February 12, 2017 § Leave a comment
This is the third and final installment on my trip to Asia. The first two stops were in Seoul and then to Shanghai, and the following images were taken on my last stop in Tokyo.
When my presentation was finished in Tokyo, my friend and colleague, Maryann Wong from Hong Kong, and I made our way over a bridge to the Shinjuku area to visit Takashimaya, as it had always been one of my favorite stores when they had branches in Los Angeles and New York.
Interestingly, the area around the square in Tokyo was called Times Square—a very different Times Square than the New York location!
Pictures of flower arrangements on display in front of a department store.
The colors and designs of various flower displays caught my eye immediately as they were so artfully done.
When we went into the store, we saw some equally colorful displays. I am always drawn to the housewares department. (As you may know, I speak at the International Housewares Show every year.) These tea cozies caught my eye–they certainly could fit into a palette inspired by Pantone’s color of the year—Greenery!
What truly interested me was the fabric department. It reminded me of the time when there were fabric departments in our stores. Japanese women still enjoy sewing, and these images of traditional kimonos were part of the inspirational display. All of the fabrics were available for sale.
Displays also showed the usage of fabric on handbags and zoris, the traditional sandal. Color coordination is very important in Japanese design.
The furniture department displayed a chair that I could have happily purchased, but the shipping costs are a bit high (and it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase!) Interestingly, the fabric on this chair is right on-trend, not only in its fabulous color story and combination, but in the use of the triangles in the patterning, as well.
The final evening in Tokyo, our hosts took us to yet another fantastic restaurant, one that specializes in blowfish, so that every part of the meal, including appetizer, salad, soup, and main course (although not dessert), featured some sort of blowfish prepared in a different way.
As you might know, blowfish is a delicacy, but certain parts of the fish can be toxic, so they must be handled with care. Obviously, the restaurants are very cautious and they employ specially trained people who know what part to eat (or not). They certainly don’t want to lose their clientele!
As weird as it might sound to eat one specific food prepared in different ways—it was absolutely fabulous. All the prep was done at the table, fascinating to watch and then finally, to eat. It was a fitting end to a truly memorable trip.
February 19, 2014 § 1 Comment
February 19, 2014
Last January, Christine Peters, a marketing consultant in the financial services industry joined my class in Burbank, California. Interestingly, Christine has more than just a passion for color-she actually experiences a phenomenon called synesthesia. It is such a fascinating topic. I just did a report on synesthesia to a forecast group in London. There are personal variations of this condition and it is important to know about those variations so I invited Christine to guest blog on the topic.
Cross-Wired And Color-Crazed By Christine Peters
I’ve always had a love for magazines. The glossy pages, the styled photos, and the bite-sized content create the perfect recipe to help me unwind. Some people like to end a stressful day watching a favorite TV show, or enjoying a glass of the finest merlot. Instead, I reach for a magazine for my fix, and flip, flip, flip through the pages over and over savoring every inch. However, despite my lifelong passion for magazines, I never would have imagined a magazine could, and would, change my life.
In the spring of 2010 I was on a business trip to NYC, and as I trekked through LaGuardia a magazine titled The Brain caught my eye (who knew there was such a thing as a magazine about brains!) It was obviously a must have for me after a long and stressful day.
I boarded my plane and started flipping away, and found an article that was of particular interest called The Cross-Wired Brain. It was about an unusual condition called synesthesia. As I read more and more, I had that magazine life-changing-aha moment.
What I experience ALL THE TIME is not the norm for most humans. What I experience is actually called grapheme-color synesthesia “in which the visual appearance of a written letter or number triggers an experience of color”. I was astounded – both at the fact that this was considered an unusual condition and at the fact that I had never, ever heard of it, but have been experiencing it my whole life.
Essentially, for me, everything has a color inside my mind that is usually not the same color my eyes see! Each day is filled with rainbows of color. Each word has a color that may or may not be the color represented by the colors of its individual letters. And again, it is usually not the same color as it appears when I look at it. This can be complicated and yet wildly colorful which, for me, is the best part.
While reading that article it struck me that having grapheme-color synesthesia has shaped my life and decisions in ways that I have never even realized. Generally speaking, I sometimes can get tripped up by indecision, and now I believe it is largely due to the many colors on my mind! For example, naming my children was especially difficult because the letters in each name needed to have just the right color harmony. I thought every new parent had that same dilemma!
As another example, buying a car can be strange and riddled with indecision too. The word car in my mind is bright yellow (C), light green (A) and a deep, dark purple (R). Not quite the colors you would typically consider when heading to a dealership. To complicate things the brand name of the car has it’s own color as well.
I also tend to remember things by color. So if I remind myself to grab my keys, I will be thinking about the colors orange and red (K is an orange color and the letter S is bright red and they both overpower the colors for E and Y) For some reason, the vowels all have lighter colors in my mind’s eye. The more information I have to think about or remember, the more colors I have on my mind.
Given my new revelation, I started to pay close attention to how I process colors and information on a day-to-day basis. I can be swayed to choose one thing over another based on the colors I think of in my mind. And colors I see in my mind can even affect how I feel. I started to research the psychology of color, which ultimately led me to Lee Eiseman’s 4-day Color/Design class. Color can be so strong and powerful that it can affect moods, influence behaviors, and even drive purchasing decisions. It has always been natural for me to think about color given my “superpowers”. Now that I realize other people don’t quite have these same intrinsic ideas about color, I’m more motivated than ever to understand how color plays a role in every day life.
I am grateful for this gift. Knowing I am synesthetic has helped me explore my own creativity and passion for color and literally see my world now through a different lens!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
January 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
January 12, 2012
Just as there are trends in fashion, technology and color there are also food trends. Whether it be in spices or the development of a new hybrid fruit or vegetable the epicurean world is growing and changing too. I am always intrigued with food trends and studies as I am a conscious consumer and take health and well being very seriously. I have written on the subject of color and food in my book: The Color Answer Book where I answer the question “can the color of fruit and vegetables be an indicator of their healing powers”?
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.
Take a look at what http://www.choosecherries.com/ has to say about cherries.
“Cherries are not only good for you, but they’re also on trend as a homegrown “Super Fruit.” According to recent data, more than 9 out of 10 Americans want to know where their food comes from, nearly 80 percent say they’re purchasing “locally produced” products, and the majority is defining “local” as grown in America. And cherries deliver.
A growing body of science reveals tart cherries, enjoyed as either dried, frozen cherries or cherry juice, have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.
Emerging evidence links cherries to many important health benefits – from helping to ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.”
So as your momma always told you to “eat your veggies”, let’s include the cherries, too.
November 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
November 26, 2011
Barbara Dufford is one of my former Color/Design students and a gifted graphic designer. Barbara has kept in touch with me over the years. Happily, many of my former students, like Barbara, do keep in touch. She has shared some of her wonderful work with me that I thought worthy of sharing with all of you.
Here is a little more about Barbara (in her own words) and a sample of her current work with the Aids Foundation of Chicago. If you want more information please click the image(s).
I’m a communications designer (and 2005 graduate of the Color?Design course) with a wide range of experience with corporate and non-profit clients, especially working with arts and social justice endeavors. I love using design’s power to engage people in support of a cause as worthy as the fight against AIDS. The organizers of this year’s World of Chocolate were interested in highlighting the elegant and sensuous aspects of the event. Both color and texture, visual and tactile, helped accomplish that goal: the slightly transparent red and brown areas overlay a rich background color photo of one of the tables at last year’s event, adding complexity to the color fields. And, the card has a “soft touch” coating which gives a velvety feel to the piece.
January 3, 2011 § 2 Comments
January 3, 2011
We here at the eiseman color blog are very interested in all things related to color. Over the weekend, we found this story about food coloring that was fascinating. Lee has been sharing the ideas of Ben Feingold with her classes for years.
Years ago I heard that Red dye No5 was the worst (extreme word for effect) thing and it should be avoided at all cost. Then this weekend we picked up a book by Michael Pollen called Food Rules that shares some simple thoughts on food like not eating cereal that turns the milk colors. I like it, simple to understand.
The children will not be pleased with this one. Consider this informative color tidbit food for thought.
Click the link for more.
December 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
December 27, 2010
For those of you who know me, you know that I am a devout pescatarian-no meat eater. Veggies, lentils, fungi, fruit, multigrain, fish, no sugar and non-fat (except for the good fat) diet. I am always looking for healthy tips, especially those involving color, so when Whole Living magazine published and article claiming that Black is the New Brown, my ears and eyes, perked up!—Lee
Louisiana State University researchers have found that “Black rice may unseat brown as the healthiest option”.
“Like brown rice, black rice has an outer layer of antioxidant-rich bran, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol. Unlike the bran found in brown rice, however, black-rice bran contains anthocyanins, the purple and reddish pigments also found in blueberries, grapes, and acai. These compounds decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer, among other health benefits. In fact, a spoonful of black-rice bran contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries…”
“A recent study of mice found that a diet that included 10 percent black-rice bran reduced swelling of inflamed skin, adding fuel to the theory that black rice may also help prevent diseases associated with chronic inflammation, such as diabetes.”
Do you have a favorite recipe that contains black rice?