1.21.2010

Stuck on Color

I've thought WAY too much about color today. I hoped writing about it would help "unstick" me (since writing does that for me), but I'll be honest: I've written enough about color today to fill a small book, and I'm still stuck. Stuck on which colors are "just right" for some of my new stationery designs.

So instead of a nice and neat blog post, here are snippets from the many different ones I tried to write today. Goodbye perfection, hello random!
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SOOTHING. I like blue. Lots of different shades of blue...especially the blues that remind me of Provence.
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TRENDY. Should I consult the Pantone Color Trend Report (the "go-to" resource for designers in every field)? The fashion one is fun, but the home+interiors one is worth a look, too. And in case you're wondering: Pantone's pick for "color of the year" is...turquoise!
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SECRET. When I'm working on new designs, I carry them around like newborn babies and stare at them while brushing my teeth, eating breakfast...I even drive them around town with me as if the colors were passengers who might speak to me! "Hi little pink and green...do you want to be purple and orange instead? Or just a lighter pink and brighter green?"
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WONDERING. Maybe I should just do what most stationery designers do: pick some good Pantone colors (instead of mixing and tweaking my own) and establish a color palette that I stick to all year. Here's a nice and tidy color chart from the well-loved stationery designer Dabney Lee:
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SEEING. When I was growing up, I never imagined I'd give so much thought to colors and how they go together. That's what real artists do...like my uber-talented sister. When we were young, I remember lying on a picnic blanket, staring up at the sky on a perfect blue-sky day. While I just admired the pretty day and saw things as they were, she stretched out her long arm, held her orange up high over her head and said, "Look at how pretty this orange is against the sky!" Huh? I didn't see things that way, but now I get it. Thanks, Holly. You inspire me.
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FINISHING. So here has been my greatest challenge this week: getting the colors "just right" for my new designs. This final step is particularly challenging/fun/important for "name only" designs like these:

The pink and green combo is a no-brainer. Pink and green always sells. The question is: which shade of pink and which shade of green? How vibrant (more fun)? How soft (more sweet)? I don't know if I've nailed it yet, but I'm close. And the blue and yellow...totally new for me. I'm reminded of spring flowers...or cornflower blue and buttercup yellow in the crayon box.
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This one's giving me trouble. Do I like the violet/periwinkle shade of purple with a soft coral-y orange...or do I like the lavender with tomato? Which one would you order?
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So why do I spend so many hours tweaking colors? Because your personalized stationery is an extension of you, and I want your stationery to reflect you beautifully. The colors and fonts set the tone before you even put pen to paper...which is why it's PERFECTLY normal and good to have several different sets on hand!
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So how about you, Dear Reader, what color combination are you liking right now?
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Don't forget to leave a thought, question or comment on the "Get Organized" post by Sunday, January 24th. I'm giving away 2010 desk calendars in these great colors (which, of course, I spent hours tweaking!).

4 comments:

  1. Stephanie CJanuary 21, 2010

    I love this blog! Seeing and thinking about the colors is like a wonderful coffee break for me as I work from home!

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  2. brilliant. simply brilliant. love the blue pallet

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  3. awwww! so funny you have that memory of the orange. i do too...
    btw, i LOVE the purple and coraly orange. i love color...as if my house, my clothes, my shoes, even my baby! aren't an indication of that!

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  4. It's no surprise to me you are thinking about color. You have been surrounded by it your entire life! In color is so much opportunity for self expression, and each of us expresses that self in unique ways.

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