November 12, 2015 § 6 Comments
What color-lover doesn’t love Fall with all its shades of gold and orange, browns and rusty-reds? But how often do we think of some of the other fall colors as, well, fall colors?
There is, for those of us in the northwestern corner of the United States and similar climates, a wistfulness at the sight of our lush green trees of summer turning the corner towards fall with their leaves accepting a coral tinge. But what a fresh spring palette this appears to be!
Soon enough, an entire page of Pantone® corals…..
… is lighting up the view from our office…
…and we settle in and appreciate the wonder of Mother Nature’s color combinations.
April 21, 2014 § 3 Comments
April 21, 2014
As a general rule, evolutionary alterations are less risky than revolutionary changes. However, with changing times and expectations in the marketplace, some risk-taking can be a real attention getter. It should be a calculated, thoughtful and intelligent change that can be backed up with a meaningful rationale.
This is not something I can see a robot taking into consideration.
Earlier in April Esquire.com posted an article by Andrew Luecke called Welcome to the High Stakes World of Color And Branding. The following quote is from Andrew’s article, “A paper by researchers at the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University found that due in part to the accelerated production schedule of fast fashion, color forecasting that “depends on the personal experience and judgment of the field of experts,…is often found underperforming,” while “artificial intelligence models, especially artificial neural network and fuzzy logic models‚… help to improve the forecasting of fashion color trends.”
Look a little closer at the motivation of the study, “fast fashion” and saving money. Have we learned nothing about our obsession with cheap, in light of the tragedies in Bangladesh?
The argument can be made in support of robots doing the work for humans. I’m not sure this would be the smart decision when it comes to making color decisions. Change for the sake of change is not necessarily a good idea, and I’ll tell you why.
Color is not the only means of attracting attention. There are other considerations as well:
the shape of the package
the “fit” in the hand
the texture (rough or smooth)
the finish (shiny or matte)
the perceived weight of the object
All of the above can be further enhanced and made even more suggestive by the proper, intelligent use of color. A very important aspect of these visual tempters is called the “sensorial cues.” These cues link colors to all the senses and conjure up thoughts and perceptions of how the product will taste, smell, feel and in some cases, sound.
When the senses play such a large role in our daily choices, it is easy to see why a robot would not make a good color consultant. Human emotion and reaction cannot be sensed by a robot. The dialogue between client and consultant can often lead to discoveries of negative color responses. The discovery of negative color association is best handled with care and compassion, which can lead to new ideas on color and one’s perception. I couldn’t imagine trying to communicate those negative color responses to a computer. Could you?
Some things are better left to a human being who is capable of emotional understanding and color psychology. I can’t help but think of how frustrating self-checkout is at the store. I wouldn’t leave such emotional work to a machine. Your feelings matter and communicating those feelings to a robot seems counter productive.
Numbers and algorithms cannot make up for the human experience. Not to mention the lives that are spared by not supporting such unsafe work practices and consumer drive.
January 27, 2014 § 5 Comments
January 27, 2014
I am always intrigued by trending or popular stories that are making their way around the web. I have been known to indulge in my fair share of sharing of colorful infographics and eye catching imagery, thank you, Pinterest. But once the initial glow of awe has dissipated it is then when the real work gets started.
In the color business it is crucial that information be correct when it comes to color as our upbringing and personal experiences shape our lives and perceptions of things. Often our personal feelings can override our objective behavior and we can set things into motion that may not be exactly as they appear. This is especially important in color matching when you are seeing things online versus in person. It is here that I might add the disclaimer that everything you read/see on the internet is not true.
Let’s talk specifically about the most recent color goodie from Google Alerts, that came across my computer screen titled ‘Forget the blue plate special: Have the red plate dieter’s meal’ by Tom Jacobs for Salon.com.
Here is an excerpt. “…the takeaway from a recent study by researchers from the University of Parma in Italy, published in the journal Appetite.
The researchers served test subjects popcorn and chips on crockery of various colors, and found that the snackers sampled smaller amounts when the items were offered on red plates. The subjects reported the same level of enjoyment of the treats regardless of what they were served on, suggesting the plate color made the difference.
The researchers theorize that red—due to either cultural associations such as traffic lights or biological ones such as blood—is linked in our minds with “danger and prohibition.”
It sounds compelling. Let’s take a closer look at the actual study. Here is the Abstract.
“Recent literature suggests that individuals may consume less food when this is served on red plates. We explored this intriguing effect in three experiments. Independent groups of participants were presented with constant amounts of popcorns, chocolate chips, or moisturizing cream, on red, blue, or white plates. They were asked to sample the foods (by tasting them) or the cream (by rubbing it on the hand and forearm) as they wished and to complete mock “sensory analysis” questionnaires. Results confirmed that red plates reduce taste-related consumption and extended this effect to the touch-related consumption of moisturizing cream. Suggesting that the effect was not due to a decrease in the consciously experienced appeal of products on red plates, overall appreciation of the foods or cream did not differ according to plate color. After careful photometric measures of the materials used for each food-plate pairing, we determined that food and cream consumption was not predicted by Michelson (achromatic) contrast. Although the origin of the intriguing effect of the color red on consumption remains unclear, our results may prove useful to future potential explanations.”
The results were “unclear.” I wonder why that part didn’t make it into the article.
I hope none of you ran out to get those red plates. I too get excited about new studies (especially those on color) that come out but I have learned to take the extra time to trace the information back to the original study to fact check as the information has a way of getting twisted just enough to create a buzz.
We may be a nation in need of dietary assistance but preying on our insecurities and color assumptions or misinformation, is not the way to go about it. As seekers of color truths, it is our responsibility to change the color conversation to properly reflect colors’ true psychology.
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.
October 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
October 10, 2012
Today is World Mental Health Day. The World Heath Organization website states “The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year the theme for the day is ‘Depression: A Global Crisis’.
Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities, and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. Although there are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries fewer than 10% of those who need it receive such treatment.”
One of my former Color/Design students and colleagues, Kathryn Goetzke, is the founder and head of iFred, the International Foundation for Research and Education for Depression (www.depression.org). She is also the innovator of Mood-lites™ (www.mood-factory.com) a category of lighting that is distributed through Lowes.
Kathryn has made it her mission to change the face of depression with a rebranding solution. She is aligning depression with uplifting colors like yellow and Sunflowers that inspire hope. Her insightful use of color and imagery is changing the way we look at depression.
July 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
July 25, 2012
From the beginning of time red has been deeply ingrained in the human mind as a signal to act or re-act, to fight or flee. It is the color of life-sustaining blood or life-threatening bloodshed as well as the color of enticing, appetite arousing ripened fruits and delicious foods that sustain humans’ very existence.
“In a report published online in the journal Science, Dr. Pike (Alistair W. G. Pike of the University of Bristol in England) and his colleagues noted that the oldest dated art is ‘nonfigurative and monochrome (red)’, supporting the notion that the earliest expression of art in Western Europe was less concerned with animal depiction and characterized by red dots, disks, line and hand stencils.”
The most physical color in the spectrum, red suggests the very ebb and flow of life.
This post was brought to you today by the color red from my book Color: Messages & Meanings, the New York Times and the number 37,000.
March 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
March 14, 2012
One question I get asked a lot is “Can the color of fruit and vegetables be an indicator of their healing powers?”
I have answered this and many more color questions in my Color Answer Book. Below is my response to this question and an excerpt from a study that has supporting evidence that further validates the research.
Ongoing research indicates that eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables can be extremely beneficial to our optimum health and healing. The color itself is an indicator of its curative powers. For example, eating red and purple fruits has been shown to help prevent heart disease and cancer. There are also non-irritating anti-inflammatory antioxidants in fruits such as cherries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, plums, and grapes. These delicious sources of well-being contain natural dyes called anthocyanins.
A new study that came out last week further supports these facts and raises them by stating that “The key to a rosy, healthy-looking complexion may be as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables, researchers say. Within a six-week period, fluctuation in fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with skin-color changes,” said lead researcher Ross Whitehead, from the School of Psychology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Now you know why your mother insisted you eat your fruits and vegetables!
November 7, 2011 § 4 Comments
November 7, 2011
Dear Color Lover,
Lee’s 4-Day Color/Design class will be held in January 2012 in the Los Angeles area of California. We have set those dates which will be Thursday through Sunday, January 26-29, 2012. We hope you will join us for this exciting training program that will enable you to expand your career (as well as your thinking) into more lucrative and creative color consulting areas. This class will be held in Burbank, California at the Marriott Residence Inn Burbank/Downtown. This Marriott hotel is one of their Residence Inns, so there are small kitchenettes in the rooms. The Marriott has given us a group rate of $129 per night for the class which includes a breakfast buffet. The hotel is very near to the Burbank (Bob Hope) airport.
Lee accepts a maximum of 20 people in the class and registration is on a first come, first served basis.
Required reading prior to class: Leatrice Eiseman’s latest book, “Color: Messages & Meanings, a Pantone Color Resource” will be required reading for the course. It can be purchased through Lee’s own website,www.colorexpert.com, or through www.amazon.com, or ordered from your local bookstore.
If you have any questions or need additional information in order to decide if you would like to attend, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you!
January 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
January 5, 2010
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.
What color of sound are you?
December 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
December 10, 2010
Let’s take a look back at the “colors of the year” from the past decade. Pantone didn’t officially start announcing the color of the year until 2007. They have still chosen colors which they feel are a good representation of each year. If you have any thoughts about what these colors mean/meant to you at the time or now, PLEASE share!!!!
There are only a few excerpts on the colors that I could find for the years 2006-2010 and Cerulean in 2000 because it was named the color of the millennium.
[Cerulean 2000] Lifestyle movements suggest that consumers will be seeking inner peace and spiritual fulfillment in the new millennium. This is a paradoxical time in which we are heading toward an uncertain, yet exciting, future, and also looking back, trying to hold onto the security of the past. In this stressful, high-tech era, we will be searching for solace and Cerulean Blue produces the perfect calming effect.
Socio-ecologically, as we enter the next century, water issues are emerging at the forefront of the public’s consciousness. Exhausting our natural resources and polluting our environment, particularly our water supply, continues to be a concern, another reason for the popularity of blue for the future.
[Sand Dollar 2006] “Reflects the interest in organics and sustainability
[Chili Pepper 2007] In a time when personality is reflected in everything from a cell phone to a Web page on a social networking site, Chili Pepper connotes an outgoing, confident, design-savvy attitude.
“In 2007, there is an awareness of the melding of diverse cultural influences, and Chili Pepper is a reflection of exotic tastes both on the tongue and to the eye.
[Blue Iris 2008] Combining the stable and calming aspects of blue with the mystical and spiritual qualities of purple, Blue Iris satisfies the need for reassurance in a complex world, while adding a hint of mystery and excitement.
[Mimosa 2009] In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow.
“Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation.”
[Turquoise 2010] “In many cultures, Turquoise occupies a very special position in the world of color.” “It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky.
I think we ended on a high note and it seems that the collective “we” are still concerned with our environment especially when it comes to water……