2011: A Year in Color

Pop the champagne corks and ready your hangover cures – 2011 is nearly done. Here’s a speedy roundup of the 11 best color stories of 2011 you may’ve missed.

2011 by zigazou76 on Flickr

We’ll start the list on a future-leaning note: awesome calendars. Color-fans should rush to supply themselves with On This Day calendars. Reusable for every year, this handy wall calendar consists of heat-sensitive cubes, each marking a noteworthy event from that day in history. Scribble your own notes for the year on the cube’s side, then wash-and-reuse next year – or frame and mount a year in your exceedingly colorful life.

On This Day calendar via Design You Trust

#2 is certainly a late-breaking one. Pantone announces its Color of the Year every November, priming us for winter’s darkest months with a bright shot of the color we’ll all soon be craving. This year it’s Tangerine Tango, my absolute favorite, a juicy retro shade that’s also warm and oddly intimate.

Orange thrift by karolines_retro on Flickr

Speaking of Pantone, our next 3 color stories include the best in color-mad gifts. Here’s this year’s holiday gift roundup (#3). You’ll also want to shop color books every design-minded fan should own (#4), including COLOURLover’s marvelous book, Color Inspirations.

2011 saw the dubiously successful launch of Kindle Fire, Amazon’s color tablet (#5). It also marked the full entrenchment of Google Image Search by color (below, #6), and the relatively quick crash-and-burn of the Color mobile-video-sharing app (#7). However, a substantially revised version of the app is now out and garnering praise from many corners. Download the new Color app now.

Moving on from technology to art, I’m still sorry I missed the Color in Commerce exhibit in Seattle (#8) took as its premise the chunky blocks of color stacked in the form of shipping containers in Seattle’s busy ports.

ColorsTIMOTHY-TELEPORTED-1314934560623 from Colors of Commerce exhibit, 2011

Imprint‘s 3-part series on synesthesia (#9) – the harmless cognitive quirk that results in “seeing” colors associated with certain letters, numbers, sounds or tastes – was another big hit. You’ll also get a hilarious, quick-hit education in the subject in poet Jennifer L. Knox’s video below:

Last but not least are 2 annual color traditions I’m looking forward to repeating: Print’s first Color Conference (#10) and HOW + Print’s Color in Design Awards (#11). You just missed the deadline to submit your best color projects for this year, but why not bookmark it and make submitting your first 2012 New Year’s Resolution?

Happy New Year! by Jimmy Benson on Flickr

Here’s to a smashing start to your 2012 – with much color to come!

Resources Recommended by Imprint
Color & Design, Featured, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog, Jude Stewart

About Jude Stewart

Jude Stewart is a PRINT contributing editor. She has written on design and culture for Slate, Fast Company, The Believer, I.D., Metropolis, and Design Observer, among many others. She has authored two books, both published by Bloomsbury: ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color (2013) and Patternalia: An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage and Other Graphic Patterns (2015). Follow her tweets on color at twitter.com/joodstew.

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