Color Design Part 2

I hope you enjoyed my Color Design Part 1 posting. Today I wanted to share some more details from the 4 day class.  In those few days we received about 35 pounds of color samples, reference materials and compiled lists Color Design 2014from Eiseman. Today as I am writing this I am sorting my stash for future reference with hope that this attention to organization will pay off as I start my COLOR 52 blog next month.


We reviewed color psychology as presented in the book ‘COLOR: messages and meaning’  [Eiseman 2006] and discussed terms used in the application of color and design – synesthesia, homeostasis & a few other curious effects

Synesthesia – is a neurological phenomenon, essentially the involuntary overlap of the senses; hear a note/think a color or see a color/hear a musical note.  We discussed how to create the phenomenon with color; a technique well used by Martha Stewart stylists – seen in the magazine, Pinterest & online work…visualize a tower of 3 pale pink milk glass cake pedestals, assorted with pink rose buds & pink petit fours in lacy paper cups = sweetness & youthful love.  Without words this repetitive use of color and symbols creates an emotional response of sweet, young &  happy.  Another example of the effect is seen at Smirnoff, especially their ‘sorbet’ ads.

Homeostasis/Balance/Yang & Yin – throughout our lives we seek balance and this includes color. Typically we have no conscious awareness of our eyes search for color balance.  We discussed the balance of warm and cool color in design. The formula is – when 75% of a single color family [cool / warm] is used for the object the emotion of that color [cooler/warmer] will be achieved.   This practice of finding the right balance of warm/cool is the basis of many ‘color consulting’ formulas.

Depth of Color – an easy to understand concept.  Darker a color the more power, authority, elegance and maturity is attributed.

Stroop Effect – is interference in the reaction time to a task.  In application of color this includes the use of color ‘out of context’ or in a way that ‘runs counter to intrinsic belief’.  This practice is often seen in street art, when seeking an emotionally charged reaction, and/or to express individuality or novelty.  Seeing the word you read as Red or Green, or Pink hair are examples [though much less a novelty than in the past].

The written word is 78% more likely to be remembered when written in color.


Eiseman did not share how to gather trend information because she does not believe there is a formula.  What she did share was how she arrives at a trend point and what some of her sources of guidance are in the process. Here is a list of her 2015 trends and influences or projections:

  1. Butterfly – continues as a popular motif.  A guidance source for upcoming motifs is often high-end fine jewelry vendors.
  2. Art – attributed to Steve Wynn/Bellagio art in the casinos started 15 years ago. He brought art to the people and now Prada prints pop art on clothing and the mainstream is following with famous art reproduced on many items.
  3. Artisan Crafts – especially food and drink; artful food presentations, interest in spices, new types of food [introducing high protein ant larvae to western cultures]
  4. Wellness & Botanicals – succulents are popular plants, pet aroma-therapy is taking hold
  5.  Light Art – styles of illumination is a growing practice
  6. Entertainment Influences – ‘Frozen’ the movie influence continues [especially color] , Downton Abbey brings a historical period to life
  7. Eyes – female eye motif is showing up everywhere
  8. Mustache – will continue as a popular motif
  9. Bicycles – are beginning as a motif
  10. Metallic – trend toward heavy embossing and color variation

Color Reference

A few trend influencers / resources:

Normann of Copenhagen

Lifetime Brands – check out Innovation page for trends


Pat Nugent Textiles – used by many designers for inspiration …right here in my backyard!


This Fall I will start a blog called COLOR 52: Weekly Color Curiosities.  I have received some comments and questions from readers of this blog and I will incorporate those ideas into COLOR 52.  Thanks.







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