2013 Archives

January 11, 2013

What Color Should I Paint My…?

More than ever, our homes are critically important to our sense of comfort and well-being where we build our own personal nests. The act of decorating our home is the catalyst that sparks our creativity, providing that special environment that helps us and those who live with us thrive.

Which is why it is not so simple to answer the question “What color should I paint my…?”

Image Via Colors For Your Every Mood
Image Via Colors For Your Every Mood

There are absolutely no quick or easy answers to that question. There isn’t a “magic bullet” answer as there are many factors to take into consideration, including:

Mood/Emotion

Lighting

Family

Lifestyle

Room scale/size

Likes/dislikes

My book Colors For Your Every Mood can help to guide you to some moods and color palettes as well as give you some of the color psychology behind those colors. Once you have familiarized yourself with color moods and you still feel you need some help to attain the “feel” you are comfortable with, you may want to hire a professional. At the very least, the book might help you to validate what you feel instinctively.

BrettRyderpicture

Before taking that final step and applying paint on the walls, it is important to think about the emotional aspect of color. The colors you choose will create moods and feelings that will have a great impact on you (and your family’s) well-being and comfort level.

You see, for someone to blindly suggest you paint any part of your home without them having a sense of who you are and what you hope to get out of the space, you are potentially asking for trouble. You wouldn’t want to end up with furniture that no longer matches or works in the space. These are costly mistakes that can be avoided.

January 22, 2013

Sunrise, Sunset, Sunlight. What’s Your Colortime Signature?

In business, you want to wear colors that make you feel confident, and confidence-building colors are those that make you look and feel your best. For that reason, I recommend wearing your Signature Colors-those that repeat, contrast, and/or enhance your personal coloring. In order to do that you must understand your personal Colortime.

Take a look at this Estee Lauder ad with its three wonderful examples of Colortime colorings, Sunset, Sunlight and Sunrise.

Sunset, Sunlight and Sunrise Colortimes Via Estee Lauder ad.
Sunset, Sunlight and Sunrise Colortimes Via Estee Lauder ad.

Based on these examples the Sunset’s Signature Colors (woman on the left) would be golden tawny tones like Camel or Cognac. A coral pink necklace will brighten your skin and add a great accent.

Image Via More Alive With Color
Image Via More Alive With Color

A sand-colored suit and a blue-green shirt to show off your eyes are Signature Colors for the Sunlight’s (woman in the middle). Add a touch of dusty rose to complement the skin and capitalize on your own coloring.

Image Via More Alive With Color
Image Via More Alive With Color

If you are a Sunrise Colortime your best Signature Colors are a Frost Gray suit with a Bonnie Blue shirt.

Image Via More Alive With Color
Image Via More Alive With Color

Experts tell us about the four-minute time barrier, a period during which initial human contact is established. If the initial reaction is negative, the eye and the mind start to wander elsewhere.

You never have another chance to make a first impression.

This information can be found in my book More Alive With Color.

Click the link below to see how the Wall Street Journal suggests you dress for success.

Video – How To Dress For Success in Business – WSJ.com.

February 5, 2013

Ready To Paint? Wait, Try This First

When it comes to decorating your home one of the quickest ways to make a change is with paint. Whether you are painting the walls, furniture or the ceiling, paint can give you that lift without having to do a full scale renovation.

yellow-interior-1

But how can you be certain that the color chip will look the same when it is applied to the wall?

For novice painters (as well as veterans) it is always amazing to see a pastel such as a light Candy Pink, turn into Bubblegum on the walls. A small sample will rarely be seen as the same color when viewed on a much larger scale, as the color becomes more intense when you are literally surrounded by it. In addition, there are other considerations, such as the color of the surrounding space, particularly ceiling and floor. Most importantly, it is the quality and quantity of light in the space that will make the difference.

turquoise-living-room

It is always best to start with a simple chip that is more subdued than the color you envision in the space. If you are working with a professional painter, colorist, or decorator, or are brave enough to experiment on your own, you can also try modifying the base color with a dollop of its complementary color. You can also try “dirtying” the color a bit (not a bad thing in painter’s parlance) by adding a pinch of brownish umber shade sold in tubes and bought in a paint or hardware store. Follow the directions on the label. If you prefer a grayer shade, you can always add a bit of black, but experiment first.

Here are some additional guidelines before spackling and tackling the walls:

Test the color in the actual setting.

Test your color over a white background. This can be done directly on the wall or on a large poster board or masonite measuring at least five feet by five feet.

Paint two coats of color over the white.

Move the board around to different areas of the room so that you can see it at every angle.

Look at the test at different times of the day to see how the color might change in natural light and artificial light.

If the effects are pleasing, you are ready to roll.

Do you have a painting story or painting horror story? What successes or failures have you encountered when taking on a painting project? Did you “Do It Yourself” or hire a professional?

February 14, 2013

What Looks Lavender But Is Actually Blue? 

Have you heard of the Stroop Effect?

stroop

Wikipedia states that “The Stroop effect is a demonstration of interference in the reaction time of a task. When the name of a color (e.g., “blue,” “green,” or “red”) is printed in a color not denoted by the name (e.g., the word “red” printed in blue ink instead of red ink), naming the color of the word takes longer and is more prone to errors than when the color of the ink matches the name of the color.”

I mention the Stroop Effect in reference to the blue rose, Applause, because it actually looks purple.

When we think of blue our minds conjure images of the sky and the sea. Blue is the color of constancy and truth. Yet, as we gaze upon the “blue rose” we see lavender or purple.

Applausebluerose

Blue (or any other color, for that matter) can also hold some deeply rooted cultural associations. For example, in some societies, blue is viewed as a protective color. In the Middle East front doors are painted blue to keep the evil sprits from entering the house while many Native Americans paint the front doors of their dwellings blue for the same reason.

How does this effect our psyche?

When we see the blue rose our minds are registering purple. Purple is the combination of the excitement of red and the tranquility of blue, the marriage of two diametrically opposed emotions.

A critical balancing act always exists. Which emotion takes the lead?

What is your visceral reaction to this blue rose? Are you feeling conflicted by its name and color?

Please enjoy a poem and a song about blue roses.

Blue Roses

Roses red and roses white
Plucked I for my love’s delight.
She would none of all my posies–
Bade me gather her blue roses.

Half the world I wandered through,
Seeking where such flowers grew.
Half the world unto my quest
Answered me with laugh and jest.

Home I came at wintertide,
But my silly love had died
Seeking with her latest breath
Roses from the arms of Death.

It may be beyond the grave
She shall find what she would have.
Mine was but an idle quest–

Roses white and red are best!

Rudyard Kipling

February 28, 2013

The Shocking Nude That Changed America

As a color/design consultant, forecaster and author, I always look to the art world for inspiration and direction, especially shows and exhibits that are garnering much attention in the art world. So I read with great interest on artdaily.com about  one show that changed it all. 

“The International Exhibition of Modern Art — which came to be known, simply, as the Armory Show — marked the dawn of Modernism in America. It was the first time the phrase “avant-garde” was used to describe painting and sculpture.

On the evening of the show’s opening, 4,000 guests milled around the makeshift galleries in the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue.

Two-thirds of the paintings on view were by American artists. But it was the Europeans — Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp — that caused a sensation.”

Nudedescendingstairs

And what a sensation indeed! It was 100 years ago that art in the United States was forever changed. It was only one year later that Cubism would continue to evolve the world of art.

The serious, demanding intellectualism of the Cubist proposition was too important to be rendered in the decorative colors of the Fauves. Picasso and Georges Braque delivered their message in somber tones, along with the bits of wrapping paper, wallpaper, newspaper, and even sand, dirt, and house paint. Eventually, later Cubists like Robert Delaunay and Juan Gris introduced more vivid colors in a desire to capture the vibrant urban reality of pre-WWI Paris.

Nude Descending a Staircase (No.2) was the star of the Armory show and is a star in the book Pantone The 20th Century in Color. Take a minute to listen or read about the Armory Show from 1913. If that doesn’t quench your thirst you can click the link below to explore the website that the Smithsonian has put up that is a detailed timeline of archival material from that very show.

‘Armory Show’ That Shocked America In 1913, Celebrates 100 : NPR.

March 25, 2013

It Has Been Said That Purple People Are Easy To Live With But Hard To Know.

As we all know, color is a fundamental element in makeup choice, specifically the undertone of the makeup. To better understand undertone it is important to note that there are essentially three general classifications: warm, cool or neutral. Undertones denote an underlying color within any given hue.

With my Color Clock system every Colortime® palette has warm, cool and neutral colors, even though AM (Sunrise) tones are predominantly cool, PM (Sunset) tones predominantly warm, and Midday (Sunlight) is a balance of both.

The other day I read an article featuring Bobbi Brown on Ellemagazine.com where she talks about her new Lilac Rose Collection. Brown states that “The Lilac Rose Collection isn’t just about purple. It features dusty pinks and heather grays, which are more natural shades of purple and are perfect for creating a feminine smoky eye. Plus, these shades have blue undertones, so they look flattering on all skin tones.”

elle-bobi-brown-lilac-collection-de

Brown believes that a blue base of undertone is flattering to all skin types. This is a very interesting concept when there are actually three different undertones possible. But makeup, as we all know, is about experimentation and in the end, you really need to try before you buy to be certain that it’s going to work for you. And there are ways to “crossover” into any of the three classifications for special effects, which are discussed in my book, More Alive With Color.

My dear friend and colleague Judith August wrote a book called Gotcha Covered! The Compact Guide to Camouflage Makeup where she shares her makeup tips and techniques for using makeup to cover or hide areas that you may not want to be seen. In her book she has a whole chapter called Neutralizers and How They Work where she too sings the praises of Lavender as well as peachy orange and pink.

JudithAugustGotchacovered

Judith suggests using lavender liquid foundation as a “neutralizer to even out discoloration. Lavender acts like a neutralizer blending the different areas and creating an even palette.” Pink is Judith’s secret weapon. She believes that “the surprising effect of the color pink is its ability to help us look 10 years younger.”

What do you think? Have you found that lavender is flattering on your skintone? Do you have the perfect shade of pink? What are some of your secret makeup weapons?

My advise is to let your Colortime® palette guide you to the best cosmetic colors for you. Click here to find out more about the Color Clock and Colortime®.

April 3, 2013

Blue Dye: A Historical Perspective And A Discovery

We know that most people who love learning about color are particularly fascinated by the history and background of various hues. Let’s have a quick lesson on blue and culture from my book Colors For Your Every Mood.

It was not until 4500 B.C. in Mesopotamia that blue emerged as a decorative hue. Brilliant blue threads were used in ancient Peruvian embroideries circa 800 B.C. While thousands of miles away, blue was used in linen fabrics found in the caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Image via
Image via

Indigo replaced woad in importance as a dye in the Middle Ages because it proved to be more hardy and reliable. It also made blue a more available color. Marco Polo was fascinated by the production of indigo in India where it was produced in great quantities and its quality desired. The color was extracted by plucking out a species of the herb by the roots, putting it into tubs of water and other ingredients and leaving it to rot. The reality of this glamorous color, admired by all the world, was some very labor and animal-intensive effort. The tubs of water containing the dye were also filled with a mixture of fruits, wood ash, or putrefied urine (camel urine was specially effective!) The dye-bath was actually a pale yellow, but oxidation eventually turned the textiles to blue.

Image via http://www.indigoarchitect.com/
Indigo in a pot

Now take a look at what a new discovery has revealed about the Maya and their secret recipe for blue.

Maya Blue Paint Recipe Deciphered | LiveScience.

May 23, 2013

Inorganic Blue Keeping Your Home Cool In The Future

This is really exciting news. I wonder how long it will be before we see the practical application of this new blue pigment. Some laboratory testing involves outcomes that are not always planned. The following is from a northwestern university very close to my home state of Washington.

“An accidental discovery in a laboratory at Oregon State University has apparently solved a quest that over thousands of years has absorbed the energies of ancient Egyptians, the Han dynasty in China, Mayan cultures and more – the creation of a near-perfect blue pigment. 

Through much of recorded human history, people around the world have sought inorganic compounds that could be used to paint things blue, often with limited success. Most had environmental or durability issues. Cobalt blue, developed in France in the early 1800s, can be carcinogenic. Prussian blue can release cyanide. Other blue pigments are not stable when exposed to heat or acidic conditions.

But chemists at OSU have discovered new compounds based on manganese that should address all of those concerns. They are safer to produce, much more durable, and should lead to more environmentally benign blue pigments than any being used now or in the past.  They can survive at extraordinarily high temperatures and don’t fade after a week in an acid bath.”

Click the link below for more information.

Accidental discovery produces durable new blue pigment | News & Research Communications | Oregon State University.

 

May 31, 2013

Light To Enlightened

You may remember when I took the opportunity to highlight one of the artists featured in my newest book Pantone The 20th Century in Color.

If not, click [HERE] and refresh your memory.

James Turrell, Rendering for Aten Reign, 2013. Daylight and LED light. Site-specific installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York © James Turrell. Rendering: Andreas Tjeldflaat, 2012 © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
James Turrell, Rendering for Aten Reign, 2013. Daylight and LED light. Site-specific installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York © James Turrell. Rendering: Andreas Tjeldflaat, 2012 © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Since that post in June there has been some fun and interesting Turrell moments transpiring.

First was last weeks announcement of James Turrell taking over the Guggenheim to turn it into one of his eponymous “skyspaces.” This exhibit will begin June 21, 2013 which just happens to kick off the Summer solstice.

Follow the link at the bottom to read the full article.

In current happenings a little closer to home (my former home) the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is currently hosting a James Turrell retrospective. The retrospective will take you through fifty years of Turrell’s works including the Roden Crater project.

Images: James Turrell, Raemar Pink White, 1969, Shallow Space, Collection of Art & Research, Las Vegas, Installation view at Griffin Contemporary, Santa Monica, CA, 2004, © James Turrell, Photo by Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles; James Turrell, Breathing Light, 2013, LED light into space, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Kayne Griffin Corcoran and the Kayne Foundation, M.2013.1, © James Turrell, Photo © Florian Holzherr.
Images: James Turrell, Raemar Pink White, 1969, Shallow Space, Collection of Art & Research, Las Vegas, Installation view at Griffin Contemporary, Santa Monica, CA, 2004, © James Turrell, Photo by Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles; James Turrell, Breathing Light, 2013, LED light into space, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Kayne Griffin Corcoran and the Kayne Foundation, M.2013.1, © James Turrell, Photo © Florian Holzherr.

Second, there is more fun James Turrell news to be found in the May issue of The Hollywood Reporter. James was commissioned to design a home theater for a former CEO of E!, called the Picture Plane. This piece of work isn’t available for everyone to experience. For “those in the know”, a coveted invitation to a movie screening in the Picture Plane is almost as magical as the pre-movie screening of the sunset as manufactured through the Picture Plane.

Courtesy of LACMA
Courtesy of LACMA

Please take the opportunity to attend either or both of these shows to experience light and color through the eyes of this California native. I hope to have an opportunity to see either of these exhibits.

The color in the imagery is just breathtaking, no?!

James Turrell Guggenheim Return: Light Artist Takes Over Rotunda (PHOTOS).

June 27, 2013

From Personal Shopper To Color Consultant Extraordinaire!

I have been seeing more articles about personal shopping gaining in popularity and since that “attaches” itself to color/image consulting, I thought it would be a great time for me to talk about how I got my own consultation business rolling.

When I first started, I did various aspects of personal image and color consulting. I found out that once you have a client in one area and they develop a confidence in your abilities to help them, you can offer them other services, such as closet organizing (and who doesn’t need that!?), even color in their interiors. They, in turn, can recommend you to friends to keep a consulting service growing. All of this can fall under one umbrella and eventually expand into color consulting for consumer products, as it did for me. Training is necessary to hone these specific skills, but it can start very simply with personal/image consulting and/or personal shopping.

Womangathering

Dana Hall, Divisional VP of Sales and Service at Holt Renfrew stores in Canada, shares some thoughts on personal shopping. “The most important aspect of personal shopping is the relationship and trust built between the client and the staff, Hall says. She recalls instances where personal shoppers visited a client’s house to go through their existing wardrobe, sent merchandise to a customer at their office or home, hosted a private designer appearance, or attended a fashion shows with clients.”

It is through this kind of trust that other opportunities could arise. As has been the case with me.

While the link is mostly about department store services, personal shopping is a job opportunity that could lead to doing color consulting, closet organizing, expanding contacts or eventually going out on your own.

Color informs, brings instant comprehension, calls attention, delivers information, and creates an identity. This is true in all aspects of life whether personally or on a larger scale for product development.

Do you have a passion for color? Have you ever considered a career in color consulting?

July 15, 2013

A Prescription For Green

For most people a green path leads inevitably to thoughts of nature. Mother nature painted more green on earth than any other color. It is the hue of foliage, grass, and growing plants; of graceful sheltering trees, dappled meadow and clinging vines; the shade of forest and jungle. It is the color of the country as opposed to the city; the romance of Robin Hood, wood urchins, elves, gnomes, and leprechauns; the pride of the Irish patriot and St. Patrick’s Day.

The sight of green is inexorably linked to the sense of smell-freshly mown lawn, pine needles, and wet leaves after a sudden summer shower, a splash of lime and a crushed sprig of mint. Because our sense are intertwined, scents and colors are inevitably tied, one sense suggesting a specific color to another. We can look at a bottle of perfume and sense how it will smell before we sniff it. We can’t help but associate a green fragrance with freshness and nature.

MistyGreenMeadow

Most everyone knows how our endorphins kick in when we do something physical, like taking a walk in the woods filled with greenery. And there is much evidence to support the effect of green around us, including studies that tell us that being surrounded by green encourages us to breathe slowly and deeply, slowing the production of stress hormones. We certainly all need that in today’s fast-paced world.

The Japanese have been using a technique called “Shinrinyoku” or “forest bathing.” It’s not about taking a bath in the forest in the usual sense, but more about encouraging healthy lifestyles and reducing stress. Experts in that country also believe that forest bathing can improve the immune system. So it’s not just about eating your greens, but surrounding yourself with green—a worthy prescription for well-being. 

Forest bathing.

July 24, 2013

Music For The Ears And The Eyes

Prior to the 1940s and Alex Steinweiss, a graphic designer and art director known for inventing album cover art, records were sold in plain brown wrappers.

boogiewoogieASart
Image via
Image via
Image via

In the 60s, album covers and concert posters frequently emulated the LSD experience with frenetic collages, undulating type, and hallucinogenic color.

But even before that, somewhere in between the bold graphic Steinweiss style or the trippy visuals of Wes Wilson or Peter Max, there was something else brewing in the minds of the average American musician who was looking to put out an album.

The August issue of Print, a bimonthly magazine about visual culture and design, highlights the unsung heros of these albums.

theshaggs
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The book Enjoy The Experience: Homemade Records 1958-1992 by Sinecure Books is a compilation of the best (worst ?) in album art. Editor Johan Kugelberg says this about the book “Enjoy the Experience explores a slice of American culture with tales from well-known musicians to more obscure artists, such as pizza parlor organists. Some of these record covers are really laugh-out-loud funny, and some of the music and people are too…”

homemaderecords
Image via

Which of these genres speaks to your visual sensibilities? Do you have any albums that you have just for their cover art?

Sinecure | Sinecure Books | Enjoy The Experience.

July 31, 2013

Travel Posters Colorful Palettes For Inspiration

I was perusing the Huffington Post when I spotted the story (link at the bottom) on vintage travel posters and was reminded of some of the wonderful posters that we came across when we were doing research for my latest book Pantone The 20th Century in Color

There is something magically transportive in seeing these fantastic illustrations of life in far away places. The colors, mood, and feeling all come together to entice the eager traveller to get away. The following is an excerpt from the book that can be found in a section addressing the colorful 1920s called “Destinations.”

Image via
Image via

Though post-WWI nationalism made international travel a little more complicated, improvements in train and ship lines gave it a stylish sense of luxury and adventure. The forward march of technology also made speed part of the thrill. 

Graphic designers did their part to build desire for cities like Paris and London with elegant posters that glamorized both destinations and their inhabitants-who all seemed to wear the latest fashions. Resorts like Nice and Vichy also benefitted from such marketing: resort towns that relatively few had heard of became worldwide household names. 

Image via
Image via

The color language found in travel posters of the day frequently employed the coppery tones of suntans and the warm neutrals of sand and sunlight. Silvery greens gave elegant life to oceans and rivers, and olives and browns to the landscape.

Vintage Travel Posters Show Tourism’s Hayday.

August 9, 2013

Color Coded Cartoons 

The color wheel is the basis of all color combinations. This circular arrangement of the spectrum visually illustrates the basic principles of color. That is part of what makes this cartoon color infographic from Slate Online Magazine (click the link at the bottom), so wonderful.

 Color Wheel-Fixed

As most people are familiar with the color wheel it makes perfect sense to color code cartoon characters, especially if you are looking to create a space for your child or inner child, the color wheel is a great place to start.

As a parent, a visual like this could make quick work of (re)decorating your child’s personal space. Even if your child’s favorite character hasn’t made the cut on this graphic you can still draw inspiration from this cartoon color wheel or any color wheel.

It is really important for children to have input into the color schemes of their rooms. It’s a wonderful exercise in creativity and a real confidence booster in their ability to do this. In addition, it really helps to set the stage for their participation in color and design projects when they get older.

It has been said that the greatest of all inventions is the wheel. I would say that the color wheel is next. For most people, much of color “knowledge” is based on instinctive responses, cultural conditioning, and those aspects of color that we seem to absorb without much conscious thought. yet there is a great deal we can learn about color that is based on certain artistic and harmonious concepts.

Blue Smurfs and green Ninja Turtles: The cartoon-character color wheel. – Slate Magazine.

August 19, 2013

Black Is The New Black, The Old Black, And A Constant 

How many times have you heard that “gray is the new black“, or “brown is the new black” or even “red is the new black”? I can tell you that in my professional career I have heard this said season after season. The truth is black is a constant, staple, mainstay, and essential to every wardrobe.

I just roll my eyes when I hear comments like these because black is part of the color foundation of material society. 

Black is here and never went anywhere and won’t be going any time soon.

However, earlier this week I was going through my archives and found that I, at one time, had indeed written: “Black is Back!” for the first edition of a newsletter that I edited as the newly-appointed executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. But it was at a time (1986) when black had truly had been diminished for a short time, at least, interior and fashion-wise and was coming back in full force. The following is an excerpt that includes comments from some of the designers (fashion and interior) that I spoke with who shared their thoughts about black.

“Black has become the greatest neutral, it brings an accent point into a space. To me, black is a very exciting and lively hue. I believe it is also powerful and authoritative.”-Vicente Wolf of Patino-Wolf Associates.

Donna Karan believes black provides the perfect foundation upon which to assemble a wardrobe or single outfit. Black defines the silhouette and goes with everything. Like a painter’s canvas, it is the essential backdrop on which to build.

Designer Halston comments: “Black is the most classic and eternal-it is all colors. Black cannot be penetrated. It is the ultimate color in high fashion.” He states he could use it all the time. There is no replacement. The most important and interesting piece in his collection is always black. He likes to work while wearing black because it does not compete with other colors. As long as he has been in the industry, black has always been his number one seller.

Photo by Roxanne Lowit – © 2011 - Tribeca Film
Photo by Roxanne Lowit – © 2011 – Tribeca Film

The dichotomy of black is also shown through historical happenings. The Reagans, Princess Di and Prince Charles have helped to make black-tie formality fashionable again. At the opposite end of the social scale, young people, from beatniks to rockers to punks, have adopted black as a symbol of the negation of a society.

 Whether the ultimate in chic, or in the expression of adolescent defiance, black wields a powerful psychological force in the current world of design and color.

These sentiments about black are just as true today as they were more than 25 years ago!!

What role does black play in your wardrobe? Do you use black in your decor?

September 10, 2013

A Color Forecast To Inspire!

As many of you may already know, I wear many hats as a color expert. I am the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, owner/director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training and I am the author of eight books on color (soon to be nine, stay tuned).

As part of my work with Pantone I spearhead their Pantone View Home + Interior color forecast.   In addition, twice a year, I am part of a team that creates the Pantone View Colour Planner, which is a color forecast that spans many fields, such as fashion, textile and industrial design. Both forecasts  are a result of trends  that are developing on all fronts from media, socio-economics, entertainment, the impact of the environment, travel influences and any other worthy subject or direction for all creative design fields. I then compile this information into imagery with color as the guide. I let color tell the story of the times.

These forecasts are coveted among designers and industry professionals as they plan each season’s new creations. They are filled with color palettes designed with a “mood”, a rationale and an inspirational direction. Whether used out of context or within the theme we set in the palettes, they are great tools and hold key design principles with texture and balance. 

Forecasts are such an integral part of the color consulting world and intrinsic to the knowledge of color in the future. That is why this subject is included in the Color/Design programs that I teach twice yearly.

For more information on the forecast visit Pantone.com and don’t forget to subscribe to the new Pantoneview.com

Could a forecast help you in your work with color? Does this sound like an interesting part of the color world and were you familiar with forecasts? Please take a moment to share.

September 19, 2013

Have You Had Your Colors Done?

If you ask me who was the first person to start the personal color movement I would say it was Susan Caygill, based in San Francisco.

Now long gone, Susan first started her business in the 60s. I only met her once, briefly in the 80s, when I lived in Los Angeles,  but my memory of her at that time is still so vivid.

Susan had a certain way about her. She was definitely not one to be ignored with her fabulous head of red hair and the way she carried herself. Susan was truly a cut above in her approach to personal color and she commanded top dollar to share her knowledge with you. She had quite the following and it would not be out of the ordinary to be in a consultation with Susan with a few of her staunch supporters in tow. Creating a beautiful personalized color palette was often a group effort.

As the personal color movement was slowly gaining steam it was not uncommon to have the support of other ladies who were enjoying their new found color confidence. As I was working on my book, Alive With Color, which was published in the early 80s, I too had the support of some wonderful women who all shared my love of color. This was a wonderful time and I have some lifelong friendships as the result, a few of whom I mentioned in the dedication of my first book, which is now out of print but has recently been updated as More Alive With Color.

Alive With Color Cover
Out of print

More Alive W Color Cvr-72dpi

Even though the Seasonal color palette is not my approach to personal color, we both share the belief that they key to finding your best colors is found in one’s hair, skin, and eyes, as well as emotional attachments to color. I devised the Color Clock system based on the time of day as I felt it was more inclusive of those countries that don’t experience winter or fall and is more inclusive of the hues found most frequently in natural settings.

Colors of Morning Colors of MiddayColors of Evening

Personal coloring isn’t about rigid rules. I never say that you can’t wear colors simply because they aren’t in your personal Colortime palette. I encourage my clients and readers to embrace all colors with an objective eye. This is one of the most important factors that has helped me most in my color career.

It is never too late to have your colors done. If you are interested in learning your personal colors, or having your colors done professionally, or want to become a personal color consultant,  please visit my website morealivewithcolor.com.

Have you had your colors done? Are those colors still working for you? What is your Colortime?

September 30, 2013

Reading List For The Color Echelon

Who doesn’t love a list?

Every year, twice a year, I teach a class on color and design. In the preparations for the class I compile a list of books that I have found to be integral in my pursuit of color knowledge. It is a very long list (12 pages) so I decided to pick eight books that I think are important for those who are looking to grow their knowledge and understanding of color.

1). A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman

Anaturalhistoryofresponses 

2). Color and Human Response by Faber Birren

Color&Humanresponse 

3). Color Psychology & Color Therapy by Faber Birren

ColorPsychologyandColorTherapy 

4). Color Graphics; The Power of Color in Graphic Design by Karen Triedman and Cheryl Dangel Cullen

Colorgraphics 

5). Colour/Travels Through the Paintbox by Victoria Finlay

ColourTravelsThroughthepaintbox 

6). A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield

aperfectred 

7). Living With Color by Deryck Healy

livingwithcolor 

8). Designing Across Cultures-How to Create Effective Graphics for Diverse Ethnic Groups by Ronnie Lipton

designingacrosscultures

  

I would love to hear about your favorite color books. Are any of these books on your “must read” list?

What books would you include in your top ten list of color books?

For my complete list of books sign up for my next Color/Design course in to be held in Burbank, January 2014.

October 4, 2013

The Colorful Circle Of Life

Teaching my color/design class has brought me into contact with so many creative people who work with/in color. As a teacher and a lifelong student, I am fortunate to be in contact with a lot of amazingly wonderful and talented people.

LeeTeachingCDClass
Image via John Shearer of Shearer Painting

Color is the binding agent for which these relationships are forged and it is the provider for the inspiration that we all bring into our daily lives as well as our careers. Color touches every part of our lives; from our surroundings, to what we put on our bodies, down to the car that takes us where we want to go.

Consciously or subconsciously we are having a daily color conversation with ourselves. It is the driving force behind our choice of what to wear, unless you live in a nudist colony. It is in these daily “conversations” that we discover the power of color in our lives.

It is my love for color that got me here, and into teaching about color. It was through teaching color that I come to meet other people who share their love of color and how they use it. How people are using color directly affects how I learn and teach about color, which is what inspired this (and all) of my blog posts.

One of the students from my summer 2013 color class recently sent me a very Emerald inspired link from one of her colleagues. Click the link below to take a look at how Emerald, Pantone’s 2013’s color of the year, has inspired the creative juices.

http://www.mode34b.com/blog/look-emeraude-collaboration-pantone-sephora-29747/

Do you have a love of color? Does color drive your daily decisions? Has your love of color opened up your world to new possibilities? If so, I would love for you to join me for my next color/design class this January in Burbank, California.

I look forward to meeting you and hearing about your love of color and how you use it in your daily lives.

November 18, 2013

Color Vs Black/White 

Have you ever stopped to think about how color truly affects our lives? I understand the joy of color and know, first hand, how color can influence most aspects of our day to day existence. Then I remembered a movie that does a lovely job of capturing the transformative aspects of color.

That movie is Pleasantville. While I was watching the movie I had a bit of an epiphany. I then Googled Pleasantville and found this gem of a quote from Warren Epstein (The Gazette) on Wikipedia that really summed it up.

 

“This use of color as a metaphor in black-and-white films certainly has a rich tradition, from the over-the-rainbow land in The Wizard of Oz to the girl in the red dress who made the Holocaust real for Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List. In Pleasantville, color represents the transformation from repression to enlightenment. People – and their surroundings – change from black-and-white to color when they connect with the essence of who they really are.”

Have you ever stopped to think about your immediate color world? What colors give you the connection to who you really are?

I was once asked “If you could live without color, where would you give up color?” 

Would you be willing to give up color?

December 17, 2013

Brett Doss Photographer With A Penchant For Color

Brett Doss attended my talk for the Seattle Fashion Group back in October and we have been in touch ever since. Take a moment to stop by Brett’s site to enjoy his photography and see what he has to say.

Thank you for the wonderful article, Brett! Job well done.

Pantone’s Leatrice Eiseman at Seattle Fashion Group International | Bret Doss: Photographer.

December 24, 2013

American Visionary Art Museum Is A Hometown Treasure

I was reading the NY Times this morning and was drawn by this story about visionary art as it is based in my hometown of Baltimore. As I clicked over to the AVAM site (American Visionary Art Museum) and started looking around I got really excited.

AVAM has something for everyone (as most museums do) only this time it comes with a little twist. One of the current exhibits is called Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity.

As the website describes it, “The American Visionary Art Museum’s 19th original thematic exhibition is a timely and playful examination of the serious impact of technology on our lives, as seen through the eyes of 40+ visionary artists, cutting edge futurists, and inventors. Pleasing to an audience of Nobel Prize winners and schoolchildren alike, this show asks, “Two billion personal computers later, post DNA-sequencing, are we on the road to becoming a better, healthier, happier, less warlike, human race?”

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with color. Well, as I was reading through the details of the exhibition I was quick to notice that one of the artists included is Neil Harbisson. If you follow me on Facebook you might recall me sharing Neil’s Ted talk “I Listen To Color.” Neil has created a world for himself based on color and technology which has opened up a whole new world for him. As a person who works in and with color, the growing conversation is increasingly intermixed with talk of technology and how we see color.

There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to looking at color on a computer versus seeing it in real time. Although it is tempting to view color digitally and it has come a long way since the days of limited “web safe” colors, at this moment, I tend to fall on the side of color in real time and always send clients seeking color advice hard copy of the colors, but who is to say that technology won’t make virtual color matching easier in the future?

How do you weigh in on “real” color vs digital?

American Visionary Art Museum.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday!

 

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