Colour Observation #010

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Analogous Colour Scheme

Colour Observation #009

Discord Pair of Light-Blue & Dark-Green

Colour Observation #008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Japanese Yukata and Kimono are fantastic examples of very interesting colour schemes and patterns. There are just endless examples to be found that are nearly mesmerizing one you start to look through them all. I should first tell you what the difference is between a Yukata and Kimono. A Kimono is like an elaborate ball gown that takes hours to put on, not to mention additional time for hair, make-up, etc. Whereas, a Yukata is more like a dress. Men wear them too, but are not usually ornate, but black or brown -- basically the opposite of the female ones. Just like a tuxedo.

Here are two identical patterns with two different colour schemes.

Colour Observation #007

Split Comp. Colour Scheme

A complimentary colour would be colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. Red-Green, Orange Blue, etc. I created this images using split complementary colours. That is, tertiary colours from either side of the complementary colour. I used Blue-Violet, Red Violet, and Yellow for this colour scheme. The BV and RV are in the flower petals, Yellow in the stem and leaves, and put a background a little more on the violet side.

Colour Observation #006

Comp. Colour Scheme

A complimentary colour would be colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. Red-Green, Orange Blue, etc. I created this images using the complementary colours Yellow & Violet. The effect being that the colours just seem to 'pop-out' at you in their stark contrast. Pretty much the same way Black & White stand out against each other.

Colour Observation #005

Saturday, February 16, 2008

In class we sat around in groups and went over the basic colours and how we associate them in our daily lives. We tried to think of what immediately comes to mind when a certain colour is mentioned or when looking at a colour on the colour-chart. We found that is was pretty easy to associate colours with certain corporate logos, products, or companies, and that many of us in our separate groups came up with the same thing.

Yet, when it came to associating these: sound/music, shape/form, scent/aroma, emotion/feeling, texture/material with colour, we had a lot of trouble. Our group pretty much drew a blank at this. We could force ourselves to think of stereotypes, but that was all. What we found much easier was to group colours together. We felt that the more the colours moved towards reds, oranges, and yellow the more we thought of sunny days, tropical weather, fruit, summertime, party, relaxed, community, less serious. Whereas, the more green, blue, or violet colours made us think more of the north, cooler weather, but also more corporate, more serious, financial, etc.

We all live in the north, therefore we can assume that these feelings are due to the winters being generally dark, with lots of greys, and very subdued colours due to weather. People generally choose darker colours to wear in the winter so as to not stand out so much against our daily backdrop. Tourists often head off to Hawaii, buy some very bright clothes while there, and they feel the clothes look great. But, then they come back to this part of the world, they find that their vacation clothes just would look perhaps -- too bright... to far removed, and thus silly looking, unless worn during mid summer.

Colour Observation #004

Pink is for girls - Blue is for boys

At least in the West it is.

I remember my grandparents telling me that it used to be the other way around some time ago. I imagined that it must have been like that perhaps in the 1700s or 1800s, but apparently, it didn't reverse until after World War Two. Many others have a lot to say about the topic, so I will add no new words here and submit some quotes:

“At one point pink was considered more of a boy’s colour, (as a watered-down red, which is a fierce colour) and blue was more for girls. The associate of pink with bold, dramatic red clearly affected its use for boys. An American newspaper in 1914 advised mothers, “If you like the colour note on the little one’s garments, use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention.” [The Sunday Sentinal, March 29, 1914.]

“There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger colour is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” [Ladies Home Journal, June, 1918]

According to Jo B. Paoletti and Carol Kregloh, “The Children’s Department,” in Claudia Brush Kidwell and Valerie Steele, ed., Men and Women: Dressing the Part, (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989). - In the United States: “The current pink for girls and blue for boys wasn’t uniform until the 1950’s.1

So, are there male/female boy/girls colours in other cultures around the world?

Colour Observation #003

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What's greener than green?

Brown of course.

Pangea Organics, with the help of IDEO for their brand identity and Natural Rx Brokers for their retail positioning, has turned out to be quite a success story. Pangea Organics had sales of $3 million in 2005 1 with projected sales of $2.7 million in 2007 2 (it's first year of profitability 3). Joshua Onysko, who started the company in 2002 at age of 24, operates out of a wind powered 10,000 sq foot factory overlooking the mountains in Boulder, Colorado and is the largest organic products factory in the country.

Interestingly, the company has hired a National Educator who flies city-to-city, holding sampling parties with organic cheese and wine.4 A real grassroots style meet-the-people marketing method. Even more interesting is their new zero-waste packaging that is made from t
ree-free (or 100% post consumer paper) plantable molded-fibre packaging that has live organic seeds within. That is, you can take your fully biodegradable package, bury it in the ground and have yourself a crop. This form of packaging is quickly being copied by others, "We're open-source, so we give the information to everyone that calls us and asks us."5

Regarding colour: when was the last time you saw a brand colour that was based upon brown (besides chocolate)? The only company that comes immediately to mind is UPS. In this case, I find it very interesting since the main key word for the entire natural/eco/organic industry is GREEN. In my daily life the only brown product on my shelves is a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide.

I remember from my childhood, which was not too long ago, most medical products came in glass bottles, jars, etc. Quickly it was all replaced by (toxic) plastic including such things as syringes, IV bottles, and also peroxide bottles. Peroxide bottles that I knew were made of amber glass and lightly pressurized with a small metal spring lever on top that allowed you to spray it on a wound. I think that Pangea is also using this same amber-bottle-look to make the connection with the medical-health industry, as one of the targets of the company is pharmacies along with health-food stores and the like.

Colour Observation #002

Monday, February 4, 2008

I find the whole marketing scheme of ING Direct to be very interesting. The whole basis of their marketing is based upon three colours: orange, purple, and white. Personally, I find it to be very visually appealing; at least the marketing directed to the Canadian audience of which I am apart; seems a different approach is taken depending on the country in question. I have noticed that an orange square is often used in Canadian marketing by ING Direct, while an orange circle or ball is used in the U.S.A.. The circle/ball approach really does not appeal to me whatsoever, and neither does the ING Direct U.S.A. website.

Every aspect of ING Direct including the website, statements, newsletters, posters, staff uniforms, to their ING Direct Cafe's all continue this colour scheme without fail. I think it really brings it all together and really does help in their attempt to be an 'unbank'. The colours are simple, clean looking, and no other bank uses such colours. Typically banks gravitate towards darker, more 'serious' colours.
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