Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,272 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!
We all know garishly loud colors when we see them. Typically in the range of red, orange, and yellow, loud colors are unwelcome in business attire, unless one's business happens to be the circus. And we all know quiet colors by their instant calming effect. The quiet range of blue, green, and violet is beloved by home designers. But what of silent colors? If they exist, would we find them in cloistered monasteries, or hushed libraries, or ruined castles?
The American ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson found a "sea of silent colors" when he tearfully witnessed the grandeur of the Grand Canyon for the first time. He reported a vivid array of silent reds, yellows, grays, and lavenders (Wild America, 1997).
The poet A. F. Moritz found silent colors within the curves of a white seashell. He described a "diminished spectrum" of "shades of milk" ("You, Whoever You Are," Early Poems, 1983). The naturalist Timothy Duane found "the silent colours of winter" blanketing the Sierra mountain chain (Shaping the Sierra, 2000).
When feminist activist Ginny Foat found herself incarcerated, she discovered silent grays, blacks, and greens in the steel and cinder blocks of her cell (Never Guilty, Never Free, 1985).
The COLOURlovers library offers a beautiful spectrum of silent colors.
When it comes to Pantone + COLOURlovers, you could say we both love color... but I think of them more as the parents from the 50s who live long happy lives together but sleep in separate beds... as we might be more of the free-lovin hippies of the 60s... not that there is anything wrong with that. All kidding aside Pantone does a pretty crazy job of allowing people to translate colors across industries. If you want the yellow of your website, to match the yellow of your car's paint to the yellow of your favorite yellow speedos... they've created color software and specifications to make sure you always get the perfect hue.
Thanks to Tina at SwissMiss I found a wonderful photo of leaves matches to their pantone colors and sought out to find more photos of people comparing colors in their real lives to their pantone cousins.
Chris Glass is a creative guy who takes lots of fun photos... one I particularly love is one he took back in Oct. that showcases the range of colors a single tree can produce as the seasons change.
"I’m obsessing over all the maples that are turning slowly this season–their tops red, fading to green. So much that I felt compelled to collect samples from a single tree."
Linked from Chris' page was a Pantone Matching Photoset with lots of fun office color finds.
As another year closes, many bloggers are creating their Best of 2007 lists. My top choice in color this year isn’t a specific hue, palette, or pattern. The most vibrant example of a color community I experienced in 2007 was the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
The photo above is of The Flaming Lips’ midnight-performance on Saturday of Bonnaroo, where super-heroes passed out piercing, red lazer-pointers to nearly 10,000 eager fans. The crowd was sea of bizarre costumes, balloons, bodies, and sweeping alien-blue lights, all crossed and marked by thousands of brilliant red lines. On stage, the equipment was painted bright orange, with outlines of yellow. A gang of fuzzy, red suit Santas cheered on the right, while on the left a group of green-headed aliens kicked and danced from the bottom of their white, feminine stockings to the top of their short, purple skirts.
Although Bonnaroo has gotten too crowded, too publicized, too expensive, and unfortunately branded as a drug playground, the festival still beckons some of America’s youngest artists to celebrate the power of music.
Nestled in the Tennessee hills, Bonnaroo doesn’t give artists a chance to present their work, especially now that RV campers are excluded from the regular campers, as much as it gathers artists to remind them that there are thousands of like-minded individuals scattered all over the greater midwest, and even the world.
Intense moments in life can bring tears of both joy and pain. There can also be tears of something that transcends bodily feelings and emotions. These are tears of realization, when a union of some sort transforms into communion, or a passion transforms into compassion. "Bliss" might be the best word for this tearful state of being, though words are too limited. One way to inspire such tears is to look deeply into someone's eyes and to hold the gaze.
A friend once shared the insight that teardrops are prisms, reflecting and refracting angles and colors of life that can't be seen with dry eyes. Mozambique author Mia Couto suggests that tearful eyes are liquid conduits to the world of the unconscious, and that through the prism of a teardrop you can see visions of things not as you wish they were but as they really are. It's as if teardrops dissolve away one's defensive walls to reveal the archetypes dwelling in the background, the mythology taking place beneath the surface of the workaday world.
Throughout the ages, the joys, pains, and revelations of life have invited artists to gaze through teardrop prisms and to share their visions. Following is a small sampling of teardrop-inspired color palettes from the COLOURlovers library.
The first color wheel (a.k.a. color circle) has been traced back to Sir Isaac Newton, who in 1706 arranged red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet into a natural progression on a rotating disk. As the disk spins, the colors blur together so rapidly that the human eye sees white. Artists have been experimenting with colour wheels ever since, finding inspiration in everything from cocktail umbrellas, river rocks, autumn leaves, pencil shavings, to juggling.
The Happy Hour color wheel consists of exotic cocktail umbrellas. It was created by Bright Lights Little City:
The Rocks color wheel is a collection of stones from Salmon River, Idaho. It was assembled by Purl Bee:
This Yarn Skeinlet color wheel features dyes made of cochineal (ground up cactus-eating scale insects), osage orange, chamomile, indigo and logwood. It was created by Sarah of the Blue Garter blog:
The Circle of Life color wheel was created by Thalandor as a tribute to the artist Mother Nature:
This Kusudama (Medicine Ball) color wheel was created by Origami artist Vanessa Gould:
The Pencil Shavings color wheel was photographed by Myruby:
And a full pencil color wheel was taken by ERK_
This Garden Blossom color wheel is the work of Tiny Haus:
The Juggler color wheel was painted by Kenneth Callicutt:
The Chalk color wheel was photographed near Parc De La Villette, Paris, by Jacobz:
Another chalk color wheel was spotted in Paris by seanhabig:
Cover by Claire L. Evans.
About the Guest Author, Craig Conley
Craig 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
Chronic pain has its own devastating side effects, even in the absence of medication. Sufferers of migraine headaches sometimes report a phenomenon that amounts to color-blindness. Jeff of the Omegaword blog explains that chronic pain has a peculiar way of removing color from the world. He poetically describes his experience of a reality in which all color has been erased by bursts of red:
"Red has never been my favorite color. Bolts of hot pain sear the world, leaving me colorblind but for the shards that stay behind — jagged red reminders of pain past, and pain yet to come. Through the window, beyond the mute interplay of light and shadow on a white kitchen wall, bare branches against a pale sky remind me that it's all in my head. What color are light waves, anyway?"
A new study of synesthesia confirms Jeff's observation that the colour of the world is all in one's head. Cretian van Campen, author of The Hidden Sense: Synesthesia in Art and Science (2007), explains: "A mysterious aspect of color is that it is created in the brain and seen to exist in the physical environment. But the physical environment contains only light waves and is in fact colorless. The colors are inside our brains, not outside."
Color palettes sometimes testify to hues that have been displaced or erased by profound circumstances. For example, COLOURlover Codename Gimmick envisions the frosty onset of winter as a time when "frequencies from red to yellow have been silenced." His "Frost-Over" palette celebrates red and yellow through their striking absence.
To paraphrase a classic riddle, which weighs more: a pound of yellow feathers or a pound of red lead? Color may be a weighty subject, but the spectrum can't be gaged in terms of tonnage. The Swiss painter Paul Klee observed that colour can be "neither weighed nor measured. Neither with scales nor with ruler can any difference be detected between two surfaces, one a pure yellow and the other a pure red, of similar area and similar brilliance. And yet, an essential difference remains, which we, in words, label yellow and red" (On Modern Art, 1948). Klee was right—even though colors don't technically have weight, they can appear quite heavy and substantial or extraordinarily light and vaporous.
Other COLOURlovers have attempted to classify weightless colors and palettes:
Our friends over at Coudal Partners pointed us to a Live Layer Tennis match in progress... This one is not only colorful and fun.. the creative forces are battling with flash. All matches take place on Fridays, live at 2pm Chicago time or GMT-6, Pop over and take a peek.
Welcome to Layer Tennis’ first foray into the fourth dimension.
Considering the constraints of most modern browsers, we had to skip the third dimension (depth), so the fourth will have to do. Time has always been an essential element of the game, the competitors (and commentators) face a cruel 15-minute deadline, and — hear me when I say — those seconds tick away much faster at LT HQ than they do in your office, as you kill the waning hours of your work week.
This week, however, temporal space will actually tear through our 900x280-pixel battlefield, as renowned illustrators Trevor Van Meter and James Hutchinson face off in Adobe Flash. I pity their poor souls; if designing/illustrating/typesetting a volley isn't enough to do in a quarter-hour, they must find time to animate the volley as well. While this added challenge is likely to simplify the actual graphic content of the match (fine by me, I'm a bit of a minimalist), we're likely to see some great storytelling, as both competitors excel in that area, and each has an arsenal of ready-made characters that would make old Walt D. blush. (As I write this, I'm getting word that James, at least, is creating a new set of characters just for the match).
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.
Our autumn walks were delightful . . . and the trees took a colouring which in richness, brilliance, and variety, exceeded all description. I think it is the maple, or sugar- tree, that first sprinkles the forest with rich ; the beech follows, with all its harmony of tints, from pale up to brightest . The dog- wood gives almost the colour of the mulberry; the chestnut softens all with its frequent mass of delicate , and the sturdy oak carries its deep into the very lap of winter.—Frances Trollope (1780–1863), describing the woods of Ohio in Domestic Manners of the Americans, quoted in The Virago Book of Women Travellers, edited by Mary Morris with Larry O’Connor, 1994.
There is little that needs to be said about colour. Employ all the colours on your palette — but if you should undertake to paint Berlin, be sure simply to use and , just a little and , and plenty of deep .”—Ludwig Meidner, Instructions for Painting Pictures of the Metropolis, 1914.
And the two men laughed in each other’s sea- , land- eyes.—Carl Sandburg, The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, 1970.
With and I have tried to render the terrible passions of humanity. The room is blood and mat , a billiard table in the middle, four lemon- lamps with an and glow. Everywhere it is a clash and contrast of the most disparate and . . . . For instance, the blood- and the - of the billiard table contrast with the tiny bit of soft Louis XV of the counter, on which there is a bouquet.—Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), from a letter to his brother Theo; 8 September 1888. Reprinted in Art in Theory, 1815–1900, edited by Charles Harrison, 1998. quote>About 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
Shrouded in mystery, ghostly apparitions materialize in many subtly haunting colors. Besides deathly white, the specrtral spectrum embraces ethereal violets, cadaverous yellows, twilit blues, midnight blacks, moonlit silvers, and near-transparent yet unmistakable hues spanning the entire night rainbow. The delicate, insubstantial hues of the ghostly realm can add an emotive dimension of wistfulness to any palette, Halloween-themed or otherwise.
Strange white lustres and shadowy blacks are integral to the philosophy of art teacher John Ruskin. He explains: "When white is well managed, it ought to be strangely delicious,—tender as well as bright,—like inlaid mother of pearl, or white roses washed in milk. The eye ought to seek it for rest, brilliant though it may be; and to feel it as a space of strange, heavely paleness in the midst of the flushing of the colours. This effect you can only reach by general depth of middle tint, by absolutely refusing to allow any white to exist except where you need it, and by keeping the white itself subdued by grey, except at a few points of chief lustre.