Brand of Colors

Brand of Colors

A recent color consultation and analysis got me thinking…about why we choose the colors that we do.  Of course we can analyze, assess from various vantage points, provide argumentation to support our choices…but really, why do we just feel like some colors  and combinations of colors are just “right” for a particular purpose, venue or view?

I think it all comes down to how a color “makes us” feel.  What emotions, and sensory reactions we have when we gaze upon that part of the light color spectrum that is NOT absorbed by the surface we are looking at.

Take green, for example, specifically the fresh, bright hue of green the Client of my marketing colleague, (who had brought me in to analyze, assess and consult on her client’s color choice, and suggest a tandem hue) was drawn to.

Some of the associations with green include Life, Growth, Nature, Springtime, Immortality, Hope, and Resurrection. Not bad for a “secondary” color!

Green “sounds” soft to shrill, “feels” smooth to damp, “tastes” and “smells”  juicy, sour, or tangy, and

can be “cooler” or “warmer”, “heavier’ or “lighter” depending on the ratio of its components,  yellow to blue.  Energetically, green relates to the “Heart Chakra“,  representing love, sympathy and  harmony, and influencing the heart, and the thymus gland.

What might one put with green, a bright, fresh green, that wouldn’t contrast with it so greatly as to change its character?  Although green and its complement red (or even pink) are a dynamic duo, unless associations of Yuletide, India, or the tension of opposites are desired…another choice must be made.

Hmm…green and orange, green and purple or violet…still too dynamic…as both of these secondaries have red in them.  Yellow would be too similar to the Client’s chosen green in warmth and temperament, containing too much of light and bright and luminous and warm.  Yellow, I felt, would  compete with the green, and not provide the contrast necessary for visual interest.

The Client’s brandmark is a penguin…ah…images of sea and sky emerge.   I ‘saw’ a Teal Blue…that would contrast with the green as a hue darker in value, and provide a coolness that would more subtly offset the bright and warm green,

Blue and green both associate with Tranquility and Peace.  They both suggest aspects of nature.  Blue relates to the Larynx Chakra.  It stands for Religious inspiration as well as creativity, language, and communication, (the Larnyx is often referred to as the “voice box”!), and it influences the Thyroid gland.

Blue “sounds” distant, or soft, it “feels” smooth, it “tastes” and “smells” odorless or fresh, to salty.  It’s perceived “weight” tends to the heavier, and more solid, it’s “temperature, to the cool.  Blue ‘s associations include nobility, contemplation,  truth, spirituality, wisdom, dignity, trustworthiness, value, calm, security, poise, reserve, sea and sky.

We can imagine then, when we put blue and green together, that the effect will be refreshing, and  “natural”,  both warm and cool,  embodying the warm, harmonious heart of love, and the inspired, creative communication of  language, symbol, and of course, color!

If You would like to know who wrote the book on color consultation and design, please investigate the International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers, and the writings and teachings of Frank H. Mahnke.  There is a whole world of color exploration awaiting You out there…and within!

To hear more about color choices and analysis, the how and the why, tune into my Color Muze on  Artistically Speaking Talk Show with Rebecca E. Parsons.

Give it a try…turn YOUR senses on and rock Your world, with Color!

If You feel so inclined…let us know how You do it!

LA Stories I: La Couleur de Santa Monica

LA Stories I: La Couleur de Santa Monica

Having recently visited the “beach town” of Santa Monica, and about to go there again soon, I wanted to remark upon “la couleur” (or, the color!)  I found there, in an effort to discover, locate or identify some specificity: IE…qualities of color which seem. or feel to be specific to this local.  local color, if you will.

I wanted to share some of my findings…or, shall we say, “sightings”, traversing the highways and byways of S.M.

What does this unusual color combination remind You of?  Is it retro? So-Cal? LA? Simply Santa Monica? Beach-ie? I am not sure, but I like it, in fact, I love the fact that these colors, in this combination, on this architecture, exist right here, I mean, there, on the Third Street Promenade, right now.  It’s just, well, fun!  Somehow, to me, there is something surfer-ish about it.  The surfboard de Mondrian?

One of the wildest things I saw on this trip…a “DAD” dumpster. Why DAD? Why teal? DAD may stand for “Dump and Discard”, but who can see the letters “DAD”, and not think of…, Dad.   The white letters  on bright teal/blue-green associate with water, freshness, cleanliness and even purity (my personal take-), an interesting combination for a trash receptacle!  Fun fact,  “The Intercessors of the Lamb, a Roman Catholic lay ecclesiastical movement, wears as its habit a teal scapular, which symbolizes the community’s role as intercessors between heaven (blue) and earth (green).”  — Wikipedia

The 18th Street Coffeehouse…or, is it Cafe (maybe I will check on that when next I am there…) warms and welcomes  with wood, and red, associating with the heart. Needing a place to perch, and ease my walk-weary feets, the cozy, yet vibrant and light-filled  hangout, which I believe is on Broadway near 18th Street, filled me with gratitude, and some nice joe. Bustling with a continuous flow of patrons, no-one seemed to care how long I stayed, slowly sipping my coffee, munching on a bagel, and sorting out the inevitable tangle of maps, lists, brochures and cards which inform the act of travel.

Gradations of green, set off by the complementary red and analogous yellow crane caught my eye,  because one just doesn’t see buildings in this colorway and pattern every day…at least not in the Bay Area. The rather monumental scale, the graphic stripes, the dulled down spring green stripes…is it a LA phenom?  So-Cal? Or, specifically Santa Monica?

I don’t know what this place is…perhaps a preschool, or a daycare center, but I love the whimsy, boldness, and pure audacity  of its color, patterns, and shapes, to say nothing of the marvelous tree gate. Again, those repeating patterns, diamonds suspended by lines from the top of the wall this time, and that sense of being over-sized…big statement, strong combination, even though there are only two colors used, neither intensely bright. This sense of being “larger than life”…is it the influence of mythical Hollywood,  or again…simply Santa Monica?

Maybe I will find out…

Do YOU?  I am looking forward to my next trip “down”, and to sharing more “LA Stories” with You soon!

What do YOU love about the  “La Couleur de Santa Monica”?

If You so choose, please share about it with us here.  We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all coloring in the shapes of  this thing called Life, together.