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How to Pick the Perfect Color for Any Purpose

How to Pick the Perfect Color for Any Purpose

According to research carried out by the Institute for Color Research, between 62% and 90% of the subconscious judgments we make about a person, environment, or product within the first 90 seconds are based on color alone.

We are constantly influenced by color, as primary and secondary hues create a color wheel that can stimulate our senses, alert us to danger, remind us of our favorite brands and even shape our mood. In nature, color changes can signal the onset of a new season, or offer a warning sign to keep predators at bay. In the modern world, color can be used to inspire and express creativity or to calm and control.

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    Cultural differences can also impact on how and when to use color: for example, in some countries red is favored as a choice for luck, romance or passion, but in other parts of the world it is a color for mourning. Used effectively in your home, business or work environment, or as a form of therapy, color can affect your experiences in ways that would be difficult to create by any other means. Let’s look at how color combinations and tone influence everything from psychology to décor.

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    Warm Colors: colors such as red, orange, yellow and brown are defined as warm, and are most often used to convey energy, passion, and strength. They stimulate the senses, especially your sense of hunger, which can be great for a restaurant branding, but less so for a living room. Be sure to use these colors sparingly in the home environment, as they can quickly tire the eyes.

    Cool Colors: shades of blue, purple, green are likely to create a calming atmosphere and are ideal for use where people need to be relaxed. Cool colors are also known for stimulating creativity and restfulness, which is ideal for an office or workspace.

    Color Schemes

    Combining tones to create a color scheme is an effective way of building a mood or style, but it can be difficult to pinpoint which hues will work well together. There are a variety of schemes to choose from depending on your taste or objectives but common variations include:

    1. Complementary: This scheme combines at least two shades from opposite sides of the color wheel and can provide an impressive contrast, however, care should be taken not to pick two equally strong hues. For example, pairing bright blue and bright yellow can be a little overpowering if not softened by white space or gentler tones.

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    2. Monochromatic: This kind of scheme typically takes a variety of tones within one specific color; for example, combining black with various shades of grey. When working with a strong shade like black, using it in a concentrated space may be preferable so as not to overwhelm.

    3. Analogous: The combination of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel is known as an analogous scheme. Interest is often added to such schemes with the use of tones, shades, and tints of the same colors, creating a layered effect that can work well with everything from web design through to interiors and clothing.

    4. Custom: Increasingly popular but tricky to pull off, implementing a custom color scheme enables you to bring together any hues in any combination irrespective of typical color rules. Probably best attempted by those more experienced in working with color, great results can be achieved so long as you consider chroma, value, and saturation.

    Making Color Work

    Whether you are considering color for business or personal use, you’d be wise to do your research. The internet is a rich source of information with a variety of tools available to help you. A great example is Shutterstock’s Color Spectrum. Spectrum combines a keyword search with a color slider to help you instantly group images by color and hue.

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      Color Lovers is a fantastic online community offering color ideas and combinations, patterns, and palettes and more for a range of uses including fashion, craft, business and even weddings.

      colorlovers

        Design Seeds provides users with a quick and easy way to view color palettes and get trend information, and is ideal for interior design or branding projects.

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        designseeds

          Color Scheme Designer is ideal for use by more experienced designers, offering a range of color schemes at the click of a button either at random or within your chosen hue.

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            In summary, use color wisely and you can create an eye-catching look that will stand the test of time. However, go over the top and you risk creating a clash that turns people off or gives the wrong message. Most of all, color is there to be enjoyed so go, explore and have fun!

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            Last Updated on March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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