We thought it was time to check in on our most loved Palettes, Colors and Patterns making their way around the community at the moment.
With 108,705 members who have created 1,196,974 Colors, 431,454 Palettes and 133,971 Patterns, we needed a way to divide up all the colors into a manageable post, as to avoid creating an overwhelming color explosion that might lead to the mind collapse of some poor blog reader. So, we are doing it by color, of course. Here are 50 of the top Palettes, Colors and Patterns from the community, starting with RED.
Tattoo artists face a unique set of challenges when it comes to color. A canvas such as skin, each with its own unique tone, will seemingly change the appearance of every color used. For the tattoo artist, taking into consideration and working with the natural tones of each individuals skin creates a unique challenge. However, it doesn't deter them from creating inspiring color palettes that are even more stunning when complimented by the clients natural tones.
Header image by Adventure Addict
Here is a selection of tattoos, accompanied by a few words by each artist, from the top four artists' galleries (based on a secret algorithm) from tattooartists.org.
I tattoo out of Inspired by Ink in Columbus, Ohio. I like to do neo traditional, big bold color work as well as color realism.
I started this sleeve at the Dayton Gem City Heart Attack convention. The images depicted are from the movie Princess Mononoke. As you can see we have a lot more to go. I had a lot of fun with this. I am thrilled to be doing this piece because Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most amazing animation directors in the world and his movies display so much beauty.
Started in 1934 by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, DC Comics, then known as National Allied Publications has created some of the most colorful characters in Comics. The abbreviation "DC" came from their first popular illustrated series Detective Comics which introduced the darkly colored character Batman. Since then, DC Comics has become one of the largest publishers of English language comic books. Here are a few of their classic characters who have frequented the shelves of comic book stores throughout the years.
Classic DC Comic Characters
Graffiti has been balancing a fine line of public opinion between vandalism and art since its beginnings. Recently, with graffiti gaining more acceptance as a legitimate art form, many artists have seen their work taken from the streets and placed in galleries all over the world. Even though this shift has taken place, most graffiti artists still stick to the art form's roots as public art, sharing color inspiration to all those who walk through our modern cities.
Though limited by the manufacturers of spray paint, the color palettes of contemporary graffiti artists are inspiring in many ways. In a lot of ways the palettes created on public walls change as each new piece is added, creating a completely unique, site specific color palette which evolves with time and through the generations of street artists. These palettes often include the surrounding colors and architecture of their location, adding even more depth to a piece and drawing in as much attention to the location of their work, as to the work itself.
The often bold and dynamic color palettes of today's graffiti artists are becoming more and more technical with the increased use of gradients and blending. And are an amazing source of color inspiration.
There is no better time to show off color than during the summer (apologies to those of you in the other hemisphere), and many designers are doing just that. Taking the cue of the summer season, designers are creating some very inspiring color palettes for us to enjoy. Here are a few of the more dramatic and bold color palettes that, if worn, will expose any true color lover.
If you ladies, and adventurous gentlemen, are wondering where I might have come across such a selection of dresses, my search started at NOTCOUTURE, from there I ran into a few online boutiques which can be seen when you click on the image/designer links.
Dress by Wenlan Chia
Twinkle designer Wenlan Chia's collection takes feminine dressing to a new level. Expect whimsical designs with bold patterns and bright colors.
Dress by Emilio Pucci
Emilio Pucci, was an Italian fashion designer and politician. He and his eponymous company are synonymous with geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colors.
Today, more than ever, companies need to separate themselves from the others who share the same crowded marketplaces, and it is being done with branding and creating a unique and easily recognizable visual identity. The visual identity of a business can be one of its most valuable intangible assets, and big part of that visual identity is color.
Referring to Business Week's 'Best Global Brands 2007' (link to PDF) report, which ranks "brands which place high importance on managing the economic value of their intangible assets, and primary their brands, consistently out preform basic economic measures," we selected what may be the most easily identifiable logos in the corporate world today, then stripped them of every line and gradient to pullout just the color palettes. See if they are just as strong without the logo itself.
"A simple and harmonious life with nature and people."
Shinto is considered Japans native religion. A system of simplicity and beauty, the main ideas behind Shinto are rooted not in the after-life, like many other popular belief systems, but rather in finding harmony with your current surroundings in the present. There is no strict dogma or prayer, and no hierarchy of Gods to worship. Rather, Shinto is a collection of rituals and methods to strengthen relationship of living humans and kami, also known as spirits. Some kami can be specific to local customs, others, are larger, shared natural objects such as Amaterasu, the Sun goddess, or Mount Fuji. But the general understanding is that everything contains a kami.
Four Affirmations of Shinto:
- Tradition and the family: The family is seen as the main mechanism by which traditions are preserved. Their main celebrations relate to birth and marriage.
- Love of nature: Nature is sacred; to be in contact with nature is to be close to the kami. Natural objects are worshipped as containing sacred spirits.
- Physical cleanliness: Followers of Shinto take baths, wash their hands, and rinse out their mouths often.
- "Matsuri": Any festival dedicated to the Kami, of which there are many each year.
A common translation for Shinto is "the way of the Gods," with many of the gods falling in line with the animistic belief system, assigning spirits and souls to animals and plants. This belief is the main source behind the Japanese cultural harmony and appreciation for nature, along with many other cultural traditions. Sumo wrestling, chopsticks, garden design, flower arranging, architecture, and removing your shoes before entering a building, are all said to stem from Shinto.
Photo from Just A Slice
Shinto and Buddhism
The system of Shinto went through some changes with the adoption of Buddhism after it's introduction in the 6th century. It wasn't until this time that a name was actually created in order to distinguish it from that of Buddhism. The way of life, and belief system, that was encompassed by that traditional religion, became known as Shinto. The two systems have largely, but not without the usual purification attempts by some, coexisted and combined and become seamless with Japanese culture.
While technology may have limited the color palettes of some of the first, and most popular, video games, their colors are no less influential on modern game design and culture as a whole. Just as every note from the music of Super Mario Bros is familiar, for gamers and non-gamers alike, so are the simple palettes of every platform and character from these classic video games.
Super Mario Bros.
As of 2008, Super Mario Bros. is the best selling video game of all time (selling over 40 million copies to date). It was largely responsible for the initial success of the Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as ending the two year slump of video game sales in the United States after the video game crash of 1983.
One of Shigeru Miyamoto's most influential early successes, it has inspired countless imitators, two direct sequels, and many spinoffs, as well as an entire video game series. Mario went on to become Nintendo's most well-known mascot. The theme music, by Koji Kondo, is recognized worldwide, even by those who have not played the game, and has been considered a representation for video game music in general.
At the time, the ability to produce color was a technical achievement, and the marketing department at Atari felt that it was important to stress the color capabilities of the Atari. They asked programmers not to use black backgrounds except to represent outer space. As a result, the maze on the 2600 port was given orange walls and a blue background, instead of blue walls on a black background. (Similar treatment was given to the Atari 2600 conversion of Ms. Pac-Man.)
The air. A thing too intangible for color you think? ... The truth is all air is colored.
—John C. Van Dyke, The Desert
Anyone who thinks that air is invisible is impaired by a sort of color blindness. Indeed, the air is so alive with color that it could be likened to a rainbow that encircles the entire earth with pink, red, violet, gray, blue, and yellow. Ask a naturalist or a painter, and you'll hear descriptions of an airy spectrum that escapes the unobservant viewer. Carried by swirling dust particles and refracted by the prisms of water vapor, the colors of the air are best observed in a mass. Mountaintop vantages, canyons, desert expanses, or deep valley views are recommended. The warmer the temperature and the stronger the wind, the more color will be detectable. Rising heat carries finer dust particles deepening the air's hues, while high winds carry larger particles, brightening the coloration.1
Here's how naturalist Richard Jefferies poetically recorded seeing the colors of the wind at sunrise one morning:
Photo by James Jordan.
Color comes up in the wind; the thin mist disappears, drunk up in the grass and trees, and the air is full of blue behind the vapor. Blue sky at the far hoiizon — rich deep blue overhead — a dark-brown blue deep yonder in the gorge among the trees. I feel a sense of blue color as I face the strong breeze; the vibration and blow of its force answer to that hue, the sound of the swinging branches and the rush — rush in the grass is azure in its note ; it is wind-blue, not the night-blue, or heaven-blue, a color of air. To see the color of the air, it needs great space like this — a vastness of concavity and hollow — an equal caldron of valley and plain under, to the dome of the sky over, for no vessel of earth and sky is too large for the air-color to fill. Thirty, forty, and more miles of eye-sweep, and beyond that the limitless expanse over the sea — the thought of the eye knows no butt, shooting on with stellar penetration into the unknown. In a small space there seems a vacuum, and nothing between you and the hedge opposite, or even across the valley; in a great space the void is filled, and the wind touches the sight like a thing tangible. The air becomes itself a cloud, and is colored — recognized as a thing suspended; something real exists between you and the horizon. Now, full of sun and now of shade, the air-cloud rests in the expanse.2
The COLOURlovers library is full of airy inspiration. There are colors of "thin" to "heavy" atmospheres as well as airless colors of suffocation.
 John C. Van Dyke, The Desert: Further Studies in Natural Appearances, 1903.
 Richard Jefferies, "Winds of Heaven," The Eclectic Magazine, 1886.
A sampling of thin air colors:
2008 has been a great year for us so far. We reached several milestones like 1,000,000 named colors and 100,000 members and we received some pretty major recognition...
And TIME just named COLOURlovers one of the 50 Best Websites of 2008!
Thank you all for being a part of our community and for helping us grow as one of the best places to share some of your time online. We have more big ideas planned and look forward to ever increasing the amount of color love in the world.