design

Color Psychology: Blue is the Color of Calm and Constancy

Color Psychology: Blue is the Color of Calm and Constancy

Maybe there's a reason that blue is the #1 choice for corporate branding and identity, as many hope to cash in on the intrinsic belief that blue represents constancy, quality, and achievement. It does seem to be a color that many executives like—and as you can see, we’ve used it for our own brand because of its classic, timeless appeal.

OPEN COMMUNICATION

Blue puts us in a peaceful frame of mind, helps remove our walls, and opens conversation. Social networking sites employ the color nearly to excess. A quick glance at your smartphone will likely reveal app icons in various shades of blue.

How Two of Your Company's Web Pages Could Be Hurting Your Business [and What You Can Do About It]

How Two of Your Company's Web Pages Could Be Hurting Your Business [and What You Can Do About It]

Why are the JOB page and the ABOUT US page so frequently lackluster on business websites?

For most, it's probably a practical reason. Once that content is developed, there's generally little reason to revisit it. It falls into that perilous category of important but not urgent, and there it languishes—missing untold opportunities to persuade, compel, and sell.

10 Ways to Create a Winning Annual Report [and How to Know What Your Reader Craves]

10 Ways to Create a Winning Annual Report [and How to Know What Your Reader Craves]

Your annual report may be your most important communication tool—and for good reason.

It offers an snapshot of company performance, shows how you are creating value for all of your stakeholders, and offers a glimpse into the passion and purpose that drives your organization.

Neutral Color Guide (When to Use Neutrals)

Neutral Color Guide (When to Use Neutrals)

While colors are trending towards bright, vivid hues, the hard-working neutrals—white, gray, black, and brown—have a staying power because of their flexibility. They might not be your favorite color, they don't tend to steal the show, they aren't usually even noticeable, but they are the bedrock of strong design.

2017 Design Inspiration (8 Trending Examples)

What's up with design trends anyway?

Let’s start with novelty. It turns out, we're wired to seek out new experiences. A chemical reaction takes place in the brain when it encounters something new. The brain releases dopamine, which prompts us to seek more new experiences. Thus, novelty is not only pleasurable, but actually pushes us to learn and grow.

On the flip side, we also tend to follow trends for less sincere reasons. For some, the need to keep up with the "Joneses" (or at least appear to be keeping with the times) is paramount. And like it or not, we’re also motivated by the need to fit in and conform to the group.

So what does this mean for design trends? Are they making our brains grow, or just appeasing our pride? Probably both. Advances in technology, the predominance of mobile and a voracious appetite for content have pushed design to change and grow. And there are a couple of possible reactions. Ride the waves of trend, keep it traditional and solid, or innovate. At the end of the day, a designer who understands the needs of her client will get it right.


1. Material Design

Although not a trend itself, Material Design cannot be ignored in a discussion of design trends. Pioneered by Google as a visual language, Material Design uses graphics and motion to cue viewer responses.

The basic idea is that visuals and motion should have predictable behavior that is based on reality. Material Design employs deliberate color choices, edge-to-edge imagery, large-scale typography and intentional white space. It also plays heavily with grid, and employs "cards" to serve as entry points to larger groups of information. And where Google leads, everyone follows.


2. Semi Flat

Skeuomorphism: a digital object that demonstrates the attributes of it's real world counterpart. Drop shadows! Gradients! Textures! Everyone loved it.

Then everyone hated it. And designers reacted by introducing flat design. Flat design took the world by storm. No more shading or gradients or textures. It felt more...authentic.

Skip ahead. Flat Design became Flat 2.0, then Semi Flat. Don't get me wrong, it is still flat design, the goal is not to create illustrations that appear to be photographs. But for the sake of dimension and movement, a bit of light has been added back in, as well as subtle shadows. Even gradients are sneaking back in, along with subtle complexity (think pattern and print).

And yes, Google Material Design has the full set of "rules".


3. Bold Colors

Color trends are being affected primarily by two factors. The first is the move to mobile. We're interacting with technology in every environment now, and designs on those screens need to pop. This is leading to a rise in brighter, bolder colors. You probably wore it in the '80s and '90s. So look out for vibrant duotones and color transitions everywhere.

Secondly, we're all facing technology burnout. The more we surround and immerse ourselves in technology, the more we want to pull away. Pantone nailed it when they named the 2017 color of the year: Greenery.


4. Geometric Shapes, Patterns, and Lines

Oh the '80s. Squiggly lines, geometric patterns, and shape confetti. A resurgence of this trend started in 2016 and looks to continue.


5. Dramatic Typography

At this point, it should be no surprise that bold typography is also on the rise. In a realm that is increasingly saturated with graphic input, any small advantage is sought. Daring type treatments can be achieved through size, color, texture and arrangement. With small screens and even smaller attention spans, viewers have come to depend on bold fonts in high-contrast bold colors.

And while the strictly hand-lettered trend has probably peaked, we'll still be seeing traces of organic influence on type.


6. Custom illustration

Brands are no longer just looking to have their own fonts and colors, but their own illustrative style. And the less corporate, the better. We're seeing organic and hand-drawn custom illustration everywhere as companies try to make themselves appear fun and make their products more accessible.


7. Original Narrative Photos

As consumers encounter the constant barrage of new content, our desire for truth increases. And photos that appear candid, unfiltered, spontaneous and gritty feel more original and genuine. Anything viewed as stock has come to represent what is wrong with the corporate world.

The perception is that anyone with an iPhone can take a great shot. Viewers are looking for cues like simplicity, movement, flash to convey reality, raw emotion and the ordinary. So while professional photography will not be going away, we will seeing a more subtle use of post-production tools.


8. Integrated Motion

We'll be seeing motion everywhere: paralax scrolling, animation, looped video headers, cinemagraphs and a predominance of GIFs.

Whether subtle or complex, they not only capture interest, but quickly convey emotion. And they help tell stories.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Creating CMBell’s New Visual Brand

As we’ve been preparing for our 20th year, we’ve spent a great deal of time visioning and provisioning our company for the future. This has been exciting work, and you can see some of the results of this work here.

Communications has never been more important to businesses and organizations, and as we look at trends and needs among our clients, we’re convinced that our new mission statement precisely describes the space we’ll occupy: Creating signature communications that drive purpose and grow business.

As an outgrowth of that, we’ve updated our visual brand, and in this entry, we’ll take you behind the scenes on some of the work that led up to this.

Colors

Our final color palette is a nuanced mix of traditional and modern:

  • Navy and gold perfectly represent the classic and timeless attributes of our firm.

  • Orange adds a modern vibe—migrating from the deep burgundy of our previous logo into a more fiery, passionate version of red.

Font

Our art director selected several fonts that represented the right mix of modern and traditional. In the end, we selected Optima because it has the dignity, sophistication, and clarity we were looking for. The addition of the dots between the C. the M. and the B harken to our first logo and were added back to help those unfamiliar with our name to say it.

We chose Raleway as our body font because of its clean versatility. It also expresses our belief that simplicity must be a central part of any communication.

Tagline

Our signage and business package pair our tagline “Signature Communications” with the short version of our name, "CMBell"—dropping "Company” for the sake of keeping it as simple as possible.
 
Behind each of these was a great deal of research, exploration and internal discussion. Our entire team was involved in the process of reviewing, moving us closer to the final product with each of their insights.

Our Story

This is just one of the things happening as we celebrate year 20 of our journey. If you haven’t read our 20-year story or sauntered through 20 Things We've Learned from 20 Years of Business, we invite you to visit our blog and get some inspiration for your own journey.

Keen on Green: Pantone Announces 2017 Color of the Year

It’s official. The 2017 color of the year is green, according to Pantone, the color experts who have been surveying world trends for decades to determine which color best captures the global moods of the day.
 
Pantone describes this year’s color, officially called Greenery, as a “zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring.”
 
Green has long served in fluid roles ranging from calming neutral to vibrant virtuoso—and it pairs beautifully with many other colors.
 
It may reflect a desire for balance in a modern world, appealing to the human yearning to experience the beauty of nature. It also suggests vitality, rejuvenation, and growth—all attributes humans are drawn to quite likely because they suggest hope.
 
When we choose colors for a creative project, we use color theory to evoke certain brand attributes that fit our client’s visual strategy. Green has often been our choice when we want to evoke healing, calm, peace, growth, vitality, and freshness. As the most restful color for the human eye, its pervasiveness in nature makes it a color with broad acceptance across demographics. And as is always the case, the shades of green evoke different nuances.

Here are two examples of how we used greens to convey freshness in Key Technology’s annual report. As an international manufacturer of innovative food processing equipment, they make it possible for companies to deliver fresher food products.
 
Expect to see more of this color in fashion, products, and graphic design in the year ahead.
 
We like their choice this year, but what do you think? Is this a color you’d be happy to see more of?

Great Design Is No Longer a Luxury

In some circles, great design is still considered a luxury. But more often than not, this idea is a fatal flaw for a brand.
 
Today’s consumer has sophisticated visual tastes created by the most creative communicators in the world. Their reference point for this is not just your competitors—it’s every message they get from any industry.
 
This is why great design is actually a brand differentiator. Great design provides instant visual cues about your brand that affiliate it with other brands familiar to the viewer—allowing them to decide in as little as a second if they want to further engage with you. The more oversaturated people are with information, the more they rely on these cues as short cuts for adjudicating a product or service. It’s simply an efficient way of navigating information.
 
Here are some common mistakes brands make when they don’t embrace this important truth:

  • Spend heavily on a media buy, but use so-so stock images and design that send the viewer packing after one look.
  • Spend millions on a new building and cheap out on photography. A top-drawer architectural photographer will bring a wow to your image that will pay off handsomely.
  • Invest in new technology or services, then depict them on a visually inferior website.

It’s better to go with less in other areas than to settle for also-ran design.

Hello Yellow: Say Hi to the Color That Shouts

Colors create a reaction in our brain, and yellow, more than any other, gets noticed. It’s the color to use if you want to get someone’s attention—particularly when paired with high contrast colors like black type.
 
But like all colors, it has its place. According to Print, you’re less likely to see it on apps and websites than book covers, taxis and caution signs. It signals anything from cheery to danger, so has to be used with care.
 
But on a shelf of books, your eye will surely move first to the yellow ones, which may be why yellow is having a resurgence in book covers.
 
Can you see yellow being used in your company?

Image Source: Print Magazine
 

What Ideas Are Keeping You From Your Big Opportunity?

Thinking outside the box means challenging things you’ve taken for granted. In the case of Benjamin Shine, it meant using tulle (that fabric used for tutus) and an iron to create stunning art. Such an unexpected medium—and yet so beautiful.
 
What ideas are locking you up and keeping you from discovering an entirely new way of looking at your work?

View video here

Source: Creative Market

CMBell Company Wins Creative Gold Award in International Competition

A gold award was given for creation of Littleton Adventist Hospital’s OB campaign “Littleton Loves Little Ones”. This campaign included videos, digital advertising, a microsite, print ads, direct mail, elevator wraps and window wraps.

Entries are judged by design and health care marketing professionals on creativity, design, typography, production, quality and overall effectiveness.

CMBell Company and Clients Win Five Awards for Creative Work

Creative work developed by CMBell Company and our clients has received five awards from the 33rd Annual Healthcare Marketing Advertising Awards Competition—the country’s largest healthcare advertising awards competition.

We celebrate the hard work and creativity of our clients and our team in bringing together these creative projects.

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center OB Admissions Booklet

Glendale Adventist Medical Center 110-year Anniversary Video

Adventist Health Southern California Region Brochure

Adventist Health Southern California Region Renewal Video

Adventist Health Southern California Region Success Video

Adventist Health Urgent Care - Montrose Motion Graphic Video

Simi Valley Hospital OB Campaign