1 2 Previous Next 47 Replies Latest reply on Jul 5, 2007 4:13 PM by CBukley

    My Happy Little Colors

    CBukley Level 1
      Chatter Alert: What follows are the fluffy musings of a kuler addict. Not a useful techie comment in sight. Serious, productive types should pass this over for other threads.

      I decided to weed out my published themes today. Really, no one needs 63 mediocre themes out there. Time to whittle it down to the few decent themes I've created. How hard could it be? I mean, I've saved these to my hard drive. It's not like they'll be lost to me forever.

      It was hard.

      I found myself reluctant to give them the hook. It was like having to lay off someone. ("Thanks for the great work, but that line just isn't selling and I can't keep you ALL on if things don't pick up.") And I seem to love the loser themes the most. The ones that don't quite work and get no love from the masses. They are the WONDERFUL best friend that just can't seem to find the right woman.

      "Ah, that set's just misunderstood. It just needs the right project to come along!"

      "Can't dump that one. People seem to like it."

      "Ah, good ol' Will..."
      (Maybe it would be easier if I hadn't given some of them people-names).

      "Oh! I love the comment on that one. Funny."

      "Maybe if I just tweak the third green a little..."
      [twenty minutes pass in futile tweaking]

      etc. etc. etc.

      Is it just me? Yes? Well (ahem), alright then. I'm down to 47 so far. Just need a little time to break it gently to some of the older themes.

      --caro

      P.S. I got it down to 36 or so. In the meantime I solved the internal dilemma by finding many kulerites out there with far more themes to their name. (You know who you are.) Time to get busy again....
        • 1. Re: My Happy Little Colors
          Boyd Wiebe Level 1
          I don't really consider myself an addict, yet. Some in my immediate family are starting to wonder. I can go at least 6, 4 ok 2 hours without signing in. Getting rid of themes, especially the embarassing ones, is easy for me. If one of my clients wants to use one I take it down. I don't show them my favorites though or my highest rated because it's too much fun watching them jump around the ranks. We could wax on about the "three star kiss of death" but if mine don't have some sentimental value they're gone in a week. Most of my themes have a purpose but for my own website I used Matt's 'pistachio', plus a few of my own complimentary colors for flare.
          I know what you mean about tweaking existing themes, before I kiss them off I give them a second chance or seven. Usually, though, they just end up looking worse and the original inspiration is gone. The best ones seem to hit first time around.
          • 2. My Happy Little Colors
            CBukley Level 1
            quote:

            I don't really consider myself an addict, yet.

            Ha! Boyd, admitting you have a problem is the first step. You are almost there... :)

            Actually, I noticed that you keep your theme list neat and tidy. I expected you to have an avalanche of themes but it's always a manageable number. Very disciplined of you. Of course, I noticed because I went looking for a theme and missed the cusp. I think your client must have snagged it. Don't be too disciplined or we'll all miss out on some great themes. Of course there might be something to the "get it while it's hot" approach.

            Re: tweaking themes. One of the problems I've had is that it's hard to make a copy of a theme you've published in order to play with it. More than once I've accidentally overwritten something I really liked with a tweaked mess because I forgot I had started with an existing theme of my own. Of course, I realized it seconds after hitting the save button. It takes a while for the save to finish but you are powerless to stop it. Horrible feeling. Spin spin "NOOOOOOooooooo!" spin spin spin spin spin spin spin SAVE.

            --Caro
            • 3. Re: My Happy Little Colors
              julie-vdr
              why don't you make a screenshot before tweaking? I always do that, so I can reconstruct the (yes, usually messed up) theme. I also keep screenshots of all objects. Meanwhile I have discarded about 50 themes, but kept the screenshots for any event.

              It's also fun to look at the trashed misfits after some time has passed. I find it fascinating how this Kuler project has sharpened my colour awareness. Today I cannot believe what I published in the beginning. I'm only in the game since a month and watch how some newcomers produce every 7 minutes a new combo -- cluttering the 'Newest' list with their bowel movements. But I guess that's how it is in the beginning: It feels like a game. It takes a while to realize that it is indeed serious business.
              • 4. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                julie-vdr Level 1
                Boyd, one week may be not enough time. I have some combos, which could be seen as "embarassing." They got no star and I am not especially fond of them, but they got more downloads than others with 4 stars. For example my Red Burgundy Wine, which was meant as pure color reference. I did not expect stars, but oviously there are fellows out there, who use it. So I wouldn't trash it. That one, by the way, was dead for about two weeks, before the the first download. I almost threw it out.

                Also, no downloads don't mean that people don't use it. I would always just use GoLive's color picker. It takes seconds. Why download?

                People seem to use Kuler for all kind of purpose, not only websites. From what I read in comments, there are users who just look for color combinations for their fiberart projects, birthday cards, party decoration, or whatever else. That's fine. I see it pretty pragmatic: If it's used, it's good -- if not, not -- star or no star.

                Of course do I have also 'useless' favorites, which I want to let sit there for a little while. And of course do I love stars, who doesn't? After all we are human beings. But how I understand it, this project is at first some kind of public service, isn't it?

                On the other hand something must be done so the list doesn't explode. More and more people join the club. But what good is it to throw good or halfway good stuff away and incrcrease by that the percentage of real garbage that probably never gets thrown away. Something must be done about this problem in the future.

                For example, if you enter "blue" into the search box, you get over 1,000 results -- and this shows only combos with descriptions included. Soon this will be worth nothing. Who wants to go throuch such a long list?

                Maybe Adobe can supply a color palette with more colors, than usually found in the internet and more intelligent color names than usually provided. This could help a lot to isolate what you are looking for from the rest of the lits. Ideally it should not be possible to publish themes without color description. Those can't be found anyway.
                • 5. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                  julie-vdr Level 1
                  Caro, I forgot: You are soooo right. OF COURSE we are all *addicts.* There's nothing wrong with it, true?
                  • 6. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                    Boyd Wiebe Level 1
                    Hey Julie, glad you found your way here. I know the three star kiss of death comment was mostly a joke because many of my favorite themes are three stars. I often create color themes that I use for some of the commercial office spaces I design. Most of them are not really appealing to web designers. I publish them to see how they will get ranked by kuler. It's just my competitive nature that seeks out four stars.
                    The majority of my work is in graphic design but I often find that work boring because most of my clients have their colors picked out and have to use them over and over again for branding purposes. So kuler becomes an outlet for expression and sometimes I will use a pretty theme for some extracuricular photoshop creations.
                    • 7. My Happy Little Colors
                      CBukley Level 1
                      quote:

                      why don't you make a screenshot before tweaking?
                      I do sometimes. I also have saved the ase files to my hard drive usually (but not always). Sometimes though I'll be logged out and I'll just wonder if it would have looked better with a different second color, click the change button and start playing with it, never intending to keep the result. Then way leads on to way and the theme has morphed into something completely different. Something worth saving for later. So I log in to save and then ... Usually I've been able to recover the old theme, but I have lost a few good ones that way. (Sounds like a fish story, doesn't it? :) The big one that got away.)

                      A "Save a Copy" button would be on my list of needed new features though. Or different behavior for the change button when youre own theme is involved. An option to edit or copy? A warning? Better idiot proofing anyway. :)

                      In a similar vein, it doesn't seem like you should be able to tweak a published theme without resetting the theme. You should get an "Edit or Copy" choice and then if you edit the old published theme, it would treat it as a new theme, remove any stars already acquired and reset download numbers. I mean, if you change it, isn't it really a new theme? Doesn't seem right that the theme that earns a gold star might actually have looked completely different.

                      And another thing....(I'm on a roll)...we *do* need some indication of whether something is published or just saved. Especially since an unpublished theme (of your own) *will* show up in a title search if you are logged in. You have to log out, search, and log back in to be sure if something is out there or not. (At least that's the easiest way I've found to do it.)

                      And we need a new date stamp when something is published. If you create and theme but aren't quite happy with it and then come back 4 days later, complete and publish it, it gets filed way-deep in the newest list since it's sorting by create date (I think). So it fades off into the ether without ever having been seen. Yes, you can use the old saved copy to create a fresh copy by pasting in all the values, but it's tedious. Fine for a beta, of course.

                      To any adobe folks that might have waded into this thread, this is FEEDBACK on usability, not a whining set of complaints. It's a great tool. Especially as a FREE app in BETA. File it under "How to make a good thing better."

                      Okay...maybe it is whining. Just a little. ;)
                      • 8. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                        CBukley Level 1
                        Re: garbage themes and the explosion of content. I like that folks play on the tool. It's interesting to watch and it's how you learn. One of the beautiful things about kuler is that it isn't intimidating. If I had to choose between garbage themes and people too intimidated to post a first effort, I'd opt for some garbage. I did find the "Ugly Cheating Husband" series fascinating.

                        I'm not sure I could declare something garbage though. Many of the themes I like do poorly in the ratings and download areas. I'm not really sure there is an actually relationship there. One theme may be useless for web but perfect for print. Great for a map index scheme or table presentation but not all that flashy. Plus, I think the themes that do well are often just plain pretty. Some themes have rated high and downloaded often and I can't for the life of me figure out why. I think there has to be more context to "good" and "bad" or the ratings are kind of meaningless.

                        At one time I actually counted the number of three stars because I thought it was ridiculous that such a great percentage of new themes were quickly rated three stars. There were 8214 themes in the highest rated list. Of those, there were none with five stars, 147 with four stars and a whopping 5521 with three stars, 407 with two stars, and the remainder didn't even show up (no theme title, no colors). So it does prove your point about star/no star. And yes, I love stars anyway.

                        [Note: I have produced a healthy number of no star themes. Be Merciful. :) I think some of them were better themes than the popular ones. Ah, what do I know?]

                        It would be great if there were more detail there. Partial stars or just a numeric rating (3.29 stars based on 27 votes). Or maybe just a little shooting netflix type "Top 100" if you make the top of the list. I also liked twinklebunnytoes suggestion of showing the current ranking in various lists on the theme view page.

                        Of 8756 themes ThemeName ranks:

                        27 in Highest Rated
                        459 in Best Blue in a Leading Role
                        8756 in "I Used this is a project. Click for a project view."
                        43 in "Butt Ugly"
                        345 in "Most Downloaded this Month"


                        etc. etc.

                        Wow...I could go on forever (and have). We should do a whole separate thread on approaches to categorization and context. Great ideas from those least likely to be involved in implementation.

                        Re: color naming. If you establish a range of values for a particular color set (e.g. baby blue) you wouldn't even need to make folks select from a controlled list. You could autotag for color names and let folks use the tags in other ways.
                        • 9. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                          Boyd Wiebe Level 1
                          Wow are you full of ideas. Maybe we should create our own site and knock kuler into oblivion:) (just kidding Sami, I don't have a years worth of spare time on my hands so I think you're safe for now). I wish that a tweaked theme would get a clean slate as well because I could sure turn out some ugly threes dressed up like a nine on a way to a four. (Isn't there a song in there somewhere?)
                          I also find that I take this whole kuler thing too seriously sometimes because I actually use it for a work tool now and when I'm working I'm far too serious!
                          There are still a few curious anomalies in the rating system but it seems every time I sign in (I still swear I'm not addicted) things are somewhat improved as a work in progress should be.
                          • 10. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                            julie-vdr Level 1

                            taking the Kuler thing (...and ourselves) too seriously and non-sensical star distribution: Yes, yes, yes!

                            Yesterday night I rummaged the list for copies. This was initiated by a new member who seems to just take and tint one combo after the other from the 'hitlist.' I must admit, I felt growing irritation watching this process and pondered for some hours how this could be stopped.

                            This member is seemingly no graphic designer and of course everyone is welcomed to join the club, since Kuler is an open feature. So why wouldn't/shouldn't anyone take a combo, change it a little bit and publish it as his/her "own," since the feature allows this -- even encourages newcomers to do so in its introduction tutorial? Also do I have a number of friends with excellent taste, who are no graphic designers. I bet they could create wonderful colorsets.

                            My rummage for copies felt suddenly somewhat absurd as the doubt about what is "own?" crossed my mind. Here we go, spending our precious time by donating our colorsets to the public for anyone to use, yet if someone else copies and publishes a slight variation under his/her name, we feel annoyed.

                            I ask myself: Why? Has working in the -- highly competetive -- advertising scene for too long corrupted our thinking?

                            Yes, it is one thing to tinker for hours, sometimes even days, about a color set, which could be applicable for a website, trying to create something within an imagined theme, in which every color goes with the other, nevermind how it's shuffled -- then, after all the brooding and sweating we hand it over for public use. And it's another thing to just take it, mess around with it for few minutes, rename it, and set it up as "own."

                            But didn't we knew from the beginning, that this is part of the game?

                            The question arose "Why am I here?" Maybe I spend too much time at this place. Yeah, it's fun! But honestly, my enthusiasm is a bit dimmed right now -- questioning the sense of Kuler, by looking at a folder which appears like a tinted version of the 'hitlist,' published from the assembly line in 4 to 10 minute pulse -- decorated with stars by clueless members.

                            This is of course nobody's 'fault.' It just became obvious, that something about the general system might need be reconsidered. Mainly on our end?

                            I would love to know how all of you feel about this. Could well be I should just see a shrink ...

                            ---

                            Caro, I agree completely with your view on 'garbage,' if it comes to stars. Stars don't seem to mean too much, as one can see at the 'Popular' list. I sometimes find wonderful oldies with no stars and gladly add mine.

                            It is also nearly impossible to check out every new theme. But meanwhile I became pretty reluctant to praise new combos. Usually I look up first what else they have published. If there is only a single old combo, it might be just a copy of something I haven't seen before. So I hold myself, sometimes watching that folder for a while.

                            I actually thought about some kind of justification for given stars, without which they cannot be submitted. Maybe a small list of reasons to pick from. This might also help confine the mindless distribution of the wanted little bulbs. Though I think it's good that one can remove them again. It always can happen that one falls for counterfeits. Then it's nice being able to correct the error.

                            -- Julie
                            • 11. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                              Level 7
                              Yesterday I retired from Kuler, truly bothered by a member who uninhibitly
                              continues to steal combos to dye them blue or whatever. Now, even other members
                              are aping the bad manner by just tinting foreign combos ... hmmm ...

                              This place became tedious. I think it needs a few rules -- some kind of 'Kuler
                              Etikette.' This would also allow Adobe to block members who only mess around.

                              Sooner or later they might have to decide whom they want to serve. I'm only
                              here since a month and within this time the number of combos increased by 50%.
                              Soon the whole thing will drive itself ad absurdum.

                              Maybe the number of combos per folder could be limited -- perhaps dependend on
                              the total of downloads. There are folders with dozens of old entries and nearly
                              no downloads. These members may consider a clean up, before cluttering the
                              place with more.

                              I do not share the somewhat 'Communistic approach' that everything is for
                              erveryone. It is somehow demoralizing and dilutes quality.

                              Competition is the number one accelerator for progression. But without
                              fairness, it's no fun. I strongly oppose the potential to copy combos -- by
                              opening foreign Hex value windows. This is a weak feature inviting incompetency
                              and should be no choice.

                              After some brooding, I came to conclude we should take Kuler seriously -- and,
                              to a certain degree, ourselves too. The core idea is great. But some rules need
                              to be respected by all members. Otherwise it becomes just a silly playground
                              for the cack-handed.

                              Some folders have very individual faces. I like those most, but it bothers me
                              increasingly, having to plow through zilions of messed-up copies to find the
                              jewels.

                              I imagine, a number of people have already checked out for similar resaons,
                              whithout explanation. This cannot be the sense of it. Varierty is -- not the
                              monotony of copies from copies from copies from ... (yawn).

                              Anyhow, I temporarily removed my combos. So, if you want, this can be seen as
                              some kind of 'strike.'

                              Please understand me right, this is not about *me.* But I think someone has to
                              make a leap and address this problem openly, which -- being honest -- annoys
                              probably many of us, wouldn't you agree?


                              At last, I want to thank you lovely people for all the encouragement. And yes
                              I know, Boyd and Caro, as certainly a whole lot of other members, are 'good
                              apples.'

                              Julie

                              • 12. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                julie-vdr Level 1
                                Yesterday I retired from Kuler, truly bothered by a member who uninhibitly
                                continues to steal combos to dye them blue or whatever. Now, even other members
                                are aping the bad manner by just tinting foreign combos ... hmmm ...

                                This place became tedious. I think it needs a few rules -- some kind of 'Kuler
                                Etikette.' This would also allow Adobe to block members who only mess around.

                                Sooner or later they might have to decide whom they want to serve. I'm only
                                here since a month and within this time the number of combos increased by 50%.
                                Soon the whole thing will drive itself ad absurdum.

                                Maybe the number of combos per folder could be limited -- perhaps dependend on
                                the total of downloads. There are folders with dozens of old entries and nearly
                                no downloads. These members may consider a clean up, before cluttering the
                                place with more.

                                I do not share the somewhat 'Communistic approach' that everything is for
                                erveryone. It is somehow demoralizing and dilutes quality.

                                Competition is the number one accelerator for progression. But without
                                fairness, it's no fun. I strongly oppose the potential to copy combos -- by
                                opening foreign Hex value windows. This is a weak feature inviting incompetency
                                and should be no choice.

                                After some brooding, I came to conclude we should take Kuler seriously -- and,
                                to a certain degree, ourselves too. The core idea is great. But some rules need
                                to be respected by all members. Otherwise it becomes just a silly playground
                                for the cack-handed.

                                Some folders have very individual faces. I like those most, but it bothers me
                                increasingly, having to plow through zilions of messed-up copies to find the
                                jewels.

                                I imagine, a number of people have already checked out for similar resaons,
                                whithout explanation. This cannot be the sense of it. Varierty is -- not the
                                monotony of copies from copies from copies from ... (yawn).

                                Anyhow, I temporarily removed my combos. So, if you want, this can be seen as
                                some kind of 'strike.'

                                Please understand me right, this is not about *me.* But I think someone has to
                                make a leap and address this problem openly, which -- being honest -- annoys
                                probably many of us, wouldn't you agree?


                                At last, I want to thank you lovely people for all the encouragement. And yes
                                I know, Boyd and Caro, as certainly a whole lot of other members, are 'good
                                apples.'

                                Julie

                                • 13. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                  julie-vdr Level 1
                                  I apologize for this absurd sixtett. I kept getting a message, which made me believe my mail didn't go through. So I kept klicking the send button until it finally went through. There it was -- six times, I'm sorry -- Julie
                                  • 14. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                    john cornicello (retired) Level 4
                                    It is not your fault. I thought I deleted them. but something is regenerating the messages. I'm sending it off to the engineers.
                                    • 15. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                      CBukley Level 1
                                      Julie, I want to give this posting a proper response and just haven't had much time to compose it yet. I'm a bit swamped at the moment but am hoping to post something in a few days. In the meantime....

                                      I saw you added your themes back today. I hope you're staying. Kuler is richer for your themes and I, for one, would hate to lose your contribution. I also enjoy your thought process, despite the recent struggle. You're an interesting person and I hope you stick around.

                                      --Caro

                                      P.S. Thanks for calling me a good egg.
                                      • 16. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                        matthepworth
                                        Woah! Yep, I'm a little late to the dance, folks. Hopefully it's not too boring if I jump in. Are y'all still alive? Apparently, I'm one of the many Kuler addicts. My question is, how much time does everyone put into Kuler?

                                        Before Kuler was born, I'd invest a lot of time studying my environment and making either visual or literal notes to myself about color combinations and possible associations– basically, color theory. I'm a designer/illustrator/artist, so Kuler has become my toolset for both old and new ideas... more so with generating "new ideas," in the way of giving color combos an identity. What a genius idea! I was beginning to get bored with my previous naming conventions. It's the very reason that I love this site...

                                        Anyway, after reading everyone's thoughts, I found myself relating to a lot of what's already been said. For me, Kuler's such a productive (albiet incredibly easy and fun as hell) use of time when I need a break from the norm. Maybe to outsiders, "productive" is as subjective as color itself, but it keeps my creative engine running. I may never use a lot of themes that I've downloaded and created, but like any other pack rat, I have it! There's some that I've used over and over and a few that I'm just now using that are months old. So, I suppose in response to thinning out one's collection, I say keep everything you've ever done! I'm guilty of deleting a few, but I think it's cool to see how others have progressed this way... perhaps getting better in the process.

                                        OK, I'm off my soapbox. I don't like to think that I'm this serious all of the time, but color theory's an interesting topic. Hope to chat with you cats in the future!
                                        --
                                        MH

                                        • 17. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                          Boyd Wiebe Level 1
                                          Hey Matt, better late than never! :^)
                                          I try to sneak on to kuler between tasks or as a break from time to time. I also use it as a handy tool whenever I'm starting a project that requires some color sense. As an older "gentleman" that chose graphic design as a second career I find it invaluable as a reference tool in that it lets me know what direction current color trends are headed. I've actually used some of your themes on projects and always get favorable response from clients (your check is in the mail).
                                          I'll try not to delete so many themes in the future but really, I know a stinker when I see one and often I can't believe on "the morning after" what I did the night before!
                                          boyd
                                          • 18. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                            Boyd Wiebe Level 1
                                            ps; it bugs me how a theme looks different on the monitor at different times of the day under various lighting conditions. I miss my old blue monitor with the hood!
                                            • 19. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                              julie-vdr Level 1
                                              LCD Monitor: Yes, that bugs me mightily too. The difference is remarkable. I kept my old monitor, but spoiled by the cinema display's size, I don't like to work with it anymore. Nowadays, I just close the blinds and live like a mole ... love working at night anyway.
                                              • 20. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                matthepworth Level 1
                                                Yeah, I'm pretty spoiled with a double LCD setup, but I know what'cha mean about viewing Kuler on a CRT, for example. I've often wondered about others' comments when they refer to a green swatch that's grey on my end. Anyway, I'm wondering when Adobe is going to release a Kuler book... it's "bound" to happen. Wouldn't a font site such as this be cool? Too many variables, but it's an idea– never know...
                                                • 21. My Happy Little Colors
                                                  julie-vdr Level 1
                                                  Font site: Gee yes, that would be truly interesting. Although I doubt that many people can afford to 'donate' fonts, since it takes so long to make a good font. But who knows? Some teenagers may produce great stuff -- without having the commercial value of their work in mind. Maybe, to make just initials could attract more people to donate their stuff. I think, this would be just as interesting.
                                                  • 22. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                    matthepworth Level 1
                                                    Good suggestion– I like the idea of initials. Fonts are a completely different beast, but certainly a similar area of interest. I think that I'm at the point where I'm getting a little bored of seeing the same color themes recreated... zzzzzzzzz. I suppose that's the "grey" area of Kuler... or that I've been at it too long. Hmmmm. Wonder what will happen when its collection reaches 6 figures? Ahhh, the future of Kuler...
                                                    • 23. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                      Boyd Wiebe Level 1
                                                      Maybe to help ease the boredom we should start a betting pool on who gets the first 5 star theme.
                                                      • 24. My Happy Little Colors
                                                        julie-vdr Level 1
                                                        The future of Kuler could be having more colors, maybe Kuler 'advanced' with 8-10 colors instead 5 -- more work to do ... (sigh!).

                                                        I think, the biggest problem are the mayflies. They come in once, copy any combo from the front list, publish it, and are never seen again. There are masses of folders with just one combo and they will never vanish. This is absurd. If new fellows want to try out Kuler, they could do that on a test page. Probably this would reduce the list by 30-40%, if not even more. Most of these tests are not much worth, they are just copies of anything. This is quite comprehendible. It takes a little while to get what the whole thing is about.
                                                        • 25. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                          julie-vdr Level 1
                                                          ha, five stars! I gave a number of combos five stars, but obviously not enough members share my predilections.
                                                          • 26. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                            PepperdSunlight Level 1
                                                            Following on the better late than never idea, I thought I'd join the discussion. I too am a complete kuler addict. I even have it set as my browser home page! I am a designer, and I use Kuler mostly as a tool of inspiration/expression. I, like Matt, can relate to a lot that's been written here.

                                                            Caro, I like all of your ideas, especially the thought of having a safety net for those times when I've accidentally saved a "tweaked mess" and overwritten a theme I really liked. I am well acquainted with that sinking feeling as the wheel is spinning. On one accidental save, I immediately hit the back button, while on another occasion I hit cmd+z right after I clicked on save- and of course, felt like an idiot for doing so... hahaha... it's amazing how that becomes almost instinctual when you spend too many hours a day on a computer. I overwrote a theme just this morning, totally by accident. By the way, with the ThemeName ranks, you left of "Fugly" .... :)

                                                            As far as deleting themes goes... I have over 40 themes, some popular, some not. But I have not intentionally deleted a single one since I started. I know the day will come when I will need to clean house in mykuler folder and get rid of stale combos, but I am not looking forward to it at all. I like the themes I've created, even if no one else does! I know I can save them, but for some strange reason, I like having them together in mykuler.

                                                            And Julie, although I suppose it's quite possible to create color combos similar to already existent themes, I have never copied anyone's theme and made it my own. That's just not Kule. I have to say, I totally agree with you there. It irks me to see copies of mine and other's most popular themes all over the place.

                                                            For me, as an artist/graphic designer/web developer I love creating and sharing, it's partly what design is about. Design and art can inspire more art and design. Artists study everything, even each other. I like to both inspire and be inspired. Because of that, I don't mind if folks use something that I have willingly put out there to be used or borrowed. What I do mind is someone taking it and making it their "own" and collecting credits for it in the form of those little pink stars we all love so much.

                                                            I think it does come from the industry we are in, issues with protecting our creations, added to the fact that so many people think that if it's on the internet they can make free with it. I really don't mind someone using my theme in their own art or design creation, but I don't want folks stealing credit for it. I WANT MY STARS!!!! hahaha.

                                                            Even though there are many of us here who are designers and not to mention serious color (kuler) addicts, I am sure there are many other folks here who play on the site just because it exists and have no respect for quality. I wish there was an easy solution to this, but I am afraid there probably isn't. I also did a search for "copy" and actually found one of my themes where someone just switched out one of the colors with black and saved it out. They didn't even bother to change the tags! That REALLY irritated me, those were MY tags too!! Do we really take this too seriously or do we have a right to be irritated?

                                                            On the rating system, I too was curious as to why there were so many 3 stars out there. So I did a test with a friend of mine. She created a theme and I rated it 5 stars as soon as it went up just to see what would happen. When she viewed her theme, it only gave her 3 stars, not 5. So it makes me wonder if the default amount is 3 stars until a theme gets enough high ratings to boost it to 4 stars or enough low ratings to pull it down to 2. I like the idea of the numeric rating based on the number of votes. Oh how we love to see those stars...

                                                            Boyd, since the themes changing colors throughout the day bugs you, I thought you might appreciate this:
                                                            Because of lighting issues, my partner and I decided to work in dim light. We share an office and we don't have a window. The office lights are blinding fluorescent lights and neither of us have a hood, so we couldn't see what the hell we were creating on our screens with those lights on. Our solution was to bring lamps into our office and work in dim ambient lighting. I have no idea what kind of affect it will have on our eyes in the long run, but it solved our lighting issues. The other "non-designer" folks in the office think we're strange for working in dim light. They have officially named our office "The Design Lounge".
                                                            ;-)

                                                            Wendy
                                                            • 27. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                              julie-vdr Level 1
                                                              Wendy, what a refreshement to read your contribution! I feared already I'm the only 'troublemaker' here at Kuler. People can be so shy ... it's almost inhuman.

                                                              To the stars: Of course, I too love stars, though meanwhile I care more about downloads. Must say, it really bothers me if copies get downloaded. But who to blame? People who come to download combos are probably not the same than the ones creating them. So, why would they care? They see something what they like and that's it. I don't blame them and would certainly do the same in that instance.

                                                              Rating system: Yes, this is indeed confusing. Sometimes I give five stars to a combo and it can jump up by some hundred (!) places. It seems, not many people distribute stars at all, if such dramatic change can be caused by a single person.

                                                              Trashing combos: I used to trash two out of three combos, because -- despite nice ranking -- they didn't move in terms of downloads. Not sure anymore, if this was right thing to do. My folder became pretty colorless by that ... also the fun diminished remarkably.

                                                              Somehow there is always a conflict between what's just nice to look at or just fun and what's applicable. Apparently both can't go without each other. On the other hand, the rapidly growing number of combos might sooner or later demand more fatal decisions.

                                                              Creating combos similar to already existent themes: This happened to me a couple of times too and I start always from scratch. And I spend (too)much time on checking by color in the search box, but the combos without color descriptions wouldn't show up there. So later, when I see something too similar, I just trashed mine. I think, it makes not much sense to have the same stuff over and over.

                                                              ---

                                                              At last, I LOVE "The Design Lounge." What a wonderful idea! That sounds a thousand times more sophisticated than "living like a mole."

                                                              Julie
                                                              • 28. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                Boyd Wiebe Level 1
                                                                Hi Wendy,

                                                                Thanks for the tips on lighting, I have a couple large windows facing east that are a problem but I never realized how much of a problem they were until I started using Kuler as a work tool. Nothing a set of blinds couldn't fix, I guess, but I'm also inspired by nature of which there is a lot outside those windows. Maybe a set of motorized blinds with a remote control... OK now I'm dreaming!

                                                                The thing about stolen or borrowed themes that is a bother to a creative is that there is a piece of you invested no matter how small or insignificant it may be. A kuler theme to a non creative would hold very little value and they would never understand the investment. Neither should we expect them to. We hit the publish button at our own peril hoping only that a trained eye or two will be able to distinguish the good from the fluff. Some of the fluff, however, is really cool, but only eye candy in the form of a kuler theme. I totally admit to setting out to create some myself, useless for any type of design whatsoever. Every once in a while, though, a real gem pops up. Then we all get the chance to see something work that we never would have thought of and the creative world is so much the richer for it!

                                                                Boyd
                                                                • 29. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                  CBukley Level 1
                                                                  Wow. I step away for a little while and the party starts. Glad you joined the thread Matt and Wendy!

                                                                  Julie, sorry for the delay after announcing my imminent reply. My intent was to respond immediately after but I really got swamped with work and tasks and had to put kuler aside for a bit. (GASP!)

                                                                  Yes, it does annoy me when someone blatantly lifts a theme. Now, most copies are fine with me, and it's actually somewhat flattering when someone finds the theme interesting enough to play with. If they modify the theme a bit and it's evident they were trying a tweak, reworking a color that might have been off in their eyes -- all good. Useful in fact. It's interesting to see the direction others take. Sometimes I prefer their version over mine (isn't it annoying when they do your own theme one better than you! Argh! Still, I do think I learn from it.). Sometimes I prefer my original.

                                                                  I think a comment with an attribution is in order when you began with an existing theme--even if the product has strayed far from the original. It's courteous and also can be interesting to others to compare the differences and the way they affect the overall theme. Plus, if someone spent a significant amount of time building something from scratch and you spent five minutes tweaking one color, I think you should consider the original author a collaborator.

                                                                  But when someone is just jerking your chain or building their "kuler portfolio" with lifted themes. Yeah, they suck. Every office has an ***. (Can I say *** in here?) They are kuler's version.

                                                                  So, what should be done about it? Well, that's a tricky one. Where do you draw the line? I know I've created something from scratch and seen a similar theme afterward. I don't like the idea of pitching mine because someone else got there first -- especially since they aren't exactly the same and the differences might be important to me. I don't mind folks pointing out that another theme is similar and I like seeing what the other person did differently. I would be ticked if someone accused me of stealing someone else's theme though. I guess that's why I give others a long rope. I know how easy it is to come up with similar themes when they are getting cranked out a theme a minute.

                                                                  I don't like the idea of the kuler police coming in with billyclubs to pummel someone. Not the environment I'd want around here. I guess I'd prefer someone point out a similarity in a non-accusatory way and let the community draw their own conclusions. I think regular users do notice copies and respond accordingly.

                                                                  In the beginning I spent a lot of time after creating a theme searching for similar themes, but later gave that up. The tools just aren't in place to do that well, and I just don't have the time to spend keeping up with every theme on kuler. It would be great if there was a tool that would show similar themes. Useful to avoid posting duplicates and useful for comparing variations of themes to pick the one that best fits your needs.

                                                                  I also think people might copy for legit reasons. For example, if you had a client go to the site to see a selected group of themes, you could copy several of them of under the same title series name and just have them look for the name. No intention of ripping off a theme, but it does look like you are copying. I think folks are using kuler in so many ways and working around its limitations.

                                                                  And re: theme spewing. Again, one man's trash is another man's treasure. What right do I have to deny the trash man? I think this issue is much better handled by providing the user with filtering tools. Blocking users that you consider polluters, selecting authors you follow, maybe filtering for only RGB, CMYK, or whatever you prefer. Lots of possibilities there.
                                                                  • 30. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                    CBukley Level 1
                                                                    Wendy, et al, re: office lighting.

                                                                    YES! I've created a theme and then viewed it at a later time (with different lighting) and couldn't figure why I thought the set worked. Too dark! To washed out! Flat! Oversaturated! Tweak, tweak, tweak. Then later, wished I kept the originals when I realized it was a lighting issue.

                                                                    I hate working in a dark cave though. I'm with Boyd on the view issue. I have a mountain view and love sunlight lighting up my office. I do pull the shades when it interferes with something I'm doing, but I can't work that way all day. Gets me down.

                                                                    Re: stars. Isn't it funny how people are motivated by so little? I remember talking to a friend about the "carrot psychology" in video games. You'll play for hours to unlock a new outfit for your character when you actually like the original outfit better. We are such competitive collectors in need of positive strokes. Pitiful human creatures.
                                                                    • 31. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                      CBukley Level 1
                                                                      Matt, know what you mean about the same themes. I started a new thread about the kuler learning curve, "The Infinite Stages of Kuler Addiction."

                                                                      I think you go through an addictive phase and then settle in to use the tool. Interesting to watch folks go through the cycle.

                                                                      --Caro
                                                                      • 32. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                        matthepworth Level 1
                                                                        C-Buck, what's up?! You've hit the nail on the head! Perhaps I'm allowing myself to be naive, but it's incredible how one can track the behavior of others through the 'net (Kuler, for instance) without knowing the person, firsthand. Yep, I admittingly go through phases of mean creative streaks. I've recently learned to do my best to get my ideas (whatever they are) produced– sometimes unfinished, but at least started. Kuler helps me to keep my mind active, when I'm able to find the time. Finding time to fulfill the creative soul and apply it to the real world isn't always easy for me, but as The Doors have stated, "A million ways to spend your time... when we get back... Ill drop a line." For now, I'm taking a hiatus!
                                                                        • 33. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                          julie-vdr Level 1

                                                                          Caro, I was not talking about fellows, who feel 'inspired' by other's combos and come up with remarkably different -- sometimes better -- solutions. But I consider 5 exact 'Granny Smith Apple' copies as garbage. Maybe one Hex value is a bit changed so that it could be saved, but some smarties go back and 'correct' the copy to make it 100% identical to the original, as it happened, for example, to my 'Dark Beer.'

                                                                          Those visitors do not know what they cause. I bet they have no other intent, than playing a bit around. So they pick anything they like, save it, then usually leave forever. I wished, those combos wouldn't clutter the list. These are no "contributions" or "donations" and certainly were not meant as such.

                                                                          There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying out Kuler, but I think, those results don't belong on the list. Therefore I strongly favor a seperate playground for newcomers -- a place to find out how it works and to understand what the whole of Kuler is about, before anyone enters the 'real thing.'

                                                                          The astronomical downloads from page 1 of the Hit lists are apparently to a great deal caused by those ephemeral visitors. The first thing I did, arriving at Kuler, was that I picked one of the combos from the opening page ... and loaded it down ... to see how it works ... hmmm. I guess, these top ten (or twenty) will stay there forever -- confusing new visitors about topic color trends.

                                                                          There might be little to do about, but I think this 'little' could/should be done.

                                                                          ---

                                                                          Intentionally *stealing* combos is a different matter. If you find a folder, where nearly everything looks like something else, you can assume this is no coincidence. In such instance, there's probably not much to do, than complain ... if necessary in public.

                                                                          Of course it can happen, that one comes up with a combination almost identical with something else, but finally we are in charge of the delete button, if it comes to our own stuff. I remember having fiddled and fiddled for hours on a combo reflecting the colors of an American Eagle, then published it. There it was on the Newest list ... right next to your freshly published 'Blessed' -- looking suspiciously similar ... so I trashed it with a bleeding heart ... but that's life. I think, a certain 'grace distance' should be respected. We can simply create something else instead, right?

                                                                          -- Julie
                                                                          • 34. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                            CBukley Level 1
                                                                            Hep Cat! (Or you can be Moneys-worth if you want to stay in theme with the CBuck nick)
                                                                            You think you are going on a hiatus? Muahahaha. Sure. Okay. [nods and smiles]

                                                                            I'm not going on hiatus, but I am going to try to shift my focus back from kuler-play to work-with-kuler and the occasional kuler fingerpainting when the brain is idling. I need to start using some of the themes instead of just producing them. You know, "And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...." I've been creating a lot of muddy stuff lately.

                                                                            Julie, I could wax on about tolerance, space to learn, benefit of the doubt, etc. (and I have) but the bottom line is, yeah some folks just blantantly lift other people's work and put their name on it without bothering to even change the tags. I don't get the motivation and it does bug the crap out of me. There. End of my rant. :)
                                                                            • 35. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                              matthepworth Level 1
                                                                              He he... yeah, sorry to conjure up some sorta pretense, but dammit, I've run out of fuel. I've done 225 of these suckas and like yourself, Caro, I also need to apply some swatches to a few fresh projects. Instead of going mad and whoring out another double duece, perhaps I'll opt for maintaining a colorful prose...

                                                                              Eh, Boyd– interesting to know about your background, because I would never have guessed it. I can spot talent from a mile away, but whom am I to judge? I once met a surgeon that recently went to into landscaping because of total burnout. I suppose saving lives just isn't "cutting" it anymore... wow, how's that for lame? Anyway, I neglected to address your reply from long ago– sorry. I've enjoyed your themes from day one– neutral palettes (especially) are incredibly useful...

                                                                              Since Caro has doubt about my enrollment with Kuler Addicts Anonymous (I've choosen to not disclose my real name), my counselor is eager for me to take the first steps of recovery. It's summer for crap sake's... gotta enjoy it while I can. I've got my eyes on ya guys... be in touch soon– keep the thread alive!... I'm always up for a good chat...
                                                                              • 36. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                                CBukley Level 1
                                                                                Yes, I noticed you are cranking out less and doing more browsing and applauding the fine efforts of others. Wonderful control. Can I borrow those crayons?

                                                                                --C

                                                                                P.S. "whoring out another double deuce" ? Goodness. Look at the fancy talk from Mr. Color. ;-) I knew I'd never be able to keep up in this crowd...
                                                                                • 37. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                                  PepperdSunlight Level 1
                                                                                  HAPPY LITTLE COLORS IN MY HAND...

                                                                                  I noticed that each person involved in this particular thread also have themes included in the Kuler promotion that I received in the mail yesterday.

                                                                                  Congrats!

                                                                                  -Fellow Addict
                                                                                  • 38. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                                    CBukley Level 1
                                                                                    Now Wendy, are you implying that John Cornicello is not a person? After all he's done for us? For shame.

                                                                                    Congrats to you, too. I have bookmarks for life...

                                                                                    -C
                                                                                    • 39. Re: My Happy Little Colors
                                                                                      Srta._Pinta Level 1
                                                                                      Kuler promotion?

                                                                                      In the mail?

                                                                                      Who?

                                                                                      What?

                                                                                      Where

                                                                                      When?

                                                                                      Please?
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