shared can certainly help to get the ball rolling right over designers block.
Brands and businesses are constantly searching for new ways to engage their audience and have often turned to social media. The latest craze of social media apps is Snapchat. With an estimated 100 million daily users and 400 million snaps (pictures) shared per day it’s a no brainer that corporations would try to tap into Snapchat to share their brand. However, using Snapchat to develop corporate identity has its own challenges and benefits. The challenge of Snapchat is that a post only last seconds before they’re gone so every second has to be useful and memorable. This also plays into the benefit of Snapchat. Since Snapchat lives in the moment it can make posts feel more personal and exclusive, which is the key to using it successfully as a brand. Corporate Snapchats have taken advantage of exclusivity in many ways, some of which are a mini movie, behind the scenes content, and product announcements.