Let’s Talk Color

OK – LET”S HAVE SOME FUN WITH COLOR!  Here is the great news;  it is the best way to create impact, atmosphere, and yes even function.  It is also the most cost effective way but it does require some thoughtful planning.

So let’s loose the fear and invoke imagination.  First thing to think about, with any space, is what will happen in that space, who will be utilizing it, what effect is desired by those who observe it and what function will be done in the space.   Be cautions and respect the rules. There is a lot to think about but here are just a few tips to get you headed in the proper direction..

So remember the following;

When colors interact they can come out looking different than you might expect. So always be sure to use large samples and lay them out together with all the finishes.

Also lighting,, scale, and amounts used all come into play.  Try to lay your samples out in a space that will have the same lighting source (ex; LED, fluorescent, incandescent, etc.)

Think about the size of the space and the desired outcome, large space, small space, cozy, invigorating, relaxing, etc.
Cool colors calm people down, warm colors stimulate people, red can cause one to be impulsive. Ever wonder why you just quickly pick things up at the checkout at convenience stores. Because it designed that way.

Small spaces will be made to feel smaller with intense or dark colors.  Contrast or designs that break the space up will also make it feel smaller.

Color on the ceiling will make the ceiling feel lower.  Not always a bad idea, hence a jazz club may feel cozier with a dark ceiling.  Notice that you never see dark ceilings on airplanes.

Of course the structure and architecture will dictate a lot as well.

Did you know that highly educated people prefer tertiary colors, which is the mixing of secondary colors. Children’s areas are typically designed with primary colors, these are colors that cannot be formed by the mixing of any other colors such as red, yellow, and blue. Keeps things simple for less developed brains. Equal amounts of red, yellow, and blue make black. However, by varying the amounts of primary colors virtually every other color can be produced. Just to touch on secondary colors here is an example; red and blue create purple. Hence the mixing of two colors.

Ok, so here are just a few more helpful hints to help you think about color and communicate effectively:

  • Sepia – a brownish color found in ancient times originally created from the ink of a cuttlefish.
  • Simultaneous contrast – the influence of two adjacent colors, causing an enhancement or reduction of saturation in the colors, it is a visual phenomenon.
  • Shade – adding black to a pure color.
  • Tint – modify a hue (pure color) by adding white
  • Tone – a pure color that has been modified by black or white, sometimes referred to as a hue. Today many use the word to describe a tint. Example; blue with a tone of green.

Speaking of color, meet the official Pantone Color of the Year 2012: PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango: