i caught up with Eric of 2Advanced Studios to ask him some color questions, and to find out the truth about 2A0000 ...
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CL: 2A has been at the top of the web design food chain for quite some time. the last version of your site (v4 prophecy) made a pretty significant color change; what were the discussions that went into the change? were you at all concerned with going a different direction when the all blue version of your site seemed like such a strong brand image for 2A?
Eric Jordan: For v4 (Prophecy), I wanted to come up will a color combination that I had never seen before on a website. The decision came to me one night after witnessing several arguments ensue on various forums about how we came to "own the color blue", because v3 was such a well known monochromatic-blue website. The argument seemed quite silly to me and I wanted to do something with the v4 color palette that was drastic, almost risky. How I came specifically to choose our wine/aqua scheme is another story, for another question?
CL: how much does color use come into your site designs? is it often dictated by the client, and if so how much leeway do you have?
Eric Jordan: Color is one of the most important factors in all of our designs. It affects the feel and tone of a website, just as it affects the feel and tone of a film. Movie directors will often colorize their films, using soft overlays of color to achieve a certain look. Giving a film a blue tint can make everything cooler, while tones of yellow produce a more warm effect. It is the same with web design, color always plays a huge role. I am strong believer in color psychology and the way that certain hues convey a particular mood or invoke a certain emotional response. The only time color is heavily dictated by a client is if they have an established brand that relies heavily on a certain palette. Additionally, some clients just hate certain colors in general and ask us to stay away from them.
CL: as a firm that has clients from different industries are you seeing any general color trends, industry specific color trends?
Eric Jordan: It's interesting because we do see small trends that tend to occur across certain industries. For instance, many of the sites we have done recently for the mortgage and/or the home-building industry tend to lean more toward the color green than anything else. Perhaps this is because darker shades of green are masculine, conservative, and imply wealth. Other industries we do design work for, such as the surf industry, lean more toward earth tones like soft beiges and baby blues (colors of the ocean and nature). So, yes we often encounter color trends in certain spaces.
CL: what is the story behind the dark red color used in the new version of your site? (#2A0000)
Eric Jordan: One evening, I poured myself a glass of wine, and sat down to play around with various color schemes I wanted to try with v4. I experimented for hours that evening with various palettes and color combos, but everything seemed all too familiar. Then, all of a sudden, I glanced at the glass of wine on my desk. That's it! And that was the moment that "v4 Wine" was born. So I had my base color. My next task was to come up with a color that fit well as an accent but not seem out of place with the deep wine color. I played around with a few squares of color on my desktop for around 20 minutes and eventually I took the wine-colored square and just inverted it. There was my accent color staring me in the face: "v4 Aqua". I had never really come across a site that used an effective maroon/teal color scheme before, and felt it worked quite nicely. I hoped it would somehow dispel the myth that 2advanced Studios is synonymous only with the color Blue. Granted, Blue will always be my favorite color, but that doesn't mean we can't change things up a bit now and then.
As to the wine color falling perfectly into the Hex value of #2A0000, well that was just pure coincidence - or perhaps it was written in the stars. We'll never know.
CL: if you had to define what color right now is the "in" color what would you say it is?
Eric Jordan: I would have to say yellows & oranges, or "hot colors" in general.
CL: right now what color is your favorite?
Eric Jordan: At the moment I am particularly fond of Cyan.
CL: what palette?
Eric Jordan: My favorite palette at the moment consists of combinations of Cyans and Greys.
CL: what colors do you loathe in sites / what is a color pet peeve for site designs?
Eric Jordan: As of late, I am very turned off by washed-out, minimalist color schemes that have little contrast. I particularly dislike combinations of ultra soft greens mixed with beige.
CL: what is a piece of advice you would like to offer to the other color lovers?
Eric Jordan: Research color, learn about it and train your eye to understand it. Color is very interesting if you know its subtleties and how to use them to your advantage.
CL: what is your favorite site that 2A has designed in regard to colors?
Eric Jordan: I would have to say Oneill.com, because it has such a diverse palette, but somehow manages to work really well.