Wunderkammer of Color: November Edition

Time for your color fix. Fittingly, today’s finds start with graphic designer Ryan Musselman’s photograph series of crayons in strange and sometimes telling situations. The moral: If you miss even one color pill, mayhem ensues:

via Notcot.org

What are your go-to colors for design projects? Have you fallen into a color rut? Jacobo Zanella got curious and started documenting his own color palettes throughout 2010. As Armin Vit of Quipsologies aptly put it, “The results look like the most complicated Atari 2600 game ever.” Or a template for a classic Bill Cosby sweater.

Data-mining projects like this give me a prime opportunity to trot out a perennial favorite: Shahee Ilyas’ fantastic project, Flags by Colour. As the name implies, the designer abstracts the colors of the world’s flags into little pie-charts, revealing our individual and collective expressions of color and nationhood.

Judging from the preponderance of red, white and slices of various blues, we Americans may be onto something. More likely, this testifies to a decidedly international conviction that everyone’s homeland is both courageous and innocent, in battle or off.

Speaking of abstracted colors, here’s a clever thought experiment: what if you reduced the specific iconography of various well-known brands to simple placements of color? Unevolvedbrands.com applies this thinking to dozens of brands and lets readers see for themselves how many identities survive the transformation.

Yet another smart abstraction of color: the Swiss design school “Haus der Farbe” compiled a color-guide to the city of Zürich. Now you and other tourists can navigate the storied streets of this lovely, old-world city based on the layers of colors that dominate different epochs of architecture. A beautiful idea, no?

What’s your most surprising or evocative color find of late?

Color & Design, 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.

One thought on “Wunderkammer of Color: November Edition

  1. Ketutar

    “Judging from the preponderance of red, white and slices of various blues, we Americans may be onto something.”
    Yep, copying an existing formula. :->
    Since 1777…