Every year, Pantone announces the Color of the Year. In 2014, the Color of the Year is Radiant Orchid. While this may seem like news that only affects fashion designers and paint manufacturers, it also affects web design trends.
Trends Are, Well, Trends
It is more than likely that the average web designer will have at least one request to design a site that is decked out in Radiant Orchid in 2014. Though using a trendy color for a website may draw attention this year, next year Pantone will announce another color. This means that a website that was cool in 2014 may look dated in a very short time. If the clients want to ride the trends, then they will need to update their websites every year, incurring more costs. This is probably something the trendy client didn’t consider, so having a discussion about trends is likely a good idea.
Another thing about using a trendy color is that it’s everywhere. Just like a song played over and over on the radio, people will get tired of this trendy color pretty quickly. That doesn’t mean using Radiant Orchid is a bad idea, but these are all avenues worth considering as a web designer.
Does It Fit The Brand?
Another thing to discuss with your clients is whether or not they are being trendy at the detriment of their brand. Usually, brands use specific colors throughout the company’s lifespan. The right colors for their site generally are ones that echo their brand color. If businesses are choosing a trendy color for their brand color, you may want to ask them if they are sure this is the color they want to use long term. Small businesses without marketing experience may think that going with a color like Radiant Orchid will make them look current but haven’t thought through the long-term consequences.
This can directly affect your work. For example, if you start building a site in 2014, and it isn’t finished until 2015, your client just might send you back to change the color as soon as the new Color of the Year is announced.
If your clients are set on using Radiant Orchid in their web designs, suggest they use touches of it around the site. Small touches will be easier to alter and won’t look like a complete website overhaul when the color changes are made.
Another way to incorporate a trendy color without it looking dated quickly is by using it in a flat color scheme. In flat color schemes, many different coordinating colors are used in a design. This design, while colorful, is also simplistic. Often, the designer will leave out shadows, bevels and other fancy design elements and focus on how the colors work together to create a pleasing look.
So, when you get website design requests for the number one color for 2014, Radiant Orchid, make sure to discuss the color’s uses with clients to be sure they aren’t heading down an expensive road that may not fit with their brand. Then, if they are set on the color, give them several design options that will make the site modern for a longer period of time.
I recently found this awesome infographic on the meaning of color in marketing. I think it's so fascinating to think about the impact of colors on people's perceptions, thoughts, dreams, and desires. I had to share this awesome infographic with you so that you could better understand the reasons certain companies utilize different colors.
Off Book is a bi-weekly web series from PBS that explores cutting edge art, the artists that make it, and the people that share it online. Episodes have ranged from web design to viral video to steampunk culture, and their latest entry into the series is all about color.
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In The Effect of Color, we hear from a handful of color experts about the powerful impact that color has in our everyday lives.
Color is one of the fundamental elements of our existence, and defines our world in such deep ways that its effects are nearly imperceptible. It intersects the worlds of art, psychology, culture, and more, creating meaning and influencing behavior every step of the way. Most fascinating are the choices we make, both subconsciously and consciously, to use color to impact each other and reflect our internal states. Whether in the micro-sense with the choice of an article of clothing, or the macro-sense where cultures on the whole embrace color trends at the scale of decades, color is a signifier of our motives and deepest feelings.
You can find more fascinating Off Book episodes on their YouTube channel.
Did you know that adding foods to your diet that are high in pigmentation is one of the best things that you could do for your health and creativity? Broccoli, carrots, beets, peas, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc. all contain whopping doses of antioxidants, the super-hero of the super-fit, chasing away free radicals that cause disease and degeneration.
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Every runway supermodel knows that the key to staying slim and shiny is to avoid foods that are white, or pale in color—potatoes, breads, pastas, white rice, sugar—and to eat fabulously colorful foods that are ALIVE and JUICY.
Not only will brightly colored foods make you a brightly colored person, (add a rosy glow to your cheeks, bring the sparkle and shimmer back to your eyes) they become a cheerful accent splash of color to your kitchen when stacked in a bowl near the Kitchen-Aid or french press, and make a lively center-piece for the dinner table.
Dust off that brightly painted Mexican-ceramic bowl and fill it up with the season's best apples and oranges and color your world from the inside out.
Love is most often associated with the color red. Be that by conditioning of incessant advertising or that we are drawn to it by nature. Secondary to red is of course pink, in almost any level of saturation.
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Red is one of those colors that possesses the strongest Ying and Yang of its theoretical definitions. Between love and hate, rebirth and death, the human relationship in any combination, could literally be summed up in the meaning of the color Red. Pink has what I would describe as a temperamental scale, more based on softness versus loudness than the extreme left or right end of the spectrum.
"Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love." - paper-leaf.com // COLOR THEORY poster freebie
As we know, colors can generate a wide variety of emotions. Red might be the most diverse and along with pink, a tag-along little sister, many other colors in tow can lend a visual message of love a great big pop!
Falling in Love by Etsy artist, DJEMBE & CANVAS
"Cranes represent longevity and grace. The flocks ascend our champagne symphony, where love is blessed upon those who simply believe." - posted by artist at the listing
The artist gave us a wonderfully light feeling with this palette and the birds adding further motion. I also like how the painting balances the realities of "love" with a little bit of darkness in the bottom right corner. What do you think of this palette and representation of falling in love?
For those of you following Leatrice Eisemen's training schedule, her 4-Day Color Training Program is off to a start this very morning in Burbank, CA. LindaHolt and ModernMuse (aka Michelle Stroescu), the two COLOURlovers who won full and half scholarship for the class back in November are excitedly enjoying their first day of learning and meeting Leatrice.
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To tide you all over until we get to do a followup with both Linda and Michelle about the class experience, Leatrice kindly took the time to answer the intriguing questions each winner had asked at the time of receiving the announcement that they had won.
Q & A From LindaHolt
Linda: I would love to know what the process is and what goes into choosing the Color of The Year?
Leatrice: I literally travel the world looking for clues. If I see a color that I think is ascending in importance, I make special note of it and then look for evidence in it gaining momentum. Fashion is always a good indicator, but it is not the only design area that must be examined. There are so much creative design areas that must be considered including graphics, the world of art, product design, home furnishings and so on . Another very important part of the choice is tapping into the “zeitgeist ‘ of the world around us and the emotional message that the color imparts. For example, with the that big gray elephant (the economy) still looming large and the concern that is being felt internationally, we would not want to choose a color that could be a “downer’. Instead we listen to people’s aspirations and try to give them a color that, at least symbolically, satisfies and encourages their needs and hopes.
We have come to the nail biting finale of the Full Color Training Scholarship Contest where two winners will get to spend four days saturated in color with Leatrice Eiseman (colorexpert.com) in Burbank, California. COLOURlovers were asked to submit a palette they connected to their life, how color impacts their life as well as how they would like to use color more, to impact the lives of others.
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We asked each finalist what they would expect to bring back from the class to apply to both their life personally and if applicable, professionally. Lastly, if they had any questions for Leatrice Eiseman. I have included these responses below. So without further adieu, because I know many of you stayed up waiting to hear...
First Place - Full Scholarship: Linda Holt
Occupation: Designer / Photographer
What she does: Owner of New Light Redesign (newlightredesign.com).
Location: Massachusetts, USA
"My intention should I win would be to apply my new color knowledge in my business. I have been doing interior color consulting for the past year but I want to take it to the next level. Like I mentioned in my application, I feel like the more I learn about color the more I realize there is to learn. Since my eye was trained for so many years as a photographer to see color as "light", the switch over to seeing color as pigment has been profound for me. I never knew until I bought Leatrice's books that color affects our moods. I guess I knew it intuitively but I am just fascinated by the whole psychology of color. Please please please pick me...I REALLY want to come. I promise I will work hard and be a good student!"
Linda's Questions for Leatrice:
1. Has Leatrice had a life long love of color and what was her path to becoming the "guru" she is today?
2. What inspires her when it comes to choosing color pallets?
3. What is the process for Pantone in choosing the much anticipated "color of the year"?
Linda has had this class on her calendar every year for at least the past two years. It is a lifetime dream for her to attend. Congratulations Linda!
First place will receive a fully paid scholarship for tuition to the Color + Design Training Program, plus a copy of the book, PANTONE® The 20th Century in Color, by Leatrice (co-authored with Keith Recker).
Pumpkin orange and midnight black—the predominant colors of Halloween combine the Autumn season with darkness and scary entities.
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But how did these colors really come to dominate this most unusual holiday? The truth is, when it comes to the question of the origin of the Halloween colors, it can be hard to separate the opinions from the facts.
The most common opinion about where the colors originated is steeped in the rich history of the Celtics and the Druids, with the burning of unbleached beeswax candles (orange) and ceremonial caskets draped in a black cloth.
Feng Shui candles are said to help create peace in the center of your house (source)
Now, let’s step into the world of Feng Shui, where a balance of energy reigns supreme. Believers of Feng Shui feel that the colors of orange and black were chosen because they are on opposite sides of the energy spectrum: orange is warm, happy, lively, and brings to mind the bounty of the fall harvest, while black represents mystery, void, power and protection (source).
The most obvious answer to this question is that the classic color of Autumn is orange, while black can be equated with the approaching darkness of winter.
And, if you want to get really extreme, some people claim that black and orange were the only colors left after Christmas took red and green, and Easter took all of the pastels.
Of course, Halloween colors are not just limited to orange and black, you will also see a lot of blood red, eerie green, ghostly white and deep purples. So, where do these colors come into play? Here is a plausible explanation.
Celtic wheel of the year (source)
Going back to the Celtic festival of Samhain in 700 B.C., it signified the end of the harvest and the approaching of winter, or the end of one year and the start of another. The Celts believed that ancestral spirits joined them on this day when the past and the present are about to cross paths, which is why it was also considered a “day of the dead.”(source)
All of the Halloween colors seem to implicate some kind of connection to death and dying. Red is a classic implication of blood, fire and demons, while green represents goblins, monsters, and zombies. Purple draws in a bit of the supernatural and mysticism, while white reflects ghosts, mummies and a full moon.
Stepping away from color for a moment, Halloween is also dominated by an abundance of Jack-o-lanterns and children out trick-or-treating. These traditions also have an interesting origin.
Stingy Jack (source)
Jack-o-lanterns trace back to the Irish myth of Stingy Jack who died and, finding himself rejected by both heaven and hell, was forced to roam the darkness seeking a resting place for his soul. Legend has it that he hollowed out a turnip and used it to carry a coal to light his way. This said, the first Jack-o-lanterns were carved in turnips, and only changed to pumpkins when the tradition was brought to America.
Trick-or-treating came about during the Great Irish Potato Famine. On Halloween, peasants would beg for food from the wealthy. They played practical jokes on those that refused to give them something. So, to avoid being tricked, the wealthy gave out cookies, candies, and fruit. It is easy to see how this turned into modern-day trick-or-treating. (source)
No matter what history tells us, the Halloween color palette we see today is warm, bright, fun, and sometimes a little spooky. Each color has a place in the holiday and can find a place in your life as well, whether you are wearing it, eating it, decorating with it, or simply reading about it. So, have a happy, safe and colorful Halloween!
header credit: purple bats
Hi, I’m Sarai, and I want to share a little style and sewing challenge that I’ll bet many of you will be interested in.
First, let me introduce myself. I am the designer and founder behind Colette Patterns, a boutique sewing pattern company. I also write the sewing blog The Coletterie and have a forthcoming sewing book, The Colette Sewing Handbook.
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One of the reasons I started a sewing pattern business is that I love the idea of investing our everyday lives with creativity, making conscious and creative decisions about how to dress rather than feeling overwhelmed by the push of fast fashion and cheap, disposable goods.
To that end, I came up with a fun way for sewists to get their creative juices flowing, by challenging my readers to create a seasonal mini-wardrobe based on an inspiring color palette. We now host palette challenges in the Spring and Fall, and it’s always fun to see what amazing projects people come up with.
The logistics are simple: You create a moodboard and color palette that is inspiring you for the season. Then you choose the number of projects to sew in an 8 week time period, based on your color palette. In the end, you (hopefully) have a coordinated mini-wardrobe.
You can use any patterns, any fabric. The idea is just to focus your sewing around the colors that inspire and excite you.
For my Fall palette this year, I chose sunset hues of mustard-gold, pumpkin, and red punctuated with black and ivory. Here’s what I’ve made so far:
WEEK 1: Lonsdale Dress
This late-summer dress is my transition piece, I suppose. The pattern is the Sewaholic Lonsdale dress, and the fabric is a beautiful Italian cotton.
WEEK 2: Clover Pant
Last week, I made these slim cigarette pants from my new Clover sewing pattern. The fabric is a mustard wool blend, underlined in cotton twill.
WEEK 3: Chevrons + Clover
You can still join up!
If you’re interested in trying out your own palette challenge, you can read more details here on the Coletterie (blog).
Get a re-cap or see even more inspiration from our sewing challenges here in the SEWING CHALLENGES section (includes Spring 2011 + the current Fall Challenge underway).
Image credits for my moodboards: vintage mustard wool skirt from Dear Golden, 1930s crepe dress from thirteeneightyfive, image via junebugweddings, the character Joy from Mad Men, orange dress by Erin Fetherston via Style.com, red dress by Marc Jacobs Fall 2004 via Style.com, Orla Kiely cookbook, image via ginnyandjudes Etsy shop
In the Forums we invite all those doing the challenge to post their inspiration boards, color palettes and anything to do with the challenge. It's amazing where some people draw their color inspiration from!
Outer Space Inspiration by "sweetjane"
"I decided to draw my color inspiration from outer space, since I'm a huge nerd & I associate fall with stargazing on brisk September/October/November evenings. (this particular photo is the Horsehead Nebula... I really like the muted almost-autumnal glow of all the colors. My palette could use a little work, but it's pretty close to what I'm going for.)" - sweetjane
The Most Colorful & Inspiring Creative Videos from a collection of the most popualr videos on vimeo.com. 12 videos. 30 minutes of fun, playful, creative & very colorful!
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Grindin'by Nobody Beats The Drum