Design Love: Black & White

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Good design comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles. But not all are truly timeless. Today I would like to focus on color – or better yet, the lack of.

One of my favorite types of art: the classic black & white design. There’s nothing more elegant than traditional black & white; plus, if you can make a great design with the simple black & white color palette, then it will surely look amazing in every other way.

Here are some of my favorite black & white designs from my Pinterest Design Board. Enjoy:

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Web Dummies: 50 Free (& Lovely) PSD Mock Ups

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As a graphic designer, we all know how different a design looks when seen on a computer screen versus on a real-life application. Plus, most importantly, clients truly enjoy visualizing their brands and websites in a realistic setting. So, instead of spending time and money printing test-designs, there are digital mockups that create the same visual.

This process is actually quite simple when working with pre-set PSD files. Simply: download the PSD file, open it on Photoshop, and drop your designs into the layers that are pre-set for it. The PSD file does the rest!

Below are examples of free Photoshop PSD files that you can easily edit and present your clients with a (almost) tangible product. Like what you see? Download your favorites here – 50 Free PSD Mock Ups:


Magazines


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups


Books


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups


Posters & Flyers


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups


Brochures


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups


Business Cards


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups


Logos


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups


Stationery & Branding


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups


Devices


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups


Apps & Screens


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Source: 50 Free PSD Mock Ups

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Design Love: Moodboards

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Good designers have different processes when starting a project. Some sketch, others research, and some make moodboards. Great designers do all 3. The moodboard is a combination of styles, photos, and colors that the designer identifies with the brand – prior to it’s conception. It literally sets the “mood” for the project, by defining a direction for the brand. The designer can then show the client these moodboards and start the official brand design from there. So, taking from one of these beautiful stages, I’d like to showcase some of my favorite moodboards from around the web…

{ Each moodboard is linked to the source, so enjoy & click away! }

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BlackWhite MoodBoard

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BreannaBoard1

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GritWitBoard

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StudioSweet Board

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RoseMoodBoard

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AmyZhangBoad

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BreannaBoard3

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AmyZhangBoard2

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Design Love: Mmm… Wine & Design

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We all know the world of design isn’t just logos and website creations. Design reaches far more influential factors in a brands image – like for example, packaging design.

Consumers eyes are attracted to sleek and interesting displays of art; and you’re constantly confronted with packaging design options on the grocery store shelves. But have we realized how important that is to our purchase decisions? Packaging is an a key determination of the consumers perception of the product which leads to the the brands success or failure.

On that note, today’s focus is one of my favorite things in the universe – Wine!

When I walk up to the wine racks at the grocery store, I of course draw my attention immediately to the types of wine I like (Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) Then, once I’m standing in front this array of red wines, the package designs start to pull me closer. And this is the moment when I grab the one I like most and head over to the check-out counter…

A boring design might deter me from even looking at the wines details or I’ll simply skip over that bottle and keep looking. It’ just the way it works – packaging design plays a major role in the purchase process. Luckily for us consumers, designers have stepped it up with fun yet classic designs for this tasteful delicacy.

Ram’s Leap: a colorful array of swirly-rams is for lovers of all flavors and tastes

Hamilton Fray: inverse coloring process draws the eye to the hand drawn design

The Tentacle: illustration designs formulated in a simple way can link your company’s logo and image very eloquently and effectively

Julian Madrid: minimalist designs are also very attention capturing and classic

Sunflower Hills: A vintage, yet pop art, feel to the classic wine bottle

Santameriana: clean cut typography design is an instant attention grabber

The People’s Wine: my personal favorite, with hand-drawn text and colorful accents to determine the type of wine – easy to identify and fun to look at!

{ For more photos of these wine designs and many other styles, visit the source! }

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Branding 101: Getting Down to Business

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New Diamari Torres Biz Cards

Business cards rock! Plus, they’re pretty important to letting people know what you do and how to reach you; so, it was due time to print new business cards.

Design wise: I decided I wanted to keep the consistency of my blog’s minimal design through incorporating the sites colors and simple type. Personally, I like the whole “no BS” approach – especially when handing out your card. People want to be reminded of what you do and how to contact you quickly. Yet, the card has to be impressive and actually kind of fun! Remember, the design and texture of your cards is what really sells it.

Printing: On that note, the print quality is the first and lasting impression. Quality is most definitely triumphant over quantity. This is a trend I’ve seen in business card printers. Sites like Moo.com – which don’t get me wrong, they have awesome pre-designed templates and materials – can charge you over $100 for a measly 200 business cards.

In my case, I luckily got both quality and quantity. Printed on 16pt cardstock paper, my cards are coated in a very smooth Silk Lamination. It actually seems to make the card thicker and stronger; I love it. The final touch though is the Spot UV, which creates a slightly-visible rise of gloss over whatever you choose to highlight. Logo. Name. Info. Background. Whatevs!

Spot UV on Biz Cards

I chose to Spot UV the words “hello there” on the teal-blue side and my entire logo on the white side. It feels very interesting and different from the traditional card design. I’m truly very happy with the results. Probably even more so because of the price: 1,000 cards for $145! (shipping not included, I picked ’em up) You can’t beat that. I have cards for – like – ever now! The service was great and the turnaround time was about a week. I recommend Elite Flyers for printing business cards – especially their Silk Laminated and Spot UV ones, of course.

Biz Cards in Card Holder

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