While the overall "color of the year" for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit may be "green", and for good reason, there are a few new colors, and the comeback of a few classic colors as well, that will soon be seen at your local parking lot or drive-thru line.
The auto industry is known for sticking to standard hues from year to year - which is still a big step compared to Mr.Fords 'one color for all' Model T, and his motto: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black,” and while the general colors remain the same, it is the shades that are continually becoming more and more interesting every year.
Recently, the colors used on automobiles have been made up of multiple color layers added together with translucent layers making each color increasingly more complex. Look at a car from one angle the color might be "scorched penny" but as you move your point of view around the car the color moves along with you changing drastically from that bright orange to nearly black.
DuPont 2007 Global Automotive Color of the Year
After seven years in first place, silver ran into tough competition this year with white/white pearl rising to the lead color choice for vehicles in one key region and two countries. In North America, white/white pearl, silver and black/black effect are in a virtual tie for first, with white/white pearl narrowly taking the top spot, according to the report issued by the company’s Automotive Systems business. White overcame silver in Japan and is the decisive leader in Mexico, more than doubling the popularity of gray.
-DuPont Reports Global Color Popularity Ratings for Vehicles
So, while the car industry never strays too far from the popular colors, the growing 'niche' color market is something for a color lover to excited about. In recent years the niche market has seen bright saturated oranges and greens. Imagine what might come next, I'm hoping for patterns, but we will just have to wait and see.
Some of My Favorite Colors Popping Up at the NAIAS This Year
Of all the ways to talk about color, sign language must be the most expressive. If you don't already speak sign language, color words are a fun place to start. You'll learn that it doesn't take a palate to discuss a palette.
How To Sign Your Colors
Orange: This colour sign pantomimes squeezing an orange fruit. In front of your mouth, form the letter "c" with your right hand (make a "c" shape by curving your fingers toward your thumb, as if you're grasping a can). Then squeeze your hand into a tight fist. Repeat this squeezing and inflating motion several times.
Blue: Form the letter "b" (fingers extended and held tight, thumb tucked against the palm) with your right hand, to the right of your body. Slightly shake your hand to the right from the elbow, without bending the wrist.
Red: Touch your lips with the tip of your index finger. (All other fingers are gathered toward the palm.) With a downward motion, glance the top lip, then the bottom. This motion is performed once, though sometimes people double it.
Brown: Form the letter "b" with your right hand (fingers extended and held tight, thumb tucked against the palm). Move your hand down the side of your right cheek, from your nose to the bottom of your mouth.
Gold: Touch your right ear with your right index finger. As you move your hand away, form the letter "y" (thumb and pinkie outstretched, other fingers tucked into the palm). Then shake your hand slightly.
I'm quite obsessed with delightfully delectable French macarons. Last summer we went to Paris on our honeymoon and it was the best vacation we've ever had! If it weren't for our families and the petty but rather hindering language barrier I was ready to pick up and move there. One of the main reasons was the colorful and heavenly macarons. I wish I had taken more photos of them but we were too busy having them for dessert after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The History of The Macaroon
Some say they were Created By Italian Monks, Refined By French Pâtissiers.
Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant color. 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.
He looked around him as if seeing the world for the first time. The world was beautiful, strange and mysterious. Here was , here was , here was , sky and river, woods and mountains, all beautiful, all mysterious and enchanting, and in the midst of it, he, Siddhartha, the awakened one, on the way to himself. All this, all this and , river and wood, passed for the first time across Siddhartha’s eyes.
—Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, 1978.
People that have been in love with toys have likely been in love with them for a long time. That is the heart of many of today's premier vinyl designers, which may be the reason for the bold statements they make in both design and color. For those of you unfamiliar with this popular trend, you may be startled to find what an intense source of color and beauty the designer vinyl toy universe can offer.
Designer vinyl started to pop up around 1990. It was coming from radically different sources: Some designers were classically trained in art and design, while others were self taught. My own personal discovery of designer vinyl started with Toy2r's Qee bears, around 1997. The 2" bear shaped toy with Mickey Mouse ears quickly became a ubiquitous symbol of designer vinyl, not to mention a great inspiration for artists everywhere. By taking something as simple as a toy and projecting art onto it, a new creation was born -- a highly accessible art form to people of all ages and backgrounds.
by Andy Woo
The look quickly caught on and spread to other forms of toy art. "Designer plush" was true to the same artistic ideals as designer vinyl, but made use of the medium to make its own unique statement. One of the most popular plush designers is Friends with You, a Miami based company that is heavily inspired by Miami's strong design aesthetic. These toys have also become highly collectible and much sought after, making it cool to have a shelf of "stuffed animals" in the house again.
I love Polaroid, so when the opportunity came along to interview Patrick Winfield, a graphic designer and photographer who frequently uses Polaroid to create dynamic visual stories, I jumped at the chance to speak with him.
Patrick’s work has a healthy following. I’m excited he took time to share his work; his love of Polaroid and playing around.
CL: Please share with us a bit about your background:
Winfield: I studied computer and stop-motion animation initially then moved onto graphic design, painting and photography. I landed a job doing graphic design for a startup company in 2000 and have been working in the industry pushing pixels ever since.
I grew up in upstate New York and have always been most at home in nature, walking through a trail in the forest or exploring a riverbed.
beaver pond, 2007 - polaroid 600 film on board - h:20 w:21 inches
CL:Tell us about when Polaroid came into your life:
Winfield: A photographer friend of mine told me about her ideas and techniques she was experimenting with, it was only a matter of time before I picked one up and did my own thing.
CL: What Polaroid Cameras do you own?
Winfield: I own a few. The original SX-70 is my go-to camera. I use a basic one-step for all my photogram work, just to eject the film from the cartridge.
CL: What camera do you wish to own?
Winfield: I am pretty excited about the release of the Zink cell phone printer. There is something similar out now, but this looks cool with prints that go to the edge of the sticker paper...fun stuff! O yeah, and the 20x24 camera is always there...the possibilities! But really any camera will do.
origin, 2007 - polaroid 600 film on stretched canvas - h:38 w:38 inches
CL: Why did you choose Polaroid film?
Winfield: It is all about the flow of working with images as soon as I create them. The process is like playing in a way. When a photo comes out of the camera I can see if I want to adjust it or take another shot right away. Polaroid film isn't the only way I can do this and I have experimented with disposable cameras, Xerox machines and flatbed scanners, but the immediacy and characteristics of the Polaroid film is unique and seductive.
CL: Polaroid film does not seem readily available. How does this affect your work?
Winfield: It is actually very available and I enjoy working with it knowing it is available to everyone. It is not as depleted as one may think, but it surely is not the cheapest medium and most formats are being discontinued so I do keep a cache in my fridges crisper drawer. This makes me more conscious at times when using film, as well as preparing food. I am not hesitant if I want to take a shot or start a big composite, rather I will think about it more.
piecemeal, 2007 - polaroid 600 film on board - h:20 w:21 inches
What's blacker than black? Well, black, apparently.
Researchers at Rice University in Houston have succeeded in creating the veritable black hole of all color-dom: a material that absorbs 99.9% of all visible light. This penultimate black supersedes the current black, a carbon based substance housed at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, and is measured as being 30 times darker.
If this isn't blowing your mind already, then how these researchers inadvertently flipped the design community for a loop might. The team, led by Pulickel Ajayan, used carbon nano-tubes 400 hundred times smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair and stood them on end, arranging them in a tightly gathered group. Imagine a carpet's pile, but on an infintessimilly small nano scale.
The tops of the nano tubes are also arranged irregularly in order to cut down on reflectivity. This results in a material that has a total reflective index of 0.045 percent, a far cry from your basic black paint which has a reflective index of 5 percent to 10 percent.
The application of this new black extends to fields as diverse at design, astronomy, and solar energy conservation, however if tests with infrared and ultraviolet light prove as successful as those with visible light, the potential application may extend to stealth operations and the defense sector.
Mr. Ajayan has stated in numerous media interviews that this new material could be used to improve optical devices and increase the efficiency of photolytic cells on solar panels, which would be good things; and, unfortunately, there could be some national 'defense' applications as well - think stealth bomber, but only stealthier.
While this is inspiring, I'm left wondering when superblack's going to show up in a paint can. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long.
The Color Black
Black does not reflect light at any point of the visible spectrum.
Not only is black associated with rock bands, such as the likes of Spinal Tap, but black is also associated with a whole slue of other symbols both positive and negative; negative: black death, bad luck (black cats), black list, blackmail; positive: black is the color of rain clouds, and soil. Krishna means the black one. And being in the black is good for business.
Some Black Color Inspiration
When we were developing COPASO, we found that we needed to have a more advanced color picker to work inside the application... and since COPASO is built with DHTML it was easy enough to pull out the picker to use on the other creation pages of our site. Once we'd modularized the color picker code it made sense to offer it to others to use on their own sites and projects. So here is the code to get our Color Picker working on your site for free. (We'll even host the files)
License: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
If you have a need that doesn't fit the license above, contact us.
COLOURlovers Color Picker Demo
Here is the Code You Need & Examples...
Picker Attached to a Single Text Field:
Picker Attached to Multiple Text Fields:
[Example with an image]
Multiple Text Field Example Code:
Here is a break down of the object passed to
Feb. 24, 2008 - Update
Fixed a bug in IE where users couldn't click-drag-highlight other objects within the page.
May 1, 2008 - Update
Fixed a conflict this script had with jQuery. Thanks to Ozh at planetOzh.com for the report!
Widgets, Widgets everywhere! One of the coolest recent web trends has been the development of widget platforms that allow people to easily create and share tools to help communicate and connect any number of their interests or ideas. It is much more simple for individuals with good ideas and a bit of gumption to develop tools that thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people will enjoy using. The idea is often the easiest part, the execution of it is the challenge... So we hope by using our resources you'll be able to share your widgets with the world in any number of colors and color combinations.
Widgets are great because with little effort you can add music, a timer to your baby's birth or a clock for keeping time on your site... but if the widget's color options are locked in place, it makes it less appealing to the public when they can't find a color option that fits in well with the colors of their site or matches their personal style.
But, don't beat your head in trying to come up with great color combinations for your widgets... More than 250,000 palettes are already being shared on COLOURlovers.com
I made this widget at MyFlashFetish.com.
Widget Color Showcase: MyFlashFetish.com
MyFlashFetish has tons of flash widgets that you can add yto your websites, blogs or profiles... Clocks, Countdown Timers, Days You've Been in Love and two dozen or so styles of mp3 players. And with almost all of these widgets they allow you to customize the colors to match your style.
Some Top Widget Platforms
I'm a lover of great design and Dwell gives me a monthly dose of just that... and the February issue is covering a topic close to our hearts... Color. The new issue isn't the only place Dwell is embracing new colors, they also recently overhauled their website:
Dwell was created to champion an intelligent, thoughtful, and modern sensibility that stimulates our audience to envision—and realize—life at home in the modern world.
The recent Dwell.com redesign gives the site a fresh look, fluid navigation, and flawlessly showcases Dwell's award-winning editorial content and photography in a way that is distinctly Dwell. As a result, Dwell.com is better positioned than ever as THE leader for what's news in modern design.
The Dwell Design Leader video series is an inside look at some of the most influential, inspirational, and innovative designers in the industry today. From landscape architect Andrea Cochran to prefab architect Michelle Kaufmann to co-housing expert Kathryn McCamant to Airstream designer Christopher Deam, a full spectrum of modern design disciplines are explored from a personal and professional perspective.
Finding Colors for Your Home Renovations