I would love to go to lunch with artist Arthur Buxton as he looks at colour in a truly fascinating way (you may remember my post about his Van Gogh pie graphs.) His newest piece focuses on British Vogue magazine covers from 2001 to 2011. In reverse chronological order, from left to right, each block is a separate cover. Within each block, the strips of color that vary in width, represent the five most common colors proportionally found within that specific issue. The larger bands represent the years, starting in May and moving backwards. (If you’re like me, you will need to read those instructions a couple of times!) While there is the expected influence of skintones, it is interesting to see how similar the colours stay across soft tones, pinks and some fall hues. Even though a variety of colours became popular in each of those years, the covers don’t really deviate from a feminine palette. Other than two issues of blue, there is very little from the yellow, green, blue or purple colour families. I would love to see Arthur use this method in different eras. I imagine the 1960′s are full of vibrant powdery hues, the 1970′s are a blend of warm tones and the 1980′s are bursting with colour and neon. A really fascinating commentary on what colours are used to sell magazines.
If you have ever wanted to dress like a colour swatch, these ombre tights from kron by kronkron are perfect for you! I am dazzled by how perfectly the colours blend from hue to hue. (available at kronkron and the olive shoppe)
I love Sydney Albertini’s Abstract Collection. The organic, almost watercolour shapes are gorgeous works of ceramic art. From plates to bowls to cake stands and with dozens of hue options, there are endless colour combinations possible to insure your dining pieces are truly custom! I can only imagine the beautiful results when the colours of your dinner mix with these vibrant ceramic hues. (Also, after visiting Sydney’s website, I fell in love with her colour swatches! Only a few of the many hues are shown above.)
I find it almost impossible to resist creative office supplies so if I spot these colourful Pie Graph Post-It Notes by Millimeter Milligram in a Vancouver store, they are definitely coming home with me! I love how there are an assortment of graph styles so you can pick the right pie percentages to represent your work tasks, your meals or your daily priorities. I can’t be sure of their organizational effectiveness but the colours can only make your desk a happier place…
I am fascinated by this re-imagining of a Louis XVI period console by Australian designer Adam Goodrum. Rather than classic mahogany and traditional details, Goodrum used lacquered steel rods in different colours as table legs and allowed them to pop through the sleek white console top. The resulting dots are meant to reflect a carousel of childhood but I can’t help thinking of a whimsical colour wheel. A fantastic modern interpretation that perfectly marries sleek with playful design. I am in love with those table legs and resulting colour dot details!
(thanks mélanie for the inspiration!)
New York-based artist Tattfoo Tan created the Nature Matching System, a Pantone-like set of colours that highlight the hues that should be part of your daily nutrition. Extracting the colours of 88 fruits and vegetables, Tattfoo has applied his healthy food swatches to placemats, colouring books and public art pieces. The images above are of a striking mural Tattfoo created in DUMBO, Brooklyn in 2008. I love that Tattfoo’s swatches not only create an attractive colour scheme but bring attention to healthy food choices. For the Brooklyn mural, Tattfoo had children paint each square of colour which undoubtedly sparked fruit and vegetable interest. There are plans to create another mural on the grounds of a Brooklyn school – a brilliant idea and foil to the endless junk food advertisements that children see. The intense colours of fruits and vegetables highlight their naturally occuring phytochemicals and valuable nutrients and I love that Tattfoo’s swatches not only create an attractive palette but inspire healthy, colourful eating. As Tattfoo says, “it’s the idea that colour plays such an important role in nutrition.” I say we throw out the food pyramid and just eat according to colour palette!
(thanks Elisabeth for the inspiration!)
I am a big fan of Canadian designer Avril Loreti and her home decor and accessory creations. From moustache handkerchiefs to lobster bibs, I just love that her pieces always combine true design talent with clever ideas and wit. On one of my many visits to her Etsy page, I discovered Avril’s new product – Paint Chip Placemats. Designed to look like one my favourite items, the placemats are available in six colour ranges, are a linen/cotton blend and feature fun colour names in French and English. Yet another fantastic design from Avril that would make the perfect gift for any colour lover. I also think they would make a perfect housewarming gift as paint colours are an inevitable dinner conversation topic!
Many films have a specific colour palette that creates a mood, highlights change in time or viewpoint and overall, creates a creative vision for how the story plays out. My new fascination is a blog called movie barcode that takes every frame of a film, compresses it into a sliver of colour and puts them next to each other. The result? A movie barcode. It is quite incredible how these barcodes capture the colours that dominate a film. From the examples above you can see the gritty brown of Pulp Fiction, the bright colours of animated films Alice in Wonderland and Bambi, the blue hues of ocean-focused Jaws, the dominating green of The Matrix and the teal opulence of The King’s Speech. It is amazing that one can follow the plot through the shifts in colour. I can’t wait to see what film movie barcode captures next!
I am always intrigued by Pantone’s Colour of the Year selections. They are almost always great indicators of colour trends ahead. Pantone’s ‘Blue Iris’ in 2008 was an insanely popular colour. I remember sitting in a meeting with seven other people wearing that exact hue! It wasn’t until I saw this image of the last 10 years worth of colour choices together that I realized how many have been similar. The shades selected for 2003, 2005 and 2010 are very alike but understandably so considering the popularity of turquoise-based colours. Pantone’s Colour of 2011, Honeysuckle, is a major departure from what has been selected in the past. It is a bold choice given some people’s automatic feelings about pink-based colours. However it is undeniably captivating and uplifting and I really love its tropical warmth. Hopefully Pantone keeps up the unique, inspiring and outside the box colour selections! (p.s. love this chart made by Pantone. It is interesting to read a little bit about the thoughts behind each choice.)
Over the last couple of years I have come across quite a few photos of chalk and graffiti colour wheels in various parts of Paris. I love the idea of such a bright, design-focused wheel popping up among the streets of the City of Light. The manhole covers are fantastic! I have tried researching their origin and/or if they are still being created but there appears to be almost no information anywhere The only specific spot I know one of these happy features was placed is Parc de la Villette. Maybe some Paris dwellers/experts are reading and can shed some light? In any case, the colour wheels bring joy and life to plain grey concrete so perhaps that is all the information needed?
Call me a nerd but these CB2 digi pop bed linens are pretty fantastic. I have a feeling they would inspire some colourful dreams. (p.s. fellow designers, they look like Illustrator swatch palettes don’t you think?)
Breaking colour news! Pantone released their Fall 2011 Fashion Colour Report today. Twice a year, to complement the start of New York Fashion Week, Pantone releases the colours that will dominate that particular season. I have found it to be very accurate in predicting colour trends across fashion and all areas of design. Honeysuckle, a coral-pink that is Pantone’s Colour of 2011, makes an appearance in this list. Although an unorthodox Autumn hue, I think it will look incredible against the warm colours of Fall leaves.
A description of the palette inspiration from Pantone: “taking cues from the great masters, sepia tones of old Hollywood, Chinese opera, cityscapes and countryside, designers are paying close attention to texture, contrast and color for fall 2011 — pairing menswear with feminine twists, warm prints with cool metals, incorporating both old and new influences, and creating an intriguing balance between colors.