The Psychology Of Colour

Graphic Designer At Work. Color Samples.

The colours within our environment have been proven to have a significant effect on our behaviour. We all react differently to colours either consciously or subconsciously. Company branding, product packaging, business stationery, logos and labels are often designed with a focus on the selection of colour to trigger a certain response with their intended audience. Colour in a marketing context can be a very powerful tool but it has to be carefully considered as it can polarise opinions and can have a detrimental effect on people’s approach to the related brand or company. The subject of colour and human behaviour is constantly being evaluated. Extensive studies show that the same colour can lead to very different feelings depending on the viewers origins, location in the world, culture and religious beliefs. There are some universally accepted feelings and approaches to colours, here are a few examples:

Red – Love, Lust, Excitement, Negativity
Blue – Corporate, High Quality, Competence, Masculine
Green – Good Taste, Friendly, Envy
Pink – Sophistication, Feminine, Sincerity
Black – Expensive, Sophistication, Fear, Grief
Purple – Power, Authority, Sophistication

As you can see, there are some very contradictory feelings for the same colour. When designing a company logo for product packaging, the feelings toward certain colours must be taken into consideration. Company logos can convey meaning simply through the use of certain colours. If you can influence your target audience to react positively towards your brand, it gives you a great opportunity to then provide your product or services to them. So when you’re working on your next project, stop to consider the power of colour and how you can use it to your advantage.

Our Top 10 Printing Facts

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Printing is integral part of our business and is still a huge industry around the world and shows no signs of being replaced any time soon. We receive lots of publications, industry magazines and visit many printing related websites on a regular basis. It’s a fascinating industry to work in, with plenty of new developments and innovative and creative ideas. With this in mind here’s our top 10 printing industry related facts:

  1. The UK is the world’s fifth largest producer of printed products
  2. 942 million inkjet cartridges were sold worldwide in 2012, containing enough ink to fill 4.5 Olympic sized swimming pools
  3. Black printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids or commodities on the planet, it costs over $2,700 per gallon! This is massively more expensive than oil, which currently costs only around $2.26 per gallon!
  4. In 2005, more than 45 trillion pages were printed globally
  5. Johann Gutenburg developed European printing technology in 1440, although printing is considered to be one of the four greatest Chinese inventions with evidence of the first printing from 684-705 AD
  6. The UK imports 10 million laser toner cartridges and 30 million inkjet cartridges each year
  7. William Caxton is thought to be the first English person to introduce a printing press into the country
  8. The laser printer was invented by Xerox in 1969 and was built from a modified photocopier
  9. The world’s smallest printed book measures only 0.74 x 0.75 mm (0.0291 x 0.0295 in)!
  10. The printing industry employs over 140,000 people in the UK

Improve Your Designs with Free Images

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Following on from our last design related blogs, you’ll also most likely need access to a royalty free stock image website. Stock image websites provide access to a wide range of graphics, photos and vectors which can be used in your label designs. Most stock image websites work on a credit based system whereby you purchase credits in advance, which can then be redeemed against any files that you download. Normally, the larger the batch of credits you purchase, the cheaper the individual credits are. Other sites offer a subscription service for a monthly fee, which then provides you with an amount of credits per month within the package. We’ve been using stock image websites for around 5 years now and we’ve seen numerous developments in the services they offer and quality of content that they provide. Here’s a few of our favourite stock imagery websites:

iStock – www.istockphoto.com
Often referred to as “the web’s original source for royalty-free stock images”, iStock (iStockphoto.com) is the granddaddy of the stock image world. They were one of the first websites to offer stock images and they are still considered to be the leader in their field. iStock’s trump card is choice. There are almost 10 million files available and due to it’s reputation in the market, new content is being generated constantly by it’s dedicated and loyal contributors. We would recommend iStock if you’re looking for high quality, premium images and graphics. You will pay a price for this quality, currently the cheapest credit pack is around £35.00 for 30 credits which works out at just over £1 per credit. When you to take into account that even a medium resolution image can cost several credits, it can get quite expensive but overall, we think it still represents good value for your money.

123RF – www.123rf.com
With over 23 million files to choose from, 123RF offer a great range of images to use in your label design project. Although the quality of images are not as high as iStock, they provide a great service at a more affordable price. The site is really easy to use and the search facility works very well. Having the ability to match images to your search criteria is the true test of a good stock image site. Each stock image site uses a similar method to tag images with relevant keywords, which are then picked up by the internal search engine of the site. 123RF’s search system is normally very accurate and within each image detail page, further related keywords are suggested to help you find the most suitable image for your needs. With credit packs starting from around £15 for 20 credits and subscriptions starting at around £70 for 5 images per day over 30 days, there’s a solution to suit most budgets.

Ingimage – www.ingimage.com
We’ve been using Ingimage for a couple of years now and it’s a great alternative to the major stock image brands. Based in the UK, they offer very competitive subscriptions with their top level “access to everything” plan costing under £600 per year. They often run promotions for reduced levels of downloads per month and we’ve seen offers for 50 downloads per month for around £150 per year, which incredible value! The choice and quality of images are, understandably, not the highest but the images are more than adequate for most label design projects. Like most stock image sites, there is a biased towards US based content but if you delve a bit deeper you can find UK specific content, which is essential if you want your designs to appear relevant for a UK audience. We would recommend Ingimage if you’re on a budget but looking for regular access and images downloads.

Stock.XCHNG – www.sxc.hu
It’s been around now since 2001 and if you’ve ever tried sourcing images you’re bound to have stumbled across SXC.hu. It’s well known in graphic design circles as one of the last free stock image websites. The quality and choice of images isn’t great but when everything is free, you can’t complain! If you’re starting out and have a very limited budget, you can find images and graphics within the site which are perfectly usable and acceptable for your label designs. It’s simple to use, just create an account, find the images you need and start downloading. To help subsidise the cost of running the site, there are numerous links to images from iStockphoto and these are displayed directly within the search results. The idea behind this is that you may be tempted to buy one of the higher quality images offered by iStock, if you can’t find a suitable image from SXC. As with any free resource, there are always compromises but if you lower your expectations, it’s a worthwhile addition to your stock image resources.