October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and along with Pink for October we're encouraging creative people to turn their websites pink for the month. The aim is to raise awareness of breast cancer and support those organizations making a difference to find a cure and support those living with breast cancer.
Psychologically, pink has been judged the 'sweetest' color
- Vargas 1986:144
To celebrate this event I'm going to take a look at the colour pink and consider the cultural and psychological meaning associated with it. I will also be taking a look at some effective uses of pink for websites and a selection of pink based colour palettes to provide a bit of inspiration if you are turning your site pink for October.
When Did it Become Pink for a Girl.
Pink in many cultures has come to mean girl. It's been attached to the logic that says 'pink for a girl and blue for a boy'. The exact historical occurrence of this seems to point to after World War II. These 2 quotes shed some light on the history of the link between pink standing for a girl.
I've always been fascinated with the cover font color choices magazine editors make. We've begun to index those choices in our Magazine Color Trends section, but we thought we would look at some of the most iconic covers in history. In 2005, the 40 greatest magazine covers of the last 40 years were unveiled at the 2005 American Magazine Conference (AMC) in Puerto Rico, by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) and AMC. Looking at the top 20 has shed some light on some of the most interesting color choices in the industry. Starting with number twenty, we'll take a trip back through the world of publication color.
#20 Blue (October 1997)
What happens when an eccentric architect has the soul of a painter? He drafts a technicolour blueprint and creates elaborate canvasses out of brick and mortar. Portmeirion, the celebrated Italianate village on the west coast of Wales, and famous location of the 60’s cult television series “The Prisoner,” was built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis as a retirement project.
If Rainbows Were Architecture
The fairy-tale hamlet he created (30 years before Disneyland) is like a three-dimensional picture postcard exhibiting an unparalleled array of colours. Portmeirion is often cited as an example of “picturesque architecture.” Picturesque simply means that something is proper to be pictured. In the picture that is Portmeirion, foreground and background are the real ground of a rainbow we can walk through.
Two years after the ruin of Hurricane Katrina, homes are coming back around. Even with reconstruction and lots of volunteer aid, something seemed missing among the new walls. The residents have seen nothing but the grey of collapsed homes and the brown of the flood waters and mud. For a city recognized for its abundance of life, the dreariness seemed unshakable.
That is -- until they brought in colour.
While some consider the 21st of September to be the first official day of fall, the 23rd is the day of the Autumnal Equinox, which either way means Autumn is upon us. Autumn is a time when the sun's angle changes, things become cooler, and all of those beautiful leaves earn a fiery glow before falling. The spectacle is so popular that people plan entire vacations around the possibility of seeing the fall foliage.
Where I live, the leaves are just beginning their change. Here, the most change comes in October, but we've had some early starters. Changing to red, orange, yellow, yellow-green, and even purple is all part of a process that allows the deciduous trees to survive even a harsh winter.
What makes leaves green is chlorophyll. During the growing season (chiefly summer), leaves are so dominated by the green of chlorophyll that all other pigments within the leaf are masked. When the cold sets in, and the sun withdraws, the trees begin a withdrawal process of their own. The sugars that are produced by chlorophyll are drawn back into the tree as this will be its sustenance, and the chlorophyll itself is reduced in number. A layer of cork forms between the branch and the leaf, which eventually will allow the leaf to fall. During the change from chlorophyll-abundance and chlorophyll-absence, colour change will occur.
For as long as all of us can remember, the US dollar has been synonymous with the color green. But as of 2004 the US government has been redesigning our paper money and adding splashes color. The new $5 bill was just introduced and might be considered the most colorful piece of US currency ever produced.
While the redesigned $10, $20 & $50 all have colorful designs the new $5 blends from purple to gray with shining yellow stars... not to mention the giant purple 5 on the back.
The New $5 Bill
Color: The most noticeable difference in the redesigned $5 bill is the addition of light purple in the center of the bill, which blends into gray near the edges. Small yellow "05"s are printed to the left of the portrait on the front of the bill and to the right of the Lincoln Memorial vignette on the back.
Called "pictures of the floating world," or Ukiyo-e, the main artistic genre of Japanese Woodblock printing first reached popularity during the second half of the 17th Century, and lasted into the 20th Century. Although initially challenged by limited colour, woodblock printing soon become a defining method of producing art. Capturing landscapes, theatre, and even more intimate scenes, Ukiyo-e captured hearts and tastes as well, as they could be inexpensively mass-produced. Traditional Japanese art usually relied on high contrast and a flattening of the dimensions in the piece.
For more on how the art is created: Diary of Carving Woodblocks
Perhaps most famously in this genre -- and still produced today -- is that of Katsushika Hokusai's work The Great Wave Off Kanagawa(above), part off his series One-hundred Views of Mt. Fuji, wherein Mt. Fuji is but a hill in the shadow of the tsunami. The wave seemed to reach out for the people desperately clinging to boats with claws, as if the size and arc weren't enough to suggest its ferocity. This piece, though one of the more popular ones, is marked as the one that is the least Japanese in technique of his works.
In the process of making food or drink, especially mass-produced by machine, the accuracy of the end product's can be a bit skewed. Because certain colors are associated with certain flavors, and vice versa, food coloring was introduced in acknowledgment to its correlation to perceived flavors. Coloring has also been added to mask color loss, aid food identification, and for decoration, as in cake icing. Food Coloring even existed in the times of early Rome, when saffron, carrots, pomegranates, grapes, mulberries, spinach, beets, parsley, and flowers were employed as dyeing agents.
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The festivities began outside the 59th Annual Emmy Awards Sunday night with the photographers, stylist and critics checking out who was wearing who and what styles were in... A hot trend this year was vibrant color. Vivid hues of Fuscia, Electric-Blue, Deep Navy, Canary Yellow, Royal Purple, Crimson... (Elegant whites were there too)
Kate Walsh & Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Minnie Driver & America Ferrera
Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Katherine Heigl & Christina Aguilera
Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Marcia Cross - Beautiful Natural Colors
I personally thought Marica Cross looked amazing. The turquoise accent color she wore in her earrings and bracelet really worked well with the rest of her natural palette. Her red hair looked gorgeous with her skin tone and the light colored dress worked well to let the natural elements shine. No spray tans or glitzy jewels needed here... just a beautiful woman well accented by light and natural colors.
For More Emmy Red Carpet Pictures:
s it preposterous to wonder whether letters of the alphabet have an inherent color? As I conduct ongoing research for One-Letter Words: A Dictionary, I can’t help but ask myself why it is that letters are so often described as having a rosy hue. Most readers will recall the infamous red “A” of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, but as Steven Heller pointed out, “The Scarlet Letter is not the only scarlet letter” (The Education of an Illustrator). Nor are scarlet letters solely brands of shame, sin, or doom. A “red letter day” is a holiday, or at least a memorable or happy day (the phrase likely dating from 1549, when Saint’s days were marked in red in the Book of Common Prayer). Can there be a natural wavelength that writers instinctively pick up on? Virginia Woolf’s eyes seemed keen enough to detect infrared all the way to Z: “After Q there are a number of letters the last of which is scarcely visible to mortal eyes, but glimmers red in the distance” (To the Lighthouse).
iblical allusions associate the color scarlet with sins of the body, and by coloring their letters red, authors seem to flesh them out and add a spark of life. Take, for example, this description by Brian Moynahan: “[W]hen I came to read [the psalms], they seemed written in letters of fire or of scarlet” (The Faith: A History of Christianity). Nathaniel Hawthorne also mentioned a burning quality to his scarlet letter: “[Placing it to my breast,] I experienced a sensation not altogether physical, yet almost so, as of burning heat; and as if the letter were not of red cloth, but red-hot iron” (The Scarlet Letter). Sparkling red letters can even burn the imagination: “In my head a scarlet letter blazed,” says Betty Fussell (My Kitchen Wars). Whether or not the context involves physical branding with a red-hot iron (examples would be rather too gruesome for inclusion here), blood imagery often figures in. As John Lawton wrote, “She rubbed the [handkerchief’s embroidered] scarlet letter between finger and thumb, felt the crispness of dried blood” (Bluffing Mr. Churchill). George C. Chesbro dramatically combines both blood and fire imagery in his depiction of an alphabet volcano “spewing what appeared to be incomplete, fractured sentences and clustered gobs of words that were half submerged in a river of blood red lava” (The Language of Cannibals). And consider this more serene example by poet Madeline Defrees, who seems to agree that scarlet letters are written by nature herself and in turn read by nature as well: “And who, / when scarlet letters / flutter in air from sumac and maple, / will be there to / receive them? Only a sigh / on the wind in the land of bending willow” (“Almanac,” Blue Dusk: New and Selected Poems, 1951-2001).
ost often, scarlet letters have a dazzling quality which you can’t help but notice. Here’s one example by Wilkie Collins: “[B]elow the small print appeared a perfect galaxy of fancifully shaped scarlet letters, which fascinated all eyes” (Hide and Seek). Groucho Marx recalled being fascinated by similar red letters: “In large, scarlet letters [the handbills] said, ‘Would you like to communicate with your loved ones even though they are no longer in the flesh?’” (Memoirs of a Mangy Lover). It is as if the letters of Groucho’s handbill had a rosy flesh of their own, and enough charge to bridge the gap between the living and the dead. Here’s another example of a dazzling red letter, by Ian Rankin: “There was a big letter X marking the spot [for a parachute jump]. It was made from two lengths of shiny red material, weighted down with stones” (Resurrection Men: An Inspector Rebus Novel). Michael McCollum sums up nicely the impact of scarlet letters: “The [comet collision] display froze, save for a single blinking word etched in scarlet letters: Impact!” (Thunderstrike!) Red letters have impact, alright!