No doubt you will have noticed just how calming it can be if you are surrounded by a beautiful blue sky and how the sight of a red light invokes just a little bit of panic. In fact every color we see tends to evoke certain feelings and moods, the very reason why color is actually a far more important part of marketing than perhaps many people realise. In fact did you know that on average more than 85% of those who purchase a certain product – even something as simple as a box of cereal – will admit that the color(s) used in the packaging significantly influences their decision?

Colors and Their Influence

Just how does a certain color make many people feel? Here are some very common examples:

Red: Red is usually associated in the human mind with excitement, passion, strength and even a little bit of danger. The simple act of looking at something red has even been observed to cause an increase in both heart rate and blood pressure. Fast food restaurants, you may have noticed, often make use of red in their product packaging.

Blue: Is the color of trust, calm and stability, invoking a sense of peace but also of gravity and seriousness. It is also a color that younger people tend to associate with authority and maturity. This is why many of the most ‘serious’ corporate brands tend to make use of it a great deal.

Green: Green is most often associated with health, wellness and nature. It makes sense then that it is a color commonly used to promote ‘healthy’ or ‘natural’ products and some retail stores use it in their decor to promote a feeling of calm in their shoppers.

Purple: Many people associate purple with quality and luxury, often because it is also often associated with royalty and wealth. It is not an easy color to use in marketing, but many cosmetics companies use purple with great success for their ‘higher end’ products.

Yellow and Orange: These colors are energetic and often associated with happiness and energy. There is a flip side as well though as being surrounded by these shades can invoke a sense of both caution and urgency (the whole traffic light system is starting to make a lot more sense now isn’t it?)

White: White is naturally associated in the human mind with cleanliness and purity. It can also be used as a ‘spark’ to creativity and creative thought as in many ways it offers a ‘blank’ canvas and all kinds of possibilities.

Black – Black is another color to be used with care in marketing. In small doses it can easily convey power and authority but used too often it reverts back to being a color associated with sadness.

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Brand

The observations above can serve as a very basic guideline for those marketing products, services and even a corporate or company brand as a whole. And some companies make far better use of color than others.

Take McDonald’s for example. The company makes – and has for years – great use of red and yellow. That is because together the colors invoke feelings of urgency, energy and can stimulate the appetite, all the messages that the company wants to send about its food. Would the Big Mac be as popular if it came in a green box rather than a red and yellow one? The answer is almost certainly no.

The chart below demonstrates even more examples of the use of color in branding to help convey the ‘image’ that various brands want for their company and offerings.


Deciding where your company, product and services fit on this spectrum is therefore a very important part of branding design and a decision that should be given a great deal more thought than you might originally have imagined.


Even in this digital age a business card remains one of the most important self promotional tools any professional can have. Some have attempted to popularize the idea of cellphone to cellphone digital business cards but they really haven’t caught on yet. But if everyone has a business card what are the best ways you can make yours stand out from the crowd? Here are some great tips for doing just that:

Add a Headshot

These days, especially with the rise of business social networking via sites like Linkedin and Twitter, every professional really should have a headshot photo in the same way as an entertainer. and if you are going to make the investment in sitting for such a portrait session why not maximize its’ usefulness by adding the image to your business cards as well as your social profiles and email signatures?

By adding an appropriate headshot image to a well designed business card not only will you be adding an extra shot of visual interest but a way to ensure that even months after handing a card over that the recipient will remember just who it relates to and maybe why they should call you.

Choose a Striking Color Palette

The simple fact is that no matter what industry you work in a black and white business card is boring and has very little chance of ever standing out in a stored stack of such things. What colors you choose is rather important though. take a little time to learn about the basic psychology of color and choose a color scheme that sends the right message. For example, as blues and greys are considered to be rather serious and authoritative colors they would be an excellent choice for a lawyer, while yellows and reds, which are exciting and bold, might not.

Avoid Stock Images and Generic Clip Art

If you have ever used one of those cheap, make your own business cards online services you know that often in creating your ‘design’ you will be given the option to add a stock image, logo or icon. the problem is that thousands of others have been offered the same options before, so the chances you will be creating something special and memorable are very slim. If you want to add imagery to your business cards make the the investment in the work of a professional designer who will be able to create something that is unique to you rather than a business cards that is disturbingly similar to many other people’s.

Think Outside the Box on Shape

A business card does need to fit into a standard wallet slot in order for it to be most useful it does not necessarily have to conform to the standard rectangular shape. Consider adding cutouts, decoratively cut edges or opting for a different shape altogether, such as an oval or long sided triangle.

Take Inspiration From Others

Some people take the time to get truly creative with their business cards. It is not always the best idea in some industries but often a little creativity can go a long way. Need some inspiration? Check out our gallery of truly inventive business cards that spans all kinds of job titles and business genres below.


There are many things you may be called upon to visually present to the world. Ideas, statistics, points of view. And they can all, with some thought, be presented via charts, graphs, illustrations and graphics. However, one of the most important visual presentations a person might be called upon to make is of themselves at an interview which can, if you are female, be the hardest visual presentation of all to get right.

The Importance of the Right Visual First Impression

In an ideal world employers would only judge candidates based upon the information in their resume and their answers the their questions, but even with the best will in the world on the part of the interviewer visual first impressions do count, especially when it comes to variables like makeup.

While there really is no perfect ‘interview hair and makeup look’ there are some basic tips you can follow that will not only help you make that all important visual first impression but will help make you feel a little more confident as well:

Less is More

Even if you normally wear very little makeup showing up for an interview completely ‘un-madeup’ is often not considered to be presenting a ‘professional’ image. On the other hand being so ‘madeup’ that your makeup is the first thing that anyone notices detracts from what you have to offer as an employee and what you have to say, so the key to a great interview makeup look is a balance somewhere between the two. So when preparing for an interview, keep these tips in mind:

Allow Yourself Extra Time to Get Ready: Even if you can normally get through your makeup routing in five minutes allow yourself fifteen when getting ready for an interview. This will give you the chance to get things right and even make corrections without feeling panicked about time.

The Minimal Face: When it comes to a base concealer and a loose powder is probably all you need. If you feel you need a little more coverage try one of the newer BB creams that are on the market. They offer coverage without being as ‘cakey’ or obvious or leaving those terrible tell tale lines that are usually more noticeable to an observer than they are to you.

The Eyes Have It: Eyeshadow is a tricky prospect for an interview so the best course of action is to stick to simple neutrals that will enhance without overwhelming. Beiges, taupes and whites suit almost any coloring and they really should be matte shades, as shimmer has a tendency to flake, crease and fade too easily.

The look should then be completed with a light coat of mascara and a small amount of slightly smudged eyeliner. Save the complex liquid liner looks and heavy mascara fro another time, however good you are at applying them.

Lips: Again, neutral is best and a simple tinted lipgloss should be enough. If you are hoping to work in a more creative field, advertising for example, a stronger lip look may be appropriate but proceed with caution.

Fragrance: This one is easy, skip it. Fragrance is a very personal thing and what you find pleasing may annoy or offend an interviewer to the point where they think of little else, not even how well qualified you are. Worse still, they may even be one of those who are allergic to the stuff, setting up a scenario that is even worse!

Don’t improvise! Practice those tips before to put them in practice. Request some free makeup samples onlineĀ orĀ in your supermarket to don’t waste your money.


Conveying data as a part of presentation is often an essential part of the whole but if it’s not presented in just the right way it can end up confusing people rather than informing and enlightening them. Ream of facts and figures can be hard for even the most intelligent people to digest in a presentation setting which is why most presenters turn to charts and graphs to help them get their point cross effectively.

But with this idea comes another question to be answered; what type of chart or graph will communicate you unique information best, as there are several different types to choose from.

What is It That You Are Trying to Say?

Before even beginning to decide upon a specific chart or graph type you to determine just what it is that you will be trying to say. There are five main reasons that people usually choose to add a chart of graph to their presentation:

To compare something to something else
To illustrate distribution;
To illustrate a trend or trends over time;
To explain parts of a whole;
To help the audience understand relationships;
Take a good long look at the data you need to present and determine into which category it fits best. With that decided you can them move on to the all important business of choosing – and then creating – a chart type.

Charts for Comparisons

Comparative data does exactly what its name suggests, compares one, or more, things to another. For example, the market performance of Chocolate Bar A over Chocolate Bar B, or the job hunting success of a college graduate versus that of a high school graduate.

In the case of comparison figures the best charting will allow a presentations audience to see the differences at a glance, even if you have several different items to compare in a single illustration. That means that any of the following chart and graph types should be quite effective:

Charts for Distributions

Not sure what we mean by distributions figures? They illustrate things like the hold times experienced by callers to a call centre over a set period, or perhaps different flaws and bugs discovered during the beta testing of a video game. Here you need the data to be presented in as simple a manner as possible, so the following chart and graph types would all be good choices:

  • Column Charts
  • Line Charts
  • Scatter Plots

Charts for Trends Over Time

This type of data requires an audience to follow, and comprehend a timeline, one that should be easy to understand at any point. For this type of data a simple line chart really is usually the best way to go.

Charts for Parts of a Whole

For this type of data to be best taken in quickly and easily there really is only one logical choice; a clearly marked and possibly rather colorful (great for helping catch an observer’s attention) pie chart.

Charts for Relationship Data

Once again, this type of data needs to be presented in a manner that is as clear and simple as possible. Relationship data – things like the relationship between certain days of the calender year and the sales performance of certain products or services – can be rather complex and involve a larger than usual amount of facts and figures. Losing your audience’s attention and understanding can be all to easy in this situation, but making use of any of the following chart types should help:

  • Line Charts
  • Data Tables
  • Scatter Charts

These are of course simply basic suggestions and you should take into consideration the nature of both your data and your intended audience before making a final decisions. and of course, in some cases, the best course of action of all may be to incorporate your data into an eye-catching infographic. What is most important though is that you give the proper consideration to the way you visually present your data, otherwise you risk undermining all of the hard work that was put into compiling all of those facts and figures.

Back in the summer of 2013 the world’s attention turned to a very important scientific presentation. It was made by researchers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and it revealed that they had, after many years, been able to prove the existence of the Higgs-Boson.




It should have been the single most important presentation in scientific history, inspiring nothing but awe from the audience. Unfortunately the first reaction of many of the assembled in person viewers was to snicker as these respected scientists had decided to put their presentation slides together using one of the most ridiculed fonts of all; Comic Sans. That meant that the first Tweets that went out form the presentation hall well about the terrible typography, not about the ‘God Particle’ at all.


This is a slightly extreme, but very true, example of how choosing the wrong fonts for a visual presentation really can make or break it. And the boffins from CERN are far from the only intelligent professionals who have made this mistake. All to often a visual presentation that may have taken months to create is undermined by poor typography choices. Using the wrong fonts, even the wrong font colors and font sizes, can be disastrous.

The Psychology of a Font

Not convinced that something as seemingly trivial as the choice of font really could be so important? Here’s another example to demonstrate that it really is. Just after the CERN debacle New York Times columnist Errol Morris decided to conduct an experiment of his own and then report its findings to his readers while actually using them as a part of the experiment.

On the New York Times website Morris published an article in two parts. The first was an informative piece about a recent report on optimism and pessimism. The second was a shorter piece soliciting comments from readers about how plausible they thought the study was.

The catch was that the site’s programmers did a little magic and when the story was viewed different readers were presented it in different fonts, specifically Baskerville, Georgia, Helvetica, Comic Sans, and Trebuchet. More than 40,000 readers did comment and Morris and some psychologists roped in to aid him began analyzing the results.


As they had actually expected the people who commented they found the study completely implausible were those who had seen silly old Comic Sans when they logged on. What they did not expect however was that out of the other, far more ‘serious’ fonts there would also be marked differences in reaction. Those who were presented the piece in Baskerville were most likely to find the study credible.

Morris and his team did develop a theory about this however, around the concept that fonts do indeed have their own personalities. Morris theorized that the rather starchy nature of Baskerville had lent his piece extra gravitas while the trendier Trebuchet et al had detracted from its seriousness to varying degrees.

Choosing the Right Typography for Your Visual Presentation

If you go searching you will find dozens and dozens of articles offering opinions about just what typography elements are ‘perfect’ in various situations. And while reading them won’t do any harm and you may pick up some ideas. However they should never be followed slavishly. Instead you need to focus on your unique piece only.

For example, if your visual presentation is about kids’ clothing than in actual fact the dreaded Comic Sans may actually be perfectly suited to the piece. And making the mistake of using Baskerville, the font that was so successful for Errol Morris, may be fatal as it will certainly convey a message that is far from fun and young.

In the end the lesson is that yes, typography is very important for any visual presentation but there is no magic formula. Experiment a little and opt for the arrangements and combinations that work for your piece, even if they break the ‘rules’ a little.