The Colors of Erik Nitsche

The Colors of Erik Nitsche

Designboom brought my attention to this great flickr set and biography of design legend Erik Nitsche (1908-1998) whose "genius encompasses virtually the entire sphere of visual communications. Nitsche's prodigious and globe-straddling career, spanning nearly 60 years, included art direction, book design, typography, illustration, photography, film, signage, exhibits, packaging, industrial design, corporate design, and advertising."

"If Nitsche’s name is unfamiliar to some who pride themselves on being knowledgeable about the history of graphic design, this can only be attributed to Nitsche’s reluctance to court publicity and to his belief that his work should speak for itself. In an essay about the designer in the late 1950s, P. K. Thomajan wrote, “Self-effacement, [Nitsche] finds, keeps the blighting shadow of the ego out of one’s work." - The Art Directors Club

Eric Nitsche may not be as well known today as his contemporaries, Lester Beall, Paul Rand, or Saul Bass, but he is their equal. Almost 90 years old, this Swiss born graphic designer is arguably one of the last surviving Modern design pioneers. Although he never claimed to be either a progenitor or follower of any dogma, philosophy, or style other than his own intuition, the work that earned him induction last year into the New York Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame, including the total identity for General Dynamics Corporation from 1955 to 1965 and the series of scientific, music, and world history illustrated books, which he designed and packaged during the 1960s and 1970s, fits squarely into the Modernist tradition... continue reading at typotheque

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Vintage Color & Design: Grey Fabric

Vintage Color & Design: Grey Fabric

Continuing our vintage fabric series, today we're looking at some great color inspiration from a collection of grey vintage fabrics. This collection, along with plenty of other fine image sets, can be found here and were put together by True Up, which happens to be wonderful resource for fabric news.




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Kaleidoscopic Color

Kaleidoscopic Color

A kaleidoscope is a tube of mirrors containing loose colored beads, pebbles or other small colored objects. The viewer looks in one end and light enters the other end, reflecting off the mirrors. Typically there are two rectangular lengthwise mirrors. Setting of the mirrors at 45° creates eight duplicate images of the objects, six at 60°, and four at 90°. As the tube is rotated, the tumbling of the colored objects presents the viewer with varying colors and patterns. Any arbitrary pattern of objects shows up as a beautiful symmetric pattern because of the reflections in the mirrors. A two-mirror model yields a pattern or patterns isolated against a solid black background, while a three-mirror (closed triangle) model yields a pattern that fills the entire field.

Photo by Crystal Writer

History of the Kaleidoscope

Known to the ancient Greeks, it was reinvented by Sir David Brewster in 1816 while conducting experiments on light polarization; Brewster patented it in 1817. His initial design was a tube with pairs of mirrors at one end, and pairs of translucent disks at the other, and beads between the two. Initially intended as a science tool, the kaleidoscope was quickly copied as a toy. Brewster believed he would make money from his popular invention; however, a fault in the wording of his patent allowed others to copy his invention.

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Seeing Colors: Grapheme-Color Synesthesia

Seeing Colors: Grapheme-Color Synesthesia

While we might all be familiar with the condition of color blindness, it's not the only condition related to color. Another, and maybe less familiar, or at least, more complicated, is a form of Synesthesia where your brain associates certain colors with letters and numbers called Grapheme-color Synesthesia.

One of our very own COLOUR lovers,  deedee914, has this very condition, and as an artist & designer the condition has given her a unique perspective on color and it's uses in her work. I got a chance to talk with deedee about her personal snyesthesia map, her struggle to stick with brand standards, and how this conditions impacts her and her work on a daily basis.

deedee914's map (click on image to see it full size)

About deedee914: I have a condition called Synesthesia that some define as a sort of autism or a condition where your brain experiences correspondences between sound, colour, letter or numbers. My particular case is one in which my brain maps certain colours to certain numbers and letters. Several famous artists both musical, visual arts, and even literary geniuses have documented cases or even written about their experiences. As a kid, I had an incredibly difficult time learning to use those magnetic plastic letters and numbers. The colour of the plastic never properly corresponded to the right letter or number so I gave up using them as early learning devices.

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Happy Hue Year!  Looking Back on 2008...

Happy Hue Year! Looking Back on 2008...

Hello COLOURlovers, I wanted to send you some new year wishes and to look back on a very interesting 12 months.  COLOURlovers has grown a lot in the last year, enjoyed some very nice praise and has survived through some tough economic times.  Thank you for sharing the love and for helping make this site such a creative, supportive and strong community.

Some Stats from 2008:

1,012,479 Colors Named
429,261 Palettes Added
321,434 Patterns Added
954,460 Comments Posted
7.5 Million visitors from around the world came to COLOURlovers.

Some of the Recognition We Received in 2008:

TIME's Top 50 Sites of 2008

Webby Awards: Best Community Site Nominee (2nd Year in a Row)

Webvisionary Awards: Best of Show, Best Community, Best Web Application

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2008:

As Seen By The Color Blind
1,000 (Colorful) Places to See Before You Die
All 120 Crayon Names, Color Codes and Fun Facts
Nudibranchs, The Most Colorful Creatures in the World
50 Colorful Wallpapers: Full Spectrum Love
Unusual Color Wheels Found in Life and Art
The Color of Money from Around the World

Hard Times Ahead

This will be a tough year for websites that survive on ad income.  We've already seen a friend & fellow creative community, JPG magazine say goodbye. We're aware of the pain this financial crunch will put us in as we already limit the amount of money we try and squeeze out of your eyeballs.  You can support COLOURlovers and help us continue to build this great community by becoming a sponsor, and continuing to share the color love with your friends and family.

It is a challenge for the small team that runs this site to keep it growing and evolving as fast as our great members would like, but we hope some partnerships get realized early in the new year which will allow us to keep the limited amount of quality advertising we have on the site, and still get the resources we need to continue making COLOURlovers all that it can be.  I have some very big plans and with your help I can see this site being an even more amazing resource for anyone looking for a bit of color inspiration... or just a little love.

A Year Filled with COLOURlove

For those keeping track, this is usually the time of year we release a new version of the COLOURlovers site... but because of the way things have been going economically, we had to push version 4 of the site off a bit... perhaps we'll get it all ready for a Valentines Day COLOURlove-Fest.

We'll continue to work hard adding in new features to the site and promise to give you some big developments in 2009.  It's going to be a big challenge to give you all what we have planned, but I promise that if you keep up your wonderful support and don't stop sharing the love... we'll keep striving to make this the best creative place on the internet.

To another wonderful year together. Happy COLOURloving.  Thank you.

-Darius (COLOURlover)

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Eclectic Color Roundup

Eclectic Color Roundup

Here’s a roundup of the most colorful art, products, websites and such that I’ve come across in the last week.


Kirk Originals

Ever since they converted an old sewing machine into a glass cutter back in 1919 Kirk Originals has been creating some of the most colorful eyeglasses on the market.

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Interior Design Trends: Blue

Interior Design Trends: Blue

The color for today is blue! Blue is beautiful, bold, calm and vivid. It comes in a variety of shades. My favorite is turquoise along with navy, what is your favorite shade of blue?

Click on the image for the link

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Color Inspiration From New Wallpaper Designs

Color Inspiration From New Wallpaper Designs

A nice write up about the latest wallpaper trends and tips on how to best incorporate them into your home or office by House to Home.

Archive designs

Wallpapers taken from the archives are historic but far from old-fashioned. Follow our tips to make a traditional archive-print wallpaper work beautifully in your home.

• You don’t have to live in an old house for these wallpapers to work, but, for best effect, choose a design that suits the scale of your home. For example, the small florals typical of the 1930s can look lost in a high-ceilinged room, while heavily patterned Victorian prints can overwhelm a small or low-ceilinged space.

• To make a beautiful wallcovering the focus of the room, pick out key colours from the design and repeat them in plain fabrics and painted woodwork.

• To mix in other prints without outshining the wallpaper, stick to a limited colour palette. Alternatively, choose another print from the same collection – they’re grouped to co-ordinate, so the hard work’s been done for you.

• If you like an eclectic look, you can team an archive wallpaper with modern furniture, but echo the design – for example, a pattern with gentle curves will look better with furniture in curved shapes.

• If you want to find a paint that matches the tones used in an archive wallpaper, look at heritage and period paint collections.


Love geometric wallpaper? Use it to create a fabulous look with these simple rules.

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Colorful Label Template Exhibition at

Colorful Label Template Exhibition at

The folks over at had an idea to create an easy way for people to create their own cd and address labels using palettes geometric patterns and color palettes, and asked the members here at COLOURlovers to contribute designs for an exhibition. Here's what they had to say about and the COLOURlovers Exhibition:

This whole exhibition idea started when one of the employees at a manufacture of blank laser and inkjet printer labels started using a colour palette to design geometric patterns.

We took these design and created a label template so folks could personalize and print. It looked great, we thought an exhibition would be a great idea, so we asked on the COLOURlovers forum if anyone would want to contribute designs for an exhibition and received several contributions. Lyell Rodieck, GreenMyEyes, submitted over 50 designs. The result of this collaborative effort is an online exhibition of CD and address label templates which can be personalized, and downloaded for free on display at

Deciding on a favorite to download is the hardest part to getting started. Once you decide, click the template you want to download. The templates are created in Open document Format (ODF) and are easily viewed by any of these office suites:, Koffice, Staroffice IBM Lotus Symphony, or any other office suite supporting the OpenDocument format. WordPerfect Office X4 has native ODF support.

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Vintage Color & Design: Advertisements

Vintage Color & Design: Advertisements

Color inspirations by way of advertisements from the 50's and 60's.

Many of these great ads were selected from an inspiring post by the design blog WellMedicated and the others from flickr. Image source links can be found by clicking on the images themselves.




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