Mood Board: CMYK Inspired

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Source 1  |  Source 2  |  Source 3  |  Source 4  |  Source 5  |  Source 6  |  Source 7

If you work in the design or printing industry, you're probably familiar with the CMYK color mode. But for those who have never heard of it, the CMYK color model is a subtractive color model used in color printing. CMYK refers to the four inks used in some color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black).

This color blending mode is responsible for most of the printed materials you see and interact with every day... that's why we thought it deserved a little attention! Even though we're surrounded by beautiful colors every day, we rarely stop and think about what goes in to them. 

This funky, pop-art inspired mood board is our visual ode to the CMYK printing process. We know it's nerdy... but, hey, what can we say -- we love design and color! 

Hue & Tone Creative: Color + design lovers

Does the idea of picking colors for your website stop you in your tracks? Or maybe you just can't tell the difference between two shades of blue? That's what we're here for. At Hue & Tone Creative, we can help with everything from logo design to web development to print collateral. Want to see what we've done for our other clients? Take a look at our portfolio.

Your guide to design jargon

Your guide to design jargon -- Hue & Tone Creative

Feeling more then a little confused when you're trying to communicate with your designer? We get that. As designers, we do our best to explain things to our clients -- but it's easy to make assumptions or run through things a little too quickly. 

We put together this handy to guide to help cut down on client + designer relationship miscommunication. There's seemingly no end to the amount of technical terms out there -- but these 39 terms will give you a solid footing to get the conversation rolling. So... get studying!  


Alignment: Can refer either to the position of elements within the margins, or the idea of placing items so that they line up in an organized way.

Ascender: Any part of a letter that extends beyond the rest of the word. Examples: “b” + “h”.

Descender: Any part of a letter that drops beyond the x height/baseline of a character set.

Asymmetrical: A design in which the graphic elements or text on each side of the central line have unequal visual weight. One visually large element could possibly be balanced out by a grouping of smaller elements on the other side. Asymmetrical balance is typically more interesting.

Bleed: In printing, the bleed is what goes beyond the margin of the edge of the sheet of paper before trimming. A full bleed design means there is no white border/margin, and the color/images will go all the way to the edge of the paper.

Branding: The collection of language, ideas, principles, and visual elements that represent a company or business to clients and consumers.

Body copy: The main text in an advertisement, brochure, or website. Body copy is longer than headlines and is meant to be easily readable.

Body font: The text formatting for the main content of a magazine, website, or other printed material. Body fonts will contrast with the headlines, and is typically easily readable.

CMYK: A color mode used for print purposes. CMYK stands for ‘Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (black)’.

Display Type: Fonts with distinctive personality that often sacrifice some readability for the purpose of being unique and eye catching. Typically used for headlines.

DPI: A measurement of resolution for a printed image. Stands for dots per inch.

Element: Individual parts of a logo or design. An element can be a flourish, a border, or something like a headline or image.

Favicon: A small icon that’s associated with a specific web page or URL. A favicon is displayed in the browser's address bar or near the site name in a bookmark.

Hero image: A common term to describe an oversized banner image -- usually near the top of the web page.

Kerning: The process of adjusting the horizontal distance between letters.

Leading: The process of adjusting the vertical distance between lines of type.

Letterpress: A printing process that results in an impression/indented design being left in the paper.

Logo mark: A graphic symbol or emblem that represents a business, organization, or individual.


Logo type: Also known as a wordmark, a logotype is the name of the company designed in a visual way.

Lorem ipsum: Latin text that’s used to demonstrate the graphic elements in a document or visual.

Margins: Only shown in computer layout programs, margins are the space around the printable area of a document.

Mobile responsive: A web or email design that automatically adjusts it’s sizing, layout, and proportions when viewed on a mobile device.

Negative space: Simply an area on the page that doesn’t contain any design elements.

Opacity: An object's degree of opacity. The lower the opacity the more transparent an element is. 0% = completely invisible, 100% = opaque/fully visible.

Palette: A set of cohesive colors you use for a design, brand, or campaign.  

Pantone Colors: The Pantone Matching system (or PMS) is a set of over 700 standardized colors used in a variety of industries.

Pica: A unit of type size and line length equal to 12 points (about 1/6 inch or 4.2 mm).

Pixel: A minute area of illumination on a display screen, one of many from which an image is composed.

Printer-ready (or camera-ready): Files/artwork is ready to be printed.

Proof: Can refer to either a “concept proof” or “printed proof.” A concept proof is a rough drawn, incomplete, or early stage preview of a project that demonstrates the concept to a client. A printed proof is designed to demonstrate the exact final product -- and is great for catching any last minute mistakes!

Raster files: A raster image consists of a dot matrix structure. Most of the images you see on your computer are a raster image. They can easily be scaled down without a loss of quality, but not scaled up without looking pixelated. Common formats like JPEGs, PNGs, and GIFs are all raster images.

RGB: A color mode used primarily for web. Colors are mixed from red, green, and blue (RGB).

Sans Serif: Typefaces that don’t have serifs at the ends of the stroke (aka the little feet). In print sans serif fonts are typically used for headlines (not body text). Sans serif fonts are popular for display or web fonts.  

Serif: Short strokes that extend from the top or bottom of the long part of a letter.

Slab Serif: A thick, block like serif font. Can be either blocky or rounded.

Typeface: A set of letters, numbers, etc. all in the same style.

Vector file: Created using illustration software (like Adobe Illustrator). Creates clean, camera-ready art that can be scaled up infinitely and still maintain a clean look.

Visual Brand Identity: The collection of all the individual logos marks, graphics, photos, print collateral and web graphics that make up the visual appearance of your brand.

Wireframe: A rough outline used for planning a website’s structure and functionality. Outlines all functional elements of a website or web page.


Feeling more prepared for your next meeting? The next time you give your designer feedback, break out a few of these terms and watch the look on their face as they realize what a pro you are!

If you're looking for even more advice on how to work with a designer we've got these 8 tips to help you create a smoother working relationship

Mood Board: Fall/Winter Chill

In North Carolina, December is kind of a transitional time. 

It's not that it's still fall...but there are some leaves still on the trees, and the bite in the air is just starting to get intense.

Here's a mood board inspired by that move from the browns and taupes of fall to the cooler colors of winter. 

Mood Board: Fall/Winter Chill -- Hue & Tone Creative

Sources: One | Two | Three | Four | Five

Friday Links: Your passion project and working in the arts

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Here's our weekly roundup of links we're loving.

Friday Links: Your passion project and working in the arts -- Hue & Tone Creative

One | A good thing to work on if you've got holiday downtime: tips on making a media kit that'll impress your clients.

Two | Why everyone needs a passion project, even if you've got a 9 to 5.

Three | Something encouraging and sparking with a little creative magic: Amanda Palmer on working in the arts. "When you're an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand." 

Four | What makes a good designer -- the illustrated version.

Five | This could be a fun project (also useful if holiday downtime exists in your world) -- how to digitize hand lettering.

Have a great weekend. I'll see you all soon on the blog. 

Friday Links: State of graphic design and a few freebies

And just like that, it's Friday again. To help you transition from the weekday hustle to weekend relaxation (you really should relax) -- here are a few links I've been loving this week!  

State of graphic design and a few freebies -- Hue & Tone Creative

 One | I'm all about these (free!) hand-drawn vector stripes & patterns

Two | Here's a good cheat sheat on the file types you'll likely encounter in design work. 

Three | Another super-usable post: how to establish a brand identity for your small business. This is solid advice. 

Four | A little less resource-oriented & more on the "interesting to know" side: the state of graphic design in 2015. 

Five | We'll close this week with another freebie -- these gorgeous brushstroke vectors.  

This week's posts: 

This week's music: Spotify Morning Productivity playlist  

Have a great weekend! I'll see you here on the blog on Tuesday.

Friday Links: Twitter chats, font pairing, and Squarespace love

Hello, friends! It's been another full, busy week here at Hue & Tone and, now that it's coming to a close, I'm sharing some links I've been loving once again.

Friday Links: Twitter chats, font pairing, and Squarespace love -- Hue & Tone Creative

One | The impact of having an active social presence for your business is huge...but not everyone's naturally inclined to be a "sharer." I love this post on ways to train your brain to think social.

Two | Along the same lines as the link above, social media is best when you're genuinely using it as a tool to collaborate and learn from others...not a way to blast your own message without listening. Twitter chats are a great way to get started.

Three | The Hue & Tone website runs on Squarespace, and I'm a huge fan. Here's a good summary of the reasons why.

Four | Running a small business doesn't happen without its fair share of cold calls -- and cold emails. So, how to do it right? Personalize, be brief, and establish purpose.

Five | Here's a great -- and beautifully presented -- primer on the "art and science" of pairing the right fonts.

Recap of this week's blog posts: 

Have a great weekend! 

Hue & Tone Favorites: Free (or cheap) graphic design resources

Hue & Tone Favorites: Free (or cheap) graphic design resources -- Hue & Tone Creative

At first glance, design seems expensive. You have to buy $300 fonts and high-end photography equipment and expensive suites of software if you're going to create anything attractive, right? 

Actually, not really. I try to communicate to clients that there are plenty of free and cheap resources available to help them maintain a consistent brand, without pulling in a designer for every edit. 

Here are a few of my favorites: 

DaFont & Google Fonts | In almost every case, it's unnecessary to drop top dollar on type. These are two great sources for free fonts - DaFont is hugely varied and frequently updated, while Google Fonts is your best source for a clean, high-quality web font.

Canva | This web app bills itself as "the easiest design program in the world" -- and it's completely free. When I'm working with clients who don't have access to professional design software, I'll whip up a few Canva templates so they can update graphics easily.

Graphic Burger | Need a simple line icon (or a background texture, or even a logo template)? It's here, and it's free for personal and commercial use. 

Creative Market | This site offers free or very cheap (in the $2 range) graphic assets -- think textures, brushes, presets, etc. Sign up for an account to receive regular emails with deals and free downloads. 

Adobe Single-App Subscriptions | You can now purchase a single-app Adobe Creative Cloud membership for as little as $30 a month, giving you access to a professional-grade design application like Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop. If I had to pick one, I'd go with Illustrator, but it all depends on the type of work you're doing.

Again, design can seem like an expensive pursuit, but with a little creativity, you can find the tools you need without breaking the bank.

What are your favorite design tools? Let me know in the comments below.


Monday Links: Type, design and a free font

Happy Monday! I'm back with another roundup of links we've been loving around the Hue & Tone office...

Hue & Tone Creative -- Monday favorite links

One | Designers and design-minded people aren't the only ones who notice good design out in the world. This is a beautiful summary of the way type and lettering affect our daily lives.

Two | Quick freebie: I love this brush-style font, which is free to download.

Three | Speaking of fonts, brush up with this simple guide to pairing them effectively in your designs.

Four | Have a long drive coming up or just like to listen while you work? Try one of these 20 podcasts for creative entrepreneurs

Five | I love creating infographics, but creating an effective layout is tougher than it looks. Here's another simple, smart design resource to help you master visual arrangement.

Hope you've all had a fantastic start to the week!

Hue & Tone Favorites: Quotes About Design + Creativity

The thing about doing creative work for a living is, there's no such thing as waiting around for your muse. You can't take a break while you wait for an idea to hit. Your work should be inspired, but you can't sit around and wait for inspiration. 

That's not to say that you can't seek out inspiration, though. Making a point to consume good work created by others keeps me inspired and ready to create, whether it's digital and print design, visual art in a gallery...really, any work done passionately and well.

Along those same lines, I can't say I don't enjoy a good inspirational quote or two. If you're a maker for a living, and find yourself in need of inspiration, here are a few of my favorite quotes about creativity and design.

Hue & Tone Creative: Favorite quotes about design and creativity

Hue & Tone Creative: Favorite quotes about design and creativity

"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well." -Brian Reed

"Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful." -John Maeda

"Design is the application of intent - the opposite of happenstance, and an antidote to accident." -Robert L. Peters

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." -Maya Angelou

"Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality." -Charles Eames

"Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity." -Marina Abramovic 

"An artist paints, dances, draws, writes, designs, or acts at the expanding edge of consciousness. We press into the unknown rather than the known. This makes life lovely." -Julia Cameron

"If no one's doing the creative work that you want to do, do it yourself." -Kate Baldwin

"Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up." -Tate Linden

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected." -Steve Jobs

What are some of your favorite quotes about creativity? Where do you turn when you need some inspiration in your work? Let me know in the comments below.