Creative Chicago Expo 2013—An Inspiring (and FREE!) Way to Connect with Chicago’s Creative Community

Creative Chicago Expo 2013Are you a creative professional? Or, would you like to rub elbows with creative professionals in the hopes of gaining some inspiration?  Either way, consider attending the Creative Chicago Expo this Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2,  from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center. Attendance is free!

The Expo features speakers, workshops, and vendors promoting Chicago’s creative community.

Here are the details:

Date: Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2

Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602

And don’t listen to those pesky poets and playwrights— even copywriters are part of the creative community, so I am planning to stop by!

 

Erin Wright is a freelance writer and editor in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in business documents, copywriting, marketing collateral, blogs, web copy, and instructional content.

Communicating Color with Adobe Kuler

Colored PencilsBusiness communication isn’t limited to the written word. It encompasses everything that conveys a message, from graphics and sound to smells. Obviously, most communication efforts only include a few of these elements….after all, no one has popularized the smell-o-vision television yet. And thankfully, most websites have stopped forcing obnoxious background music on unsuspecting web visitors. (Although many still allow advertising videos to start automatically…tisk, tisk!)

This leaves us with the two most common elements in formal business communication: written content and visuals. Visuals include pictures, logos, and illustrations. This category also covers the artistic and functional designs of websites, brochures, postcards, posters, business cards, signs, etc…basically, stuff we look at.

All visuals have one unifying factor—color. While color theory is beyond the scope of this post,  most of us have an innate understanding of how color can make us feel. For example, most people will agree that bright, bold colors can put us on edge but can also remind us of strength or youthfulness. Muted, natural colors can be relaxing but can also be boring.  These feelings impact our interpretation of all messages, including business communication.

If you are having trouble picking colors that will connect with your customers or clients, check out the Adobe Kuler web tool. You can look at popular color palettes (called “themes”) created by other people or generate your own based on a photo or core color you’ve already selected.

The site looks a bit intimidating at first because the user interface is a little awkward, but once you start playing around with the options, it becomes quite addictive! Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Adobe Flash must be installed on your computer.
  • You don’t have to own any paid Adobe products to use Kuler, but you have to sign up for a free Adobe account if you want to save your themes.
  • Your saved themes are located under the MyKuler tab in the sidebar. (For some reason, this is not obvious.) See Figure 1 below.
  • If you want to see the hexadecimal, RGB, or CMYK numbers for the individual colors, select the small button with the slider image on the right side of the screen.  See Figure 1 below.

Kuler Screen Shot

Figure 1 — Adobe Kuler

Of course, you’re not limited to using Kuler for business communication. You can use it to coordinate paint colors between your kitchen and your living room…use it as inspiration for your next nail polish purchase….or use it to pick out the color of bridesmaids’ dresses.  (Okay, be careful with that last one.)

 

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. This is my own opinion, which I am sharing purely for the purpose of furthering business communication.

 

Erin Wright is a freelance writer and editor in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in business documents, copywriting, marketing collateral, blogs, web copy, and instructional content.

Totally, Absolutely, Completely Off Topic: R.T. Wolfe Returns with Even More Intrigue and Romance

Flying in Shadows by R.T. WolfePlease indulge me as we take another wild ride off topic into the land of fiction…

As mentioned in my previous post about Black Creek Burning, I’ve never been a fan of romance novels.   However, R.T. Wolfe has certainly opened my eyes to the fact that good—no, great—writing is emerging from the genre.

Flying in Shadows is the second book in the Black Creek series. R.T. has once again intertwined fascinating, believable characters in a story brimming with love and danger. But while many authors already sound formulaic by their second effort, R.T. has crafted an exciting, fresh plot that recalls its predecessor without mimicry or repetition.  This skillful effect allows the reader to fall right back into the beautiful landscape of the Northeast while still being surprised at every turn.

Flying in Shadows and Black Creek Burning are both available in eBook format through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Both books are also slated for print publication this spring.

So, I will stand up and admit it: R.T. has done the impossible. She has turned a judgmental literature snob (ahem, me) into a romance novel fan. What’s next, editing in green ink?

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For more information about R.T. Wolfe and the Black Creek series, please visit the links below:

R.T. Wolfe’s Official Website

Flying in Shadows at Amazon

Flying in Shadows at Barnes & Noble

Black Creek Burning at Amazon

Black Creek Burning at Barnes & Noble

Flying in Shadows Official Video Trailer

Black Creek Burning Official Video Trailer

 

Note: This is not a sponsored post. This is my real opinion, which I am sharing purely for the promotion of good writing, be it technical, instructional, marketing…or even fiction.

 

Erin Wright is a freelance writer and editor in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in business documents, copywriting, marketing collateral, blogs, web copy, and instructional content.