2011 Archives

December 27, 2011

Sneak Peek!

If you didn’t already know that Pantone’s Tangerine Tango has been named the color of the year for 2012, we wanted to provide a link to the video recently made at the Las Vegas Design Center yearly gala event for designers, where I gave a presentation on the significance of the orange family and introduced one of the newest oranges in Pantone’s system for fashion and interiors. After my program, there was a handsome couple demonstrating the latest tango twirls and two dancers from Cirque du Soleil flying high above in the atrium. The drinks of choice were orange mimosa and it was all very entertaining, very Las Vegas and much fun.

Happy Holidays!

December 9, 2011

What Do You Think About Tangerine Tango?

The following is an excerpt from an article by Aylin Zafar for TIME.com followed by a little background on the selection process. Every year I spend a great deal of time perusing all of the issues and happenings that might influence color directions in the future. Ever since the color of the year has been named I have been intimately involved in the process, as I am the Director of the Pantone Color Institute and their lead forecaster in all industries mentioned below.

The world is about to look a lot more vivid: the Pantone Color Institute has named “Tangerine Tango,” a radiant red-orange, as the top color of 2012. The color experts have been amping up their selections each year, with the serene and calming turquoise in 2010 giving way to 2011’s honeysuckle, a warm, reddish-pink color meant to lift spirits and instill confidence.

But the current economic climate and frustrations call for something bolder this coming year. Pantone has turned to the “spirited reddish-orange” hue to “provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.” Orange signals not only vitality, but also urgency and strength—associations that should resonate in a year where many are hoping to finally start seeing changes. “There’s the element of encouragement with orange”.

The color of the year selection is a very thoughtful process. To arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.

For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.

‘Tangerine Tango’: The Bright, Encouraging Color of 2012 | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

December 2, 2011

Own A Color, Save A Life

I think this is a brilliant idea. Color does, indeed, have a powerful presence in our lives. What a wonderful way to support a very worthwhile charity. What color will you pick?


November 26, 2011

World of Chocolate

Barbara Dufford is one of my former Color/Design students and a gifted graphic designer. Barbara has kept in touch with me over the years. Happily, many of my former students, like Barbara, do keep in touch. She has shared some of her wonderful work with me that I thought worthy of sharing with all of you.

Here is a little more about Barbara (in her own words) and a sample of her current work with the Aids Foundation of Chicago. If you want more information please click the image(s).


I’m a communications designer (and 2005 graduate of the Color?Design course) with a wide range of experience with corporate and non-profit clients, especially working with arts and social justice endeavors. I love using design’s power to engage people in support of a cause as worthy as the fight against AIDS. The organizers of this year’s World of Chocolate were interested in highlighting the elegant and sensuous aspects of the event. Both color and texture, visual and tactile, helped accomplish that goal: the slightly transparent red and brown areas overlay a rich background color photo of one of the tables at last year’s event, adding complexity to the color fields. And, the card has a “soft touch” coating which gives a velvety feel to the piece.

November 2, 2011

Red: The Emblem Of Social Responsibility

I was asked to speak at a conference on the color Red. I think you might enjoy this event— there are quite a few speakers each bringing their own perspective to the color. In my presentation Keith Recker and I will be sharing excerpts and images of the color RED throughout the 20th Century from the new book Pantone® The 20th Century in Color. I hope to see you there.

From Dior to Valentino, from Yves Saint Laurent to Lanvin, red is an expression of joy, of jubilation, of passion. In the hands of others it is—among many other things—the color of authority, of courage, and of liturgy. It is also a pre-eminent color of body ornament: red lipstick and nail polish are never out of style.

The 13th Annual New York Fashion Conference, RED, will explore the innumerable facets of this color without peer. We will consider the history of this color, and that of the materials from which it has been derived, as well as its symbolism, both as a color in and of itself and integral to patterns such as paisley and tartan. Vintage is a lens through we study this vibrant hue and the important roles it has played at all times and in all cultures; we trace these roles as well as their evolution over time. Not least, we explore the legacies of Diana Vreeland and others, for whom red was not just a color, but a signature.

October 25, 2011

Be On The Cutting Edge Of Color

Laurie Pressman, Vice President, Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors, and I were recently interviewed by Home Furnishings Now (HFN). Here is an excerpt and a link to the full article.

“There is an inherent human tendency to be drawn to color.  Intrinsic to our visual experience, color is part of the stimulation we feel and is a vital factor in consumer purchasing decisions.  We would urge retailers today to address the strategic use of color in their product selections and believe it is important that they be mindful of creating visual excitement in their stores. Historically when the economy is uncertain there is a concern about the longevity of a color and some consumers have a tendency to play it safe with neutral shades. This is especially the case with products that are higher priced or take up a larger amount of real estate such as furniture and floor or window coverings. However, introducing some unexpected splashes of color or unique color combinations to play against these more neutral hues will attract and engage the eye, excite the imagination and ultimately tempt the consumer or client.  Color is, in fact, the catalyst that can spark the sale. In an environment where consumers are cutting back on their spending, it would be a mistake to overlook this fundamental element of human psychology.”

Corporate Spotlight: Pantone | HFN.

October 18, 2011
The Challenge Of The Light Bulb
As you know, if you are a follower of our blog, we often refer to articles from Wired Magazine. At one time a publication only for techies, the magazine has become much more user-friendly, especially for those of us who appreciate a bit of simplification.
In a recent issue, there was an article on lighting that explained some of the changes and new technologies that have affected color rendering. One of the most fascinating aspects of the article, written by Dan Koeppel, is the resistance that many consumers have in changing to the newer bulbs and fixtures that are so different from those products we are more accustomed to.
Credit: Philips Lighting

Koeppel observes: ”Evolutionary biologists believe that human lighting preferences are the result of our trichromatic vision—rare in non-primates—which makes us particularly suited to daylight and perception of primary colors. There’s an anthropological component as well; for 4,000 years, humankind has been banishing darkness with fire. And Edison’s bulb, at its core, is a burning filament that casts a glow of flame. Abandoning incandescent bulbs means abandoning fire as our primary light source for the first time in human history.”

I never thought about it that way, but it certainly makes sense and answers the resistance that is being shown to accepting the newer look in light bulbs. Actually, from a design standpoint, some of the squiggly shapes of the newer energy saving bulbs are really quite interesting. The challenge is balancing a lampshade on some of them. However, there are some manufacturers that are using the odd shapes as a design component.

Plumen 001

A chart explains the meaning of color temperature very simply. It states: “Expressed in degrees Kelvin, this is how we measure things like soft white or daylight. A pleasant soft white will have a color temperature of 3000K. White light ranges from 4100K to 6000K, roughly equal to noonday sun. Higher numbers get increasingly bluer”.

October 10, 2011

What’s Inside: Play-Doh 

Patrick Di Justo from Wired Magazine shares some insight into a child’s toy box staple, Play-Doh. We thought it worthy of sharing especially because it mentions one of our favorite subjects and of course, that would be color.

Di Justo writes: “When introduced in 1956, Play-Doh came only in off-white. Red, blue and yellow were added in the next year, and a rainbow of other hues followed. Now it’s available in 43 colors, and all of them meet the American Society for Testing and Materials standard for nontoxicity.”

What’s Inside: Play-Doh | Magazine.

October 3, 2011

Dancing Diablo’s Illustrated World For Ralph Lauren Kids

This film was done by a young woman who was part of a group who attended my class in Venezuela several years ago. She is a graphic designer who has since made quite a mark for herself in New York with a studio called Dancing Diablo. She sent me a link to her newest video that was made for Ralph Lauren Kids.  

These are some stills from the video. Please click the images to watch the full video.

Such beautiful illustration. What do you think?

September 22, 2011

Radical Uniform Redesign

During an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, I mentioned the college football uniform changes I had been seeing. Apparently I was not the only one who took notice. Dave Sheinin digs deeper into this in his article Dressed for Success in College from The Washington Post.

“If you have turned on the television in the first half of September to immerse yourself in the familiar rituals of college football, you may have been in for a visual shock. Some of the most prominent teams in the country have undergone radical redesigns of their uniforms — some permanently, others for one selected game this season.”

 College football uniforms are getting more outrageous, thanks to Nike, Under Armour – The Washington Post.

September 14, 2011

I was interviewed for the following article that appeared in Women’s Wear Daily Beauty Inc. and edited by Belisa Silva.

The article included some of the outstanding summer colors that are showing staying power for the fall. 

What colors were your favorites this summer and what colors will you transition into fall?

September 9, 2011

Korea: A Whirlwind Story

I recently returned from a whirlwind trip to South Korea where I delivered an in-house seminar to one of the leading paint companies on the psychology of color from an international perspective. I gave another presentation on future color trends at a building expo with an audience made up primarily of residential and contract designers, architects, builders, marketing people and educators.


I was interviewed by Vogue Magazine on fashion color trends and by Design magazine, a publication for people in the arts and business.

It was a fascinating glimpse of another culture, as I had never been there before. The food was fabulous – so interestingly prepared and presented. They were perfect hosts and I definitely want to do a return engagement.

I had little time to sightsee as I am leaving for Paris soon (poor moi) for more work (but also a little fun). What did strike me was that so many of the professional women were dressed in the latest but very classic fashion. Their everyday attire is more conservative in neutrals, blacks and whites with touches of color in scarves and such. Yet their background speaks of a very colorful tradition, particularly for wedding ceremonies as well as the embellished costumes of the former kings.



Please note the styles and colors that are shown here. The tendency in modern times is to wear a more westernized dress for the wedding.

September 6, 2011

Bill Buxton Appreciates History

Design History Appreciated
by Bill Buxton

Back in 1926, Kodak launched the third generation of its all-black Vest Pocket camera line, the Series III. It sold well, but the company wanted to expand the market and make the camera appeal to women as well as men. To help with this, Kodak turned to designer Walter Dorwin Teague. His concept was to release essentially the same camera but in five distinct and different colors packaged in color-matched satin-lined boxes. This version of the camera was released in April 1928 under the name Vanity Kodak.

1928 Vanity Kodak ad

In 2003, Apple Computer launched the third generation of its all-white MP3 music player, the iPod. It sold well, but the company wanted to expand the market and make the iPod appeal to women as well as men. To help with this, Apple turned to its lead designer, Jonathan Ive. His concept was to release a smaller version of its MP3 player in five distinct and different colors. This version of the iPod was released in January 2004 under the name iPod Mini.

2004 iPod Mini ad

One started from black, the other from white. The strategies were the same, the numbers the same and the colors the same.

Walter Dorwin Teague was Chuck Berry to Jonathan Ive’s Keith Richards. It was a matter of respect and inspiration, not plagiarism or copying. It was also an act that increases, rather than diminishes, the respect due to Ive, since designers are measured by who they quote in their designs, how and when.  

To read the full article….


August 26, 2011

Explore San Francisco’s ColorFest 

My son Ben frequently sends me interesting articles on color from his neck of the woods in San Francisco. I thought it was a good time to share this as this exhibit will be ending on September 5th. If you have an interest in color and are looking to have a fun day out with the family go and check out Exploratorium’s Colorfest.

Colorfest includes “everything from the physics and perception of color to the use of natural ingredients to make dyes.”

If you have gone to this exhibit please share your thoughts and experiences here.

Exploratoriums ColorFest sheds light on color.

August 23, 2011

Marimekko Inked

In September’s issue of Dwell, Katja Lindroos takes an inside look at the Marimekko factory in Finland and we get a peek at the color process and steps they take in creating their signature fabrics.

The writer states “A visit to Marimekko’s 43,000-square-foot factory in Helsinki reveals that its printing process and emphasis on big, bold patterns—which continue to bring the company great success—have changed little over the years.”


Read more: http://www.dwell.com/articles/helsinki-ink.html#ixzz1Vs1YbznU

August 19, 2011

Colorfully Creepy

I know this isn’t the typical color story that we like to share but it was so visually interesting that we thought it just might work. I always thought of ants as more of a nuisance rather than backyard entertainment but Mohamed Babu has found a way to change that perception. Babu found if you have some sugar, food coloring, paraffin wax and a quick hand you have the opportunity to turn an ant swarm into an art form (of sorts).


I wonder if the ants had negative reactions to the red food coloring?

The ants whose multi-coloured abdomens show exactly what they’ve been eating | Mail Online.

August 16, 2011

Sharen Davis Colorful Stylist On The Help

Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help is an honest dialogue of what it meant to be the “help” for well-to-do families in rural Mississippi in the 60s. This film is rich both in character and in color.

From a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter comes some color insight from Sharen Davis, costume designer for the film.

“It was tricky because everyone thinks of Mad Men. But that’s about an upper-class Manhattan lifestyle, and this focuses on young women in the South-most of them getting married and having babies…

…I looked at copies of Vogue from the 1960s for inspiration, but it was too sophisticated, so I ended up getting my ideas from Seventeen magazine. It still had that innocent girlie look and lollipop color.”


Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan played by Emma Stone, in “straight skirts and subtle prints” is career oriented and her look is a bit different from the other women.

Her longtime friend Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the Southern belle who wears “bright colors and bold prints because she always has to be seen,” while the outsider of the group is Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain) the bombshell. “Celia’s clothes are more fitted and feminine. She does her best to look like Marilyn Monroe.”

August 12, 2011

Style For Hire

I just got back from a wonderful weekend in New York City where I participated in the Style For Hire workshop with Stacy London where I spoke about color theory based on my More Alive With Color concept.

Style for Hire is a group of fashion stylists who are trained and certified by Stacy, her partner Cindy and their team. Stacy is best known as the “honest-beacuse-she-loves-ya TV stylist” of the What Not To Wear duo.


Style For Hire stylists are “helping people with unique bodies, tastes, and budgets develop their own sense of style; learn how to dress their body-type; and maximize the investment they make in their wardrobe.”

August 8, 2011

Dirty Yellow Walls Are The Perfect Pick-Me-Up

Someone from Portland, OR had written in about why bright yellow hadn’t worked on her walls. I suggested some thoughts that should be considered no matter where you live in the world, but especially in areas with dull winter days.

Having written seven books on color (soon to be eight and nine) I can tell you that there are many factors in why a color didn’t work for you. First, too much intensity of yellow on all four walls causes a “bounce back” in light reflection–so it is overkill. You should should go for a softer more chamois-type yellow, what in the paint industry is called “dirtying” a color. It still brings the illusion of sunlight, important in the northwest where I live as well. I have yellow throughout the main portion of my home, but it is a color especially formulated for our “neck of the woods” so that it isn’t a shocking blast, but a liveable, nurturing warming hue so necessary for our gray winter days, especially for anyone with SAD syndrome. People come into the home and constantly remark on the warmth and light it conveys.

Forget the ridiculous stories about bright yellow causing aggression or making babies cry more–that was never scientifically proven and is an urban legend, started by a color charlatan who loved to say outrageous things to get attention. It is all in the value and intensity of the color–not just the hue.

August 1, 2011

Comic Book Colors Then And Now

In the 2012 Pantone View Home + Interiors you will find a color palette based on The Comics.

“Cartoons come to life in this effervescent palette called 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 the honeysuckle and primrose…”



This is a far stretch from the comic color palette of long ago. Which comes as no shock with all of the advances in computer technology. Gerry Giovinco gives a thoughtful rationale in his series entitled The Comic Company: True Colors – Part 3. Gerry writes “Color in comic books had a specific look for fifty years prior to the 1980′s. Flat color was the norm and part of the charm of the comic books that I grew up reading. There was just something about that limited palette and those pronounced dots that seemed to define the medium as much as the words and pictures that they illuminated. Others agreed and focused on this idiom when referencing comic art in pop culture.”

Ed Piskor was so inspired by this story that he created a digital palette in Photoshop for those of you who are interested in recreating these colors for your personal projects. Click the image below to go to Ed’s site for more information on Ed and this palette.



July  22, 2011

This is Sofia. Sofia is the daughter of one of the students from my summer Color/Design class. Sofia was so inspired by her mother’s interest in color that she insisted she have her own mini “color workshop”.



During her workshop they talked about colors for specific products. She decided that a yogurt maker was the ideal product for her color palette.

The next task in the “class” was to make a color wheel. This is not an easy task but as you can see Sofia handled it like a true professional.

I think we may have another future color/design class attendee.

July 18, 2011

eclusive Toad Makes A Long Awaited Appearance

Want to see something that hasn’t been seen for 87 years? The rainbow toad was recently spotted in the mountains of Borneo by scientists. The exact location of this discovery will remain a secret for “fear of illegal poaching due to strong demand for bright-hued amphibians.” This story was originally reported by Sean Yoong for the Associated Press.

Borneo Rainbow Toad, Or Sambas Stream Toad, Spotted In Malaysias Eastern Sarawak State.

July 15, 2011

Graphic Design USA Gives Love To Pantone

“Color is among the most powerful ways for creative professionals to communicate on behalf of their clients. At stake is nothing less than the success of products, services, ideas and causes. And color forecasts are the place where theory and practice come together, as experts – sometimes through hard-headed analysis and other times through flights of imagination – attempt to discern broad evolutionary directions for major industries and the design disciplines that serve them. Color forecasting may look like fun and fantasy but be warned: do not try this at home or without expert supervision.”

Graphic Design USA – May 2011 Annual Color Forecast.

July 11, 2011

A Study Of Bill Gold’s Poster’s: Color And Typography

Bill Gold, called the greatest poster designer in Hollywood, has had an illustrious career designing classic posters for such films as “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, “The Way We Were”, “Casablanca”, “Hair”, “My Fair Lady”, “The Sting”, “Barry Lyndon” and “Mystic River”.

Here are some examples of his colorful work and some of the rationale behind it.

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

For his first major studio release, it was important to Gold to emphasize the patriotism in the story of George M. Cohan. So he used bright American colors and incorporated the flag design as part of the Uncle Sam hat. He did all the lettering by hand then had a sign painter come in and color it at his direction. The “C” in James Cagney’s name is the same type Gold used for Casablanca. 

My Fair Lady (1969)

Gold says he used Peak’s “squiggles to get his juices flowing”. The final poster is a collage of the charcoal drawings, to which Gold added color.

Dirty Harry (1971)

For his first collaboration with Clint Eastwood, Gold saw the police detective’s gun as a central image that he used in all of the poster variations. He exaggerated the size of the gun in the international and main U.S. posters. In the international, he used repeating images and “psychedelic” colors, which design critic Steven Heller praises for having “a pop art quality”.

The Sting (1973)

To capture the 1920s look of the movie, Gold took the approach used in The Saturday Evening Post developed by illustrator J.C. Leyendecker, for both the main poster and the alternate. “The texture of the clothing has a hand-painted quality,” Gold says. “The whole feeling of the story is there.” Gold also used the magazine’s classic lettering style.

Barry Lyndon (1975)

For Stanley Kubrick’s 18th century costume drama, Gold flew to London for three weeks of intense discussions with the director. Kubrick insisted on having a special hand-lettered alphabet created, and Gold suggested the illustrated outer framing. After Gold returned home, he and Kubrick spoke by phone each day for weeks while a Warners messenger flew back and forth daily with sketches. Kubrick kept adding shading around each illustration to make it more distinctive.

Hair (1979)

Gold and illustrator Bob Peak did a lot of experimenting, including the picture of the sun coming through hair. He also played with different lettering styles. 

July 8, 2011

Black, White and Blue

Sometimes things aren’t  just black and white. Take this Blue penguin for example. No, really, don’t you just want to take him? 

“Recently the color of Little Blue Penguins was found to be generated by a new type of structural color.”

“Bird feathers have pigments like melanins and carotenoids – we even have evidence for color in the fossil penguin Inkayacu from fossilized melanin-bearing structures. Color can also be produced by physical interactions between light and biological nanostructures. These colors are called structural colors.”

Please click the link at the bottom for the full story.

Structural Color in the Little Blue Penguin « March of the Fossil Penguins.

July 5, 2011

Colorful Kitchen

Rolando Barrera traveled from Mexico two years ago to participate in our Color/Design program here on Bainbridge Island. He had an interest in learning more about the psychology of color, effective color combinations and how the use of color could have a positive influence on his customers when they visited his beautiful kitchen-centered showroom.

He sent us some wonderful examples of how his showroom has depicted both mood and style with the artful use of color.

Rolando told us that the concept for choosing the colors was to use some “cheerful” and “delicious” colors like tomato, lime and citrus.  But he also integrated “our Mother Earth” by using warm browns and grays. In particular, he felt that the use of teak and a pristine white depicted “heaven and earth”.

His goal, in his own words: “The ideas of the colors of this showroom is to immerse our customers and visitors in different ambients of color and see which kitchen they like the most”.  He feels that “happiness” is a main component and that “color really sells”.

We respond to these handsome images and shared thoughts with a big Bravo to Rolando!

July 1, 2011

Something Old, Something New

One of my friends and a colleague, Judi Noble, is head colorist for Fiesta Dinnerware. She is also an artist who loves whimsy and color.

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, Fiesta has issued a series of pieces in an exciting new anniversary color-Marigold. Available for only 75 weeks, Marigold comes in the complete dinnerware collection, as well as a limited edition numbered Soup Tureen.

My contribution to the 2011 release was “The color of comfort (and many comfort foods), Fiesta Dinnerware’s Marigold reminds us of vibrant florals and cheering sunshine-guaranteed to coax a smile and provide the perfect background for edibles (and drinkables).”

June 27, 2011


It is always interesting to get inquiries regarding color from far-off places, especially when they are seeking a more “westernized view” of how to use color in interior décor. Just recently I was called by Angela Boshoff Hundal, feature writer for InsideOut, a décor magazine located in Dubai. She quoted me throughout her article and I thought I would share an overview of some of the information she included.

The article “The ultimate living room guide” is about color in the living room. She pointed out that color preferences might vary according to culture, still various hues affect people in a universal way, which I have certainly found to be true.

IDdesign’s chic living room is feminine without being too girly.

She encouraged her readers to think of specific shades for the living room based on their intrinsic meanings. I had pointed out to her that, while blue generates tranquility in the lightest, deepest and certain mid-tones, the electric blues can be just as stimulating as red (a blue flame glows even more brightly than a red flame). Green speaks of nature and replenishment; yellow, a feeling of warmth and welcome while warm peach has a certain nurturing quality. Black is associated with power and sophistication, white is clean and pristine, but not good if over-used as it can appear sterile and cold. Not a good message in a living room.

I told her that in the U.S. people personalize their space and use the shades they are drawn to, still there are messages that are inherent in each color family that “speak to” the individual making decorating decisions regarding color.

Included in her article was a direct quote pointing out that while color is vital, “lighting is the most important aspect of bringing the full color spectrum into a living environment and shouldn’t dilute the trueness of any particular color.”

gulfnews : The ultimate living room guide.


June 24, 2011

Anne Roselt is the color manager for Plascon Paints in South Africa. She is a delightfully talented person who attended our color/design program in January.

For Plascon’s Spaces magazine Anne chose pink as her theme.

Following are some visuals from the magazine.

Seems that the hue has struck a universal chord.

June 20, 2011

In Full Color | HFN

In Full Color
Bright and neutral hues mingle
By Andrea Lillo

Color-while always a key ingredient in purchasing decisions-has gained a whole new level of importance, bringing bolder tones to the home furnishings arena.

Attendees at this year’s trade shows have been hit with wave after wave of product introductions in a range of hues. “Color, color and color” was the response one exhibitor gave at a recent show, when asked what consumers are looking for.

The last decade has seen the rise of the educated consumer, who gained decorating confidence after watching such channels as HGTV and a growing group of celebrity designers telling her to go for it. And now so much is available at consumers’ fingertips so quickly-she can find the exact shade of a color on the spot with an app on her smartphone, for example, or discover what the latest trends were at an overseas trade show through a blog or social media website before the show ends. So now color for the home has taken two distinct directions. In one color camp fall the subtle and the sophisticated tones such as weathered grays and chocolate browns. And in the other, the bold and the bright such as purples and pinks.

Both groups have been well represented at recent shows. Gray, for example, never before prevalent in the tabletop category, was much more visible at last month’s New York tabletop market. Brights were rampant on the show floor at March’s International Home + Housewares Show-down to colorful cutlery blades. From furniture to flooring, products now come in powerful pops of color. What makes color fresh now is when the neutrals and brights mingle, said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It’s all about newly invented color combinations.” By taking what people already have in their homes, and adding in a different hue, the result “brings newness to it.”

For example, Nouveau Neon-one of Pantone’s nine color palettes in its Pantone View home + interiors 2012 color forecast, and one that will be especially influential going forward, she said, along with the palette Back to the Fuchsia-includes vibrant, though non-acid, tones and pairs them with grays and beiges such as butter rum. “It’s such a more sophisticated use, but still has a playful feeling,” Eiseman said. When you put butter rum against citrus, for example, “you have a whole new thing. It just delights me.”




And consumers appreciate that knowledge-“it empowers them,” Eiseman said.

Consumers who are pulling back on bigger purchases will still spend money on the smaller items-decorative pillows, lamps, area rugs, tabletop-to bring some pop of color into the décor they already have, Eiseman said. But that doesn’t mean that larger pieces can’t also be bright.




At last month’s Milan Furniture Fair, Eiseman was “absolutely astonished” at the number of products-“these are much bigger [albeit costlier] pieces”-that fell into the Back to the Fuchsia palette, which contains purples and pinks, along with peridot green.

For consumers who are dedicated lovers of blue, there’s the growing appearance of indigo-which has its own Pantone palette for 2012, called Indigo Effects, and which includes a grayed green, a maroon and a purpley indigo. “Indigo is meditative,” Eiseman said. Brights engage the eye, said Eiseman, and are especially welcome after the last few years. “We want to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “It’s natural when we’re feeling down that we want a pick me up.”




And by adding a calming neutral-such as gray, a classic hue with longevity, Eiseman said-the combination works. “It’s all in the mix of how you present them,” she said. “You’re blending the playful with the practical.”




Eiseman points to several artists as influencing some of the bright, comic pages colors one is seeing pop up. Paintings of donuts from Kenny Sharf and of cakes and pies from Wayne Thiebaud have become popular, as have the gelatin food art from event planners Bompas & Parr, and they all “play right into that,” she said. “What better reference in the kitchen is art of food?” she said. “There’s been a resurgence of art with goodies.”

In Full Color | HFN.

June 17, 2011

175 New Pantone Colors

As some of you may (or may not) know, I am the director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training and also the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. In addition to reporting on color trends, I research the psychological aspects and consumer reaction to color and participate in the selection and naming of new Pantone colors. I was asked to participate in a video last month that was taped at Pantone headquarters.

The video is now appearing on the Pantone site as well as Women’s Wear Daily and Home Furnishings Now, plus many other sites, including that of designer Kate Spade.

Click on the following link to watch a group of Pantone experts, including myself, as we explain the rationale and dyeing process that goes into the manufacturing of the new colors.

June 13, 2011

Radioactive As Told In Cyanotype 

As the summer draws closer and you begin to compile your summer reading lists (if you haven’t done so already) we would like to recommend that you add “Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout.” This book has made our reading list because it has an incredibly accomplished woman for the main character whose story is told through the haunting images rendered in cyanotype (photographic printing process that creates a cyan-blue print).

Radioactive’s author Lauren Rediness “rendered her poetic artwork in an early-20th-century image printing process called cyanotype, critical to the discovery of both X-rays and radioactivity itself…” 

Dwight Garner of the New York Times writes “The word ‘luminous’ is a critic’s cliché, to be avoided at all costs, but it fits Ms. Redniss’ book pretty snugly. This is a story with a hefty half-life.”

Radioactive: Marie Curie’s Story Told in Cyanotype | Brain Pickings.

June 10, 2011

New In Neon

Lee was recently in London where she was interviewed by WGSN and Draper’s Magazine (the English equivalent to Woman’s Wear Daily.)  One of the many things discussed about color was Pantone’s new collection of neons, including eye-popping Diva orangy-pink, Electric Blue Lemonade (speaks for itself) and a really vibrant yellow-green called Green Gecko.

Day-glo Balenciaga

They are popping up everywhere!!

June 7, 2011

Mellow Jell-O

This past year Lee was given a book that has been in big hit in our office. The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks is one of those books that is sure to horrify the most discerning foodie. We have wanted to do a blog on it for some time now but we didn’t quite have the context that we wanted, until now.

We were especially drawn to the chapter, “It’s the 1950’s and Everyone’s Human but Mom!” Why you may ask? Well, we are always shocked and mildly amused with advertising from this era and how the woman was portrayed back then as happy at home, especially when she wears heels while vacuuming. I have never vacuumed in heels and maybe it is the one way to make that chore seem less annoying. But I digress.

Jello-O ad 1952

The real treasure of the book lies in the pages where Jell-O is highlighted. No, we aren’t just enamored with the molds but also with the interesting “goodies” that people have decided to add to the Jell-O, like radishes, cucumber, tomato and cauliflower. What a colorful yet savory dessert! Yum!

But…Jell-O isn’t just for adults.

Lilek says (tongue in cheek) “Jell-O is a young dessert. Cool and sparkling. Fresh and fruity. And the colors are pure pop art. (Next time you pour boiling water on the powdered gelatin, just watch those colors come alive.) Yes, Jell-O is a bona fide participant in the youth culture, in the nationwide enshrinement of randy, sensation-craving, dope-addled monkeys as the arbiters of what matters. The colors ARE coming alive! Wow!…”

“What flavor was that again? Oh, right: red flavor.” (Red dye #2, no doubt.)

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the new generation of Jell-O lovers. These molds and flavors are really interesting and unique but in a fascinating and entertaining way.


Culinary “events” have become big business. The English team of Bompas and Parr have put Willy Wonka to shame by reinventing Jell-O molds into works of art. Some of them are architectural wonders like the Houses of Parliament!

Ann Charlott Ommedal

June 3, 2011

Rules For Fools

The following is an excerpt from an article in the may issue of The Economist titled The Terrible Threat of Unlicensed Interior Designers.

“In 1941 Franklin Roosevelt added two new items to America’s ancestral freedoms of speech and worship: freedom from fear and freedom from want. Today’s politicians offer a far more generous menu: freedom from unlicensed hair-cutters, freedom from cowboy flower-arrangers and, most important of all, freedom from rogue interior designers. What is the point of enjoying freedom from fear or want, after all, if you cannot enjoy freedom from poorly co-ordinated colour schemes?”

“In the 1950s, when organisation man ruled, fewer than 5% of American workers needed licences. Today, after three decades of deregulation, the figure is almost 30%. Add to that people who are preparing to obtain a licence or whose jobs involve some form of certification and the share is 38%.”

“Some occupations clearly need to be licensed. Nobody wants to unleash amateur doctors and dentists on the public, or untrained tattoo artists for that matter.”

Schumpeter: Rules for fools | The Economist.

May 31, 2011

Ditch The Blue Shirt Wear PINK!

In June’s 2011 issue of Men’s Health a reader wrote in to Ask Men’s Health for dress shirt color alternatives to blue. Their response was a “one word answer”….

What do you think? Do you like it when a man wears pink? 

May 27, 2011

Redeemer With A Purpose

“The Gulabi Gang is an extraordinary women’s movement formed in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. This region is one of the poorest districts in the country and is marked by a deeply patriarchal culture, rigid caste divisions, female illiteracy, domestic violence, child labour, child marriages and dowry demands. The women’s group is popularly known as Gulabi or ‘Pink’ Gang because the members wear bright pink saris and wield bamboo sticks. Sampat says, “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.”

“Sampat Pal Devi is an ordinary woman with extraordinary resolve who brought about a revolution of sorts in rural India. Empowering women by encouraging them to stand up for themselves and others, she takes on the establishment by resorting to direct action. She strongly believes that “if a woman really wishes she can put a man in his place.”

Pink can certainly represent more than Barbie Dolls. “Hot pink is after all, related to the mother color red with much of the same dynamic energy and purpose.”


May 23, 2011

THE RED DOOR | Tim Girvin 

Tim is a really gifted and brilliant brand image expert based in Seattle. I met him through a neighbor. I loved this story and the imagery is just stunning.


Tim Girvin

“In Sweden, there is a distinct red that is used in farmhouse buildings. It took a taxi driver, coming in from the country, driving me to Stockholm, to figure it out.”

Click the link below for the full story.

THE RED DOOR | Tim Girvin : Entries.

May 20, 2011

Abstract Expressionist Masterpiece Or Painted By Children?

“How often have you heard people describe artworks by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko or Cy Twombly as drawings that a 5-year-old child could have made? The answer is probably, very often. But is this true? Can children produce art whose perceived quality, as least by widespread artistic circles, matches that of renowned artists who sell their art for millions of dollars?”

Now, when I see art I may stop and wonder if I should buy the painting or paint one myself?

Study Examines Difference Between Abstract Expressionist Masterpieces And Paintings By Children.

May 16, 2011


“Sixteen years ago Willy Bo Richardson drove down highway 71 in Austin. As a painter consumed with his practice, he considered color. The blacktop road burst with light intermittently, revealing the yellow stripes on the street in the night. Time passed and Willy realized he was going the wrong way in relation to his destination. In the midst of this experience, he stopped at a gas station to reorient. As if by magnetism, he was pulled towards a bag of Doritos. The red and blue bag of Doritos served as a source of discovery, with a yellow chip inside.”

Three Muses, 2011

“Gestalt psychology says that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This indicates that the space between things matters, too. These concepts uncork the myth that there is finality to anything.”

The Work of Willy Bo Richardson | THE END OF BEING.

May 13, 2011

International Orange

Photographer: Damian Brandon

“The Golden Gate Bridge,” Morrow wrote, “is one of the greatest monuments of all time. Its unprecedented size and scale, along with its grace of form and independence of conception, all call for unique and unconventional treatment from every point of view. What has been thus played up in form should not be let down in color.”

Photographer: Arvind Balaraman

The Golden Gate Bridge’s Accidental Color : NPR.

May 9, 2011

A Silkworm Tale: Chemically Altered Diet

The following is an excerpt from an article in the New York Times by Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop. Click the link at the bottom to read the full article.

“Researchers in Singapore documented how silkworms fed with chemical dyes yielded flourescent silk. The process could eliminate traditional dyeing methods, which create polluted wastewater.”

What happens to the silkworm at the end of this chemical diet? I am not sure that no silkworms were not harmed during this process.

How do you feel about this process? 

A Silkworms Thread of Color and Hope – NYTimes.com.

May 6, 2011

The Colorful Hotel La Belle Juliette

This is a hotel I have stayed at many times in Paris and they just re-opened after a gorgeous re-do. 

I love the brave use of color.

photos: Jérôme d’Almeida

photos: Jérôme d’Almeida
photos: Jérôme d’Almeida
photos: Jérôme d’Almeida

Is it just me or does that sofa closely resemble Honeysuckle?

photos: Jérôme d’Almeida
photos: Jérôme d’Almeida

Have you stayed at this hotel pre or post remodel? Tell us about your experience. Do you like the changes and color choices?

May 2, 2011

The Original Fashion Stylist 

Did you know that personal shopping is not a new career path? The Oregonian’s Laura Gunderson reports on Cleo Cummings and her years at Macy’s as a personal shopper. Cummings pioneered the art of personal shopping at Meier & Frank which eventually became Macy’s, for 73 years. Cleo also availed herself to clients for closet inspection based on her own high dressing standards for extra income.

Do you have a knack for fashion and think you have what it takes to follow in Cleo’s footsteps? More Alive With Color can help you get there as personal shopping is often an extension of color consulting (or vice versa) and wardrobe planning.

If you want to get some advice on your wardrobe or help in find out your best colors one of our More Alive With Color Consultants can help you.

Cleo Cummings, a top Macy’s saleswoman, retires after 73 years | OregonLive.com.

We HEART Kate Betts!

We have just received our copy of Kate Betts book Everyday Icon Michelle Obama and the Power of Style and we couldn’t be more thrilled. It is such a beautiful book that just so happens to include some wonderful information from our own fearless leader (Leatrice Eiseman). It would just be wrong for us to share all of Kate’s book here so we will just keep the sharing to Lee’s contribution and some lovely imagery from the book.

April 25, 2011

The Avocado Explosion And Celebrating Green: As Color, As Concept, As Cause, Mashup

As I was doing research on a new book to be released this fall (more about that in future) I was once again intrigued by the rise of the yellow greens in the mid to latter sixties until eventually it became an avalanche of avocado in the 70s but more often referred to an “Olive Green” in the 60s.

For a little personal background, I had moved to L.A. and enjoyed window shopping on Rodeo Drive. There was a store called “Jax” that was very Jill Sander-ish featuring very clean and modern design. The owner and main designer of the shop, was the first to combine olive and sky blue— an unheard of combination. Some people hated it, as it was ahead of its time, but the early adapters were fascinated by it. I saved my pennies (well, a bit more than that) and bought pants and a top and then topped (or bottomed ) it off with matching slip-in kitten-heeled pumps.
Wow—that was hot stuff. Of course, that was not Main Street fashion by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a great example of how one designer can start a trend and if promoted to the right audience can start to enter into the greater culture. It took a few years, but olive/avocado sightings were made through the 60s, first in fashion and then into other product areas as the color became more embedded in designer awareness. And Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ helped to push along the environmental aspects of the hue that started to make the earthy greens more acceptable.

Interestingly enough, from a mass perspective, Penney’s was the Target of its day. They were the most prescient in presenting colors ‘of the future’through a booklet called “Forum’ and is a perfect example of how they created a buzz about a color. It is a lesson in Marketing 101 and was in effect a “forecast”. The early adapters are usually of a higher economic level, but if you can hit the masses, you can really make a color story happen big time. The booklet was sent out to home economics teachers (now consumer education), journalists or anyone else who could help to create the buzz and ultimately, to sell the products. So by the 70s the groundwork was really set for the avocado and earth color explosion.

Celebrating Green: As Color, As Concept, As Cause

April 22, 2011

A Frequency That Does Not Currently Exist

“The “Ultra Gamma: Design with Unseen Waves” installation, which Ezri Tarazi and the young students/interns are exhibiting, is based on the concept that, 50 years from now, waves will be discovered at a frequency currently unknown to mankind. More than 100 years ago, in 1895, Nobel Prize winner Professor Wilhelm Röntgen discovered that x-rays could be used to reveal the internal structure of the human body.”

Ultra Gamma.


April 11, 2011

Deep Purple Spuds

How about adding this colorful gem to the menu?

Click the link to find out why you should.

Hemispheres Inflight Magazine » Deep Purple.

April 8, 2011

What’s a Color-phobic Girl To Do? 

The following is an excerpt from and article in April’s Elle magazine called The Leading Lady. In it Kate Betts looks to our former and current First Ladies for fashion inspiration.

“…Our fearless, fashion-forward first lady has been using color to transmit a message of optimism and confidence ever since she arrived at the White House two years ago; this season, it seems almost certain that designers are finally heeding Michelle Obama’s call. For centuries, color has represented individual moods while also reflecting and expressing the broader cultural zeitgeist. Red evokes power (hence the preference among politicians for red ties); violet and purple signify royalty or sensuality, depending on the object in question. As the late fashion editor Pauline Trigère once famously said, “When you’re feeling blue, wear red.”

Kate Betts “Everyday Icon,”

Master Class Video

April 4, 2011

Breeding: Colorful Flamingos 

At First Blush

“Greater flamingos primp, preen, and even apply makeup, according to researchers from Spain’s Doñana Biological Station who are unlocking the secret to how the birds restore their color when their feathers fade. Flamingos pale after their chicks hatch, but their pigment returns when they dab oil on their plumes to make them pinker and more attractive to mates, says ornithologist and project leader Juan Amat. The carotenoid-rich crustaceans the birds eat give them their pink plumage, but the oil produced by their glands also contains the compound, helping to imbue their feathers with a deep coral tint. Using telescopes and a color scale, the researchers discovered that the birds had the deepest coloring during the mating season, when they increasingly use their beaks to apply the oil to their feathers. “We found that the more colorful flamingos were the first to start breeding,” he says, “and we knew that flamingos that starting breeding earlier have higher breeding success.” Other bird species have their own line of cosmetics. Bearded vultures, for example, coat their feathers in mud to change their tinge, potentially helping them woo mates.”—Susan Cosier

Audubon Magazine.

April 1, 2011

I’m NOT An April Fool Am I?

This is no April Fool’s joke!

Many years ago Lee was among the first people who were sharing the information about color and diet. Today it seems that the masses are listening and agreeing.

To quote from her first book…

“Doctors have also found it necessary to eliminate some too-colorful food from the diet, especially those containing certain chemical additives. Dr. Ben Feingold, an allergist in San Francisco, has had great success in calming hyperactive children by deleting artificial flavoring, as well as artificial coloring from the diet.”

FDA has said many things over the years that turned out to be true!!  FDA voices skepticism, yet the same issue keeps getting raised.

FDA examines link between food dyes, hyperactivity – BusinessWeek.

March 28, 2011

Books In Other Languages And Colors

We thought you might enjoy seeing the covers of the new Chinese language versions of Lee’s books “More Alive With Color” and “The Color Answer Book”. It is so wonderful to see these books come to life. The new covers are unique to the culture and represent their visual perspective on color.

The books are lovely.

Have you seen any of Lee’s books out and about around the world? If yes, please take a moment to share where you spotted them. We’d love to hear about it.

March 25, 2011

Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids

As color enthusiasts we couldn’t help but be delighted to hear about the Festival of Colours. Hindu followers announce spring by throwing brightly colored pigments onto one another in celebration.

March 19th was the day for India’s Holi or Spring Festival. “Holi marks the end of the winter gloom and rejoices in the bloom of the spring time. It is the best time and season to celebrate; Holi provides this opportunity and people take every advantage of it.”

“Days before Holi, the markets get flooded with the colours of every hues. This aptly sets the mood of the people till the actual day of Holi. It is such a colourful and joyous sight to watch huge piles of bright red, magenta, pink, green and blue every where on the streets. Buying those colours seems as you are bringing joys and colour to your home and into your life.”

Hindu devotees play with colored powders – The Spring Festival of Colors.

March 23, 2011

Yellow Lead Chromate Pigment + White Lead Sulphate = Viridian? 

We better hurry up and figure out which of the paintings is which from the Van Gogh pie charts. According to this fascinating story about Van Gogh’s paintings there is a chemical reaction taking place that is changing the yellows to greens.

“If you’ve noticed your favorite Van Goghs getting darker, it’s not because you’ve caught the troubled Dutch painter’s depression. Some of the master Post-Impressionist’s late images, which he painted in the South of France, have succumbed to a chemical reaction called reduction, dulling some bright pigments and alarming preservationists worldwide.”

Vincent Van Gogh, Vase with twelve Sunflowers, Arles, January 1889

I am aware that the colors I have seen are aged and unlike the painting in its original state but this takes that notion to another level. I will be on the edge of my seat waiting for the outcome.

Chemists Called in as Van Goghs Pigments Darken.

March 21, 2011

Quirky Color Combos And Your Best Bet

I like the idea of wearing interesting color combinations. I feel inspired by some of these combinations that Refinery29 suggests so I thought I would take it a little further and give some guidelines for those of you who want to make these looks work for you.

Let’s break it down by Colortime®.

Royal Blue and Crimson

Royal Blue or *Navy Blue 19-3832 is a Crossover color that is flattering to all skin tones.

The Sunrise and Sunlight Colortimes® could skew the Crimson red to a *True Red 19-1664 for a flattering coloration while keeping the jacket and accessories as suggested in this image.

The Sunset Colortime® can go ahead with this duo. The dress as featured here appears to be on the red/orange side of things which is very flattering to the Sunset Colortime. *Think Fiesta 17-1564.

Burnt Orange and Khaki

Khaki or *Bleached Sand 13-1008 is another Crossover color and can be worn by all of the Colortimes®.

The Sunrise Colortime® is not the best coloring for Burnt Orange. As long as the Burnt Orange is not right next to the face this look will be fine. I might also suggest you could add a patterned scarf mixing the two and wear that closer to the face.

The Sunlight Colortime® can pull this off if the Burnt Orange is closer to *Burlwood 17-1516.

Sunset Colortime® can wear this combination confidently. Try finding the dress in *Cranberry 17-1545 or the one pictured here can work too.

Orange and Fuchsia

Sunrise Colortime® might want to make a smaller statement with these two colors in the form of shoes or accessories.

Sunlight Colortime® could combine *Peach Parfait 14-1219 and *Desert Rose 17-1927 to create a similar effect but in more flattering hues to your skin tone.

It’s as if these colors were designed just for Sunset Colortime®.

Pink and Caribbean Green

Sunrise Colortime® can wear this combination with complete confidence.

Sunlight can pull this combination off if the colors shift to more pastel shades like *Powder Pink 14-1511 and *Fair Green 15-6316.

*Sunkist Coral 17-1736 and *Bright Chartreuse 14-0445 are a better hue for you Sunsets.

Red Orange and Yolk Yellow

I recommend this combination for the Sunset Colortime®.

If the Sunrise and Sunlight Colortimes® would like to wear this combo it may be best not worn next to the face. Try a neutral top and mixing the two on the bottom with tights and shoes along with the skirt.

Oxblood and Cornflower

The Oxblood is a Crossover like *Eggplant 19-2311.

This combination is stunning! I love this look for the Sunrise especially with the Cornflower blue top next to the face. Try Little Boy *Blue 16-4132 or *Bonnie Blue 16-4134.

Sunlight is the match with *Cornflower Blue 16-4031.

Sunset should find a blue like *Della Robbia Blue 16-4020.

*Pantone colors found in More Alive With Color fanguide.

If you want to find your Colortime® to learn how to make the runway looks work for you stop by More Alive With Color and pick up a book and fanguide and take the guess work out of making the fashion work for you.

If you want more of a one on one contact me with your questions or schedule a consultation with a certified consultant.

Find us on Facebook.

Also, if you find that you already know what colors look good on you perhaps you would like to become a Colortime® Image Consultant and help others understand what their colors are.

Refinery29.com: 6 Quirky Color Combos To Try Now.

March 17, 2011

Lights, Color, Action

One of our readers left a comment that I thought was very thought provoking so I thought I would share it. C K Sage wrote “I am stunned by the enormous impact that the shift to energy saving bulbs has on color in all kinds of settings. Perhaps this would be something you could address in this delightful exploratory world of color.”

I will attempt to address this very subject here today. As I started digging/surfing the web for answers I found that Popular Mechanics did a light bulb comparison of CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) vs incandescent. I figured this was probably a good place to start. The article has a technical breakdown, it’s informative and uses pictures to illustrate the points.

Here is an excerpt.

“Popular Mechanics designed a test pitting seven common CFLs against a 75-watt incandescent bulb. To gather objective data, we used a Konica Minolta CL-200 chroma meter to measure color temperature and brightness, and a Watts up? Pro ammeter to track power consumption. Our subjective data came from a double-blind test with three PM staffers and Jesse Smith, a lighting expert from Parsons The New School for Design, in Manhattan. We put our participants in a color-neutral room and asked them to examine colorful objects, faces and reading material, then rate the bulbs’ performance.”

Why not take it a step further and cover the various lighting situations (natural and artificial) throughout each room. I then found this website which does exactly that.

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions about lighting and color.

March 14, 2011

International Housewares Has Honeysuckle Heart

Lee recently returned from doing two Keynote presentations and wanted to share the beautiful honeysuckle invitation to IHA’s annual gala to support worthy charitable endeavors like women’s breast cancer prevention treatment.

March 11, 2011
Blog On Black

Recently, I received some feedback on the background color of this blog (feedback is greatly appreciated). Eisemancolorblog has always used a black background as its background. To me, it is much like the fantastic red scarf that pops against a black jacket, black is the medium for which we deliver pops of color whether in text or imagery.

I found this infographic especially interesting and reaffirming. Interesting because I love a good infographic especially one on color and reaffirming because it validates our thoughts and inspiration behind our choice in using black.

We may be biased.

A quote from Color: Messages and Meanings about black…

“Another color can come forward and claims in the fashion press will be made that it is usurping black’s place but the reality is that black will always have a presence, not only in the world of fashion, but in all design disciplines. Adding black to any color renders that color more powerful, creating an illusion of depth, weight, solidity, substance and most often, more subtlety. Black is a fundamental factor in process printing; the final letter of CMYK is the last letter of the word black.”

The Psychology of Color by Tech King

March 7, 2011

Celebrating National Color Therapy Month

One of Lee’s former students, Sherry Ways, has written an insightful article about Color Misconceptions as part of March’s Color Therapy Month.

Here is an excerpt from the article.

“…the color black to me represents stability and elegance. To someone else, it represents death. To some countries it represents purity, its what their brides wear on their wedding days. So, if you were to place the three of us in a room with everything being black, I would come out of the room feeling very stable and elegant. The person who sees death would be depressed and upset and the person to whom that color represents purity will feel wholesome and good. Now, we were all in the same room. We all three saw the same things. But we all three had different perceptions about the color black and thus very different experiences in that room.”

How do you feel after having been in a black room?

Kreative Koncepts: Celebrating National Color Therapy Month.

March 4, 2011

Masters of Linen, Blue in Linen

From the Masters of Linen, the official voice of the linen industry, comes an homage to blue linen describing it as:

“A European linen that naturally imposes itself in an azure wave using shades from Indigo to Denim and Chambray. An essential linen, from runway shows to decoration, playing on its many chromatic, sensory states: casual, aggressive, shifted, innovative … a pleasure for both the eye and the hand.”

“The preferred color of Western civilizations since the 19th century and associated with spirituality, blue incites us to reflection! As for its Indigo variation, it is synonymous with serenity. In Japan, where its use is ancestral, “indigo” and “love” are both pronounced Aï!”

“For Summer 2011, (linen is) erasing borders between fashion and the art of living,. animating runway outfits and creating current looks.”

February 28, 2011

Nice Day For A White Wedding
One of our color loving colleagues, Jude Stewart, has written an interesting article about color, tradition and weddings. It is a very fascinating look at the use of white in weddings throughout time. A quote from Jude’s post states that “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.”

Chapter 13 in Colors For Your Every Mood is dedicated to white and its mark in society. Here is an excerpt about “Innocent White”.

“There is an innocence to white, a christening-dress kind of chasteness, an unsullied childlike naivete. It is traditionally the color of babies or brides. Baptismal and confirmation dresses are white, and some orders of nuns are married ceremonially to the church in a white gown. The ancient Greeks started the tradition of white at weddings, which they saw as a bridal symbol of joy. On the eve of her wedding ceremony, the Greek bride painted her body white, on her wedding day she wore white flowers in her hair and a flowing white gown. For thousands of years, the Japanese have seen white as pure, innocent, and virginal. The ladies of the court and shrine maidens, however, wore their white kimonos over red pantaloons! In the United States, white did not become the standard color for wedding dresses until the 1800s, and colonial brides wore a variety of pastel colors.”

color colour fashion style clothes wedding bride marriage tradition

February 24, 2011

Embrace These Colors, Change Your Mood

I really like the way Chrissy Lorenzo has given suggestions on how to wear the spring colors from Pantone’s 2011 fashion report. If you are looking to add some color to your life whether in the home or in your closet take a moment to look at Chrissy’s suggestions by clicking the link below.


Come over and “Like” More Alive With Color on Facebook and share your color picks for spring.

Spring 2011 Color Trends: Embrace These Colors, Change Your Mood.

February 22, 2011

Making My Way To IHA

We are quickly approaching the 2011 International Home Housewares Show in Chicago, Illinois. The show starts Sunday March 06 and goes through March 08. If you will be in the area and are interested in attending click the image for more information.

You don’t want to miss out on this because Lee will be sharing Pantone’s 2012 View Home forecast for the first time.

February 18, 2011

Fall 2011 Fashion Report Now For Him Too

My friends it is time for Pantone’s fall 2011 fashion color report. This time Pantone has included the men’s fall colors too.

I put together a little teaser of a few of the illustrations from the report for you. In doing so I started to wonder how you, the readers of this blog use the fashion report? Does it influence your color choices from season to season? Are these colors likely to end up on you or in your home?



There are a few colors from this report that are universally flattering to all skin tones.



Can you guess which ones they are?

February 14, 2011

Full Service Color Trainer In The Making
We just got back from a wonderful week in Burbank, CA where I conducted my most recent 4-Day Color/Design class. As always, there were many kindred spirits in color and the class bonded quickly. One of the attendees, Alicia Keshishian, has been an art director, graphic designer, surface designer and illustrator but still she wanted to hone her skills in color consulting. In addition, she currently produces a line of custom hand-made-to-order carpets.

Coming from a long line of gifted and influential carpet designers, carpets have been part of her life as long as she can remember.  As she puts it “the smell of the wool, the touch of the fibers, the variety of patterns. It all feels like home to me. Rugs are an ideal medium for creating an intimate piece of art. I custom design each piece so that it reflects my client’s sense of style and beauty.  The process is collaborative as I work directly with clients or their designer/architect to create a distinctive, personal carpet. We start by deciding on colors and patterns, then apply the design to the size and shape of the space.”

“It’s been increasingly clear to me that people respond to color before anything else. It’s truly visceral.  Clients are unable to navigate into any new territory, be it pattern or style, if the colors aren’t resonating. I believe colors are very personal and they transcend current fashion trends or peer pressure! I think it’s important, as a color consultant, to extend that confidence to my clients so they can live in the comfort of their own dreams.”

So well put and so true.
Alicia was so excited by what she learned in class that she decided to enroll in the online training as well so that she could become a “full service” color consultant and expand her services.

February 11, 2011

Green Is The New Green

I recently shared my love of the infographic and as such thought it fitting to share another one. Today’s graphic comes from Jerry Yudelson’s Presentation, Cool Water: Blue Is The New Green. It just felt right to do a blog about green since the promise of spring is right around the corner (according to Puxsutawney Phil). There are blossoms on the trees to substantiate that theory.

I found this interesting excerpt about green as quoted in Leatrice Eiseman’s Colors For Your Every Mood. Dr. Kurt Goldstein states in his book, The Organism (D.C. Health and Co., 1939):

“One could say red is inciting to activity and favorable for emotionally determined actions; green creates the condition of meditation and exact fulfillment of the task. Red may be suited to produce the emotional background out of which ideas and actions will emerge; in green these ideas will be developed and action executed.”

I really do love the Jolly Green Giant!

February 9, 2011

Coloring Barack Obama A Challenge…

This morning on the Today Show Michelle Obama sat down with Matt Lauer to answer a few questions. One of Michelle’s responses struck a cord with us here at Eiseman and Associates.

Matt asked Michelle “Is he [Barack Obama] vain about his appearance?”

Michelle responds with “Oh, no. Not at all, gosh, not at all. I wish he would focus more on a different color suit, a new shirt. Shasha and Malia and I cheer when he puts on a bright-colored shirt.”

A bright-colored shirt you say? Sounds like a case for color lovers to solve or at least suggest.

So, let me ask you what color of suit or bight-colored shirt would you like to see the President wear? If you really want to challenge yourself try to pick a color that is in his Colortime® based on the picture below.

We know that it is an arduous task to try to figure out a persons colors based on an online image or photograph.
There are no wrong answers here.

Click below to watch the interview with Michelle Obama.

February 7, 2011

Color Your World Or Just Your Event

Event Solutions
Color My World
What event designers need to know about the power of color.

“Experienced event planners know that color is one of the most powerful tools intheir toolbox for evoking emotions and communicating messages. Color can calm rattled nerves, excite, provoke or titillate. It can suggest contemplation, connect us to the earth or convey strength and authority.”

“She [Lee] advises planners to give careful thought to what kind of mood they want to achieve, based on the purpose of the event. Do you want to stimulate your attendees or reassure them? Do you want to convey excitement or intimacy? Once you understand this, use these simple guidelines to create a color palette.”

RED. “Red’s more aggressive traits have to be handled judiciously so that the attendee is not overwhelmed or antagonized by its demanding presence…”

BRIGHT PINKS “capture some of the same essence as a bright red. Bright pinks radiate with high energy, and are youthful and sensual.”

ORANGE “…adds zest to the visual flavor and is friendlier and more approachable than red, and is a great favorite of children.”

YELLOW “sparkles with heat, vitality, energy and light. It also suggests intellectual energy, curiosity and the need for enlightenment. Use yellow as an attention-getter.”

BROWN “contains a rich mosaic of meanings. It is the color most identified with earth and is perceived as unpretentious and non-threatening.”

“If you want your attendees to be contemplative, consider using a shade of BLUE.”

GREEN “…can be refreshing and restoring, or convey newness, youth and growth.”

PURPLE “…skew the shade either to the warm red side, or the cool blue side so that the message is more obvious.”

“Don’t forget that WHITE and BLACK remain some of the most popular choices for events, from weddings to gala balls. It’s elegant and upscale, stylish and modern.”

“Never say never to a color combination.”

To learn more pick up a copy of Color: Messages and Meanings.

February 3, 2011

Pie Charts Never Looked So Good

Take a look at this fantastic new way to “see” art. Can you figure out which pie chart is your favorite Van Gogh painting?

Van Gogh Pie Chart

I would guess that Sunflowers is the bottom row second from the left. What do you think? What a fun way to learn more about color and ratio. Share your guesses and thoughts too.

Don’t forget to click the link below for more….

Van Gogh pie-charts – Boing Boing.

January 31, 2011

More More Alive With Color Monday

Unless you live in a cave or a nudist camp, you have to wear clothes. Everyday of your life you send messages out via your colors. Why not choose your very best colors for these messages, whether you’re wearing a business suit or a jogging suit? You’re painting a picture for your own enjoyment that can’t help but spill over to those around you.

Use your Colortime® palettes as an expression of you-from the Colortime® that makes you look and feel more rested, energized, creative, and confident, to the Colortime® ambiance you create in your surroundings.

Photo: Marcus Tondo / GoRunway.com
Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com
Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

You deserve it.

January 28, 2011

Suit Up and Finish with Coats of Many Colors (for Men) 

Today I dedicate this post to the men in our lives. Often we women are talking about what colors we should be wearing or how we can look our best and I wondered if the men felt left out. In the event that they do feel left out, I offer up this little gem for the man who wants to make a statement with his wardrobe.

The Hollywood Reporter gives the man some tips on How to Dress The Part White Collar.

“From his fedora to footwear choices, Neal Caffrey-the dashing con atist-turned-FBI consultant on the USA Network drama White Collar-can probably claim the mantle of best-dressed man on television. “Neal’s look is Rat Pack-meets-Harry Belafonte-meets Thomas Crown with a little bit of Alain Delon in Le Samourai,” says the show’s star, Matt Bomer. In the series, Neal is rarely seen in anything but impeccably tailored suits (John Varvatos and Simon Spurr are favorites) with slim-fit, French cuff dress shirts. Sharp men’s accessories including bold-patterened ties with sterling tie bars, pocket squares and cuff links refine his style…”

“The focus is classic pieces with unexpected pairings like a textured pink shirt with a lavender tie.”

Do you want to know how you can recreate Neal’s look?

1. Find a reputable tailer. “A good tailor can make a $150 suit look like $1000, but a $1000 suit that isn’t properly tailored can look like it only cost you $150.”

2. Invest in the basics. “Every guy should own a couple of sharp dress shirts in simple colors like white and blue that are versatile.”

3. Suit up. “You need black, navy and, for those warmer-eather moments, maybe gray or a light-tan suit.”

4. Remember that the accessories make the man. “Your cuff links, ties and tie bars should reflect your character.”

For those of you men out there who prefer to make more of an impact and who may think outside of the box, consider adding a flashy jacket to finish your ensemble.


Coats of Many Colors (for Men) – WSJ.com.

January 25, 2011

You’re In Blue, I’m In Blue, It’s Blues All Over The Place…

Today we share an insider interview Lee did with David Shah (View Network) following their meeting for the Winter 2012/2013 View Colour Planner. There is not an easy summary of this interview. In short, the chat is about our favorite topic…COLOR.

Here is a little background on David and the View Network. For more click on View Network above.

The View network is one of a group of titles by View Publications, based in Amsterdam.

The international fashion media group was founded by David Shah in 1988. David is one of the world’s leading experts on colour and textiles but has also built a formidable track record as a designer, consultant, publisher and serial entrepreneur. He has always enjoyed mixing theory with practice.

January 24, 2011

Color Within The Lines and Behind The Seams

The following designers will no doubt be nominated for Academy Awards for their costuming work.

Behind-The-Seams with Costume Designers
by Elizabeth Snead

Colleen Atwood-Alice In Wonderland

Behind-The-Seams: “The Hatter’s look was based on the real hatters who used mercury in their trade which poisoned them and made them go mad. It also caused their hair to turn a very fried red color and their skin to get very pale…

We wanted the Mad Hatter’s bow tie droopy but, when he cheered up, such as when Alice came around, he perked up and his tie would also get happy. It was controlled by Johnny so he could make it happen when felt it…”

Amy Westcott-Black Swan

Behind-The-Seams: “It was Natalie who recommended Rodarte. …I met with Laura and Kate Mulleavy (Rodarte), and I saw their feathered Vulture Collection-I think it was Spring 2010. It seemed very appropriate…

All the lead characters are based on characters in the ballet. Nina, the White Swan, wears pale colors. When Nina loses her innocence, she starts to dress a little darker. By the end of the film, she’s all in black for the first time…”

Louise St Jernsward-Made In Dagenham

Behind-The-Seams: “It was in the script that it had to be a Biba dress and two girls had to wear it, and Sally was quite a bit smaller than Rosamund. …Biba, which was such a great shop and so inexpensive…

Sally wanted to keep her character very low key in the beginning. She’s a working girl with two kids, so it’s clothes form that era, but practical, simple. As her confidence grows, she gets a bit more stylish, but then she also had less money so I tried to do it with color…”

Jenny Beavan-The King’s Speech

Behind-The-Seams: “We had an incredibly short prep time, just five-and-a-half weeks. So thank God for the Internet. There is an incredible amount of archival footage online-Pathe News-of the Duke and Duchess of York. I had no idea and I was very grateful. We also got the spirit in family Photographs that you can find, as well as books and souvenir albums from the coronation…

The Queen mother loved fur. She had fur trim on practically everything. Not to get PETA riled up, we used very old furs, nothing new. Even though she wore a lot of blues and mauves, the colors were too theatrical on film and too strong on Helena so we used muted softer hues.”

Sandy Powell-The Tempest

Behind-The-Seams: “Julie wanted the characters that lived the island to look like they were part of it. So that’s how it started, looking at images of a place [Lanai] I had never been too….

The idea was for Prospera to look androgynous. Her clothing had to be practical and also have this feeling of coming from the landscape. The shapes were inspired by Japanese fashion designers. The colors are natural, indigo, the color of the sky and sea. The browns and sands work with the land, almost as a kind of camouflage…Julie wanted the court costumes to look like those in Goya or Velazquez paintings, very dark but also metallic…”

Nicoletta Massone-Barney’s Version

Behind-The-Seams: “For Minnie Driver, I had to make everything for her. You can’t find vintage dresses for such a tall woman. I had a lot of documentation for her character. She was very spoiled and very rich. One bracelet is not enough, three is better. I love Minnie’s wedding dress. That was fabulous. And she had the body for it. But, as with any costume, without the actor to give it the life, it is nothing…I always assign a color to every actor/character. If you forget the color, a movie becomes like a carnival. It’s terrible. Giamatti was brown. To show the confusion and gradual loss of Giamatti’s memory, we would leave a button undone or make the cuff a little destroyed or the shoulder pad a little off.

For the full story click the link below.

OSCAR: Behind-The-Seams With Costume Designers For ‘Alice In Wonderland’, ‘Black Swan’, ‘The King’s Speech’, ‘The Tempest’ – Deadline.com.

January 21, 2011

It Was Thirty Years Ago Today

I woke up singing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and feeling a little nostalgic. The lyric “It was twenty years ago today” was in repeat in my head. Feeling inspired, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some vintage advertising from the 80s, hence the post title.  As many of you trend followers are aware, right now fashion is all about the 80s, especially for kids. So, why not revisit the time that is so heavily influencing us right now.

It was fun and shocking to see all of the funky fashion. I was most taken by the use of Honeysuckle. I know, I know, you may be growing tired of all the talk of this color but I promise this post will be a little different.

There are many interesting “trends” happening now that were also happening in the 80s. Brace yourselves.

Frankie says relax don’t do it….Fur and Honeysuckle.

I haven’t been brave enough to try this look as an adult. Socks and sandals…I might need to leave this one to the kids.

This fantastic graphic in Black, White and Red with Honeysuckle. Can’t you just see Lady Gaga in these shades. Rah Rah ooh la la.

I think this chair is the only item that seems to be timeless and just happens to be pink. Good design never goes out of style.

Good golly Miss Molly and John Crier and Pink, oh my!

So many things happening here. Short shortsside ponytailpegged sweats with knee seaminghead bandsvests and this years Honeysuckle with last years Turquoise. My head just exploded.

I hope you had fun in this 80s time warp. It seems like such a long time ago and yet so very current. Was it too horrifying for you? I don’t think any of these images are nearly as scary as some of my personal fashion statements from then.

Have a great weekend!

January 19, 2011

Our Color Favorites From The Golden Globes

Now that you have had a few days to digest all of the wonderful fashion from the Golden Globes we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite color statements from the night. We  made our choices from the stars who wore colors that really complemented their look (hair, skin and eyes) and a great color that is from their Colortime®.

This is not a commentary on the style, fit or designer that each person wore. We are strictly basing our choices on COLOR.

There are four categories that we will use to place our winners and they are all taken from More Alive With Color (if you are not familiar with MAWC please take a moment to click over and find out more about our groupings). The groups will be the three Colortimes® Sunrise, Sunlight and Sunset then we have our wild card the Crossovers.

Let’s get started.

Sunrise category.

Photo: Steve Granitz / WireImage
Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Sunlight category.

Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images
Photo: Kyle Rover / Startraksphoto.com

Sunset category.

Photo: Steve Granitz / WireImage
Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Last but not least the Crossovers.

Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images
Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

I know that we could have included many more in these categories but that would take all day. Also, did you notice how many people were in neutrals? I thought about adding the Fanguide color names to match the colors but I thought that might be taking it too far as you might not be seeing the color I am seeing (we all know how colors vary from screen to screen).

Feel free to share your thoughts and Fanguide color matches or your top color picks from the Golden Globes.

January 16, 2011

Trends For Him For Her Now For Home

We are having so much fun finding all things Honeysuckle in magazines and online. January’s issue of HFN (Home Furnishings News) has a beautiful spread boasting Pantone’s Honeysuckle as a “step in the bright direction for 2011”. Very clever! Do you think they meant to rhyme? I thought it would be fun to surf the web and see what other fancy gems I could find that showcase other ways that one could Honeysuckle the home.

Can I say Honeysuckle one more time or how about three?

HFN | Product Gallery.

Honeysuckle focal point.

Honeysuckle accents.

“With so much stainless steel and neutral tones dominating kitchen decor, for example, a bright hue can be a real statement color. Honeysuckle ‘offers a real vibrancy…it doesn’t shrink into the background.”–Richard Joseph

Honeysuckle prowess!

Do you feel inspired by the use of this flirty hue? Will you be adding some touches of Pantone’s color of the year for 2011?


January 14, 2011

Head To Toe In Honeysuckle, Do You Dare?

Of course you wouldn’t actually wear Honeysuckle from head to toe, unless you were trying to make a serious monochrome statement (which may or may not be a good thing).

Makeup with Honeysuckle

For the rest of us it might be safer to use it in small doses. This article posted yesterday from the Huffington Post gives some great examples of how to bring in the Honeysuckle trend with makeup.

Anna De Souza: Pantone’s 2011 Color: Honeysuckle, Beauty Trend to Try?

Since we are talking about makeup I thought I would share a link to this wonderful blog which focuses on both makeup and nail polish.

Honeysuckle: The New “it” Colour for 2011 « ommorphia beauty bar

How will you be wearing Honeysuckle this year?


January 13, 2011

Every Girl’s Crazy About A Colorfully Dressed Man

I have never seen such a beautiful display of peacocking. Wow!  I’m not sure if that is what you would call this but I couldn’t resist. Enjoy this link to men in all their color glory! Who could resist?

Apparently not me!

Photo from Style.com shot by Tommy Ton

Tommy Ton Shoots the Scene at the Menswear Shows.

What do you think? Do you like a man who isn’t afraid of Color?

January 10, 2011

Honeysuckle Meets Vanilla Print

Over the holiday’s Lee received the most charming card from her colleague Sarah Schwartz, the editor of Stationery Trends Magazine. Stationery Trends provides retailers with the latest design trends in the world of paper.

I would say it is the perfect marriage of color, inspiration and typography!

This wonderful card was created by Vanilla Print and has one of the top color trends for 2011. You guessed it Honeysuckle. Are you beginning to see a trend here? Pun intended.

Sarah’s Editor’s Letter: Time and Space really shines the light on capturing a moment.


January 7, 2011

What Are Your True Colors and What Your Clothing Color Says About You 

Lee did an interview with Shine from Yahoo called “What are your true colors” which applied the concept of More Alive With Color to makeup palettes. There was quite a stir among the community of readers that followed. The responses were all over the board. I like hearing what everyone has to say and think it is interesting to learn about all of the ideas and thoughts that people put into wearing color.

It does seem that today there are a lot of people who don’t really know or identify with the concept of personal colors.

How many of you out there are familiar with personal colors? Is the system you are familiar with rigid in the “rules” of what colors you should wear? How many of you use More Alive With Color as a guide to wearing colors?

Are you Sunrise, Sunlight or Sunset?





I would love to hear what thoughts you are putting into the daily color choices you make.

For those of you who are interested in the psychology of color Women’s Health Magazine has great article in their January issue. Pay special attention to what is said about green.

What Your Clothing Color Says About You | Women’s Health Magazine.

January 5, 2010

The Sound of Color VS the Sound of Silence

Have you ever wondered what a color would sound like? It is an obscure thought that the Gap tried to answer in 2008. The concept is called The Sound of Color where “musicians the Raveonettes, Dntel, Swizz Beatz, the Blakes and Marié Digby were each asked to create a song inspired by a particular color, which was then turned into a music video by an equally avant garde video director.”

I know that this may be old news to some but in light of the new year and reflecting back we thought it might be fun to bring out these old color goodies for those of you who may have missed them.

YouTube – The Blakes Magic Sound of Color music video.


January 3, 2011

Food coloring: Do synthetic food colors cause hyperactivity? 

We here at the eiseman color blog are very interested in all things related to color. Over the weekend, we found this story about food coloring that was fascinating. Lee has been sharing the ideas of Ben Feingold with her classes for years.

Years ago I heard that Red dye No5 was the worst (extreme word for effect) thing and it should be avoided at all cost. Then this weekend we picked up a book by Michael Pollen called Food Rules that shares some simple thoughts on food like not eating cereal that turns the milk colors. I like it, simple to understand.

The children will not be pleased with this one. Consider this informative color tidbit food for thought.

Click the link for more.

Food coloring: Do synthetic food colors cause hyperactivity? – chicagotribune.com.


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