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THEY'RE JUST TOOLS

by Gerard Estella / September 09, 2015

I had to do a little late summer cleaning this past week. Mind you, this is cleaning up computers, applications, operating systems and virtual folder after virtual folder of projects and all the data since time began affiliated with those projects. What started this adventure of virtual Swiffer sweeping was the smallest, most innocent little tool. A plug-in.

You know, those little pieces of code that some high tech guru developed to allow you to do more. To be better, stronger, faster, greater, just like the six million dollar man (if you do not recognize that phrase you are too dang young, like most of my colleagues so go ahead and wiki Steve Austin).

Anyway, that little old plug-in was just what I needed to fix a sync issue with audio for a four camera video project. Broadcast waits for no one and the lock picture to on-air timeline gets tighter and tighter. I thought there has to be a faster, easier, better solution to this problem and some Google time later I found the plug-in.

This plug-in was tested by the manufacturer of the application I use—and people I respect swear by it. I now too swear by it, but probably not in the same tone. My industry friends, and the manufacturer were not wrong, it’s actually a pretty neat add on. It just didn’t work on my systems, and it convinced everything else on my rig to stop working as well. The conflict that occurred was discovered a significant amount of time later—after even more swearing. But when all the summer cleaning was done the audio rig is soundly (sorry about that) humming along (and that) and frankly even more efficient and responsive than before.

The computer issue ended up getting resolved after the deadline, however I did meet the client’s deadline. The client is happy, the piece made air, and all is good in the world of customer expectation. But, in the process I learned a lesson that I need to remind myself of regularly.

I went to my backup rig. Yes, everybody should have one. Powered it up for the first time in probably 2 years, imported the files and went to work. I don’t have all the latest bells and whistles on the backup system. I actually have software that is almost 3 generations old and had to start fresh in some areas because the older software couldn’t open my backup files, but I went to work.

I had to improvise, adapt and make software do things it probably wasn’t designed to do, but could. I even used the old fashioned calculator that sits on my desk to do time frame calculations, which I wrote down with a pencil.

The moral of the story is simply this, computers, hardware, software apps, plug-in’s, all of these are just tools. They don’t create, fix, or make anything better, faster, greater on their own. They’re just tools. It’s the user, the experience and knowledge of the user and how they control these tools that make things happen. We should spend less time on what the gear can do for us, and more time focusing on what we can do with the gear.

What Color Is Your Brand?

by Beth Meyer / July 06, 2015

I recently bought a chair for my family room. Not a big, comfy “lounge in me” kind of chair, but what those in the interior décor world would call an “accent chair.” A chair that is strategically placed in a room to provide complimentary color to other items, or to bring interest to the rest of the décor, by purely using the design and shape of the chair.

I spent hours debating what color I wanted to incorporate into the room. With a fairly neutral palate of gray on the walls, I figured featuring pops of color would be a welcomed sight. Should it match the picture frame on the shelf, or the pillow on the couch? Should the chair be loud and bright so that it draws your eye, or more neutral and subtle?

The power of color and the psychological affects it has on a person is truly powerful. Studies have shown that certain colors evoke specific feelings and behaviors. Red calls for action and conveys high energy and strength. Orange inspires and creates enthusiasm. Green is associated with nature and health, and inspires compassion. Blue is considered the safest color to use in most applications, implying honesty and dependability.

Ask any designer worth their weight in gold and they will tell you color matters. Whether it’s the color of your logo or the pillow in a room, color is persuasive and draws the attention of the observer. Whether you’re an interior designer or a graphic designer, the colors you choose serve purpose and should be considered carefully.

Understanding how color affects your brand and business is an essential part of marketing. Your brand subconsciously sends a message to your audience. What color resonates with you? Much like my chair, what complimentary colors can be used as an accent to your main brand color? It’s important to spend time considering different color options that best fit your vision and message.

After much thought, I settled on a neutral fabric chair with a lime green accent pillow. A once dull, boring space now has a focal point that the eye is immediately drawn to when entering the room. Lesson learned here, regardless if it’s the colors of your logo or an accent chair in a room, color can be persuasive and powerful. 

What Your Logo's Color Says About Your Company

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