Colors From New York Design Week

Colors From New York Design Week

This years New York Design Week has come and gone, but those designs that made a big enough impression on the public will hopefully be around, and in production, for everyone, who can afford them, to enjoy. Here we are taking a look at some of the more colorful designs from this years event.

'nickel couch'


With its sleek silver design, Johnny swing's 'nickel couch' uses 7,000 nickels welded together with 35,000 welds. Johnny is an artist based in Vermont who specializes in the repurposing of materials.

'dek' lights


This simple spot lighting solution from mmckenna only comes in green, but the 'designer emulation kits (dek)' lighting series is based on famous lighting designs.

'tush-in' extension cord


Designer Arihiro Miayke has created a colorful and useful extension chord hub. With multiple outlets contained within a single brightly colored felt bin, it offers a place to keep the tangled mess hidden inside.

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Colorful Allusions vol. 9

Colorful Allusions vol. 9

Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.


imgPhoto by jsc*

We found [mushrooms] in all shades of brown, yellow, and red, from velvet darks up to the most vivid orange scarlet. But most wonderful of all were the deep purple ones. Purple has always been to me the mystery color, the magician's color. All the mushrooms looked very wise and as if they could weave spells and incantations, but the purple ones were the Merlins of the wood. —Una Hunt, Una Mary: The Inner Life of a Child, 1914.img

imgPhoto by zebble

Then Grandfather would begin to speak of the dreams that would visit him so often as time wore on. ... He'd been
tyle="font-size: 25px">dreaming
in blue, he'd say: the rain in his dream was the deepest blue, midnight blue, and it was this never- ending blue rain that made his hair and his beard grow even longer. —Orhan Pamuk, The Black Book, translated by Maureen Freely, 2006

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Best Color Compositions From Across The Web

Best Color Compositions From Across The Web

We thought we would take a look at some of the best designed color compositions from across the web. Organized by base color, we searched through the CSS galleries over at Design Meltdown and CSS drive to find some websites whose color palettes we think are great.






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Colors Of A Cause: Ghost Bikes

Colors Of A Cause: Ghost Bikes

As more people are using bicycles as their main form of transportation, especially within metropolitan areas where most people only travel a few miles everyday, sharing the roads has become more of an issue.

In an attempt to raise public awareness and start a dialog about the rights of cyclists and the problems with our current road sharing systems, people across the country, and across the world, are creating Ghost Bikes as a memorial to those who have been struck or killed while riding on the public streets.

Photo by Howard Kaplan

What Are Ghost Bikes

Ghost Bikes are bikes that have been built from scrap or donated parts that can no longer be reused. They are stripped of all unnecessary parts that could potentially be desicrated or reclaimed for scrapes, painted stark white, then fixed to the site where a cyclist has been hit or killed.

Photo by wiki

The History of Ghost Bikes

The first ghost bike was erected in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003 by Patrick Van Der Tuin. He got the idea after witnessing a cyclist get hit by a car in the bike lane. He painted and placed a bike frame with a hand painted sign using red lettering which read: "Cyclist Struck Here." Since then, similar projects have started across the US and other cities worldwide.

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Artists In Color: J. Albers, J. Cloutier & M. Womack

Artists In Color: J. Albers, J. Cloutier & M. Womack

Today we are featuring the work of Josef Albers the famous Bauhaus teacher, painter and designer. Julie Cloutier a young artist with an eye for finding color inspiration in daily life, and Mike Womack, an interactive artist who plays between the lines of sculpture and painting to crate a unique experience of color.

Josef Albers

Josef Albers was a professor at the famous Bauhaus before immigrating to the United States after the Nazi's closure of the school in 1933.

Once arriving in the United States, Albers began teaching at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where his students included, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Ray Johnson and Susan Weil.

He most famous work, and the work featured here, is from his 'Homage to the Square' series, which included hundreds of paintings and prints that explored the interaction of color presented simply on squares. The mediums and techniques changed slightly over the 25 year span that he devoted to the series, starting as oil paintings on Masonite panel, Albers also produced the work as lithographs, and finally, as screen-prints.

Julie Cloutier

Taking inspiration from her daily observations of living in New York City, Julie paired up photos with color swatches to create this wonderful little book.

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Beyond the Rainbow with the Mantis Shrimp

Beyond the Rainbow with the Mantis Shrimp

Imagine distinguishing a dozen primary colors, seeing ultraviolet and infrared, and perceiving six different types of polarized light.  For the giant Mantis shrimp of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the world is colorful beyond human imagination.  Reuters reports a new study by Swiss and Australian marine biologists, suggesting that Mantis shrimps need to detect minute changes in color and polarization to detect nearly invisible prey in murky seawater.  They probably also use color to send sexual signals during mating.  The scientific report is available online at the Public Library of Science Journal.

Photo by CybersamX
Mantis Shrimp Waits

The typical mantis shrimp has emerald green eyes and a pale green or orange body, with bright yellow outlines.


  • Mantis shrimp have the fastest kick in the animal kingdom: 75 feet per second.  They can punch a hole through aquarium glass.
  • Mantis shrimp are named for their resemblance to the praying mantis insect.
  • Their coloration varies to match their habitats.  The golden mantis is green when it dwells in sea grasses but tan in sandy areas.  The crevice-dwelling rock mantis varies from dark green to black.
  • Mantis shrimp tend to be active hunters at night.

Photo by sandstep

Here are some color palettes inspired by the Mantis shrimps:

Shrimp Grass shrimp with gems

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The Color Of Language: Linguistics Of The Rainbow

The Color Of Language: Linguistics Of The Rainbow

What is color? Is it purely a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, divisible into nanometers of wavelength and lux of intensity? Or is it a vocabulary that allows us to describe the world around us? Is color art, science, or both?

Is Blue Always Blue?

In 1984, George Orwell invented ‘Newspeak,’ a language that makes alternative thinking impossible by removing the words used to describe such thought: if you have no word for ‘revolution,’ you will not start one... Newspeak was based on the idea of ‘linguistic relativism,’ the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Anthropological linguist Edward Sapir and his student, Benjamin Whorf, were convinced that our language constructs our reality: that we see the world through the lens of our own language and anything not encompassed by our language is – to us, at least – unthinkable. Do we live within the confines of our own linguistic reality?

Color terms have long been a favorite testing ground for proponents and opponents of linguistic relativism alike. The color vocabularies of the world’s languages are, well, colorful, and far from identical. Russian discriminates between ‘light blue’ goluboy (голубой) and ‘dark blue’ siniy (синий). Dani, an Indonesian language, has but two words for color: mili, usually associated with dark colors, and mola, usually associated with light colors (it is more complex than this, but that’s the gist). Yet despite these fun linguistic anecdotes, generally speaking, we all share the same color palette. In the late 1970s, the World Color Survey looked at 110 languages from non-industrialized countries worldwide (it is thought that color saturation in industrialized nations skews results for languages like English and French). The survey found that when all the data was plotted, six cross-linguistic peaks emerged, corresponding to English’s pink/red, brown, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Some peaks were taller than others, and some languages had color terms that did not fit into the major peaks, but the survey provided evidence that we’re all more or less looking at the same rainbow.

Photo by -sel-

Why is Blue 'Blue?'

Human eyes have two kinds of photoreceptor cells: rods and cones. Rod cells have one type of photosensitive pigment that allows us to differentiate between light and dark and helps us detect motion. Cone cells have three types of photosensitive pigments – red, green, and blue – that allow us to see in color and in detail. Together, they tell us everything they see in the visible spectrum. But biology is only half the equation. When you look at something – the sky, for instance – your rods and cones set in motion a complex psychological process that enables you to describe what you see. This is true for all stimuli, but we’ll focus on color here.

So let’s look at the sky and see what happens. Step one is perception: your rods and cones take in the color. They tell your brain that they have perceived reflected light with a wavelength of, say, 465 nanometers. Step two is categorization: you must place what you see along the visible spectrum. Your brain says this is BLUE (all caps means it is a color category, not a color itself). Step three is lexicalization: you put that category into words: “The sky is so blue today!” The lexicalization process allows for both synonymy (RED includes both crimson and carmine) and polysemy (teal falls under both the BLUE and the GREEN categories).
But what about the Russians? Or the Dani in Indonesia? We know that neither has a word for the BLUE category, but do they still have the category?

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The Colors Of wear palettes

The Colors Of wear palettes

We love color lovers, especially when they love COLOURLovers, and extra especially when they integrate COLOURlovers into their love of spreading the love of color. Such as, our member wearpalettes.

There once was a blog named The Sartorialist who changed the way fashion was viewed and how trends were passed along from city to city, for the better, we hope, as we hope all things are for the better.

One day, a graphic designer by the name of Daniel thought it would be a good idea to archive the inspirational colors of the clothing that he was seeing. Daniel turned to The Sartorialist and their archive of photos to start his journey into the creation of wear palettes. Little did he know that such an idea, was such an idea. One that would touch the hearts of so many, simply with color.

This is the story of daniel and the blog wear palettes.

The Sartorialist

About Wear Palettes

wear palettes is a blog for color and fashion inspiration. Drawing from the archives of street fashion photos from The Sartorialist, the blog has collected nearly 1600 different palettes, and allows you to search the archive using 22 different tags, if you are looking for color specific inspiration. The creator behind wear palettes is Daniel, a Swiss graphic design student who first had the idea of a clothing color database for one of his school projects.

I sat down with Daniel, at our respective computers located halfway across the world from eachother, to have an intimate chat about wear palettes, COLOURlovers, and fashion.

The Sartorialist

COLOURlovers Meets wear palettes

COLOURlovers:Tell me about wear palettes?

Daniel: It is a collection, a database of palettes taken from The Sartorialist street fashion pictures. It has almost 1600 units and I update it everyday. Also, the palettes are categorized by color and you can sort through the palettes for colors you are looking for.

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Color In Quotes

Color In Quotes

As many of you know, it feels almost counterintuitive to use words to describe color. With endless possibilities of different shades and tones, one can seemingly only speak of primary colors and hope that the reader is creating the correct mixture in their head. As difficult as it may be to describe a specific color, describing the importance, and personal impact, of color all together is somewhat more of a manageable task, and many words have been said by all types of people who share a love for color, and recognize the impact it has on all of us.

We thought we would catch up on some of the top colors, palettes and patterns currently ciruclating through the community, and share some words about color from a few famous figures.

Top Palettes

Hymn For My SoulGiant Goldfishw o r d l e s s .Part-Time Super Girl

Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. - Oscar Wilde

White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. - Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. - Pablo Picasso

disappearing a r a l y z e d .revealing myself

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint. - Pablo Picasso

Painting is something that takes place among the colors, and one has to leave them alone completely, so that they can settle the matter among themselves. Their intercourse: this is the whole of painting. Whoever meddles, arranges, injects his human deliberation, his wit, his advocacy, his intellectual agility in any way, is already disturbing and clouding their activity. - Rainer Maria Rilke

The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most. - John Ruskin

In 5...Samsaramy.fiveClementine

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Colors Of Religion: The Palettes Of Faith

Colors Of Religion: The Palettes Of Faith

Whether religion figures prominently into your life or you choose to try to solve the mysteries of existence without its guidance, anyone can admit there is something about the act of believing in a power greater than yourself that has tremendous appeal. Faith can lead people to express their feelings about what they believe in in a myriad of ways. One of the ways seems to be through color, as many of the world's religions display a vivid palette in the ways and hows of their worship.

2074793656_47948beca1_b.jpgPhoto by wonderlane

The Robes of Monks

Tibetan monks are one of the first things one thinks of when it comes to the presence of color in religion. Their saffron robes make for a bright contrast to the solemnity of their practice. Buddha was said to have worn a monk's robe made of patches of donated cloth, so the monks wear these robes in honor of his memory, and also to draw contrast between themselves and the physical world in their quest to attain enlightenment.

Another familiar image is of the Gelukpa monks, who are of the same sect as the Dalai Lama. These monks often wear yellow, pointed hats that draw to mind the image of a plumed helmet. Chinese and Korean monks wear brown or blue robes instead of the more commonly recognized orange that Tibet favors, and Japanese monks wear black or grey robes, leaving strong color out altogether.

1915552229_87f4f59d98_o.jpgPhoto by anna pearson

Monk robe and hatWhile most people also think of Tibet when then think of prayer flags, they are believed to have originated from Tibet's oldest religion, Bön, which actually predates Buddhism. There are two types of prayer flags: Lung Ta, which are the horizontal flags, and Darchor, which are vertical. Lung Ta are commonly hung on a long line that resembles a clothesline, while Darchor are usually hung on poles along their vertical edge.

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