Blog Archive - July 2014 View All

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Small, ecologically minded habits go a long way

July 27, 2014 by Klaus
April 22 may be the official Earth Day, but in reality, we should all be trying to reduce our carbon footprint every day, not just on the one day of the year that the point is driven home.

With that in mind, we got thinking about the small, ecologically minded changes one person can make. And how that one person’s change, when combined with everyone else making that same small change, can have a big impact towards creating a healthier environment.

What kids can do
Take lunch to school in reusable containers. One child using only reusable containers and bags for their lunch can save up to 67 pounds of garbage a year. That means a school of 300 students can divert more than 20,000 pounds of garbage from the landfill every year.

What homeowners can do
Switch to cold water washer cycles. Running the washing machine on hot and rinsing on warm uses, on average, 4.5kWh per load. Whereas, washing and rinsing with cold water uses just 0.3kWh per load. Reducing kilowatt hours per load reduces the emissions created when that energy is generated in the first place. And really, unless your clothes are seriously dirty, you don’t need to wash with hot water.

What business owners can do
Go paperless. It’s estimated that offices worldwide printed 53 trillion pages of paper in 2010. In fact, a typical business office generates about 1.5 pounds of wastepaper per employee per day. Even a small business with less than 10 employees can save up to 15 pounds of paper a day, simply by cutting out needless printing.

A benefit to all of these conservation ideas? Not only are you helping to save the environment, but making these small changes also save you some money.

What colour trends mean for your next design project

July 13, 2014 by Klaus
Breaking news: the 2014 colour of the year is Radiant Orchid.

But how does a colour become a ‘trend’ and who is behind deciding what’s in and what’s out? And what does this all really mean for your next design project?

Pantone is the answer to the first two questions. They are the global authority on colour. For more than 50 years, they’ve been the standard language for colour communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer.

Pantone wasn’t always the trendsetter; at first, they were the quality control officers of colour. Pantone founder, Lawrence Hebert, came to the simple realization in 1963 that the colour spectrum was seen and interpreted differently by each person. This led to the creation of an innovative swatch system for identifying, matching and communicating colours. This system meant that, as a graphic designer, if you wanted to use a red, you would pick a red from a numbered system of colours and your printer would know exactly what colour that was and would be able to print it exactly as you had envisioned it.

Over the years, Pantone evolved from their quality control position to today’s colour innovator position, working alongside the industry colour drivers (the fashion, automobile and chemical industries) to determine the trends. And determining the trends takes several years of planning – three to four years in fact.

So, the colours you see on this year’s hottest clothes were actually being discussed up to four years ago.

As graphic designers, we have little influence on shaping the direction of the hot colours of the year. Instead, we stay abreast with the trends, using trendy colours to set the mood or tone of a brand.

But we walk a fine line when it comes to using today’s colour trends. Using a little of a hot colour keeps a design looking fresh and current but using too much – even when using a different shade or tone of it – means that same design looks dated as trends shift and change.

And if history tells us anything, we know with absolute certainty that colour trends will change.