August 22, 2012 § 1 Comment
August 22, 2012
I arrived safe and sound in South Africa after spending an overnight layover in Dubai where it was 106 when I landed and 111 the next morning!
It was a mass of humanity in Dubai, with everyone celebrating the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. It seemed that every person in Dubai was out that night. I was told to go to the Dubai mall to see the dancing waters and because it has the best air conditioning. I also saw the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa) that is located in Dubai. Personally, I think the waters at the Bellagio in Las Vegas are more spectacular, but the Burj Khalifa building was astounding.
Please note that these are not my pictures. My pictures did not do these beauties justice.
Next time I will have to bring Herb as he is the resident photographer.
They are very big on shopping there. At the Dubai Mall, they have all of the big designer names in a specific wing, but just like everywhere else, the western-ized shops and restaurants are a big deal. A Pottery Barn and Sephora were the first things I noticed, and directly across from the Burj Khalifa building is a California Pizza Kitchen, P.F Changs, and a place selling bagels!! That was unexpected, to be sure.
In traditional restaurants, the food was excellent – very middle-eastern in feeling with lots of different kinds of hummus, tabouleh and stuffed grape leaves and many veggie options – my kind of thing. Once I landed in Durban I had drinks with my friend, Anne Roselt, Design Director for Plascon Paints and a former student of my Burbank Color/Design class. You can see more of her fabulous color trends on my Facebook page or you can check them out HERE.
I had a room with a small balcony that faced the ocean – amazing. I took a quick walk along the beach in the morning to get ready for the day. We then went to rehearsal and did some other media interviews before my presentation on Tuesday. Then we were off to Joberg and Cape Town. It was so wonderful to be back in South Africa. My hosts were incredibly gracious and thoughtful.
August 15, 2012 § 4 Comments
August 15, 2012
Many people aren’t aware of exactly the work I do. Yes, it is true that I wear many hats. One aspect of my job is as an expert color consultant for companies. I am hired to help establish a trend focus in color and mood enlisting color psychology and consumer color preferences, researching lifestyles, demographics, the marketplace and outstanding competitors (if in fact, there are any). We work with a variety of clientele with varying needs and priorities; from firmly established brands to start-up companies. Recently we assisted in a product launch with a young couple on their new product called HICKIES®. As they state on their website:
“HICKIES® is an elastic lacing system that replaces traditional shoelaces and lets you easily slip in and out of your shoes while keeping them snug and secure. Never tie or untie your shoes again! Get rid of the bows and customize your footwear.”
I was thrilled when I recently received an update from them with a link to their Kickstarter page. It was great to see their vision come to fruition on such a compelling platform. I am even happier to say that their product was considered a Kickstarter success. It is easy to see why.
We had a lot of fun compiling imagery and a color scheme and the rationale for the HICKIES®. As a consultant you give a direction that you feel best represents the various aspects of the clients’ needs, but it is always up the them to decide what the final product will be.
I hope to see these featured in street style blogs one day. What do you think? Will you pick up a pack of HICKIES®?
Please take a moment to watch their video.
August 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
August 9, 2012
The 2012 London Olympics are well underway and by now close to wrapping up. Have you been watching? I was just in awe of the opening ceremonies. We had a nice recap in the office the following Monday. Danny Boyle did a superb job and truly captured the spirit of England. There is something magical about the Olympics.
Do you remember when the Olympics were held in Los Angeles? It was 1984 and seems like a lifetime ago. In many ways the 80s are having their renaissance. I think that decade can now be referred to as “vintage”. Today, we are seeing some of the styles and influences that flavored that era from the floral prints to the re-emergence of neon.
It seemed fitting to pay homage to the 80s as a decade of decadence in my new book, Pantone The 20th Century in Color. I have included a chapter in the 1980s called Signs and Symbols where we spotlight three prominent color influences from print, art, and graphic design fields. Below is an excerpt where we shed light on what an impact color has on the global stage known as the Olympics.
“Signage for the Olympics was created by Deborah Sussman, an environmental graphic designer. Her flexible modular system delivered the Games’ logo package, venue identification, directional and service information (and more) with a colorful, insouciant postmodern vocabulary. She said of her color choices: ‘The palette consists of unexpected, stimulating juxtapositions that instantly separate the Olympic pageantry from the everyday environment, the drabness of permanent institutions, industries, streets-hot magenta, vermillion, and chrome yellow, set off by aqua.”
The colors of today’s Olympic Games are quite different from two decades ago.
What was your favorite part of the Olympics, the sports, the competition or the outfits?
Click the link below for more.
August 2, 2012 § 2 Comments
August 2, 2012
Are you into trends?
In my book Color: Messages and Meanings I highlight variations in color families and bring broader insights to the meanings and consumer responses to color(s). Some of the insights I share are about trends and I give you guidelines on how to spot them.
Do you have an eye for spotting trends?
Here is an excerpt from the book.
“Spotting future trends is much like detective work. It’s not the one big ‘AHA’ that hits you but rather a string of clues that leads to the ultimate realization. It’s very important to view the big picture first-the macro level that precedes the micro.
Fashion is most often the forerunner to color trends, but one season of a “hot” color doesn’t do it. One or two seasons of a hot color is still a fad. But tracking a ‘new’ color for several seasons will tell you if it translates from fad to trend. Read the magazines or visit the websites that talk about trends. If a trend is growing, you will see it in more than one resource.”
That brings us to the May issue of Graphic Design USA (GDUSA). Graphic designers are “tuning in” to the trends. Some trends may start in fashion but as more people embrace these trends we will continue to see them in areas such as website design, interior design, typography, and graphic design as an important design principle.
What role does the color forecast play in your life? Does it inspire you to repaint your home? Do you invest in a key wardrobe piece for a season (or two)?
July 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
July 25, 2012
From the beginning of time red has been deeply ingrained in the human mind as a signal to act or re-act, to fight or flee. It is the color of life-sustaining blood or life-threatening bloodshed as well as the color of enticing, appetite arousing ripened fruits and delicious foods that sustain humans’ very existence.
“In a report published online in the journal Science, Dr. Pike (Alistair W. G. Pike of the University of Bristol in England) and his colleagues noted that the oldest dated art is ‘nonfigurative and monochrome (red)’, supporting the notion that the earliest expression of art in Western Europe was less concerned with animal depiction and characterized by red dots, disks, line and hand stencils.”
The most physical color in the spectrum, red suggests the very ebb and flow of life.
This post was brought to you today by the color red from my book Color: Messages & Meanings, the New York Times and the number 37,000.
June 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
June 26, 2012
As you may or may not know I co-authored the new book, Pantone The 20th Century in Color, which came out this past fall. The book is a highlight of notable events by decade and relevance that helped to shape the color perspective from art to industrial, interior and fashion design and everything in between.
One of my favorite chapters in the book is from the 70s titled Land Art. We chose to include Land Art because of its historical significance as well as its colorful contribution to our lives. We mention artists like Robert Smithson who “explored ideas of terrestrial beauty and fragility” with his Spiral Jetty and James Turrell’s Roden Crater Project where through tunnels and rooms he tries to “transform the land into a meditation on light and mass”.
Who wouldn’t want to meditate in a crater?
Here is an excerpt from that chapter.
“The budding environmental movement underscored the idea of Earth’s fragility: far from being an endless source of raw materials and a bottomless receptacle for waste, the planet came to be seen as a living, breathing entity in its own right. Earth was now something to cherish-not merely to profit from.”
Today we are seeing a revival in this movement with the new exhibit at Museum Of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles. It appears that there is a new generation of artists that wants to celebrate Earth as the star of their art.
Have you seen the Spiral Jetty in person? Have you meditated under the stars in a crater?
June 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
June 18, 2012
Cartoons come to life in this effervescent palette, The Comics. Funny paper hues pop off the page in whimsical ways that bring a smile and create the need to take some time to play. Ominous Phantom Black provides the backdrop for sulphuric yellow and fiery red. A flash of green provokes a strong blue while an inky cyan plays up to honeysuckle and primrose. It’s quirky joy and spontaneity.
“Forever 21 will roll out a small assortment of’Simpsons’ T-shirts for men and women, while Fox’s long-term global partner H&M is currently selling new ‘Simpsons’-themed boys’ wear. The Swedish retailer will also make ‘Ice Age’ Ts to coincide with the summer sequel ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift,’ as will midtier retailer C&A.”
It is always fun to watch a forecast become part of the mainstream in home and now in fashion. Jeremy Scott is the perfect match for this whimsical palette.
Are you seeing The Comic influence?
June 1, 2012 § Leave a Comment
June 1, 2012
Contrary to what most people think, color is not actually the inherent property of an object. A leaf of spinach is not actually green, nor is a strawberry red. Instead, its color is dependent upon the absorption and reflection of light waves. As a result, color is the property of light that depends of wavelength.
When the light waves reach an object, some of the light is absorbed and some is reflected. Only the reflected light is seen by the eye. A spinach leaf appears green because it reflects only the waves producing the green light. The same holds true for the red strawberry or any other colored object.
They eye and the associated nerves register the reflected color on the retina, a light-sensitive membrane in the back of the eye containing rods and cones. The rods and cones define the color and the shape of the object by transforming the radiant energy into chemical energy, sending impulses to the optic nerve. The optic nerve registers the message and sends it to the control center-the brain. After this entire and rather complicated process, we become aware of the color of any given object.
That explains the physical phenomenon. However, color perception goes beyond the physical effects and ultimately includes the emotional impact upon the viewer. The psychological significance that is based on the viewer’s previous experiences, color associations, cultural conditioning, societal influences, frame of mind, and personality all play into the final interpretation. It is truly a fascinating pathway to the ultimate perception of color.
Here is a link to the full article about color perceptions and how it is effected by language.
For more color answers read my book The Color Answer Book.
April 12, 2012 § Leave a Comment
April 12, 2012
We recently returned from Taiwan where I did a color training program for Giant Bikes. They were marvelous hosts and their design teams outstanding in the presentations they did in their workshops. The design director is Edward Chiang and when I had first met him I told him that I thought he had a very famous family name, as in the name of Chiang Kai-Shek, Taiwan’s venerated former political leader. Edward informed me that this was his great-grandfather and that his great grandmother was the famous Madame Chiang Kai-shek.
Many of you will know the Giant brand. They build sturdy and handsome bikes that are sold internationally, so they were most interested in international trends and the psychology of lifestyle in making color decisions. Another specific interest involved their Liv line for women and it too is a quality product.
They are very thoughtful and conscientious about their color choices and it was a real delight to work with them. While in Taichung, we also got to see James Soames of Subkarma, co-owner of a fabulous branding company we have worked with in the past. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to connect with his alter-ego and partner, brother Tony Soames, but I had just seen them at the International Housewares Show in Chicago where I do a keynote every year and had asked them to join me on the podium the next day to discuss cultural differences (or similarities) between Asian markets and U.S.
As always, we were gifted with some wonderful goodies (that is such a lovely Asian tradition) including a beautiful glass piece from an amazing glass artist name Loretta H. Yang.
Click the image for a link to her spectacular work that truly glows with color.
March 30, 2012 § 1 Comment
March 30, 2012
In the last six months, I have had four “border crossings” to speak at events in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. In keeping with the Canadian theme I wanted to share another wonder from the north.
Every year out friends in Vancouver British Columbia celebrate the Spring season with Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Blossoms are expected to be at their peak for this years festival launch.
As our friend and executive director of festival, Linda Poole, tells us…“The sixth annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) is planning quite the party to bring much joy to the city April 5-28. Exuberant festivities at Cherry Jam Downtown inside Burrard SkyTrain Station on April 5 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will launch a city-wide, month-long celebration to welcome Spring to the city.”
If you are going to be traveling to Canada or are already in the area stop by and enjoy all the amazing pink and white cherry blossoms. I can almost smell them from here.