This Beautifully Simple Site Makes It Easy to Create the Right Digital Color Palette Made for app designers, it's handy for all

For the most talented designers, creating a palette of complementary colors comes easy. For the rest of us, not so much.

Enter Material Palette, a site launched this week by European coder Matt Aussaguel to help Android app designers find the right color options within Google's new Material Design language. What's especially nice is that the clean, user-friendly resource is actually helpful for anyone who ever finds themselves in need of a quick array of colors for a digital design (or a kitchen remodel, in my case).

There are lots of color palette creators out there, but most involve sliders and rainbow wheels and all manner of intricacy I'd rather not deal with. With Material Palette, you click two colors you want to use, and boom—you get eight colors that work and play well together. (See example below.) The colors use traditional hex codes, too, so you can use them just about anywhere, from Photoshop to your site's CSS.

Try it for yourself here.

Hat tip to Google Design's Twitter feed for spotting and sharing this one.

December 18, 2014, 12:32 PM EST

Meet the Two Singers Who Helped Make Apple's 2014 Holiday Ad So Special Dana Williams and Rhiannon Giddens

Apple is back to take you behind the scenes of its sweet holiday ad about a musical recording that spans generations.

Singer-songwriter Dana Williams, who stars as the granddaughter in the commercial, recaps its premise—she finds a vinyl copy of the Gershwin standard "Love Is Here to Stay" that her grandmother cut for her grandfather in the early 1950s, before he went to war in Korea. Then, Williams overdubs new guitar parts and harmonies using Apple's GarageBand software, to make a nifty holiday present for her grandmother.

Click to Read More →

December 18, 2014, 11:52 AM EST

If You Loved Aaron Draplin's Logo Tutorial, Here's More of His Design Wisdom Tattoos and TED talks with everyone's new spirit animal

If you were on the Internet this week, you probably saw the video of Aaron Draplin building a logo from scratch. If not, go watch it—we'll wait. 

OK, are we all on the same page? Great. Now, as a new fan of his work, you can go watch his other videos in chronological order-ish. 

Below, Draplin stars in a couple of videos from Vans' "Living Off the Wall" series, as well as clips of other talks he's given, including a TED presentation in Portland, Ore., and a speech titled "The DDC 50 Point Plan to Ruin Yer Career."

Click to Read More →

December 18, 2014, 10:24 AM EST

Dumb Ways to Die Sings 'Deck the Halls' for the Holidays A dumbed-down version, of course

Holiday safety is the theme of the latest "Dumb Ways to Die" video from Metro Trains and McCann in Melbourne, Australia.

Tangerine Kitty, which sang on the iconic original PSA from 2012, performs a version of "Deck the Halls" here. The lyrics warn against overloading electrical sockets to power festive lights or nibbling on toxic mistletoe. ("Christmas is a time to cherish/Don't be dumb or you will perish!") The song is available to buy on iTunes, with proceeds benefiting the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal.

Click to Read More →

December 18, 2014, 9:32 AM EST

Hootsuite's Holiday Video Is 40 Minutes of an Owl Perched by a Roaring Fire Really, why overcomplicate it?

Hootsuite knows how to celebrate the holidays. On the heels of its great Halloween ads, the social media aggregation site has now rolled out a simple, awesome Christmas ad playing off its owl mascot. The brand explains:

This year for the holidays we wanted to do our own take on the popular yule log videos. This is Hootsuite's Holiday Owl, 40 minutes of pure, cute, heart-warming Holiday Owl perched by a roaring fire.

Click to Read More →

December 17, 2014, 4:16 PM EST

Grammys Ads Show the Peculiar After-Effects of Loving Taylor Swift and Lorde You're never quite the same

The Grammy Awards will make even a long-maned, bearded, hard-rock dude head bang to Taylor Swift, according to this new ad from TBWA\Chiat\Day.

It's a preposterous conceit, even if Taylor Swift's long hair at last year's Grammys show generated the illusion of impressive head banging skills. Hard-rock dudes do not head bang to pop-country music. At least not in public places—even while wearing earbuds.

Click to Read More →

December 17, 2014, 1:57 PM EST

Sarah Koenig Buckles Under the Pressure of Serial's Final Episode in This Outstanding Parody Funny or Die prepares us for the worst

Fans are already preparing themselves to be disappointed when Serial releases its final episode tomorrow, a fact that Funny or Die has captured masterfully in its new parody.

In "The Last Episode of Serial," versatile comedian and SNL alumna Michaela Watkins puts herself in Koenig's shoes as the tremendously popular podcast prepares to come to a close. The host faces not only her own doubt about who killed Hae Min Lee in the real-life murder mystery, but also the pressure from listeners and sponsors (like MailCrimp...MailKimp?) who want the show to end on a satisfying note.

While largely light-hearted, the parody also has a few biting moments that remind us the show's pop culture success was born from the death of a bright and well-loved 18-year-old. But most fans will simply enjoy the clip's reference-packed, all-too-real depiction of what it's like to be obsessed with something that may never come to any sort of clear conclusion. 

December 17, 2014, 12:28 PM EST

Employees Get Pelted With Snowballs in Super Slow Motion in This Agency's Holiday Card That's cold, Exit10

Employees at Baltimore agency Exit10 get pelted with snowballs in slow motion in this flaky and—let's be honest—rather painful-looking holiday video. No one got hurt during filming. Not much, anyway.

The idea "came out of that dark place where all holiday video concepts come from," says Eric Hartsock, Exit10's managing partner and creative director, "meaning, the small conference room the creative team refuses to leave until they come up with something that sticks."

Click to Read More →

December 17, 2014, 11:42 AM EST

Agency Pitches Christmas to a Focus Group, and Their Reaction Is Anything but Merry Scrooges run amok

So, you hate focus groups. Understandable. They can make a mess of anything. In fact, they can even hate Christmas.

Ogilvy & Mather in Paris put together this entertaining little (fake) hypothetical experiment called "Ho Ho No Go," where the concept of Christmas itself is pitched to a group of random strangers. Let's just say they don't react too positively. Yet the roundtable does shine a light on how bizarre the holiday is as a marketing concept. 

Take a look below, and have a very Merry Sparktazzle.

Click to Read More →

December 17, 2014, 10:42 AM EST

14 Brilliant Outdoor Ads That Rocked the Real World in 2014 Beautiful, subversive, playful and magical

As usual, many of this year's most inspired and delightful advertisements weren't found on TV, in print or online. They were found outside, where marketers played off the real world to bring completely new dimensions to their brands.

Below, check out 14 of our favorite out-of-home executions from 2014—all of them a potent reminder that outdoor can make brands instantly relevant and incredibly cool.

View Gallery

December 17, 2014, 6:57 AM EST


Sign up for AdFreak Newsletters

About AdFreak

AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd and David Griner.

Click to Subscribe to AdFreak RSS