July 24, 2013 § 2 Comments
July 24, 2013
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.
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.
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…”
Which of these genres speaks to your visual sensibilities? Do you have any albums that you have just for their cover art?
July 16, 2013 § 1 Comment
July 15, 2013
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.
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.
June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
June 27, 2013
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.
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?
May 31, 2013 § 6 Comments
May 31, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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?!
May 23, 2013 § 3 Comments
May 23, 2013
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.
April 19, 2013 § 3 Comments
April 18, 2013
By now you may have heard that Brooks Brothers has put together a Great Gatsby inspired collection of suits just in time for the movie release. I am especially excited about these two occasions as I discuss The Great Gatsby and the Gatsby look in my presentations.
There is a “Gatsby look” that has strong influence in both fashion and home. Typical deco is black, gold, silver and white as seen in Pantone The 20th Century in Color/1920s. Silver and Jet Black form the sleek contrast essential to the Art Deco aesthetic.
I am especially excited about those two influences as I discuss the “Gatsby look” in my trend presentations as it has historically had a strong influence on both fashion and home. A typical palette of the 20s, as depicted in my book, Pantone: The 20th Century in Color would have consisted of Silver and Jet Black forming the sleek contrast essential to the Art Deco aesthetic of the era. In addition, colors such as Carnelian, Champagne Beige and Turtledove were important accents, while Lavender Violet “beckons with a cool allure”.
Art Deco got its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925 and attended by exhibitors from twenty countries and sixteen million viewers. The modern language of luxury promoted by the fair began, for the most part, in the ateliers of the designers and craftsmen of France.
The 1930s saw the rise of Deco Architecture. Art Deco cathedrals of commerce and entertainment radiated glamour into the economic gloom of the 1930s.
The Deco palette of the 1930s fulfilled its mission as an antidote to the Great Depression with luscious tones. The silver of 1920s Deco remains, but the obvious luxury of gold becomes more important as precious metals are layered against smooth chocolate, misty jade and mauve.
The Art Deco movement has had such influence aesthetically from color palettes to design elements. Deco is certain to have another moment of glory even if it is 90 years later. The newest approach to Deco, as shown in the Pantone View Home forecast for 2013 that we create every year, is a palette of far more color, consisting of Silver and Champagne Beige, Monaco Blue, Jasper (a deep bluish green), Rio Red, Tap Shoe black (an homage to the flappers), Chinchilla and Moon Mist (a dreamy gray).
Are you inspired by Art Deco? What are some of your favorite Deco things or places?
April 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
April 3, 2013
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.
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.
Now take a look at what a new discovery has revealed about the Maya and their secret recipe for blue.
March 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
March 25, 2013
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.”
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.
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®.
February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
February 28, 2013
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.”
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.
February 14, 2013 § 1 Comment
February 14, 2013
Have you heard of the Stroop Effect?
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.
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.
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!