color crush

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Color plays a large role in graphic design, well... in all areas of design, because it can be applied to any other element, potentially causing a dramatic change. It can even be used to evoke emotion. Color theory can be applied to all areas of life, really... which is why I've decided to incorporate a periodic color profile (I don't have a set interval but it will probably be monthly). The blog post could be focused on a single color, as this one is, or a cohesive palette of color.

"The first of all single colors is white ... We shall set down white for the representative of light, without which no color can be seen."  - Leonardo Da Vinci

Like black, white works well with almost any color. It has associations of cleanliness, innocence, purity and neutrality. Doctors don white coats, Western brides traditionally wear white gowns, and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home.

White is a neutral color and is most frequently used as a background on the web, and of course in print. There is a misconception that white can be boring, or that choosing white is predictable, but there are many designers who choose and work with white to make beautiful designs. Using white does not mean being “minimalistic”. Minimalism is not dependent on any particular color. In the same way, “white space” does not necessarily mean that the space around any design element must be be white.

  1. Butterfly chandelier from Pottery Barn Kids (this is no longer available but I found a great DIY tutorial at Project Nursery - check it out!)
  2. Paper lanterns at Crafty Nest
  3. White vases are always a great accessory for the kitchen table or at an event, especially if done in multiples. I'm always on the lookout for one that is super-affordable and has a great shape (no matter how horrible the color) because they always look amazing after a few coats of white spray paint (here's the how-to via Ruffled).
  4. Doily bordered mirror DIY at LifeFlix
  5. White interiors - I have a young child, so an all white room isn't an option for me personally, but I love it when they're done well. Since white represents cleanliness and has the ability to make a smaller space feel large and luxurious, I would think the bathroom might be the best choice in a home - BUT I'm not a professional so here are some Nate Berkus tips for adding white in the home.

  • Aids mental clarity
  • Encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles
  • Evokes purification of thoughts or actions
  • Enables fresh beginnings

  • White is the traditional color worn by brides in the western world, as well as in Japan.
  • White is a color of mourning in China and parts of Africa.
  • The color of deepest mourning among medieval European queens was white rather than black. This tradition survived in Spain until the end of the fifteenth century.
  • In Chinese culture, color corresponded with the five primary elements, the directions and the four seasons. White was associated with metal, west and autumn.
  • A white flag is universally recognized as a symbol of truce.
  • The ancient Greeks wore white to bed to ensure pleasant dreams. 

  • According to Pantone Inc., white is the best selling color for the classic American t-shirt. 
  • More shades of white are available commercially than any other color. A few variations include beige, ivory, antique white, cream, linen, vanilla, ghost white, paper, snow, pearl, etc. 
  • The appearance of white in a dream is thought to represent happiness at home. White castles are a symbol of achievement, destiny perfectly fulfilled and spiritual perfection.
  • Originally, scientists wore beige coats. In the late 19th century, medical professionals chose white ones - because of the idea of hope and expectations for healing and recovery that the physicians would bring.


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