Monday, October 31, 2011

Accent colors for the sky

When it comes to color, and most air-travel related things, Virgin is in a class all its own. When they first launched the Virgin America brand they came armed with seat-back entertainment including video games and seat-to-seat chat, onboard wifi, and my personal favorite, purple mood lighting. Can you see your self getting plane rage while surrounded by the spiritual hue of purple? 

Recently they seem to be stepping up their game. I came across this project by Access Agency/The Cool Hunters. They promote their services as a transformational creative agency. From their description for the  project:

 "It takes more than a few subtle changes to draw attention at international airports. As a brand that is fun, social, playful, and understands design, Virgin can take plane transformations further than most. We’ve created new bold designs for Virgin Atlantic planes to really get people’s attention. Imagine when suddenly overnight a limited number of planes will look completely different. Unlike any planes ever.

If you were sitting at Heathrow and saw one of these rolling by, you’d take a picture and post it for all of your connections to see. This is the “look at me” kind of cool and bold design in unexpected surroundings that people love to see and talk about. Have you spotted one of these? Did you fly in one? The design would stay on the planes only a limited time and then a new design would show up on other routes. This is the ideal set-up for a viral phenomenon."


So just for fun we thought we would try our hand at planes. Our picks for spicing up that beautiful blue sky?

- Emily Eifler, Associate Designer, Colour Studio

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pretty in Porange

Rihanna rockin it
Once upon a time, just recently actually, two colors formed a new team in the fashion world. Purple, our wise and royal hue, married warm and energetic orange to form Porange. The couple is now aspiring to the heights of other hybrid name duos Brangalina or Bennifer.

Hot color combo via Glamor
While slow moving in the beginning the trend seems now to be inescapable and will presumably infect all susceptible members of the population by late this year. 

But wait. As with all things in fashion, Porange is cyclical. This whole trend could just be be a Princess Diana revival movement. And why not? We could always use a little more of her grace and generosity. 
Princess Diana back in 1992
Or maybe its all an ingenious viral marketing ploy by Raw Color.  
A raw color hybrid hue
Why so popular?

We often think of complementary colors as those straight across (180 degrees) from each other on the color wheel. Purple and orange are what is referred to in color theory as compound colors, they are about 120 degrees (or 1/3rd of the way) away from each other on the color wheel. Different angle, same great synergy.

We here at Colour Studio would like to do our part to spread the Porange meme so here is this weeks color scheme: 

- Emily Eifler, Associate Designer, Colour Studio

Monday, October 17, 2011

Color me skeptical

Are you one of those people who like to take  personality quizzes like What Harry Potter Character are you and What dog breed are you? What about What hue are you?
Aquamarine, the March birthstone

In our studio we have five different color quizzes that claim to know you inside out. Actually "quizzes" may be a bit too low brow, they like to call themselves Color Systems. They come with headlines like "What Color is your Personality " and "Choose your colors, Change your life"

So I decided to take them all and then bare my soul to you all here, or at least the color of it.

Most of us are familiar with birthstones, mine is either jasper or aquamarine depending on the system you subscribe to. Colorstrology is similar but vastly more complicated. Michele Bernhardt's book Colorstrology assigns a special color and list of personality traits to each and every day of the year. For March 4th, my birthday, the color is "Reseda."

Reseda Alba, my birthday colors name sake via Flora Italiana
What does Reseda mean about my secret inner life? I am apparently spiritual, private and productive; frankly not the first three words I would use to describe myself. I flipped to a random page later in the year, July 7th, to be greeted by Persian Jewel, a pleasantly rich blue, and the description intelligent, seductive and sensitive. Frankly theirs not a bad day in the book. No one is ever grumpy, dull, or prone to addiction. Eye-roll

Color Energy
"Trust your body knows the color it needs, just as it craves orange juice when you need vitamin C"

This one is is part auras/part chakras. To give your self a "color reading" you lay 12 colored cards out in front of you, rub your hands together till they get warm, shut your eyes, hover your hand over the cards till there is a buzz like sensation then pull one card (if this doesn't work for you they encourage you to use a pendulum). Yes I did actually do all this sitting at my desk in our studio, luckily I was alone with my embarrassment. I pulling the yellow card.                        

Now comes the interpretive phase. Apparently the electromagnetic frequency of my third charka is exactly the same as this yellow card, which means my intellect is buzzing. Wait what does that mean exactly? Oh right, my yellow is too high or too low or needs a back rub. I am lost on this one. Can I do an eye-roll twice in one post?

The Dewey System
In the Dewey system we move from fairly random oriented systems to the seemingly more accurate use of personal preferences. The system can be boiled down into several steps of picking color cards, which ones you love, which ones you hate, and what they mean when they are combined. I ended up with a blue-purple-black palette. When combined,  these colors apparently mean others see me as a Pioneer but I see myself as a Thinker. Now if I am being honest I  like those results, they feel true, or at least I really want them to it be true.  But that is the point of these systems right? Make it you feel good about the results or demonstrate that you can use a non verbal medium, the stimulus of color to gain personal insight. I would need to see this one tested on lots more people before I became a believer.

The Luscher Test
Want to try one of these systems for yourself? Try out this online version of the Luscher Test, a well respected color psychology test. Developed by a Swiss physician in 1947 to aid in diagnosing  disease, the test was believed to offer insight into  treating the whole person.

My results? Apparently,  I am having difficulty making progress won't put out any effort, even though I just got a new job. I am egocentric and quick to take offense, which I immediately  think is  totally insulting but also must be true since I just wrote an entire post about my personality (does my sarcasm drip from those words or politely cling?).

We do not subscribe to each of these systems, some are more research based and some are just pop culture.  However there may be an underlying value to knowing how you respond to color in your environment, your clothes, your psyche.

- Emily Eifler, Associate Designer, Colour Studio

Monday, October 10, 2011

Painting the town red: La Tomatina

La Tomatina, Spain 

On the last Wednesday of every August in Buñol, Spain, thousands of people gather to celebrate La Tomatina (also known as the Tomato Festival). This tomato filled festival has maintained it's strong tradition annually since it originated in 1945. There is no certain theory on how or why this tradition began. Some people believe La Tomatina started from a food fight amongst friends in the small town while others believe an unhappy group attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration. Although many stories exist about the origin of La Tomatina, it is certain that for whatever reason the festival started, it was enjoyed so much it became an annual event of Buñol.

Each year La Tomatina attracts people from all over the world and the streets fill with rivers of thick red tomato pulp. A population of 9000 people, Buñol typically grows upwards of 40,000 during late August each year. The tomato craze takes place in the town's main square, Calle del Cid. At 11am, over 100 tons of ripe, juicy tomatos are rocketed into the streets and onto the crowds. For one hour, the thousands of people engage in a fun and frenzied tomato fight.

Although the festival began without religious significance, it is now held in honor of Buñol's patron saints, Louis Bertrand and Mare de Déu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless). Red has always been believed to be an attracting color, and through these few photos, we witness the intense passion of this celebration. 

Our favorite reds?

- Emily Eifler, Associate Designer, Colour Studio

Monday, October 3, 2011

Can color be a brand in itself?

Gold. It's part luxury credit card, part wedding ring, and part golden calf. Through out our history gold has been equated with godly purity and used to reward great human achievements. In the well known american economist Thorstien Veblen's book The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) he described gold as having a "high degree of sensuous beauty," leaving no flexibility for the eye of the beholder. In today's modern stock and commodity heavy economy, gold perpetually reasserts itself as the safe place for investment after any calamity, from 9/11 to the 2008 market crash.

Golds symbolism is still well utilized by todays upper crust. Here the Queen and the Dean of Westminster shake hands at the recent royal wedding, both in shining gold. 

So can this historical love affair with gold be usurped by another? Chase seems to think so. In their recent campaign Chase is challenging golds supremacy with a color commodity of their own: sapphire. 

In the new ads a car-factory style conveyer belt moves a line of products through to be spray painted gold: a tooth brush, a toaster, a pair of glasses, a vacuum; then comes the credit card. 

"If something is simply the color of gold is it really worth more? We don't think so.
Chase sapphire is a card of a different color."

This example of color as brad comes at a time when gold is being associated with seedy BUY GOLD NOW schemes like Gold Line. But will a momentary tarnish on golds reputation help fuel the fire of this campaign? We shall see.

- Emily Eifler, Associate Designer, Colour Studio