Creating A Dynamic Work Space With Light And Color

September 12, 2012 § Leave a comment


September 12, 2012

I have answered many questions about color in my work. So many questions that I wrote the Color Answer Book to help to quell a lot of recurring themes. One specific question is how to create the illusion of more open space when working in a colorless cubicle with no windows.

This is the view from my desk. I am fortunate to have a home office where there is plenty of natural light which is crucial to color matching.

My answer is as follows.

Many employees complain about lackluster surroundings and how uninspiring they can be. The lack of natural light coming into a space can be so depressing, but color can certainly help to create specific illusions in our surroundings. First of all, bring some sunshine into the space by using some yellow, especially in the spot facing your desk. This can be in a painted surface such as the facing wall or, if it is not possible to repaint the wall, in a piece of art or a poster. Yellow is most closely associated in the human mind with sunshine and good cheer, and will make the space appear larger and lighter.

Isn’t this an inspiring office space? The lighting creates the sense of movement.

 Another method of opening up a cramped space is to use blue on the ceiling (suggestive of the sky), and if you can sponge on some white puffy clouds, all the better.

This may seem a bit extreme but new research is supporting the theory that “natural daylight is better for humans than the fluorescent bulbs most of us languish under for eight to 10 hours a day. Adding windows or simply improving artificial light in offices has been shown to increase productivity, boost morale and reduce the number of sick days, headaches and cases of eyestrain among workers.”

German applied-research group Fraunhofer is working on a balanced color spectrum of LED bulbs that will turn office ceilings into a lighting system that mimics the daylight sky with movement and changing hues.

Image Via

This technology might not be available in your office any time soon. In the meantime you can stick with my tips of bringing yellow into the space and if your boss will allow, paint the ceiling blue and don’t forget the clouds.

Do you work in a windowless office in a cubicle? How do you keep the doldrums away at your desk?

Click the link below for the full article.

Sky light sky bright – in the office – Research News January 2012 – Topic 1.

It’s Colortime! Pantone Fashion Color Report Spring 2013

September 6, 2012 § Leave a comment


September 6, 2012

It’s that time of year again. Pantone has just released their Spring Fashion Color Report for 2013. It is such an exciting time for fashion with summer coming to a close and everyone embracing their fall wardrobe and looking for a change. I often hear people say that fall is their favorite season because of the clothing. I might have to agree with them but not just for the boots and sweaters, I love that the colors change as well.

This season, designers overwhelmingly address consumers’ desire for self-expression, balance and the need to re-energize. The color direction for spring builds upon these compelling needs with a palette that mixes dynamic brights with novel neutrals to create a harmonious balance. This allows for unique combinations that offer practicality and versatility, but at the same time, demand attention and earn an appreciative glance.

If you are looking to perk up your wardrobe with some pops of color, why not start here? Keep your Colortime in mind and you will be sure to wow your friends and co-workers.

 

Not sure what Colortime you are? Use your hair, skin, and eyes as your guide to finding your perfect Colortime. Once you know your Colortime (Sunrise, Sunlight, or Sunset) you can use the fanguide to help you match your best colors to those in the new color report. This doesn’t make you trendy it makes you a smart shopper. You can embrace the colors that aren’t in your Colortime by using them in smaller proportion like accessories or nail polish.

 

What color(s) will you embrace? Which is your favorite?

Meet Me In California?

August 29, 2012 § Leave a comment


August 29, 2012

View of Seattle from Bainbridge in winter.

According to Wikipedia “January is on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere.”

Typical winter day on Bainbridge Island, WA.

 

As a resident of the Northern Hemisphere, I like to take respite from the cold (and rain) and head south for four days to hold my semi-annual Color/Design master class. Next year’s class is going to be held January 24-27th in Burbank, California. California is the perfect sunny locale for a mid-winter getaway.

This hands-on class will give you the tools and education to take your career in color to the next level. The class will include the psychology and emotion of color, consumer color preferences, the formation of trends (where do they come from and where are they going), a workshop and time for in-depth Q&A.

 

Come and join me in sunny California to explore the wonderful world of color. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

I look forward to seeing you there.

Africa By Way Of Dubai

August 22, 2012 § 1 Comment


August 22, 2012

I arrived safe and sound in South Africa after spending an overnight layover in Dubai where it was 106 when I landed and 111 the next morning!

It was a mass of humanity in Dubai, with everyone celebrating the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. It seemed that every person in Dubai was out that night. I was told to go to the Dubai mall to see the dancing waters and because it has the best air conditioning. I also saw the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa) that is located in Dubai. Personally, I think the waters at the Bellagio in Las Vegas are more spectacular, but the Burj Khalifa building was astounding.

Please note that these are not my pictures. My pictures did not do these beauties justice.

Next time I will have to bring Herb as he is the resident photographer.

Image via

They are very big on shopping there. At the Dubai Mall, they have all of the big designer names in a specific wing, but just like everywhere else, the western-ized shops and restaurants are a big deal. A Pottery Barn and Sephora were the first things I noticed, and directly across from the Burj Khalifa building is a California Pizza Kitchen, P.F Changs, and a place selling bagels!! That was unexpected, to be sure.



In traditional restaurants, the food was excellent – very middle-eastern in feeling with lots of different kinds of hummus, tabouleh and stuffed grape leaves and many veggie options – my kind of thing.

Once I landed in Durban I had drinks with my friend, Anne Roselt, Design Director for Plascon Paints and a former student of my Burbank Color/Design class. You can see more of her fabulous color trends on my Facebook page or you can check them out HERE.

I had a room with a small balcony that faced the ocean – amazing. I took a quick walk along the beach in the morning to get ready for the day. We then went to rehearsal and did some other media interviews before my presentation on Tuesday. Then we were off to Joberg and Cape Town. 

It was so wonderful to be back in South Africa. My hosts were incredibly gracious and thoughtful.

 

HICKIES® For Everyone!

August 15, 2012 § 4 Comments


August 15, 2012

Many people aren’t aware of exactly the work I do. Yes, it is true that I wear many hats. One aspect of my job is as an expert color consultant for companies. I am hired to help establish a trend focus in color and mood enlisting color psychology and consumer color preferences, researching lifestyles, demographics, the marketplace and outstanding competitors (if in fact, there are any). We work with a variety of clientele with varying needs and priorities; from firmly established brands to start-up companies. Recently we assisted in a product launch with a young couple on their new product called HICKIES®. As they state on their website:

“HICKIES® is an elastic lacing system that replaces traditional shoelaces and lets you easily slip in and out of your shoes while keeping them snug and secure. Never tie or untie your shoes again! Get rid of the bows and customize your footwear.”

I was thrilled when I recently received an update from them with a link to their Kickstarter page. It was great to see their vision come to fruition on such a compelling platform. I am even happier to say that their product was considered a Kickstarter success. It is easy to see why.

We had a lot of fun compiling imagery and a color scheme and the rationale for the HICKIES®. As a consultant you give a direction that you feel best represents the various aspects of the clients’ needs, but it is always up the them to decide what the final product will be.

I hope to see these featured in street style blogs one day. What do you think? Will you pick up a pack of HICKIES®?

Please take a moment to watch their video.

http://www.hickies.com/

Olympics Past And Present

August 9, 2012 § 1 Comment


August 9, 2012

The 2012 London Olympics are well underway and by now close to wrapping up. Have you been watching? I was just in awe of the opening ceremonies. We had a nice recap in the office the following Monday. Danny Boyle did a superb job and truly captured the spirit of England. There is something magical about the Olympics.

 

Do you remember when the Olympics were held in Los Angeles? It was 1984 and seems like a lifetime ago. In many ways the 80s are having their renaissance. I think that decade can now be referred to as “vintage”. Today, we are seeing some of the styles and influences that flavored that era from the floral prints to the re-emergence of neon.

It seemed fitting to pay homage to the 80s as a decade of decadence in my new book, Pantone The 20th Century in Color. I have included a chapter in the 1980s called Signs and Symbols where we spotlight three prominent color influences from print, art, and graphic design fields. Below is an excerpt where we shed light on what an impact color has on the global stage known as the Olympics.

 

“Signage for the Olympics was created by Deborah Sussman, an environmental graphic designer. Her flexible modular system delivered the Games’ logo package, venue identification, directional and service information (and more) with a colorful, insouciant postmodern vocabulary. She said of her color choices: ‘The palette consists of unexpected, stimulating juxtapositions that instantly separate the Olympic pageantry from the everyday environment, the drabness of permanent institutions, industries, streets-hot magenta, vermillion, and chrome yellow, set off by aqua.”

The colors of today’s Olympic Games are quite different from two decades ago.

What was your favorite part of the Olympics, the sports, the competition or the outfits?

Click the link below for more.

1984 | GINORMUS.

Design Principles: Color

August 2, 2012 § 2 Comments


August 2, 2012

 

Are you into trends?

 

In my book Color: Messages and Meanings I highlight variations in color families and bring broader insights to the meanings and consumer responses to color(s). Some of the insights I share are about trends and I give you guidelines on how to spot them.

 

Do you have an eye for spotting trends?

 

Here is an excerpt from the book.

 

“Spotting future trends is much like detective work. It’s not the one big ‘AHA’ that hits you but rather a string of clues that leads to the ultimate realization. It’s very important to view the big picture first-the macro level that precedes the micro.

 

Fashion is most often the forerunner to color trends, but one season of a “hot” color doesn’t do it. One or two seasons of a hot color is still a fad. But tracking a ‘new’ color for several seasons will tell you if it translates from fad to trend. Read the magazines or visit the websites that talk about trends. If a trend is growing, you will see it in more than one resource.”

 

That brings us to the May issue of Graphic Design USA (GDUSA). Graphic designers are “tuning in” to the trends. Some trends may start in fashion but as more people embrace these trends we will continue to see them in areas such as website design, interior design, typography, and graphic design as an important design principle.

 

What role does the color forecast play in your life? Does it inspire you to repaint your home? Do you invest in a key wardrobe piece for a season (or two)?

 

Pantone Fashion Color Report – May 2012 Annual Color Forecast.

Neanderthal Sees Red: A Love Story Of Sorts

July 25, 2012 § Leave a comment


July 25, 2012

From the beginning of time red has been deeply ingrained in the human mind as a signal to act or re-act, to fight or flee. It is the color of life-sustaining blood or life-threatening bloodshed as well as the color of enticing, appetite arousing ripened fruits and delicious foods that sustain humans’ very existence.

 

“In a report published online in the journal Science, Dr. Pike (Alistair W. G. Pike of the University of Bristol in England) and his colleagues noted that the oldest dated art is ‘nonfigurative and monochrome (red)’, supporting the notion that the earliest expression of art in Western Europe was less concerned with animal depiction and characterized by red dots, disks, line and hand stencils.”

 

Pedro Saura/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

The most physical color in the spectrum, red suggests the very ebb and flow of life.

 

This post was brought to you today by the color red from my book Color: Messages & Meanings, the New York Times and the number 37,000.

 

With Science, New Portrait of the Cave Artist – NYTimes.com.

Bling It On! Shoe Me?

July 19, 2012 § 1 Comment


July 19, 2012

It was one week ago today that I was minutes away from starting my Color/Design class. The time went by so quickly as time really does fly when you are having fun! As always the class was filled with talented people from various markets and design areas, who all love color. I enjoy learning about all of the different fields and hearing the stories of what color means to the students.

One of the students this summer was from a well known paint company in Seattle called Shearer Painting. John Shearer himself attended the class and was a wealth of information on all things paint and social media. I learned quite a bit in talking with John, including that his wife is a fellow blogger with a passion for bling.

Hong Shearer shares her crafted creations on her blog sassyme.org. One of her most recent creations was for a friend of John’s, who wanted to give his daughter her own pair of Wizard of Oz ruby red slippers. Hong hand painted the slippers in a True Red then applied (by hand!) nearly 3000 Swarovski Hyacinth crystals in four different sizes. What a labor of love!

I am amazed at the outcome and they are stunning! Every girl needs a little bling now and then.

Thank you John and Hong for sharing this site and your knowledge with me. I look forward to reading more about your adventures in color (and crystals).

Color/Design Student’s Artistic Creations

July 11, 2012 § 1 Comment


July 11, 2012

In light of the fact that I am a day away from my bi-annual Color/Design class, this one held in our own colorful haven of gorgeous gardens on Bainbridge Island, WA, I received a timely email from one of last summer’s graduates. Jim Dempsey is a floral designer who has made a name for himself in the floral industry. Jim has been spending the last five years studying handcrafts like weaving and paper folding, to name a few, and their connection to floristry. This has proven to be an area of interest to American Institute of Floral Designers (AFID) who has chosen his concept as their topic for their National Symposium next July 2013.

Vase “collar” that has some sort of natural embellishment and some red or black detailing.

 

Modern floristry will surely be influenced by Jim’s passion in growing the industry as well as his love for color.

 

Take a look at some of Jim’s other recent works.

  

These are some images from this past January’s Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. The float was made by/at Fiesta Parade Floats where Jim has worked as a designer during the past five Rose Parade events. All of these pictures were taken at Fiesta’s facility in Irwindale, CA the day before the parade.

A closer view of the purple Cattleya as used in the Dole Foods float.

 

Laelia crosses, very highly scented! 

Congratulations, Jim on your amazing achievements! I am always thrilled to hear about the wonderful things that my former students go on to do.

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