Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: May 21st, 2017 | 1st Posted: May 21, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Designer Spotlight
Movie Spectrums, by Dillon Baker, is a fascinating, and beautifully surreal, study of colour choices used in films.
Specifically, each vertical line represents the average colour of a frame within each movie, which are then stuck together to create this amazing colour movie palette.
There are a handful of enlarged spectrums below, as well as a screenshot showing thumbnails of the spectrum catalog.
Also, right at the end of this post, you can find out how to buy these as: large canvas prints, framed prints, and even mugs.
Movie Spectrums: Sequential Timelines of a Movies Color Palette
Aladdin Colour Spectrum
The Grand Budapest Hotel Colour Spectrum
Finding Nemo Colour Spectrum
Wall-E Colour Spectrum
Dillon Baker: "This is a personal project of mine aimed at visualizing color choices in films.
I created a Java-based Processing program that takes each frame of a given movie and compresses its average color into a single vertical line, creating a timeline of the spectrum of colors used throughout each movie"
Framed and Canvas Prints by Dillon Baker
Not only are these just cool to look at on screen, wait till you see the various canvas prints, and other forms of real-life applications of these works of art.
I could so easily get a few of these on canvas for my studio, they look stunning.
Found via https://www.reddit.com
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: June 6th, 2017 | 1st Posted: April 24, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Guest Post, Tips & Advice
There are plenty of articles discussing the 2017 colour trends for graphic design: here are Top 6 Tips to help you work with these 2017 colour trends.
These articles detail the heavy, saturated tones that we can expect to see more of this year, but how do we practically incorporate them into our work?
For some brands and clients, these kinds of tones need to be applied subtly, in accents and final touches, whereas for others they may actually benefit from the full injection of colour and life.
From “Primrose Yellow” and “Flame” to “Kale” and “Lapis Blue”, none of these colours intrinsically sit easily together. They clash, powerfully, in a was that seems discordant but can still work given the right canvas and artistic treatment.
The clash of bright and earthy tones is supposed to be representative of the colours that surround us in nature, however they can be troublesome for brands to work with.
With the help of trade printing company QuinnsThePrinters we bring you the Top 6: Do's and Do Not's, of using the 2017 colour palette, taking into account the brand, tone and desires of each client.
2017 Colour Trends in Graphic Design - 6 Top Tips
Do introduce colour sparingly
Colour is one of the most profound elements of branding because it triggers an emotional response and triggers memory, specifically the recall of brands. That usually requires a strong sense of consistency within the designs.
But of course, to keep them fresh and up-to-date, it can be helpful to incorporate some of the hues that consumers will be seeing around them from fashion to interiors. a
This will resonate and strengthen their affiliation to the new designs they see.
Do utilise the meaning behind the colour
Pantone’s overall 2017 colour of the year is “Greenery.” It is supposed to symbols nature, new beginnings and reflects that growing sense in society of a need to reconnect with nature.
PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery
Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.
It’s a fresh yellow-green shade which gives consumers a sense of being reinvigorated. This can work really well for new brands who want to present a fresh take on their space in the market.
The Kale tones are explicitly good choices for any clients related to healthy living, diet and food - particularly organics - lifestyle balance, vitality and youth and a focus on the environment or simply enjoying the outdoors.
But even as an accent or add-on colour, Greenery can work within a brand’s existing design to highlight environmental efforts in the responsibility and transparency side of operations.
In photography too, a greater emphasis on natural shades and outdoor scenes would be a subtle way to incorporate this theme.
Don’t clash brand tone with palette emotion
Similarly with the other palettes, there are distinct moods and emotions elicited from each that will only work if it sits emotively alongside the client’s brand tone.
The “daydreaming” palette is light and serene, whereas “acquired taste” is subtle and luxurious. The “reminisence” palette is good for eliciting nostalgia whereas “florabundant” brings drama.
Also take note of the abundance of earthy tones such as terracotta and browns. These may not work with sleek brands, minimalist products or modern services for example.
Do accent; don’t conflict
Trying to use all of the colours together could lead to a real conflict of attention and an unwelcome response from confused or visually overwhelmed consumers.
However it’s worth bearing in mind that alongside these bold colour palettes, the prediction for neutral tone popularity sits alongside that. Rather than contrasting, using both together is the key to balance in graphic design this year.
Powerful colours paired with the blacks, greys and camel hues creates depth and juxtaposition that both seeks attention and also maintains the eye to fully convey the message.
Don’t force through it; find a way around it
If the colours themselves really will not work with the brand brief or the client’s own preferences, then there’s no point trying to crowbar it in.
There are workarounds to bring the same “nature” effect into the graphic design. Solutions include the use of actual greenery - such as scenery or vivid close-up photography that includes the tones.
Similarly, the use of leafy typography or designs the bend and sprout in the way foliage in nature would, or to use natural wood effects as a background rather than an object is another workaround.
Keeping the bright tones to accents only and more fully incorporating the neutral tones of beiges, nude and camel can work well with only too.
Do match the colour trends to the design trends
Colour and design should work effortlessly together to convey and inherent message within the branding product.
However clients may come with a specific graphic design theme in mind, leaving it to you to pair it suitably with the right colour palettes.
So we bear in mind that certain design trends of 2017 will work better alongside particular tones within the new palettes.
Modern retro is remaining strong in design popularity and it works well with the clashing hues of deep and bright duotone colours on the charts.
Think khaki, or olive green, alongside brick red.
Minimalism too remains a common theme and is ideally suited the stark contrast of the bright or monochrome backdrops with neutrals.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: September 14th, 2016 | 1st Posted: December 3, 2015
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Brand Identity, Design Essentials, Resources
BrandColors: Official color codes for the world's biggest brands
BrandColors looks pretty, but it actually serves quite a useful and interesting purpose for any collecting color codes by curious graphic designer.
BrandColors boasts an impressive directory of major brands whilst referencing their distinctive brand colours as a tabbed colour swatch.
But that's not all.
You can add as many brands as you like to a 'Collection', which you can then export out said brand colours to various file formats, including: ASE (Adobe Swatch Exchange), CSS, Sass, LESS and finally, Stylus.
This makes using these referenced colour swatches a real breeze.
As an example, I 'collected' the color swatches of About.me and Adobe, then exported them to CSS and ASE. you can see the CSS format below opened up in Coda, and the ASE file was imported into a new swatch collection in Photoshop, also below.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: July 14th, 2017 | 1st Posted: December 21, 2011
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Resources, Tips & Advice
[AQFG] - A Question For Graham
Gav Cooper asked me about colours and how one should approach it given the various options open to us when designing a logo.
There are a myriad of colour systems such as: Pantone, CMYK, RGB, HEX as well as trying to work out which system you need for each project.
The management of colour is a huge, and often times complex, business to get your head around.
I spent over 20 years of my working life working in commercial print and prepress reprographic departments trying to ensure accurate colour reproduction. Even with all this experience I still get caught out.
I can't possibly answer cover everything to do with colour, but I can tackle the specific question that Gavin asked about managing Pantone, CMYK and RGB breakdowns for logo and brand identity projects.
I will also keep this brief and to-the-point, but on the understanding that my answer is just one method to keep things relatively controllable, and your sanity intact.
I will also not assume that we all have the knowledge, practical experience and resources to ensure that our equipment is expertly calibrated with each client and printer we might deal with.
A Typical Scenario
So let's assume we have a logo and identity project where we are having to design stationery that will be commercially printed as well as well as for screen.
Let's also say that the client has been tempted with using a Pantone colour plus black for print applications which makes it mostly a 2 colour job. We also know that the client needs the Pantone colour to be able to convert, as reasonably as possible, to CMYK as well as the Pantone looking good on the website.
Some people would argue that having to make sure a Pantone colour can convert to CMYK is pretty much pointless. Surely we use Pantone colours for the large selection of hue's that cannot be achieved through CMYK? That is true for sure, but we can also use Pantone to ensure consistency of ink application, and appearance, from printer to printer.
When we are printing CMYK, and we have a large area of a recurring solid colour, the results can vary a great deal from printer-to-printer due to any number of circumstances.
So one of the questions that needs to be asked: is consistency of colour just as important as a distinguishable colour for the brand identity? I would say this is a yes for most people, and if it isn't then I would question why.
Assuming we have designed the logo, and are now looking at the main brand colour to which to build the identity upon, which is a good way to find the best colour? You may have a kind of colour in mind so it now just comes down to fine-tuning it.
We need a colour for the logo that is available as Pantone, that can be converted to CMYK when needed, and will also work in RGB/HMTL.
An Easy Answer
There is an easy answer to this particular situation, and that would be get yourself a copy of the Pantone Color Bridge guide.
Out of all the various Pantone colour books, the Colour Bridge guide should be your go-to-guy for any print/screen colour requirements.
- An Essential Guide for Designers, Pre-press and Printers
- Bridge solid PANTONE Colours for process printing or Web design
- The new PLUS SERIES COLOR BRIDGE provides process colour simulations of all solid PANTONE Colours - including the 224 new solid colours - in a convenient side-by-side comparison format, on coated stock
- An invaluable multi-use colour reference tool, the COLOR BRIDGE can be used to select and specify solid PANTONE Colours, to determine how a PANTONE Colour will appear when reproduced in CMYK, or to create optimal display of PANTONE Colours on monitors and Web pages
- HTML and sRGB values are provided, for applying colour selections across media
- Includes colour index, lighting evaluation tool, digital image colour-correction tool, and design software
Not only does it list Pantone colours, it also shows you how each Pantone looks when converted to CMYK, for process printing, as well as the exact CMYK values needed.
Also, it provides the colour values for RGB and HTML.
With this book you are able to accurately, and confidently, determine which Pantone colour can be used that will degrade nicely to CMYK.
This will ensure that whatever print process your client needs they should have the tools in place to ensure output is consistent as possible.
You are then also provided with RGB/HTML colour values that will allow you to create screen only versions of your precious logo design, and in the process know that you have built in a solid level of consistency.
We will rarely have complete control: each monitor will display slightly differently as well as not being able to control the lighting environment which all contribute to colours being discerned differently.
What we can do, and provide out client with, is a level of predictability and consistency we can feel good about.
I used the Pantone Colour Bridge book in a recent project for Abacus Insurance. I knew the client needed a nice green for the logo design which would appear on: the website; various external building sign gage solution; and printed materials like stationery and brochures.
Given this wide selection of needs we had to ensure the green we used was of a hue that would work well as a Pantone colour as well as converted to CMYK for cheaper process printing.
As you can see from the logo specification sheet for the Abacus logo exterior signage we settled on Pantone 377C.
This was damn close to the green we had envisaged from the start, but also gave us a much needed sense of control with ultimate flexibility. You can see from the photo that Pantone 377 converts quite nicely to process CMYK.
I then created a two colour version of the logo, a process colour version, RGB and HTML versions. With each version I had this lovely sense of confidence knowing how the logo "should" look regardless of the colour system used.
There are many many Pantone colours that just look plain awful when converted to process CMYK, so the Colour Bridge book will help you work out which system you can afford to work with, or ignore.
You might only need to worry about printing with Pantone, and not process CMYK, in which case you have a much healthier selection to choose from whilst still having an accurate idea of how the colour needs to be specced for RGB and HTML.
I can't stress enough the confidence this book will give you when next having to choose such an important single colour for your next logo job.
To be able to choose any colour, and confidently know how it will work and look across various platforms is too good to pass-up.
As with all Pantone color books they are not cheap. Expect to pay around £110 or so for the Pantone Color Bridge Coated edition, or around £190 for the Coated and Uncoated versions.
I got my Pantone Color Bridge from the London Graphic Centre which is where I buy most of my Pantone colour stuff.
Intro image via PSD Tuts