The Colour of an Enigmatic 2018?

Dec 09 2017 Published by Neil Gains under design

Prince would be proud.

Pantone have just announced their colour of the year and it’s purple, or rather it is Ultra violet, “… the most complex of all colors, because it takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them together to create something new.” (in the words of the Pantone Color Institute). Read more »

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Is Emerald the Colour of 2013?

Dec 17 2012 Published by Neil Gains under innovation

Is Pantone’s choice of Emerald (Pantone reference 17-5641) an inspired read of cultural shifts and green shoots of recovery or a slightly naive hope for the coming year? [Read about the different meanings of green here.] Read more »

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Colourful Language

Jun 06 2012 Published by Neil Gains under language

Language and thinking

I have always been fascinated by colour (and spent much of my time as a PhD student using colour to prove the validity of some of the methods I was using). The language of colour is particularly fascinating. Like smell, our human ability to detect different colours is vastly in excess of our ability to describe what we can perceive. According to Berlin and Kay, there are no more than eleven terms which are commonly used to describe the abstract properties (hues) of colours, as Inspector Insight wrote in a previous article. Read more »

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Let Your Eyes Do the Thinking

Oct 29 2011 Published by Neil Gains under sensory

How smart are our eyes?

In his Theory of Colours, published just over 200 years ago, Goethe describes colour as having ‘a strange duplicity’ and wrote about colour as something other than constant and fixed. Although his theory has been superseded, his ideas on colour perception as a product of the interplay of light and dark are still relevant today. Goethe is also partly responsible for the colour circle that is standard now and the idea of complementary colours. Read more »

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Principles of Design #31 – Colour

Sep 24 2011 Published by Neil Gains under design

Colourful designs

Colour is used by designers and marketers to attract attention, group elements, provide meaning and enhance aesthetics, making designs more visually interesting and appealing and reinforcing the organisation and meaning of elements and features in the design. When badly used, colour can impair the form and function of a design, but there are well used guidelines for how to use colours properly in any design work, and the main themes are summarised below. Read more »

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