Monday, July 22, 2013

The in and outs of Color Blocking

Often when we are thinking about color in our daily lives it's from the visual perspective of seeing a brilliant turquoise on a passing strangers shirt, a particularly striking ad or a colorful architectural paint job. We get enticed by concentrated swathes of color and knowing this is very helpful when you are starting to work orchestrating  color.

Today we wanted to introduce you to one technique for manipulating color, whether it is using color for  fashion,  architecture,  interior or graphic design. Color blocking is exactly what it sounds like: a design technique thats group blocks of color together, and it is a great technique for designers to try out different color combinations while building their overall understanding of design and color choices.

For example,  imagine this building with an all white facade or even  an all purple facade. The building may still have been bold  and decidedly high contrast but nothing to write home about. Here the designer abandoned the notion of a solid color stretching across the entire exterior wall and instead broke up the monotonous volume with three tone color blocking giving the flat facade a multifaceted and color derived texture. 

Here what could have been a bold front elevation even in all white, the color blocking in a spectrum of colors, draws the eye from the top most panel in a near perfect sky blue through the spectrum of warm color finally to the fully transparent entryway. The flapjack stack design invites the viewer to get a closer look by concealing and revealing different color in layers. 

Color blocking is a simple system with eye-catching results primarily because much of our visual world is made up of squares, rectangles and right angles. Color blocking breaks up flat spaces and errant walls and helps incorporate rectilinear elements like counters and shelves in to the over all feel of a space. 

But while simple lines and rectangular blocks are color blocking's forte, it can,  if you are feeling adventurous, also add energy to previously dull or under used spaces. It all depends on the colors you choose, the size of the blocks and how you work those crucial juxtapositions in environment.

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