Interaction of Color Practice - Part 2


Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, & Application


Lesson Info

Interaction of Color Practice - Part 2

Okay, so this is good this is starting to happen so this is starting to push toward that end this is pushing toward that you stared it long enough and literally you're staring up here in this area kind of away from the center dots how long you stare, the more they fact becomes pronounced and it's never ever going to reach the brilliance of this yellow but it pushes in that direction it becomes more yellow. So it's really fascinating, right? You have these two colors in the backgrounds and they have such different effects on the foreground color I think about the implications of this if you're a brand manager and you've got a brand color and you're trying to imagine this color and different grounds, what do you do? How do you keep that color consistent? It's a big deal, right? And that may explain why certain brands choose very, very specific colors like and read, and they say you can only use this color against white or you can only use this color against black they have very specific ...

rules. Um the graphic designers I know who aren't in the branding business who are kind of on the outside of it um are often annoyed by this because it's so limiting but these are the kinds of things you have to think about what is going to happen to your hero color when it no longer looks like your hero color and it has everything to do with its context it's background so that's very typical for brands to try to really control how the colors are used are you doing with that? Well now with these big fields here I think we should go to, uh slightly different where's the right here let's go to um this is the one of the ones I did last night so we see that that's actually one color we see it covered up here and starts to look there friend, you wanna play with us one of water okay, so create go ahead this assignment asai I think I said earlier has been taught in our schools. Well, albert started teaching it I think in the forties and then really developed it when he was teaching at yale in the fifties and created his book in the early sixties and so it's a continuation of many years many different experiences. And then since that time has been taught by his students to other people uh and those students continue to teach their students and their students continue teach they're students so it's more of this continuum of color definitely look different, you know, I think if you go um perhaps a little bit more purple on this since this is yellow and we're looking again at uh complementary colors the purple is going to remove itself from this and make it look a little bit more yellow this actually looks pretty good in terms of thisbut I think if you were to put a more purple, slightly more purple background it's even a little closer to that this is a difficult concept this is not easy it's ah and you can see but once you arrive at something I think what we'll do is save those colors and then perhaps you can use those colors later in a free study so when you find something you like just kind of put that one aside and we'll go back to that later and revisit it it's easy to see the light and dark changes colors are going to look dramatically different in terms of their lightness and darkness it's definitely more difficult and also more surprising to see what happens when the hugh also starts to change slightly when you see the subtraction of the hue my work I'm having a hard time with red and green yeah red karina's tough they have equal eight values so they're not going to have a dramatic effect on the changes of light and dark it's going to be principally about the hue so as you subtract green from this and as you subtract read from it it's going to be very different so we can see now this is actually becoming a little bit greener looking more green because you're taking the read out this one is a little bit tough I don't really see that so I would say I think we still need to find something a little bit more neutral try changing the red to something a little bit duller a dollar red yes sometimes it's a matter of literally looking at this color here and saying, what can I use to make that a little bit better? How you doing on the app? Uh good yeah I think if you change that ground color a little bit, you have to you have the added issue here of looking up there because it looks different over here so you sort of have to figure out what the correlation between this and bess one thing is hard enough to do it there than to try to do it up here is well it's tough again when he find a color combination that she likes save it and we're going to use those later in a free study now richard all people asking online because they've seen all these wonderful papers that you've been using our student had been using here the studio do you have a preference for paper supplier or some of you actually go to get all this really wonderful stuff kulla rate is available at almost all our stores uh and you can buy it online at all the usual places including the usual place it always has and you get better prices obviously if you do that but it's just tolerate paper color eight color aid and color rate paper was not developed for this assignment it was developed for I think in the forties for textile designers and then was discovered uh believe by albert students is it's actually pretty interesting as a way of utilizing, you know color for this particular project is this colored stuff but it was first industry supplier for textile designers. Initially albert students used color swatches from magazines, books anything that was printed, they didn't have this kind of a resource and so they were constantly just finding color swatches and colored papers and there was a lot of sharing because it was just so difficult to find these things so students would share their colors. It is a question. Yeah, I was wondering how do you feel about other online tools such as cooler made by like adobe d which has now become adobe color used to be called cooler that's a great tool. It allows you to sample the color in a photograph or any kind of a digital color image and then very quickly generate pallets. So light and dark pal it's warm and cool pallets and vivid and dull pallets essentially what you were doing this morning with the color grids is something that now is automated through adobe color formally cooler and that's a really great out to have two nice thing about that to adobe has they're online community I think I think you can upload your palates and share them and also have access to them on any device that's a really good device really good thing for mobile applications of color pretty good it seems like if you if you don't know if this is cheating but if you there is no she'd go okay well then if you pick kind of in between the colors as they are on the wheel, then it kind of does a lot of the work like just just finding the two on the edges and then looking for the one on this wheel that was in the middle of mexico because that's the secret is finding the middle color right? If we're doing it with color a paper it's the same exact thing you're finding that mixture color same thing with a monochromatic palette you're finding that middle purple that's in between those two that's going to have that particular effect so again kalis attraction there's two different things that are happening subtraction of light and dark so the background will subtract itself and I think make the color look lighter or darker and also the subtraction of hugh the color will actually take itself out so if the yellow background that yellow is going to remove itself from whatever colors on top now this becomes really critical obviously for people who are working with like painters um photographers so the same color can look very, very different in different grounds and you can produce really interesting effects that way if you have a limited range of colors to use or if you're trying to create something with limited range color, you can get a greater range of colors, the effect of a greater range of colors with very few colors based on your color choices actually our teachings this christine I'd like to know actually how does this relate to your work as a designer and indeed a letter? Well, yeah, I mean, we're thinking about how I'm thinking about it, more of like in a print layout and having my colors that clatter clash and we were talking about colors that clash or having a hero color and like a magazine layout for example, I'm actually this is this is kind of new to me like having the subtract like the color, subjection and all and I'm kind of excited to apply it to a lot of my work in the future because I was like, oh, I never thought of that of using like the same color on different backgrounds and maybe how does that how like the interaction and how I can make something more interesting and when we get to the free studies which I believe at some point this afternoon, well here that you'll see it in action you'll see what happens when you start to make a composition and you have the same color in two different spots and two different color backgrounds and see what happens to it you can get some really interesting effects that way now it's it's also I think a valid point to say that this is a purely experimental project and that the applications in the real world are, you know, sometimes hypothetical and so we can just kind of separate ourselves from that for a man and just think about this as a way of becoming more aware of colors, becoming more aware of the effects of colors and increasing our confidence in terms of how we use colors in our own work but also just kind of in our own walking around our day to day lives understanding how we see color it's kind of what this is about it's really understanding this idea that color is completely relative to its background no matter what. So I think at this point we should try to do something even harder and that's make two different colors look alike using the same principle of subtraction yes so essentially you're trying to do this you're trying to take two very different colors not very different colors it's neutral colors again and working with them into different backgrounds to try to achieve a likeness now you're never going to get it exact it's not really the point again it's just trying to figure out a way of tune in your eyes and teaching yourself to see this so before we get to this point you're just experimenting so choose two different grounds and then again you're gonna be looking for a middle color and initially when you find those middle colors they're goingto look dramatically different from each other or the same depend on what you find essentially then ultimately you're going to make this kind of ah jump and put the colors down below but initially but it's gonna look like this making two colors look like one again it's about subtraction just attracting outside subtracting itself from here so taking the green out of this taking the blue green out over here taking the lightness out making this look darker making look different right and seeing those colors down there trying to make these two colors look alike okay so you see the difference is here and those of those two colors do you want to continue working with paper okay I'm gonna continue I'll do a little experiment than on the pier so you see how dramatically different they are they're what happens when you apply the colors they start to look alike with the absolutely start there you could start with two colors that are different from each other and then start to work with backgrounds it's the same principle is just taking a slightly different route to it so if you think of the last exercise is trying to figure out what's the color in between each of them what's the way that think about this one we're getting two different colors and try and get it look the same subtraction so think about subtracting the light and dark as well as the hugh right same exact thing um just your objective is different but in this case no subtracting the blue I started here and that's attracting the blue from that bottom thing taking the blew out taking the darkness out of it in the top trying to take the orange out of it so I'm trying to neutralize those two colors essentially okay do you do that you could start with two very light tints of what you might end up with in the end a light tint of blue light tint of orange and then darker variants of those colors his backgrounds I don't see what happens I always say that we'll see what happens my design professor I think the answer because it's all about child in error yeah right and remember the quote from albert's it's all about trial and error and through this process you just become more aware of color hopefully become more confident hopefully it's not confusing you more it might be but initially but again like dribbling a basketball the more you do this the more confidence you gain, the better you become working with colors you mentioned that christina advice you got your professor we have a question for you, richard from off the guard I think that's how you say the same what was the impact of the poor rand's teaching on you tremendous. Uh I wouldn't be sitting here right now if it wasn't for him um brand was he was it was unique and that he was able to design children's books at the same time that he was designing uh, corporate collateral pieces and identity worked for corporations like ibm, so he straddled that world of the ultra capitalist world of corporate graphic design, corporate identity and then the world of children's book illustration and the work has a very similar quality. I don't know if you're familiar with that ibm poster where it's a rebus so there's a picture of an I a picture of a bee and then the letter m if you have you ever seen out and it reads ibm you know it's it's a children's idea the revis it's uh and he was able teo apply that teo a corporation like ibm and make it work and make it serious and that's kind of how he thought about design and certainly what he tried to influence with his students he was very exacting wear only allowed to use one typeface or one sarah from one sans serif and it was his choice. Usually he determined our color palettes, which were the colors that he already liked for had appropriated from people like matisse and marrow, all of his heroes. He was very much into this idea of passing along an aesthetic sensibility. He was a true modernised and that it was all about less is more. It was all about economy of means, trying to do more with less. He was a very religious man, so he was very influential and spiritual in that way. Not that, you know, I'm particularly religious, but I definitely understood that and value that value that in him and the quality of his work too spoke for itself. He couldn't be have been a better influence, I think. And as a teacher, I loved it because, um, he's the guy who grew up in brooklyn and talk like he erupted in brooklyn. But he wrote like he has spent his whole life in an ivory tower, you know, and was able to articulate things in such profound and beautiful ways and just say it was a lovely experience.

Class Description

Our response to color comes from the place in our brain where trust, loyalty, behavior, and decision occur – every successful project relies on a designer making smart choices about color.

In Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, & Application, Richard Mehl will give you a foundational understanding of color theory principles and demonstrate how to apply them. Richard has studied alongside design legends, Paul Rand, Bradbury Thompson and Herbert Matter and in this class he’ll share insights gleaned from 12 years of teaching and writing about color in design.

Richard takes an accessible approach to the serious study of color theory for designers. You’ll be exposed to a relevant series of ideas and skills by exploring a range of analog and digital projects. Richard will discuss:

  • Color terminology and meaning
  • How to view color in context
  • Contrast grids and color illusion
  • Tips for creating harmonious color palettes

In Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, & Application you’ll develop a new awareness and sensitivity to color that will bolster your confidence in your personal and professional design work.