Experiments Inspirations

Old-School Dark Color Palette: Sportomatic


Cruising through I found an old poster of a Porsche 911 “Sportomatic” at the Nurburgring in 1967.

I was drawn to the green monochrome photo and the overall color scheme. The green and orange reminded me of old video game cartridge labels.


The Porsche poster’s dark background and muted colors are a theme I’ve been noticing a lot lately. This increased awareness started after I switched the color scheme of my code editor to a more aesthetically pleasing and much easier to read format.

Coda color scheme

The New Color Palette: Sportomatic

I decided it was time to give in to the Universe and document this theme with a new color palette. I give you, Sportomatic:

To download this color palette head over to Sportomatic’s page on They provide every format you could possibly want. Feel free to use it on any project, personal or commercial. I’d love to hear about what you do with it and I would be glad to link to your work.

Sportomatic in use

Here is a pattern I created on ColorLovers to see the new color palette in action:

Retro pattern and color scheme


5 places freelance designers go to find jobs

5 places to find freelance design jobs

Here are 5 places I visit regularly to find freelance work. Of the sites listed below, only Sortfolio and Coroflot have given me actual projects. I think my prices were too high for most of the jobs I applied for on the other sites. It’s hard to compete with Asia, but for now, there are still plenty of opportunities available for everybody with a solid portfolio and the willingness to work.

Yes, a lot of the jobs on these sites are posted by people shopping for the cheapest price possible without concern for quality. I pass on those jobs. This allows me to focus on jobs that sound cool or pay wads of cash. This strategy is starting to pay off. I recently landed a fun temporary job that pays handsomely for quality work and allows me to do what I enjoy (designing things).

If you’re a seasoned professional or even if you’re just starting out, these job sites are worth a look. Especially since most of them are free.

  1. Sortfolio
  2. Coroflot
  3. Freelance Switch Job Board
  4. Krop
  5. Elance

Have you gotten a job from any of these or other online job boards?

*Updated July 1, 2010


3 Free Desktop Wallpaper Backgrounds of Flowers

This month’s freebie is a collection of 3 elegant desktop wallpapers featuring flowers. They can also be used as Twitter backgrounds. These photos were taken by me during the spring and summer a few years ago. They are the most popular photos on my fickr stream. Feel free to download them for personal use. If you would like to use any of my photos commercially, please contact me here. Enjoy the photos.

The Dandelion and its child.

Dandelion on Black

Wisteria on wood.

Wisteria on Wood

A field of crimson clover.

Field of Crimson Clover


10 Essential WordPress SEO Plugins

Wordpress Plugin blow the face of bystander

I shouldn’t be giving you this information. As Spider Man’s uncle said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll hurt somebody. Keep that in mind if you choose to install the following plugins on your WordPress website. Make the wrong move around one of these bad boys and you’ll be peeling your face off the floor. These super-powerful plugins turn your website into search engine candy. When used properly you can boost your website’s position in search results related to your content.

WordPress SEO Plugins



  1. All In One SEO : Automatically generate search engine friendly page titles and much more. Download All In One SEO
  2. Google XML Sitemaps : Generates a XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap of your website. This format is supported by, Google, YAHOO and MSN Search. Download Google XML Sitemap
  3. Redirection : Allows you to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. A nice interface for those who don’t want to mess with a .htaccess file. Download Redirection
  4. SEO Friendly Images : Automatically adds ALT and TITLE text to all of your images. This helps your site conform to W3C standards and adds valuable keyword text for search engines to gobble up. Download SEO Friendly Images
  5. Global Translator : Automatically translates your website into 48 languages. Download Global Translator
  6. SEO Smart Links : Automatically build internal links on your website by linking keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. Download SEO Smart Links
  7. W3 Total Cache WP Super Cache: Google considers the speed of your website to determine where you rank in search results. This plugin makes your website 10 times faster according to the plugin author. Download W3 Total Cache Download WP Super Cache
  8. Google Analyticator : Google Analytics right in your WordPress dashboard. Download Google Analyticator
  9. WP to Twitter : Google includes Twitter activity in search results. Automatically post new articles to your Twitter account with this plugin. Download WP To Twitter
  10. Yet Another Related Posts plugin (YARPP) : Automatically generate a list of related posts. This helps build more internal links and increase page views. Download YARPP

You’ve got some face juice on the ground there. Right… there. Yep. Got it.

What are your favorite SEO plugins?

Leave comments below.

Photo Credits

  • Original Photo
  • Photo edited by Paris Vega 

Say no to spec work… even in France.

The Eiffel Tower

I recently got a request to design a logo for someone in Paris, France. They found my site while looking for logo designers in Paris. How did they find me? Guess who’s number one in Google for the keyphrase “Paris logo design“. That’s right. I’m surprised there aren’t any search engine savvy logo designers in Paris to knock me down from number one. Oh well.

After this potential client realized that my name is Paris and that I’m not… a city in France; they decided to contact me anyway because they liked my work.

And then it happened.

They asked me to “bid” on the project by designing several concepts for them. Then only IF one my ideas was selected from a pool of logo designs sent in by other designers would I get paid.

Here’s what I said in response :

Hello ********,

I’m sorry, but I believe there has been a misunderstanding. I only work on a contract basis. That means my clients hire me based on my previous body of work and reputation. They sign a contract that we both agree upon before any work is done. Half of the total is paid up front. The other half is due upon completion of the project. As you can see from my portfolio I’ve worked plenty of clients who are pleased with this process. Its actually a very standard way to do business in the design industry.

I’m aware of some designers who are willing to do work before any agreement or payment has been exchanged. I’m not one of those designers. If you like my work, and would like me to provide you with the same quality of work, you are welcome to hire me. Otherwise, I cannot be of service to you.

Thank you for your interest in my work. I hope that we can work together. If I have misunderstood what you are proposing, please forgive me and send more information. If you have any other questions or comments I welcome them also.

Have a great day,
Paris Vega

Graphic & Web Designer

phone: (205) 409-0764

What do you think? Was I too harsh?  It was one of those moments where I could feel my adrenaline trying to take over the keyboard. Luckily, no expletives made it past brain-to-hands filter.

I’m not going to get any further into the spec work debate other than the links below:

Why Speculative Design Hurts the Client

No Spec

Giving away your work

Experiments Inspirations

Retro Vintage Color Palette: Vinyl Polaroid

As seen on

All the faded luminescence of photographs from the 60s, 70s, and 80s expressed in a simple swath of muted hues. I created this mellow palette on after being inspired by this beautiful photo of a woman flipping her hair:
woman flipping hair with vintage color scheme

COLOURlovers is a great place to find inspiration. I visit the site often when deciding on color schemes for my design projects.