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Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.

Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,279 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

Spring Pantone Color Trends: Fashion and Accessories

Spring Pantone Color Trends: Fashion and Accessories


Color has always been an important component of fashion whether it be a heather grey or crimson red. Each designer makes color choices that will be indicative of their aesthetic, season, and era. Lately, I've been seeing beautiful and rich color choices in the fashion and accessory world. It seems that everyone is becoming obsessed with Pantone gradations. Check out some of my favorite examples of some stunningly colorful products as well as Pantone's Spring color predictions.

Softbank Cell Phones
softbank pantone phones

SoftBank Cell Phones in glossy bright colors via Geeksugar

Kate Spade
KAte Spade Pantone bags

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Build Colorful Walls with North Tiles

Build Colorful Walls with North Tiles


Designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have come up with a colorful new way to create and divide any living space.

Using interconnecting foam and fabric blocks you can create and transform any space with a dramatically colorful wall. Choosing from more than 100 color options, your personal palate will only be limited by the physical space and your imagination.

And since the blocks are light and connect together easily, you can change up your space and color patterns recurrently.


About North Tiles

Originally conceived for our new Stockholm showroom by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, these textile walls are constructed with individual foam fabric tiles which connect together using an ingenious folding system.

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An Inconvenient Color: More Smog, Costing Millions

An Inconvenient Color: More Smog, Costing Millions


A simple color choice is costing us millions of dollars a year. It is estimated that over 60 percent of metropolitan areas are covered with heat absorbing black materials, and temperatures in cities average five degrees (Fahrenheit) hotter than in rural areas.

The science behind color reflectivity, or the energy crisis, may not be new, but we are finally fully understanding the impact of a color choice. With black shingles you get an incredible amount of heat absorption (On a 90 degree day a white roof will be 110 degrees and a black roof will be 190 degrees) which transfers to the temperature of the house, making it much more costly to cool.

These color choices could be costing us too much, and along with the list of other factors as to why you are choosing a particular color, energy use should be considered. But if you don't find having a white roof aesthetically appealing, don't worry, because researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division are working on roof shingles that can be made in multiple colors, but still reflect enough light to save on energy costs. Since a lot of the sun's energy comes in at the "near-infrared" side of the light spectrum, creating the reflective pigments needed won't effect the color.

These advances have the potential of a "net energy savings in the U.S. of more than $750 million per year" plus a reduction in smog (higher temperatures facilitate the necessary chemical reactions needed for the formation of smog; lower overall temperatures would mean less smog).

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Navigating by Color in Maps

Navigating by Color in Maps


The basic functionality of a map is based exclusively on the ability of the map to be correctly interpreted by, well, everyone, including people who might be from out of town, who don't speak the native language, and have, in fact, never actually been to a city before. It is also important that the map be clear, concise and properly relate to the geography of the area. And since it is easier to tell if something is red or blue, rather than a U or a V, using many pretty colors will make it much easier to use, and, well, pretty.

So where did all the color come from?

imgby KICK Map

The current color system depicted on official subway maps (for New York City) was proposed by R. Raleigh D'Adamo, a lawyer who entered a contest sponsored by the Transit Authority in 1964. D'Adamo proposed replacing a map that used only three colors (representing the three operating entities of the subway network) with a map that used a different color for each line.

"Fundamental to my idea," Mr. D'Adamo said,"was the extensive use of color coding to indicate the various subway lines, and abandoning the old tradition of using only three colors, one for each of the original three companies."

Hagstrom had made his first map of the New York subway in 1936 with the IND in red, IRT in blue, and the BMT lines in yellow (later changed to green).

At the time, the London Underground used eight colors to represent eight subway lines. Paris employed eight colors for fifteen lines. New York used only three colors for 34 lines.The inescapable conclusion, Mr. D'Adamo argued in his winning entry, was that "maps of New York subways are trying to make too few colors do too much work."
- How the Subway Map Got its Color

Latest MTA Redesign

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imgby KICK Map Lower Manhatten

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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.

casks_whisky.jpg
Photo by Markus Wichmann

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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

juice_colors.jpg

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

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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

colored_steak_fries.jpg

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

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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."

orange_cheese.jpg
Dairy
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.

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Cereal
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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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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Taking Chess Beyond Black and White

Taking Chess Beyond Black and White


There's an age-old debate in the Chess world over whether Black or White is the "superior" colour. Because White makes the first move, White wins an overwhelming percentage of the time. But what if both sides were Grandmasters? Would there still be a colour advantage, or would every game end in a stalemate? The Surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp found his own way to break free of this philosophical "gray area." In 1920, he invented a colour version of his favorite board game in an attempt to turn Chess into an artistic activity.

Duchamp's colour choices weren't arbitrary. Indeed, as Duchamp expert Francis Naumann points out, the colour of each piece served as a "continuous visual reminder of its movement and strategic power." Duchamp's two Rooks were light blue and dark blue. The Bishops were light and dark yellow. As the Queen is a combination of the Rook and Bishop (in terms of power and movement), she blended blue and yellow to form light and dark green. The Knights, sharing no characteristics with other chessmen, were light and dark red. Kings were white and black, and pawns were also white and black.

Naumann notes that Duchamp compared the black and white game of chess to a "pen and ink drawing," likening chess players to painters who created black and white artwork out of pre-existing forms. "Extending Duchamp's analogy," Naumann suggests, "we could then say that playing on the chromatic set would be the equivalent of drawing in color."

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Hot New Car Colors from the 2008 NAIAS

Hot New Car Colors from the 2008 NAIAS


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

white_audi_tt.jpg
img by ripismoney

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

red lexus roadster
img by TheWongFamilyPictures

orange_dodge-zeo.jpg
img by ripismoney

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Vinyl Toys: Invasion of the Color Snatchers

Vinyl Toys: Invasion of the Color Snatchers


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.

Vinyl Toys
img by delarge

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.

vinyl and plush toys
img 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.

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img by revlimit

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