Evoke by Usman Haque

Evoke by Usman Haque

Commissioned by Illuminating York 2007, Usman Haque created this imaginative interactive light projection installation that creates a surreal wrapping of color around the facade of York Minster. The colored light patterns start at the base of the building and move upward at a rate and pattern unique to the corresponding frequencies and rhythms of sound created by the people in the immediate surrounding area.

About the Project

A specially commissioned project for Illuminating York 2007 in northern England, Evoke is a massive animated projection that lights up the facade of York Minster in response to the public, who use their own voices to "evoke" colourful light patterns that emerge at the building's foundations and soar up towards the sky, giving the surface a magical feeling as it melts with colour.

The cathedral, built to link conceptually earth to the heavens, has been a site for the conveyance of words, dreams and aspirations for hundreds of years. The facade is designed to orient the gazes of passers-by upwards. As an attempt to continue this tradition, the patterns of Evoke are generated in realtime by the words, sounds, music and noises produced collectively by the public, determined by their particular voice characteristics. The colours will skim the surface of the Minster, pour round its features and crevasses, emerging finally near the top of the facade where they will sparkle high overhead.

People with voices of different frequencies, rhythms or cadences will be able to evoke quite different magical patterns upon the surface of the building - a staccato chirping will result in a completely different set of visual effects to a long howl for example, blending old and new to continue animating the facade of the Minster.
- Evoke by Haque Design + Research

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Colorful Allusions vol. 5

Colorful Allusions vol. 5

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.img

imgimg by bleu celt

Some blues / Are sad / But some blues are glad / Dark and sad or bright and glad / We’re all blues / All shades / All hues / We’re all blues—"All Blues," music by Miles Davis, lyrics by Oscar Brown Junior. Originally released (without the lyrics) on the album Kind of Blue, 1959.img

imgimg by Orbital Joe

The sky was a miracle of purity, a miracle of azure. The sea was polished, was blue, was pellucid, was sparkling like a precious stone, extending on all sides, all round to the horizon as if the whole terrestrial globe had been one jewel, one colossal sapphire, a single gem fashioned into > a planet.—Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), Youth.img

imgimg by swanksalot

The white glaze carried a faint suggestion of red. As one looked at it, the red seemed to float up from deep within the white. The rim was faintly brown. In one place the brown was deeper. It was there that one drank? The rim might have been stained by tea, and it might have been stained by lips. Kikuji looked at the faint brown, and felt that there was a touch of red in it. Where her mother’s lipstick had sunk in? There was a red- black in the crackle too. The color of faded lipstick, the color of a wilted red rose, the color of old, dry blood. . . .”—Yasunari Kawabata, Thousand Cranes, translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker, 1959.img

imgimg by aussie_patches

Ida Red, Ida green, prettiest girl I ever seen / Ida Red, Ida blue, I got stuck on Ida too / Ida Red, Ida white, love her true? I think I might / Ida Red, Ida pink, saw her in town, gave me a wink.—Ida Red, traditional, additions by Uncle Earl, 2005.img

Craig ConleyAbout the Guest Author, Craig ConleyWebsite: http://www.OneLetterWords.comCraig is an independent scholar and author of dozens of strange and unusual books, including a unicorn
field guide and a dictionary of magic words. He also loves color: Prof. Oddfellow
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The Pink and Blue Project by Jeongmee Yoon

The Pink and Blue Project by Jeongmee Yoon

How the color identities 'pink for girls and blue for boys' ever really got started; who knows, or, who really cares, but the fact is, these assignments do exist, and they are based solely on gender, making it nearly impossible for me to wear anything warmer than scarlet without affecting my internalized 'blue' masculinity and being called 'Strawberry Shortcake.'

While this question has been taken up by COLOURlovers before; and this person said this, and that person said that. It seems though, that these gender identity colors appeared after WWII, which also happens to coincide with the United States' greatest consumer expansion and the development of marketing, advertising and public relations, not that I'm inferring a correlation, but Barbie should be held accountable for at least some of it.

Jeongmee Yoon's 'The Pink and Blue Project' was inspired by this very observation of gender and color, and offers a visualization of this divided world of pink and blue.

About the Project

"The Pink and Blue Project" was at first motivated by my daughter. At five years old, she loves pink so much that she wants to wear only pink clothes and use only pink toys or objects.

I found that she is not unusual and most other little girls in the U.S. and South Korea love pink clothing, accessories and toys. This phenomenon seems widespread among various ethnic groups regardless of their cultural background. It could be the result of an influence of customs or the power of pervasive commercial advertisements for merchandise such as Barbie and Hello Kitty.

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Colors of a Well Aged Scotch

Colors of a Well Aged Scotch

Leafy. Floral. Nutty. Fruity. Smooth, Smokey. Buttery. Vanilla. Woody...Mmm...

These are just some of the adjectives used to describe the wide, wondrous range of Scotch whisky and on the surface it seems tasting whisky is similar to tasting wine.

Just as there are wine experts, there are whisky experts and within that title is a plethora of even more specific expertise claims; most of which becomes a dizzying array of advice and rules. I claim to be none of the previous. I simply like to enjoy a glass of Scotch whisky every now and then especially during the cool winter months of the calendar year.

It’s purely an emotional thing to prefer Scotch whisky during the winter. And the preference has everything to do with the colors.

Johnny Walker Scotch whisky image by rubicon
img by rubicon

Shades of Scotch

Contrary to what some may believe, the colors of Scotch whisky generally do not give an indication of quality, but may help narrow down personal preference after having tasted a few samples.

Photo by Markus Wichmann

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An Interview with Blue Iris, Pantone’s Color of the Year

An Interview with Blue Iris, Pantone’s Color of the Year

On December 10, 2007, Pantone, Inc. announced Blue Iris #18-3943 as the Pantone Color of the Year. Chosen to spend 2008 leading thousands of colors available in the Pantone universe, Blue Iris #18-3943 takes the honor is stride. Here are some highlights from a recent telephone interview:

When did you hear that you were chosen as the Pantone Color of the Year?

We don’t know until the public knows. I knew I was a finalist because execs at Pantone had been staring at my swatches, but I tried not to think about it until the announcement was made.

Were you surprised?

According to my agent. I had to be told twice, so yeah, I was surprised. At first I thought I was the Pantone color of the day, which is also a considerable honor.

Pantone calls you a “multifaceted hue reflecting the complexity of the world that surrounds us.” What does it feel like to hear comments like this?

I’m not allowed to blush because that would change my color, but if I was allowed I probably would.

Do you see the world as particularly complex?

I see the world as complex, but I also see this complexity as a result of how light manipulates cone cells in the retina. The world is a billion different things, yes, but if I ever get overwhelmed I just stop and think about how everything is just a variation of red, green, and blue.

Pantone says that emotionally you are “anchoring and meditative with a touch of magic.” Is this a fair representation of how you see yourself?

I can see how I may be perceived this way, but some of the colors I’ve dated might feel otherwise.

Are you dating anyone now?

I’m sorry I brought that up. I’d rather keep my personal life private.

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Is Visual Taste Perception Coloring Your Appetite?

Is Visual Taste Perception Coloring Your Appetite?

Is yellow sweet like a banana or sour like a lemon? From casual observations of our own eating we know that the visual 'taste' of food can be just as important as the ingredients in a dish. But how much does your internalized color and food associations - the ones we started developing from the very first time we saw our mothers' arm reach across and place before us a dark green round leafy Brussels sprout - impact what you are tasting now, and how are food producers exploiting this information to influence consumers?

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Some recent research might make you think twice about what you are tasting, and whether or not you might just be seeing a difference.

Food Color Research


A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research entitled, Taste Perception: More than Meets the Tongue:

The researchers manipulated orange juice by changing color (with food coloring), sweetness (with sugar), or by labeling the cups with brand and quality information. They found that though brand name influenced people's preferences for one cup of juice over another, labeling one cup a premium brand and the other an inexpensive store brand had no effect on perceptions of taste.

In contrast, the tint of the orange juice had a huge effect on the taster's perceptions of taste. As the authors put it: "Color dominated taste."

Given two cups of the same Tropicana orange juice, with one cup darkened with food coloring, the members of the researcher's sample group perceived differences in taste that did not exist. However, when given two cups of orange juice that were the same color, with one cup sweetened with sugar, the same people failed to perceive taste differences.

"It seems unlikely that our consumers deliberately eschewed taste for color as a basis for discrimination," write the authors. "Moreover, our consumers succumbed to the influence of color but were less influenced by the powerful lure of brand and price information."

- ScienceDaily: More Than Meets The Tongue: Color Of A Drink Can Fool The Taste Buds Into Thinking It Is Sweeter

Meaning, people thought the orange juice tasted different when there was no actual taste difference just because it was a slightly different color, but when the color remained the same, and the actual taste was changed, people didn't taste a difference.

More Food Color Research


During one experiment in the early 1970s people were served an oddly tinted meal of steak and french fries that appeared normal beneath colored lights. Everyone thought the meal tasted fine until the lighting was changed. Once it became apparent that the steak was actually blue and the fries were green, some people became ill.

Studies have found that the color of a food can greatly affect how its taste is perceived. Brightly colored foods frequently seem to taste better than bland-looking foods, even when the flavor compounds are identical. Foods that somehow look off-color often seem to have off tastes. For thousands of years human beings have relied on visual cues to help determine what is edible. The color of fruit suggests whether it is ripe, the color of meat whether it is rancid. Flavor researchers sometimes use colored lights to modify the influence of visual cues during taste tests.
-Excerpt taken from Erice Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation


Examples of Food That Probably Shouldn't Be the Color It Is

Crystal Pepsi
I think my first experience with Crystal Pepsi went something like this: "Alright Pepsi has a new lemon lime soda! Oh, wait! Why does it taste like cola!? Weird."

The last time I saw a cow produce bright yellow milk was when I wondered off from Woodstock into a neighboring farm. There I met a sociable hen named Margery who introduced me to that magical and mysterious milk cow.

And any other highly processed food targeted towards the most rational of consumers, children. But the bright colors do make it more exciting.
- Check out these previous food color posts:
Color Guide to Staying Healthy and Eating Right
Wonders of the Food Coloring World

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Bolts From the Blue: The Electric Colors of Lightning

Bolts From the Blue: The Electric Colors of Lightning

Though a lightning bolt radiates pure white light, various atmospheric conditions can tint the brilliant flash into a rainbow of electrical colors. Red, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, violet, cyan, and orange are all possible lightning colors, depending upon the presence of water vapor, dust, pollution, rain, or hail.

Just as lightning is said never to strike twice in the same place, no two lightning bolts are ever exactly the same color. In fact, different branches of the same bolt can exhibit different colors, due to temperature variations. The hotter the bolt, the bluer or whiter it will appear, and the cooler it is, the more orange or red. Because lightning heats the air as it travels, the presence of different gasses will also lend color as they ignite.

Lightning Colors
By jahdakine.

Weather expert Dan Robinson explains that different film stocks, exposure times, and camera types can also bring colour to lightning. "The same lightning channel can appear blue, purple, red or orange depending on the type of film, length of exposure, and other factors. Slide film is more likely to produce a more purple/blue image, while print film tends to give lightning a more yellow/orange tint."

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Trend Meets Color in Tokyo’s Famed Harajuku District

Trend Meets Color in Tokyo’s Famed Harajuku District

Tourists visiting Tokyo's Shibuya ward near the Harajuku Station may find themselves wondering if they have suddenly stepped out of the world and into a carnival of beautiful performers all in the split of a second. It does seem so, as the area is frequented by young Japanese teenagers who express themselves with such startling vibrance it can't help but remind one a bit of Noh theatre.

Harajuku kids, as they are called, have been called the modern geisha of today, and rightfully so. Their culture has been most famously documented in a series of photography books called Fruits by Shoichi Aoki, including small interviews and tidbits of information about the kids and their lifestyles.

The most oft-asked question seems to be: Why do they do it? There is no conclusive reason, although the simplest answer seems to be: Why not?

colodio.jpgimg by colodio

The emergence of the colorful dress seems to have been around since the 1980's, when Sundays at Omotesandō and the street that passes through Yoyogi Park were host to a gathering of bright costumes while the street was closed to traffic. The street was reopened in 1990 and the gathering seemed to die down at that time, but has since popped up sporadically in other locales, specifically the Harajuku Station area. Should you tour this area, you may also see what are called Visual Kei. This refers to a trend of Japanese musicians dressing flamboyantly -- think the hair metal era, but with vivid color replacing the ubiquitous black clothing. Visual Kei are also well known for favoring an androgynous look, which is a very popular look among Harajuku boys. The Japanese band Dir En Grey are the most iconic representation of this fad's origin.

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Arguing Color Hues with Van Gogh

Arguing Color Hues with Van Gogh

It started as a simple exercise, a cure for writer’s block, copy a Van Gogh. Practice discipline in painting, work on mixing complex colors, capture vintage tones, and learn from the best. But, it is now late afternoon, the natural light is starting to fade and I,well, I am arguing with Van Gogh. “Why Vincent? Why? What color is it?”

It never is just ‘green’ or ‘blue’ with Van Gogh. Its more colors than one could possibly imagine, more hues than those contained within the range of my modern palette, more subtle variation of tone than my amateur skills are capable of; more madness than I care to explore. Oh Vincent…

Photo by Jim Chou

His lines are simple, his subjects relatable, and despite his over popularity with the makers of screen savers and dorm room posters, Van Gogh had something I believe no other artist has ever managed to replicate for me: an internal color palette that is uniquely his, wonderful and frustrating.

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Colourcodes by Atelier | Olschinsky

Colourcodes by Atelier | Olschinsky

"Display your soul by colourcode."

German designers, illustrators, photographers, painters, musicians and paper toy makers, atelier | olschinsky, have a new line of colorful toys that allow you to, as the makers say:

Express yourself by matching colours – each colour code stands for a certain spiritual condition. Create your colourcode the easy way! it comes to you ready for assembling.

These motley, animated and vibrant toys truly display the designers' humour, appreciation for color and fantastic sense for composition. They also have a corresponding line of buttons that can interact with your colorcode.

If you can't, or just refuse to deal with the currency exchange and overseas shipping, you can still download backgrounds for your computer, and at least let everyone at the office know your current spiritual condition.

You can find the coloucode toys along with other colorful toys at their store.

The Colourcodes:

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