Marketing Materials are More Effective When you “Paint” with Your Content

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with more than 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.

This week I met an interesting landscape designer who creates drought-tolerant gardens with a wilder more natural feeling. While we were discussing a new garden at my home, she made a very interesting point. She arranges plants or as she says, “I paint with plants.”  In short, she creates a visual masterpiece by painting with the subject matter.

With respect to corporate communications, we basically paint with a non-paint medium. As designers, we paint with puzzles and pieces and patterns. You can try this by finding a natural resource that is related to the theme of your product or service and then “painting” or designing with it to give a lush feel to your publication.

PAINTING WITH PATTERNSPatternsSMALLER

Here’s some elements that provide great design enhancements:

 

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Using the Influence of Art Deco Architecture to Add Elegance to a Publication

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with more than 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.

 

At HWDS we often draw inspiration for our designs frochryslerm the art deco architecture of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Its craft motif style drew from the age of machinery and features symmetrically designed patterns of geometric shapes and intricate ornamentation. Repetition of graphical shapes is a key element of the art deco architectural movement.  Colors often consist of pastels including pinks and teals as well as the use of silver and platinum. Its rich patterning of repetitive lines and shapes make it  the source of wonderful elements for logo design and border treatments.

Here you will find some samples of art deco architecture, most notably seen in the Chrysler building, far right, in New York City.

southbeach

 

A great place to see art deco architecture is South Beach, Florida.  South Beach, also known as SoBe is actually a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach.  It probably has the largest number of remaining art deco buildings in the United States.  Certainly it has the largest number of art deco hotels in the northern hemisphere. The repeating shapes founds in some of these building can be wonderful elements for  corporaArt Deco Architecturete logo designs. A spectacular book of SoBe architecture is Deco Delights, Preserving the Beauty and Joy of Miami Beach Architecture by Barbara Baer Capitman with photographs by Steven Brooke. Prints from the book are available at Steven Brooke’s website.

Other examples of art deco architecture can bemosaic150 seen in intricate mosaic patterns in the architecture of Europe where majestic fortresses were built with curved  plaster patterns.

Art deco typically uses these design elements:

1) Symmetry—A very symmetrical, balanced design resonates through the architecture.  Doors and windows are arrayed uniformly, cohesively and identically throughout the structure.

2) Lines—Beautiful, strong lines flow though the exterior of the structure and often serve as a decorative motif.  These can often be seen in balconies and the fascia of the building.  Often these lines are decorated with bands of silver metal or platinum.

3) Repetition—Geometric shapes and lines are echoed throughout the building and often repeated several times. These can be both in the exterior and interior of the structure.  This repetition can also be seen in doorways, windows, balconies and decorative elements.

4) Rhythm—Here decorative elements are arranged in a symphonic harmony.  The art deco era is characteristic of a style with incredible energy with bold colorful, geometric shapes and intense rhythm where the repetition of elements crates an atmospheric harmony throughout the building.

5) Pattern—Art deco structures frequently have patterns of mosaics, waves and symmetry arrayed in the design.

6) Color—Art deco architecture frequently used light neutral colors with the addition of silver and gold accents that were combined with sand, gray, beige and peach walls.  Pastels were also frequently used.

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Avoid Milk Toast Marketing for the Masses

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with more than 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.

Why be boring when you can be exciting?  Effective design should be a means to creatively stand out from the crowd.

Do you often wonder why everyone has to drive basically the same mass-produced car and wear the same mass-produced clothes?  Cars, for instance, have become so blazae, with everyone driving basically the same milk-toast 4-door sedan. Even luxury vehicle manufacturers copy each other and offer little variation from the competition.  Milk Bottle,Glass, Egg and Bread on white BackgroundIt’s too bad that we don’t have more stylish models like the big finned cars of the 1950s or the sleek muscle cars of the 1960s.  Let’s face it, there are fewer and fewer choices today. Indeed, it seems that nearly every time I discover a unique product it is not there when I return to the store. Unusual and slow-moving products end up in the marketing graveyard. In short, there is little room for anomalies and variety. Continue reading