So…you’re considering a new website for you business, are you? There’s a lot involved, but the hardest part for most of our clients is defining that feel, that essence of their look. They know what they like, but so often have a difficult time putting that into words. We ask a lot of questions about color and images to help discover what their vision is. When asked these questions, so many of them pause and draw an inexplicable blank.
Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. I do have to say, though, there are those clients who can sum up in one word what they see and more often or not, that vision is linked to a destination.
When you think about it, every location in the world has it’s own color pallet and imagery. Cultures all over the world are rich in symbolism and evoke specific feelings. Say “Tuscany” and we immediately think of great food, rustic walls awash in the glow of a salmon colored sunset, a touch of purple from the vineyards, a buffet of reds, greens and yellows on a kitchen counter piled high with fresh food. Mention Greece or Spain and you instantly think of the deep blue Mediterranean. Talk about the great Northwest of the United States and lush green forests come to mind. The Southwest, all the color of a Senora desert.
The list is endless.
The Importance of Vacation
Vacation time is more than a way to replenish your mentality and keep you from burning out. Visiting new and exciting places, even if it’s as simple as a day trip to another part of your state, can do wonders to spark your visual creativity.
When I was in college, we often had projects where the professor would have us pick a specific culture to use as a theme. I loved doing the research and digging into all the symbolism and traditions. Later on, when I had the chance to do some traveling, that love of research continued.
Everywhere I went was an opportunity to fill my mental files with all sorts of ideas to use in my art and writing. When you begin to look at travel in this manner it becomes another tool in your arsenal rather than just a vacation. Your vacation becomes your graphic library.
What To Look For
Color. Do you remember the movie First Knight, with Richard Gere and Sean Connery? The first time I became aware that movies had color schemes was while watching a documentary about this film. Camelot had a very specific pallet; all blues, purples and sunset colors.
Different locations in all parts of the world have this, too. Zion National Park in Utah has stunning landscapes in coral pink. Ireland is a luscious emerald green. The rolling hills of Wales are a melancholy gray and green. Hawaii is black sand beaches, warm Pacific blues and a dash of molten lava.
Architecture. Buildings are a great source of inspiration. The cities of the US have a very different feel from the ones in Europe. In places like Prague or Barcelona, you can really feel the weight of history. A group of standing stones in a field in England or petroglyphs etched into a sandstone cliff in the middle of Nevada’s Valley of Fire gives you a real sense of awe when you think about how long they’ve been there. In Budapest, the statues from the Communist era scream power. Philadelphia’s historical district with Independence Hall is so full of patriotism it’s enough to bring one to tears. The pyramids at Chitzeniza in Mexico and the ones in Cairo are awesomely mystical.
Local Culture. Rome is rich with the mythos of the Gods and tributes everywhere in the form of statues and fountains. Say “Paris” to someone and right away there’s a sense of romance. Norway and Sweden carries the adventurous spirit of the Vikings. Every culture has some kind of symbolism behind it you can use for inspiration and it’s not just in the visuals. Talk to the locals, learn the stories, ask about the various traditions. What’s the meaning behind the traditional costumes? Why is the food prepared the way it is? Why does this festival or celebration take place?
Now that you have some more ideas for expressing your vision, what comes to mind when you’re asked what kind of design are you looking for? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you and join you on your journey of discovery!