Enhance Your Autumn with “Etnico”

image courtesy of peace107.com
image courtesy of peace107.com

Ah, Autumn! The weather turns cool, the leaves turn colors, and we can all bundle up in warm cozy sweaters and drink cocoa around a crackling fire! At least…some people can do that. Here in Houston, of course, it stays a balmy eighty or ninety degrees until well into October. Leaves stay green, grass keeps growing, and the only time it would make sense to drink cocoa is when you’re trapped in an air-conditioned office all day!

Etnico color collage

This is exactly why we are loving Color Marketing Group’s September color alert, “Etnico.” With a little of this warm, earthy orange in your life, it really does feel like fall! “Etnico” reminds us of autumn leaves and pumpkin pie, and we think it’s the perfect addition to your fall ad campaign.

Here’s what Color Marketing Group has to say:

Courtesy of elitemillennial.com
Courtesy of elitemillennial.com

“Bringing to mind hardened earth, baked pottery and, indeed, the orange of the setting sun, the color embeds

itself deeply in products. It celebrates when enhanced with a metallic effect, seduces with a matte richness and glows with a polished gloss.

Not just a simple terra cotta, Etnico takes orange to a new level in home and office. It is becoming a new staple for leather and a solid color coordinate to copper. Count on it to accent classic hues like plum, navy blue, and ivory, and to create a new twist with charcoal grey, wine and olive green.

Earthy, yes, but also sophisticated, charming and energized.”

Love it, love it, love it! Take a cue from the experts and incorporate a little “Etnico” into your next design for a bold, warm, earthy look.

This chick likes “Etnico” too! A lot. Like, way a lot. Image courtesy of CMG.
This chick likes “Etnico” too! A lot. Like, way a lot. Image courtesy of CMG.

Cool Off in August With “Vintage Mint”

Images courtesy of http://www.hawaiikawaii.net/. (Left) Color Marketing Group’s August Color Alert (center), and http://www.polyvore.com/ (right)
Images courtesy of http://www.hawaiikawaii.net/ (left) Color Marketing Group’s August Color Alert (center), and http://www.polyvore.com/ (right).

August in Houston is always hot, and this year, it’s record-breaking! Cool off a little with this month’s spotlight color, “Vintage Mint.” We’re loving this light, refreshing shade of green for everything from ads, to accessories…to cocktails.

There's nothing like a classic mint julep! Image courtesy of https://cocktailvultures.files.wordpress.com
There’s nothing like a classic mint julep! Image courtesy of https://cocktailvultures.files.wordpress.com

Plus, we don’t like to brag (too much), but as you can see from our blog’s color palette, we liked “vintage mint” before it was cool (pun intended)!

If this cute dude can figure out how to rock vintage mint, you can, too! Then you’ll be as cute as he is! Image courtesy of CMG.
If this cute dude can rock vintage mint, you can, too! Then you’ll be as cute as he is! Image courtesy of CMG.

According to the experts at Color Marketing Group (CMG):

“Vintage Mint has its roots in mid-century design…[but with] a distinctly modern edge… Always fresh, but now a bit daring, this new version has the energy to take on fashion, graphics, industrial design and transportation. Its daring has brought diversity, as it takes on unexpected roles in menswear, accent furnishings, and kitchen appliances.

Take a cool, fresh breath, with Vintage Mint.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Take a cue from the experts and incorporate vintage mint as a fun, fresh addition to your next ad or postcard.

Top 10 Things Designers Hate: Color Edition

rainbow-colorsLately we’ve been talking a lot about color! In keeping with that, number 5 in the Things Designers Hate series is a common question:

5) “Why don’t the colors print like they look on my computer screen?”

The question itself isn’t exactly the problem. Rather, the issue is that many clients don’t ask it until the job is nearly complete. A client may assume that an image she sees on her computer will look precisely the same printed out. When this turns out to not be the case, aggravation and frustration invariably ensue. The client is disappointed that she didn’t get what she was expecting, and we’re frustrated because we want the client to be happy—and we don’t want to have to go back to the drawing board at late stages in the design process.

This can be easily avoided! You simply need to know the difference between viewing images on a computer and viewing a printed image, so that you can factor that in when communicating with your designer.

It all comes down to two simple, but important, abbreviations: CMYK and RGB. 

RGB refers to the primary colors of light: Red, Green, and Blue. These are the colors used by your computer monitor (and any other light-operated system, like the lighting rig at concerts or theatre performances, for example) to create all the colors in the spectrum. When it comes to light, white is made up of all the colors, and black is no light at all.

CMYK is the term used to quickly refer to the process by which images are printed in color. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK. With pigment, the process is the opposite of light: white space is achieved by using no color, and black is a combination of all the colors. Black is also added to a given pigment to darken it.

color mixing in light (left) vs. pigment (right) works differently. In this image you can see that the primary colors of light (Green, red, and blue) mix to create white, while the primary colors of pigment (Magenta, Yellow,  and Cyan) mix to create black. This is the fundamental difference between how we see color on our screens and how we see it printed! Image courtesy of sciencelearn.org.nz.
Color mixing in light (left) vs. pigment (right). In this image you can see that the primary colors of light (Green, red, and blue) mix to create white, while the primary colors of pigment (Magenta, Yellow, and Cyan) mix to create black. This is the fundamental difference between how we see color on our screens and how we see it printed! Image courtesy of sciencelearn.org.nz.

Since the images viewed on your screen are created with light, turning the screen brightness up or down, or altering the “contrast” setting, will change how those images appear. It is unlikely that your designer’s computer is set to the exact same settings as your computer, so a design sent to you online will not look exactly the same on your screen as it looked on your designer’s screen. When the image is printed, it will again be subject to color variation.

The Pantone color book. You can see that the colors on the left of the page are “RGB” and the colors on the right are “CMYK.”  The book depicts roughly the difference you can expect between computer images and printed images.
The Pantone color Guide. You can see that the colors on the left of the page are “RGB” and the colors on the right are “CMYK.” The book depicts roughly the difference you can expect between computer images and printed images.

You can avoid surprises when it comes to color by using a Pantone color guide. Pantone colors are standardized using numbers, so when your designer says they’re using Pantone blue #285PC, you can refer to the book to see how it will look when printed. Printers also use the Pantone guide, so their colors should be exactly the same as the colors shown in the book. By referring to the Pantone guide, you can get a good idea of what to expect from the colors in your printed ad, even if you’re looking at it on a computer screen. You can also always request a printed sample before finalizing the design, just to make sure it looks how you expect it to.

By keeping in mind that colors will differ from screen to page, and using the Pantone book as a resource, you can avoid unnecessary confusion and keep things running smoothly with your designer!


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Make Your June “Berrylicious”

The wall above is painted "Berrylicious." A few additional "jewel" tones, plus a pop of turquoise emphasize the  depth and richness of June's featured color. Image courtesy of CMG.
The wall above is painted “Berrylicious.” Additional “jewel” tones, plus a pop of turquoise emphasize the depth and richness of June’s featured color. Image courtesy of CMG.

Color is a huge part of marketing! This is something we touch on over and over again, because while color always remains one of the most important parts of an ad, which colors you use should change from season to season!

Berrylicious, paired with some complementary shades of lighter pink, in wool. Image courtesy of CMG.
Berrylicious, in wool, with complementary shades of pink. Image courtesy of CMG.

Color Marketing Group (CMG) is an organization for color design professions whose mission is to generate “color forecasts.” This means that what CMG does is predict what colors will be on trend, months, and sometimes years ahead of time. Taking a cue from CMG’s color forecasts can be a great way to keep your marketing materials seeming fresh and modern! These guys are the pros when it comes to color, and this month they’re ushering in summer with this deep berry color, called “Berrylicious.”

According to CMG, Berrylicious is:

“rich in color… playful and tempting in a way that makes you smile… it is a color that can stand alone, as well as offer a springboard from which other hues can contrast. It is [a] fresh way to enliven grey, becomes shocking with coral and can be calming when layered with other berry-inspired hues. Fresh from the produce aisle, “Berrylicious” brings luscious to glorious life.”

In addition to making you want pie with their description, CMG also suggests a few exciting ways to use this color for different effects. Incorporating a little Berrylicious into a June ad, program, or new web page might be just the thing to keep your look relevant, modern, and fun!


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Where Do Color Trends Come From?

Business Tips and Trends

Color is important to many different industries, but especially in the advertising and graphic design world. Color trends affect the clothes we wear, the paint we use in decorating interiors, and the furniture we buy. Colors can influence your mood. Yellow can make you feel anxious and blue can make you feel calm. As Pablo Picasso once said, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” Check out one of our older posts, “Corporate Colors Evoke Emotions,” about what colors convey different emotions.

The color industry and established trends are led by quite a few organizations. Two major influences are the Color Management Group and the Pantone Color Institute. Both use design professionals from around the world to determine and identify color design trends. Members of the Color Marketing Group interpret, create, forecast, and select colors in order to enhance the function, salability, and quality of manufactured goods. Pantone is the world-renowned provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and communication of color across a variety of industries. For example, pantone numbers the color so we can specify a precise shade or hue of blue (or red or yellow, etc.). Pantone offers a variety of trend forecasts for every design market, giving us inspiration to make the right color choices seasons ahead of their time.

In addition, Pantone claims that for the 2015 spring season there is a movement toward the cooler and softer side of the color spectrum. An eclectic, ethereal mix of understated brights, pale pastels and nature-like neutrals take center stage as designers draw from nostalgia for simpler times. Remembrances of retro delights, folkloric and floral art, and the magical worlds of tropical landscapes restore a sense of well-being as we head into warmer months.

Marketing experts say that women and men respond to colors differently, not only by sight but also by the name of the color. Read more about “His And Hers Colors” here.


How to Use Color Harmony in Your Advertising Designs


“Color harmony” is a use of color that will make your design pleasing to the eye. It can engage a viewer, give them a sense of order, or give them a focal point, rather than boring them–or making them stressed. If your ad is boring or chaotic, you probably won’t keep viewers’ attention for very long. The human brain rejects both under-stimulating information and over-stimulation. Finding color harmony will bring a sense of order to your designs.

Some Formulas for Color Harmony

Analogous Colors


Analogous colors are three colors, which are side-by-side on a 12 part color wheel, such as yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. Normally one of the three colors predominates.

Complementary Colors


Complementary Colors are any two colors which are directly opposite each other, such as red and green and red-purple and yellow-green. In the illustration above, there are several variations of yellow-green in the leaves and several variations of red-purple in the orchid. These opposing colors create maximum contrast and maximum stability.

Want more info? Check out: http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory

How Corporate Colors Evoke Emotions


Color plays a huge role in our visual perception as it influences feelings. Therefore it is critical your colors create the reactions you want. In the corporate world we want others to perceive or believe we’re the best in a sea of our competitors. For a consumer there are many factors that influence our purchases but 93% is the visual appearance, which COLOR is the strongest and most persuasive visual cue. Of course this is what we call the ‘psychology of color’ and here are some of the fundamental colors and their meanings they convey.

  • RED is the hottest and most dynamic color used in advertising. Bright red activates passion and power. It’s associated physically with courage, strength, warmth, energy, masculinity and excitement. Deep red depicts rich, elegant, refined, tasty, expensive, cultivated and robust. The bad feelings we get from seeing red is defiance, aggression and strain.
  • PINK is associated with romantic, affectionate, sweet tasting. While bright pink is associated with playful, exciting, festive, vibrant and attention getting; soft pink means tender, delicate, innocent, and youthful.
  • BLUE gives viewers the sense of intelligence, trust, communication, logic and productive, not invasive. Sky blue tends to be calming, cool, reassuring, serene, and expansive. When the color blue is used in food it can be a negative response due to the association with spoiled or rotten foods.
  • YELLOW usually gets an emotional response. Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, friendliness, creativity are the positive thoughts from seeing yellow. The negative response can some times mean caution and used to give warning.
  • GREEN creates the thought of balance, harmony, refreshment, universal love, rest and restoration. Darker green gives us the illusion of luxurious, up-scale, and jewel-like. Bright green gives us the feeling of spring, new beginnings and growth.
  • PURPLE is mostly associated with spiritual awareness. It gives us the sense of vision, luxury, truth and quality. Royalty is often associated with purple.
  • GREY psychologically means neutral. The negativity it gives us a sense of dampness, depression, hibernation and lack of energy.
  • WHITE usually is associated with hygiene, purity, simplicity, efficiency and sophistication.
  • BLACK is associated with glamour, security, emotional safety, sophistication and substance. The negativity it portrays is oppression, coldness, menace and heaviness.

What does the color of your products or logo convey about your company? Color can also be used to establish hierarchy, giving the viewer cues as to where their eyes should go first when viewing an advertisement, too. For help on deciding the colors of your corporate advertising, please give us a call and get a designer’s expert opinion.

About Paper for Print


Selecting paper for your print job is best left up to the designer since there are many papers to select from. If you specify the qualities you require in your paper, and explain where the print piece will be, designers or printers can offer acceptable options. Here’s a bit of information about paper. Each paper stock has the following characteristics: surface texture, brightness, color, opacity, grain direction, weight, bulk, caliper, and size.

Uncoated and coated papers have different surface textures. Coated paper also can be matt, dull or glossy and refers to the smoothness of the paper. Brightness refers to the amount of light a sheet reflects. Paper color can be tricky as it affects the color of the ink printed onto it. Opacity determines the show-through. Most papers come in different weights which could also affect the opacity. Weight is based on the size of 500 sheets (a ream) of paper. For instance, a ream of 80# cover, measured at 20” x 26”, weighs 80 pounds. Letterhead is usually 24# Text and we use 100# gloss cover weight for our postcards.

Many people request recycled paper because they think they are saving trees and impact the environment. The truth is trees in North America used for paper production come from well-managed forests or farms. Landowners plant 4 million trees every day, which is 3-4 times more than they harvest. Just 11% of the world’s forests are used for paper (28% lumber; 53% for fuel). We think more importantly its wise to recycle the paper we use to keep waste out of our landfills.

The Color Makes the Difference

At Cheep Cheep Postcards and Cheep Cheep Websites we work with color everyday. Artists use three basic color standards. Two are for print and the other is for web and digital. We always provide the correct color type for the intended application but we wanted to share a little of that knowledge for you.

Print Color

Printers use the Pantone Matching System (PMS) for their ink standards and CMYK for offset printing. The Pantone Matching system (or PMS) colors specify over a thousand ink colors by number and is used in all commercial printing process. Pantone spot colors, each with a reference number, is used to specify definite colors. CMYK, also called process colors, stands for 4 color inks that when mixed together create all the colors of the spectrum possible. The 4 colors, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black are used for producing print work. Pantone inks are usually used for 1-3 color printed projects or in addition to the 4-color process (CMYK). When we print your Cheep Cheep Postcards we use (CMYK), the 4-colors that make up ALL colors for the full color affect.


Digital and Web Color

Color on your computer monitor, scanner and digital camera is different than CMYK and PMS colors. Red, green and blue (RGB) light is used to display color on these mediums.  All websites and email marketing blasts use RGB colors to create the full spectrum of colors. Certain RGB colors that you can see on your monitor simply can’t be replicated with standard CMYK inks. But the shift in colors is not that noticeable except when using very bright colors.


Here at Cheep Cheep Postcards and Cheep Cheep Websites we are familiar with all color models and always provide the right file for the right application. When developing a new logo or branding identity it is best to define your call in all three color systems—RGB, CMYK and PMS. If you have any questions regarding the color or color systems, please give us a call. We are here to help!