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green-watersweet-green

I’m searching for ‘green’ today. Let it pour like a visual remedy! I started the hunt this morning looking through photos of a recent journey to Spain, and by the end of the day I’ll eat all sorts of green things in a salad. The psychological effects of color can have great benefits, better than most meds. The 4 psychological primary colors are red, blue, yellow and green. They relate respectively to the body, mind, the emotions and the balance between these three. For me today it’s the need of green.

Green strikes the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatever and is, therefore, restful. Being in the center of the spectrum, it’s the color of balancea more important concept than many people realize. When the world about us contains plenty of green, this indicates the presence of water, and little danger of famine, so we are reassured by green, on a primitive level. Green shows us harmony, rest, peace, refreshment and love. But I want to give it to you straight… negatively, it can indicate stagnation and, incorrectly used can perceived as being too bland. Make your greens grow and you’ll be fine.

The spritzer bottle just makes me giggle, I have a passion for green plastic, and the chocolate wrapped in green makes me think of the evergreen cocoa tree, very exotic and dark. I have a new favorite artist who uses lots of it too, Matt Magee.

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Pink

Thanks to our client Ann Cook who led us to this great title, “Drunk Tank Pink,” and which we’re running to our local bookshop to buy and start reading. We’ve been working with Ann for years on her school district calendar. A publication that has a long life in many Sumner, Washington homes, often being referenced year-long, many of them on refrigerator doors. The project has a large print run and a limited budget… so the solution has been to print good photos with two colors, black and an annual feature color. Ann and Partners in Design has the best of times selecting the “wow” color that will best reflect the school district programs for each year. Ann brings great color discovers to the table and she allows us to dissuade her from color disasters and select color winners.

Colors_in_the_school

So back to the book… does pink make strong men weak? Can pink jail cells calm violent prisoners? Is it true that football locker rooms (the ones for the visiting/opposing teams) are painted a certain shade of pink to weaken the players?

One of the most interesting examples of color effects, and a local story, is Baker-Miller Pink – R:255, G:145, B:175. Also known as “Drunk tank pink,” this color has been used to calm violent prisoners in jails. Dr. Alexander Schauss, Ph.D., director of the American Institute for Biosocial Research in Tacoma Washington, was the first to report the suppression of angry, antagonistic, and anxiety ridden behavior among prisoners: “Even if a person tries to be angry or aggressive in the presence of pink, he can’t. The heart muscles can’t race fast enough. It’s a tranquilizing color that saps your energy. There’s evidence that these reactions are short term. Once the body returns to a state of equilibrium, a prisoner may regress to an even more agitated state.

Is it true that football locker rooms (the ones for the visiting/opposing teams) are painted a certain shade of pink to weaken the players? University of Hawaii associate head coach George Lumkin was a member of the 1991 staff that saw visitor locker rooms at Iowa and Colorado State painted pink in the belief that the color made players passive. Now the WAC has a rule that a visiting team’s locker room can not be painted a different color than the home team’s. In other words, it can be pink, black or any color of the rainbow, as long as both locker rooms are the same color.

Drunk.Tank.Pink

I’m starting a fantasy wish list. I’ll be posting individual items (gifts) or ideas as the holidays approach. There will be few limits on the selections… and undoubtedly I’ll express more greed than sole-searching restraint.

This one, a classic Josef Albers painting… just a little thing, but a window to a great many big things. It’s a 12-inch by 12-inch canvas. Only 3-color, oh c’mon, how much can it cost? It speaks to my heart and my design head. The size is another thing about it. His later “color-field” painters became too big in my opinion—appropriate only for hanging on museum walls.

“Easy—to know that diamonds—are precious.
Good—to learn that rubies—have depth.
But more—to see that pebbles—are miraculous.”
—Josef Albers

Josef and Anni Albers were artistic adventurers who were both pioneers of twentieth-century modernism. Josef Albers (1888-1976) was an influential teacher, writer, painter, and color theorist—now best known for the Homages to the Square he painted between 1950 and 1976 and for his innovative 1963 publication The Interaction of Color. The couple met in Weimar, Germany in 1922 at the Bauhaus. This new teaching institution, now so renowned for its effects on all modern design, emphasized the connection between artists, architects, and craftspeople.

Hedda_lettuce

In our continuing “colors of your choice”.

I think she’s the poster child for green. She’s the queen of green. My favorite color is green. I hear Hedda Lettuce has a great act. She just debarked from Seattle on a luxury cruise to be the lead entertainer. Of course she had a lot of steamer trucks in tow. Read the rest of this entry »

dahlia_song1

I’ve been lamenting the end of summer. Well actually it’s more like building to a panic. Dahlias to the rescue! “It’s obviously not all over yet” they trumpet loud and clear… their pedals soft, lush and wild, shameless… with no fear. So many zany patterns and dahlia-dances in their specimen divisions. For near-sighted retiring bees they must look like the size of football fields. Read the rest of this entry »

We each have our own color druthers, and our own color histrionics (the baby blanket color we were wrapped in). On the other hand, biologically speaking, we share some color ties (we head for the green of the savanna or we find red lips appealing). Emotions can run high when selecting a color with friends.

Color is half of my business discipline, also a good part of my visual pleasure in life. I’m entrenched in it. Swatches of it are hanging all around me. I love it when color flashbacks recall a story, and I don’t believe we dream in black and white.

Do you have the same color passions? I would like to hear what you see in a color palette. Pick a color, any color. I’ll start with the first color… pink. Let’s make a pageant of colors right here. Represent your color in any way you would like. Write it here, comment on it below, or if it’s a visual statement send it to my email address and I’ll post it. Invent a color, or let’s change the meaning of flags.

pink

There used to be a TV show on when I was a kid, it was called “Make a Wish”. It had an unchanging format that held me in rapture. The show would take one word, like fish, and then literally take it around the world! “I wish I were a fish then I would swim in the ocean that is created by rain, that came from the clouds etc, etc”. Total stream of consciousness stuff. Tom Chapin, Harry Chapin’s brother, appeared at the beginning of the show, asking the question that would open up a whole world of knowledge and fun: “Did you ever wish you were a ___?” Read the rest of this entry »

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