When it comes to design, there are no bad colors, just bad combinations.

Color is one of the few elements in design that contains both the Arts and Sciences simultaneously, while incorporating emotional, psychological, and scientific aspects of the Arts. Color can be broken down into a color wheel with an exact science, and yet when it comes to designing, you have to approach color from a human esthetic point of view as well. Color can affect us emotionally thru our past personal experiences, but this is not the goal that we are working towards. Instead we want our corporate branding to be “less personal” and more in the realm of universal language of meaning in your respective industry, for example, restaurants are generally in the red/orange warm spectrum of the color wheel. Here are the colors broken down in how colors psychologically affect us universally.

 Stimulates mental processes, the nervous system, activates memory, and encourages communication.
Green: Soothes, Relaxes mentally, as well as physically, Helps alleviate depression, nervousness, and anxiety.
Blue: Calms and sedates, cools, aids intuition.
Purple: Uplifts, Calms the mind and nerves, offers a sense of spirituality, and encourages creativity.
Pink: Bright pinks, like the color red, stimulate energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate. Can also encourage action and confidence.
Red: Increases enthusiasm, Stimulates our psychologically, Encourages action, provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety.
Orange: Stimulates activity, appetite, and encourages socialization.

Black is not typically considered a color in the visual arts, because it represents void of light, thus without light there is no color. White on the other hand theoretically is considered of all colors combined in ultraviolet light.

When picking your branding colors, it’s more advantageous to start your approach of the problem from an industry perspective rather than personal one. For example, red is a high energy alerting color, so more than likely you would not want to use it for your funeral home brand, even though your car is in your favorite color red. This is where you should Separate your personal pallet with your businesses brand.

With that being said, this does not mean you can’t use colors you like, but just be cognitive that they are not counterproductive to your industry standard or your desired messaging. While considering your industries pallet standards you still can find your companies uniqueness through variations of your chosen color(s). For example your blue, red, or yellow primary colors can be variants of the Hues, by selecting your tints, tones, and shades of the colors themselves. Also your secondary color that you pick can also aid you in achieving your branding design uniqueness by choosing an accent color of your choice, or you can simply chose a safe complementary color from the color wheel.

When designing logos, the finished product should have four logos variations as follows: One and two colors logos, one black and one white logo for b/w print advertising (magazines Newspapers etc.).

While stating all of this, rules are not unbreakable, but in general a starting point to guide us through the complicated considerations when selecting branding colors for your designs. In general your layout designs should mirror the branding pallet you finally decide on.

Hopefully this is a help to you in breaking down the designing and branding problems to a more manageable task for you. If not, give us a call, we like to help.

Understanding Spam Email

There are many factors that contribute to how much spam email you will receive. This is some advice and tips, to help limit those pestering emails to a minimum. The first thing to consider is how many email accounts you have. The more email accounts you have, the more likely you are to receive spam messages. This includes aliases of your email account.

For example; joe@example.com is your primary email account, with an alias of joesmith@example.com. Although it is technically one email account, there are 2 email addresses that spammers are able to reach out to. Another thing to keep in mind would be to keep tabs on how many newsletters, articles, blogs, and other websites that you are subscribed to.

There is a chance that when you subscribed to one website, you may have accidentally subscribed to another, just by selecting all of those check boxes that most people don’t bother reading. Most of the time, the fix to some spam messages, is simply unsubscribing to those emails that you no longer read by selecting “unsubscribe” usually toward the bottom of the email. CAREFUL THOUGH! Spammers are getting better each day, and by clicking that “unsubscribe” button, you may have just opened a dangerous website, subscribed to another newsletter, or worse, downloaded a virus to your computer. A possible way to check this, is to hover your mouse over that “unsubscribe” button, without clicking on the link, and see if the website URL matches the business/mailing list that you are unsubscribing from. In most cases it will be the same unless that company is utilizing an email marketing service.

It is key to properly understand what a whitelist and blacklist are, and how they are used. For some, it may be self-explanatory, as the whitelist is for email addresses you trust, while blacklist is for those that you don’t trust. I would highly recommend to familiarize yourself with the whitelist rather than the blacklist and here’s why. I would add all recipients/email users that you communicate with on a regular basis to this whitelist to verify you will always receive their email in your inbox.

The blacklist is great to prevent specific emails/domains from coming into your inbox, however, it is very easy for spammers to change the ‘from’ address and make its way right back into your inbox. Instead, you may want to consider creating “rules” within your email account, if your email provider supports this service (we do!). Rules are great because you can choose to move email messages that come from a specific sender to your trash, or even a specific folder you created for that sender. You may customize rules to filter by subject, from, to, date, message, IP address, Spam score, and more. This is basically a customizable blacklist with more features to limit by. The last item I would recommend is to not reply to senders that you are unfamiliar with. Just a simple delete of the email is the best option, because a reply to the email stating you are no longer interested in the subscription lets spammers know that your email address is valid, is checked regularly, and is an open door to future spammers.

Email delays occur occasionally and the reasons why

Common questions I get for support is why do some emails take longer to receive, hours after they were sent, or Why do some emails get delivered out of order being an email sent at 1:00 PM is received after an email sent at 1:15 PM by 30 minutes or so.

There are many variables in the handling of e-mail that could affect sending and receiving. The average e-mail for the most part is sent and received immediately (within seconds), however it is not uncommon for e-mails to take 15 to 30 minutes to complete the delivery cycle. In very rare cases e-mails can be delayed 24 and up to 72 hours before being delivered/received.

The most common cause is the send/receive cycle of the e-mail program

Internet Service Providers, and or web based e-mail services. Many e-mail programs and services have timed interval cycles for sending/receiving. The most common cycles are from a few seconds to 15 minutes. This can be changed to shorter times in most e-mail programs or services property settings.

The second most common cause for longer than expected delivery times is Anti-Virus/Spam screening programs

For the most part these programs are quick and usually only delay from a few seconds to a minute, however it is common depending on application for this process to take longer, as e-mails are screened in the order they are received and the over-all file size or attachments can cause delays.

The delays of several minutes to hours are usually related to network and or Internet issues. The number of variables are numerous to list here, but typically are related to e-mail spooling. An e-mail server may spool e-mail for several minutes and up to 72 hours, if there is an issue connecting to the internet or processing a large volume of e-mail due to high demand and traffic. When issue is corrected or service is restored the e-mail server starts sending out spooled e-mail, but priority is given to normal traffic first. In any case the normal (current) e-mail traffic flow continues and the spooled e-mails are released when the traffic allows.

An example would be rush hour traffic with each vehicle representing an e-mail message. You and a co-worker live on the same street. You leave work at 5:00 and your coworker leaves at 5:15 while on the freeway there is an accident and traffic comes to a crawl. You are caught in the traffic as you hear the radio station announce the accident at 5:05. Your co-worker hears this and takes an alternate route by passing around the accident and getting home 10 minutes before you. Spooling can be further explained by comparing the traffic lanes. The accident was in the right hand lane which has caused you to stop. You have to wait to move to the left lane as traffic will allow. This may also allow you co-worker who may have left minutes after you to pass you by and get home 10 minutes before you.

E-mails should rarely take extended times from sender to recipient, but should be expected from time to time. If this issue is common or persists and the majority of e-mails are taking longer than 15 minutes to complete delivery there may be an issue and should be reported. Note the default setting for automatic send and receive with most client servers and e-mail applications is 15 minutes, so unless the user is clicking the send and receive button there is a delay of 15 minutes.