Sparks October 2005 -

Sparks October 2005

In the News

Communicating with color
Want to come across as professional, warm, intelligent, fun, expert, and competent? That’s a lot to communicate with just one logo! Designers use logo components (typeface, graphic, type treatment, and color) to send a variety of messages at once. When the elements harmonize, people respond to the messages you’re trying to send.

Color is a design fundamental. Most people know that hot colors (red, orange, yellow) “approach” and cool colors (blue and purple) “recede.” If businesses are trying to make a splash, they may choose bright yellow or screaming magenta to grab people’s attention. The problem is that few people want to be screamed at!

Black and white are the first colors our eyes distinguish. After that comes red. All cultures have names for black, white, and red. (Not all cultures have names for green, for instance—it’s more difficult to distinguish and may not be part of that culture’s surroundings). Consequently, the combination of black, white, and red is a power trio, getting attention and striking deep emotional chords.

Not everyone wants to be that grabby, though! Blues communicate stability and trust, and are often used by financial management companies. Purples are associated with spirituality and power (relics of the Roman empire). Greens are associated with (surprise) vegetation and are often used by environmental organizations. Oranges are friendly and approachable, but too hot for widespread use. They’re most often used for food products. And yellows are associated with the sun: bright, cheerful, and simple. They’re often used by businesses trying to reach kids.

Good color choice is affected by your target market. In general, the broader your market, the more pure the color. Mass market color schemes favor primary colors. Color schemes for kids amp up primaries to flourescents and other high-intensity hues. Upscale markets respond to muted palettes that have subtlety. Starting with the basic ROYGBIV color spectrum, designers use tints, saturation, and combinations to communicate with your target market.

Top 3 web scams
Your website is a vital business asset. Don’t lose it by falling prey to the 3 top scams:
“Your domain is about to expire” If you receive this message by postal mail, it’s a scam. The goal is to get control of your domain name, charge exorbitant fees, and (in some cases) to hold your domain “hostage” for thousands of dollars. Your domain registrar sends out expiration notices only via email. Make sure your email address is up-to-date with your registrar and recycle those paper “reminders.”
“We’ll submit your site to 1,000s of search engines” Whether this offer is free or fee-based, it’s a scam. The goal is to get your email address confirmed so the scammer can sell it to spammers. Almost 100% of search engine traffic goes through Google, MSN, Yahoo!, and a handful of others. You don’t need to be on thousands more.
“We guarantee #1 search engine rankings” Nobody can guarantee this without using extremely dodgy tactics that will cost you a lot of money and/or get your site banned from the major search engines. Steer clear.

On the web, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Check with your web consultant before responding to any solicitations that claim to improve your web presence.




This month’s winner: Julie Miller!
In addition to excitement lasting for days, Julie wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a T-shirt with a custom design! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

Fuse Business Innovation Awards
While small businesses make up about half of all business in Monroe County, they often don’t get the recognition they deserve. That prompted the South Central Indiana Regional Small Business Development Center to partner with inVenture, Bloomington’s technology and life sciences incubator, to found the first annual Fuse: Business Innovation Awards ceremony and luncheon.

As the agency of record for both organizations through our work with the indefatigable Brian Kleber, we designed the logo for the new event. The Fuse awards recognize not just successful small businesses, but entrepreneurs who think in innovative ways and whose organizations are “brands to watch.”

Our logo is a bold, red “slab” that drives the eye down to the unusual typeface. Striking and memorable, the strong visuals communicate the bold vision and risk-taking that are characteristic of innovative entrepreneurs.

The typefaces are unusual, with a “tech” feel appropriate to cutting-edge businesses. Equally as important, the type is easy to read no matter what size the logo is. From flyers to banners to the awards themselves, the logo translates successfully into a variety of media to create a powerful visual statement.

Bold, striking, and original, the Fuse brand identity is emblematic of the dynamic entrepreneurs it seeks to recognize.