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Seasonally Affective Design

Posted on Jun 24, 2014

braunton burrows in north devon

We’ve all heard the term ‘SAD’ being thrown around. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a recognised form of depression that is brought about by different seasons. In case you are interested, here is what the NHS have to say: Seasonally affective disorder

It’s not something I have much personal experience of, but I am affected by the change in seasons. I think everyone must find the summer months energising. I know we are much busier in the summer months than through the winter months here at North Devon Design.

The SAD I am an expert in though is Seasonally Affected Design. No, it’s not a real thing, I just made it up, but it does exist, sort of.

When I am discussing projects with clients, quite often they will request bright and colourful imagery in the summer months, but dark and simplistic styles through the winter.

Depending on the project, this can work. If you, for instance, sell products, they can be marketed differently throughout the year to compliment the season. In fact, its good practice to do so as you are tuning into the same wavelength as your customer, making that all important communication easier.

However, if the project is a branding, or identity project, or a website or anything else that will retain the same look and feel throughout the year then SAD is not so good. It is vitally important to retain continuity with colours when building an identity or brand, so being inspired by your holiday to the Med is probably not a good idea.

It’s so easy to get creatively inspired in the summer. Especially living in such a beautiful place as North Devon. Everywhere we look there are bright green hills, golden yellow fields and of course the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean. The Braunton Burrows has burst into life and is covered with blue, yellow and purple flowers at the moment. Quite spectacular.

As a professional designer though, all this energising summer inspiration has to be put to one side when looking objectively at a project, we have to select colour palettes that will still be relevant once the sun has died down and we enter into a grey, de-saturated winter.